A five-day hike encompassing the 14 prettiest mountain lakes in the upper Vallemaggia region around the Basodino glacier. On its way from refuge to refuge, the route negotiates a breathtaking natural landscape through high alpine mountainscapes, extensive pastures, glacial areas and moorland. As the name suggests, the highlights of this tour are the lakes, some clear, others turquoise-blue.
This fascinating tour starts in Fusio, the hindmost village in the upper Maggia valley. Fusio also marks the end of the hike for those completing the whole tour, although a shorter version is possible. Although the daily walking time averages 5-7 hours, there are marked differences between the days in terms of elevation and length. This means that the tour is more for experienced walkers; it's also best completed between July and October, depending on the weather.
The first day leads from Fusio to the Capanna Poncione di Braga refuge. The route takes you past the Pizzo Piatto di Röd, a peak said to consist partly of oceanic earth crust. The refuge is situated in an idyllic alpine setting: it's worth getting up early the next morning to experience the sun rising above this fantastic arena.
The vicinity around Robiei is home to ibex, so keep your eyes open on the ridge and enjoy a breather before the steep and stony descent towards the Lago Nero and Lago Bianco. Why is the Lago Nero so dark and the Lago Bianco so light? The former is a natural lake with a natural spring, so the water is somewhat darker, while the latter is a manmade reservoir mainly created to store meltwater, which contains light-coloured minerals.
Day three finds you entering Italy along the foot of the Basodino glacier and overnighting at the Capanna Maria Luisa refuge. Note the broad plateaus with turquoise lakes and polished glacier rock. The long ascent on day four takes you to the highest point of the tour at alt 2700 m. and past the Lago Cavagnöö and Lago Sfundau to the Capanna Cristallina refuge. The last leg of the tour again involves a long hike, this time via the Lago Naret back to Fusio.
This 60 km trek is an extension of the Via Alta Vallemaggia which was created in 2009 and links Cardada-Cimetta with Fusio. Click here for details and technical information about the tour.