A nice quite easy kike. You have to reach (by car) the town Arnoga, on the road that connects Livigno to Bormio (North Lombardy, next to the border to Switzerland). Right on the interior part of the hairpin bend there is a hotel, while on the opposite side there is a bar and a road that signs the start point of the path.
In low season it is possible to drive the first part of the road by car, there are some comfortable parking lots ahead. During the summer there is too much people, so, to drive this road, you have to own the proper permit that can be bought at some public structures or on site. But there is a closed number of permits for the cars, so it ends up that you have to park the car outside. Too bad, because the first part of the path is pretty long and not very interesting, and moreover every now and then there are cars passing by: residents or public cars (2 euros for the tickets - you can take a ride till the last parking lot). It is possible, for 40 euros to have a ride all the way to the refuge Viola on an off-road vehicle
We left the car outside, in the parking lot just after the hairpin bend.
In the beginning the path is on asphalted road, very easy and with a minimum pendence (uphill). There are several houses around, that gradually become less frequent leaving space for woods and pastures. Every now and then you can encounter a parking lot completely stuffed with cars. The last parking lot is the starting point of the path allowed only to pedestrians (and the few offroad vehicles for the refuge). The road gets lost among meadows and rocks, and you can start to hear the typical whistles of hte marmots. They were all around us, although we were not able to see any. The path keeps being easy but really long. Taking a look to the map you believe to be really close to lake Viola and the refuge, our final destinations, but at every curve you are deluded. Finally, after another curve, there it is lake Viola. The refuge is still far but we decide to stop anyway, to eat the sandwich that we carried in the backsack. Maddie and Mr. Bentley were also exhousted and starving too. They deserve a snack.
We decide to head back without reaching the refuge. The GPS signs that we walked already for 10.5 kms, but it is quite wrong, probably the recording results longer because for the jags caused by the bad reception of accurate position. Going back on the same path till the start point we record over one kilometer less. The informations that we have found on the internet talk about a distance of 8.5kms
The hike is really nice although a little annoyed in the first part for hte cars. It is quite easy but it looks really neverending. The sight of the little lake at the end offers a gratification for all the strength to reach it.
Distance: 10.50km [6.52mi] (?)
Difference of level: 393m [1289'] (730m [2395'] uphill, 337m [1106'] downhill)
Altitude: 1882m [6175'] to 2313m [7589']
Return (on the same path)
Return (on the same path)
A: Path start point; B: Last parking lot; C: Picnic; D: Lake Viola; E: Refuge Viola