Responsible for this content Ascona-Locarno Tourism
Photo: Tom Malecha
Up and down, steep and technical with some stone steps leading to the eponymous lake. Lying just below the Capanna Efra, this little gem can be partly frozen over until late spring. Wonderful views of the valley floor and surrounding peaks may be enjoyed from the Capanna Efra, which stands on a large, sunny terrace and offers hikers accommodation and refreshment.
Distance 13.4 km
Highest point2,040 m
Lowest point885 m
The starting point is Frasco (885 m) in the Verzasca valley, which can be reached by car or bus. The trail starts above the Albergo Efra and leads into the valley of the same name. The Albergo Efra was built in 1930 and for a long time it was considered the only tourist infrastructure in the whole valley. It usually accommodated guests from England at that time. You first head for the Alpe Efra (1686 m), from where you reach the small lake (1836 m).
The elevation gain is 962 m. The path is not difficult, but it calls for good footwear. The Capanna Efra (2040 m) is 30 minutes from the lake. The Valle d'Efra offers many other trails: the Gagnone (2214 m) and Rampi (2366 m) passes lead to the Leventina valley.
You start from near the parish church in Frasco (885 m) by following a minor asphalt road through the hamlet of Scimarmota, where a forest path on the right-hand bank of a little stream (the Riale d'Efra) leads up to the Monti Montada (1196 m). Numerous bends lead through the forest up the mountain to the Corte di Fondo (1686 m) to finally reach the Alpe d'Efra.
The Alpe d'Efra benefits from a spring where you can quench your thirst. A panoramic trail leads briefly southwards over the pastures to Lake Efra (1836 m). From the lake, you head north-east between pastures and rocks for half-an-hour to the Corte di Cima and the Capanna d'Efra (2039 m), which is managed by the Verzaschese hiking association.
Update: February 17, 2023
Best time of year
Asphalt 5.39%Path 94.60%
Show elevation profile
Mountain hut Efra
Some passages are very steep. Poor or no phone reception throughout the route.
Frasco (885 m)
32T 484790 5131830
Frasco-Mont Val d'Efra-Chigno-Lago d'Efra-Capanna Efra-Lago d'Efra-Chigno-Mont Val d'Efra-Frasco
From Locarno railway station: bus 321 towards Sonogno. Alight at Frasco, Chiesa. Return from Frasco: bus 321 towards Locarno Stazione. Alight at Locarno station. Further information: www.sbb.ch
32T 484790 5131830
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Light running backpack (approx. 5 to 10 liters) with rain cover if necessary
Trail running shoes
Special running socks if necessary
Adequate and breathable clothing in multiple layers