Long Distance Hiking recommended route Multi-stage route

Sentiero Cristallina (SvizzeraMobile 59)

Long Distance Hiking · Ascona-Locarno
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  • Foroglio, Valle Bavona
    Foroglio, Valle Bavona
    Photo: Mariano Berri, Ascona-Locarno Tourism
The Sentiero Cristallina links Bignasco in Valle Maggia with Airolo in Val Bedretto. Between them lie steep mountain slopes, a waterfall on a village outskirts, crystalline rock, Alpine lakes/reservoirs, idyllic alps and remote hamlets.
difficult
Distance 42.6 km
15:00 h
2,900 m
2,200 m
2,570 m
440 m

From the typical Ticino mountain village of Bignasco, the trail winds through the stony, deeply-carved-out Val Bavona with its 12 small hamlets. A steep climb leads up past the traditional Basodino Hut to the natural and dammed lakes, which give life to this Alpine area and provide most of the electricity in Canton Ticino, whereas paradoxically, the Val Bavona just below has no electricity.

The sparse mountain meadows along the winding trail to the modern Cristallina lodge are increasingly laced with scree. The imposing and modern Capanna Critallina, with its excellent facilities and room for 120 guests, is located right on the pass, with spectacular views of the Basodino glacier.

The route leads down from the rocky slopes to charming alps and forests. The high-level trail on the sunny side of the Val Bedretto runs through high moorland and affords beautiful views to the Gotthard massif, everything a hiker’s heart could wish for. The goal of the route is reached at the traffic junction of Airolo.

Profile picture of Mariano Berri
Author
Mariano Berri 
Update: May 07, 2024
Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Highest point
2,570 m
Lowest point
440 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Track types

Asphalt 0.07%Forested/wild trail 48.33%Path 37.98%Road 13.60%Unknown 0%
Asphalt
0 km
Forested/wild trail
20.6 km
Path
16.2 km
Road
5.8 km
Unknown
0 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Capanna Basòdino
Albergo Robiei
Mountain hut Cristallina

Tips and suggestions

The trail can be booked on www.eurotrek.ch.      

Start

Bignasco
Coordinates:
SwissGrid
2'689'999E 1'132'788N
DD
46.340449, 8.607626
DMS
46°20'25.6"N 8°36'27.5"E
UTM
32T 469804 5131949
w3w 
///bulletins.broad.splits

Destination

Airolo

Turn-by-turn directions

Bignasco-S.Carlo (Val Bavona)-Capanna Cristallina-Airolo

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

Coordinates

SwissGrid
2'689'999E 1'132'788N
DD
46.340449, 8.607626
DMS
46°20'25.6"N 8°36'27.5"E
UTM
32T 469804 5131949
w3w 
///bulletins.broad.splits
Get there by train, car, bike, or on foot!

Equipment

  • Trekking backpack (approx. 50 liters) with rain cover
  • Comfortable and sturdy footwear, second pair of shoes / sandals if necessary
  • Adequate and durable outdoor clothing in multiple layers
  • Change of clothes,
  • Telescope sticks
  • Sun and rain protection
  • Snacks and drinking water
  • First aid kit
  • Penknife
  • Mobile phone
  • Headlight
  • Maps
  • Travel documents
  • Toilet bag and travel towel, travel detergent and clothesline, camping equipment if necessary (tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, cooking equipment), hut equipment if necessary

Similar routes nearby

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  • Piano di Peccia-Capanna Poncione di Braga-Piano di Peccia
  • Giumaglio-Alpe Spluga-Giumaglio
  • Trekking Maggiore
 These suggestions were generated by our system
Difficulty
difficult
Distance
42.6 km
Duration
15:00 h
Ascent
2,900 m
Descent
2,200 m
Highest point
2,570 m
Lowest point
440 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Scenic Flora Fauna

Weather at the route's trailhead

Statistics

  • Content
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Features
Maps and trails
  • 3 Stages
Long Distance Hiking · Ascona-Locarno
Sentiero Cristallina (SvizzeraMobile 59) - Stage 1: Bignasco - San Carlo
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 1
Distance 12.7 km
Duration 4:15 h
Ascent 840 m
Descent 340 m

The Val Bavona is marked by steep mountain slopes, wild vegetation, much rock and stone, and 12 rustic hamlets. Of particular note: dwellings built ...

from Mariano Berri,   Ascona-Locarno Tourism
Long Distance Hiking · Ascona-Locarno
Sentiero Cristallina (SvizzeraMobile 59) - Stage 2: San Carlo - Capanna Cristallina
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 2
Distance 12.7 km
Duration 5:45 h
Ascent 1,750 m
Descent 130 m

The stage winds in narrow bends up steep steps to the L. di Robiei reservoir, passing other lakes to reach the modern Capanna Cristallina lodge.

from Mariano Berri,   Ascona-Locarno Tourism
Long Distance Hiking · Ascona-Locarno
Sentiero Cristallina (SvizzeraMobile 59) - Stage 3: Capanna Cristallina - Airolo
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 3
Distance 16.7 km
Duration 5:00 h
Ascent 300 m
Descent 1,750 m

From the stony mountain slopes, across beautiful alps with typical twin water troughs, to finally reach the Val Bedretto-Höhenweg (high-level trail).

from Mariano Berri,   Ascona-Locarno Tourism
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