There are many small hidden alpine lakes near Lake Maggiore, all just waiting to be discovered. Amazing expanses of crystal clear glacial melt waters that sparkle like precious stones under the sun, with colours ranging from emerald green to turquoise, azure or dark blue. Discover the most beautiful alpine lakes in the region.
The lakes of Vallemaggia
The Vallemaggia is home to the largest glacier in the Canton of Ticino: the Basodino. Starting from San Carlo in Val Bavona, an offshoot of Vallemaggia, it takes just 15 minutes by cable car to reach the Lago di Robiei [Robièi Lake] area, right at the foot of the glacier. A hiking trail leads around the lake, offering numerable opportunities to marvel at the alpine landscape and catch a sight of the local fauna. You can also visit the Robiei dam.
Bavona Valley is a real paradise for anyone who loves alpine lakes and water in general. It is also home to one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Ticino, the Foroglio Waterfall. 110 metres high, this is a true force of nature, a phenomenal sight. It is rightly considered a source of spiritual power. Enjoy a lengthy hike from Foroglio to the Crosa Lakes, two small lakes nestled among the mountains and a favourite with anglers. This 5-hour hike passes Puntid, Gerra, Crosa and Motto on the way. Surrounded by a rocky glacial depression, a hike up to the Lago d’Alzasca [Alzasca Lake] is well worth the effort. Start from Someo and follow the path carved out of the rock across a precipitous slope.
You can reach several charming alpine lakes from Cimalmotto, including Laghetto di Sfille, Lago dei Pozzöi, Lago Gelato and Lago del Pèzz (Arnau). Lago Mognola is another popular lake with anglers: sitting in the alpine valley of Lavizzara, it is surrounded by rocky peaks such as Pizzo Campo Tencia, Pizzo Croslina and Pizzo Rüscada. This is also a great area for rock climbing. You can also reach the alpine lake of Lago Tomeo (1,692 metres above sea level) from Broglio in Lavizzara. Several trails lead off from this lake, such as that towards Valle Verzasca.
The lakes of Valle Verzasca
Famous for its dam that forms the Vogorno Lake reservoir, Valle Verzasca contains several hidden gems high up in the mountains. One such is Laghetto d’Efra, a small lake surrounded by steep cliffs and a larch forest. To get there, simply follow the Riale d’Efra from Frasco.
You might wish to turn this into a 2-day hike and spend a night in the Capanna Efra mountain refuge. The lake is also reached by a steep, challenging route for trail runners. There are two further alpine lakes easily reached from Sonogno, the highest village in the Verzasca valley. Starting from this charming well-kept village with its typical stone houses, you can reach the Cascata della Froda waterfall and its scenic wooden bridge in a matter of minutes. You can also get to Barone Lake from Sonogno, passing Cabioi, Corte di Fondo, Piodoo and the Rifugio Barone mountain hut on the way. To reach the Laghetto head for the Cognora mountain hut, then Passo di Piatto and Alpe di Laghetto. This is ideal as a 2-day hike, with an overnight stay at the Cognora refuge.
Alpine lakes in Valle Onsernone
Wild, isolated, peaceful and unspoilt. The perfect way to describe Valle Onsernone, with its steep, rugged slopes cloaked in thick, lush vegetation. Beloved by artists seeking inspiration, plenty of trails and itineraries let you explore this magnificent valley.
The most famous alpine lake here is Laghetto di Salei, reached by taking the cable car from Vergeletto and then following an easy path. You can also reach this lake from Comologno via Ligünc and the Val Lavadina. This is a more demanding route, climbing just under 850 metres in about 3 hours. Yet another route starts from Spruga, the last village in the Onsernone valley before the Swiss/Italian border and the Bagni di Craveggia hot springs. Lago della Cavegna is another alpine lake reached from Vergeletto: follow the road to Alpe del Casone and then take the path that passes Alpe di Porcaresc on its way to the Passo della Cavegna mountain pass. The lake lies on the Valle di Campo side.