Madonna di Campiglio / Vallesinella
A marvelous, leisurely day tour immersed in the colors of fall and forests of fir, larch, birch, and beech, featuring views of the Brenta group and two of the area’s most spectacular waterfalls.
Note: The instructions below indicate just the trails and landmarks needed to complete the tour. The beauty you will find around each corner is there for you to discover at your leisure. The travel times specified do not take account of the time you will need to take all the photos you desire.
From the Palù area of Madonna di Campiglio (1,514m / 4960 ft) near the gatehouse of the nature park at the start of the road that heads into the forest, take Sentiero dell’Orso (Bear Trail), an easy trail of minimal elevation gain, apart from the first section as it rises into the forest.
At Malga Vallesinella di Sopra (1 hr), in a beautiful natural clearing with a view of Brenta, take the trail to the right, which zigzags down to and along the upper Vallesinella falls and provides magnificent views of the falls from the many bridges crossing the waterway all the way down to the base (30 min.). From here, continue along the same trail and continue down along the right bank of the Sarca river to Rifugio Vallesinella (20 min. approx.).
With the lodge at your back, head down the paved road for about 50 meters (55 yards), then take the trail to the left back into the forest. Follow the entirety of this trail into this amazing forest as you follow the sound of the middle Vallesinella falls, which you will reach in about 30 minutes.
During the autumn off season, in order to get back to Campiglio from Rifugio Cascate di Mezzo, we recommend heading back up the trail for about 15 minutes until the paved road (directions behind the lodge), which will take you down to Madonna di Campiglio. As you head back to the center of town, enjoy the silence and take advantage of the early evening interplay of light and shadow for a few more stunning photos. And don’t forget to turn left near the start for an amazing view of Crozzon di Brenta.
This makes for a thrilling outing through marvelous landscapes immersed in all the colors of fall.
Recommended in autumn around the second half of October, depending on the weather conditions prior to your trip, which can have a significant impact on fall foliage.
Starting out from Palù in the morning, we recommend pacing yourself so as to arrive at Rifugio Vallesinella (which is usually closed by this time of year) in the early afternoon for a picnic in the fields around the lodge. In this way, the sun will be at your back for your photos along the second section of the tour in the afternoon. The third section of the tour (the paved road to Campiglio) is best done near sunset as the colors turn warmer in the evening light.
For technical advice, visit the page Pro Tips.
TUR = Touristic trail | ESC = Hiking trail | EE = Hiking trail for experts | T = time | QP = starting altitude | QA = arrival altitude