Vergeletto and the Salei alpine lake



Explore Valle Onsernone, the renowned, secluded wilderness. Features which have indeed, attracted famous artists and writers to the area. Your first trip will almost certainly not be your last! There are a large number of itineraries which allow you to appreciate it properly. Discover the Salei area, its pretty alpine lake and the idyllic landscape surrounding it. Such charming beauty, bound to amaze you.

Discover a charming little lake, a jewel of the Alpine landscape in the area of Salei, located above Vergeletto. It is an easy walk and a pleasant excuse to spend a day exploring the Onsernone. This valley has preserved an interesting appearance: it is very green, wild, slightly reserved and remote. Whoever visits it for the first time cannot avoid coming back in order to spend more time in the area. The valley has been appreciated by artists and famous writers thanks to its unique characteristics. Some of them found shelter there during darker times. Others, like Max Frisch, elected it homeland of the soul.


From Vergeletto-Zott leave the cableway that leads to the area of Salei where a namesake pasture and a cabin are located (room and board). After an easy 40-minute walk along a trail that smoothly ascends, offering a priceless view over the Locarno region all the way
to Lake Maggiore, you reach a little lake. An ideal place to relax surrounded by nature and to enjoy a picnic in the grass. Continuing over a pleasant, wide path, after little more that an hour of walking, you can reach the Arena mountain hut, where you'll find food and accommodation. You then take the detour toward Sciüpada, where a beautiful traverse on the side of this V-shaped valley starts. After the traverse you reach the road on the valley floor, one km before Zott, both starting point and cableway station, where you can take the PostBus.


To explore the route, we recommend buying the official maps of the Federal Office of Topography Swisstopo. In addition, the following website offers constantly updated data.

  • 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:

Alternative routes

Option A:

Zott (cableway) – Alpe Salei – Lake Salei – Arena mountain hut (possibly Porcareccio) – cableway – Vergeletto

Follow the path as described above until the Arena mountain hut and follow the route to Porcareccio. You then come back to the cableway in the opposite direction. After descending to the valley floor, by cableway, carry on until Vergeletto village, one of the most traditional locations in the Onsernone valley.


Option B:

Comologno – Lake Salei – Alpe Salei – Arena mountain hut – Alpe Salei – Comologno.

From Comologno you follow the well-signed path towards Ligünc and Piani della Galera. You reach Lake Salei and then descend toward the Salei mountain hut. Here you take the well-maitained path on the wooded side of the Poncione del Rosso mountain to arrive at the Arena mountain hut. You then go back toward Comologno covering the path in the opposite direction and crossing Alpe Salei once again.


Option C:

Comologno – Salei – Vergeletto

A long trek, which may also be covered in two days if you stay in one of the two alpine huts (Salei or Arena). From Comologno you follow the well signed path up toward Ligünc and Piani della Galera. Once you can see Salei lake, you go down toward the Salei mountain hut. This is linked to the Arena mountain hut by a wide path that is paved with large stones, and which traverses the wooded side of Poncione del Rosso mountain. At this stage, it’s worth carrying on for a few hundred metres toward the Porcaresc alpage in order to admire the Buco d'Arena canyon: the path has been beautifully laid down in a wild area that’s otherwise very difficult to access.

From the mountain hut, the well signed path starts descending until the forest road is reached, linking the Casone alpage with Vergeletto, passing through Zardin. Following the road, along which there are two refreshment points, you reach the village in around an hour. The village is connected by PostBus.

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