San Carlo - Cristallina - Ossasco


San Carlo

In all of its new splendour, and from summer 2004 on the sunlit slope, the Capanna Cristallina is a modern cabin which is well worth a visit. Swept away by an avalanche, it was rebuilt in a more secure area with maximum sun exposure and was inaugurated during summer 2004.

The beginning of the hike, in San Carlo, which is reachable by via PostBus from Locarno, then by a relaxing funicular ride to Robiei. From there, you can follow a road that leads to Lago Bianco, then you can continue on a marked trail up to Lago Sfundau. Follow the trail towards Passo Cristallina (time required: 2.5 hours).

Arriving at the hut, you will realise there is not just rustic simplicity waiting for you. The architecture of the hut, situated at 2575 m a.s.l., is modern yet still blends into the landscape. The mountain is still a fine open space, notwithstanding the construction of the hut. The Capanna Cristallina is one of the biggest in the Swiss Alps and offers everything that can restore and refresh tired hikers. Around the hut there is a succession of rocks which attract rock climbers and climbers alike, or you can cast your gaze over Lago Sfundau and the Ticinesi mountain peaks, such as Pizzo Basòdino. Marshy areas with small ponds and white snow patches paint a picturesque landscape.

From the hut, you can follow a trail that takes you to Val Torta; from there you arrive at the Cristallina Alps and descend into the warm Val Bedretto, near Ossasco. The descent takes approximately 3 hours. From Ossasco there is a bus to Airolo.


  • Waterproof clothing, light and warm
  • Hiking boots
  • Gloves, sun cap, change of clothes
  • Backpack maximum 5-8 kg
  • First aid kit with penknife
  • Sleeping bag for overnight in alpine hut
  • Torch, sunglasses, sun cream, water-bottle
  • Hiking map/topographic map
  • Compass
  • Camera
  • Food
  • Raincover for backpacks


Montagnepulite: This project was born to promote an effective management and sustainable use of mountain huts in Ticino, and in particular the litter management. The responsible management of litter in the mountains is a matter of common sense. We can all contribute:

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