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    Hike down the Beautiful Val Bavona (Sentiero Cristallina)

    San Carlo (Bavona) - Sonlerto - Foroglio - Fontana - Cavergno - Bignasco

    Route Details | Route Description | Comments about this tour (2)

    Hike down the Beautiful Val Bavona (Sentiero Cristallina)

    San Carlo (Bavona) - Sonlerto - Foroglio - Fontana - Cavergno - Bignasco

    Published on 19.05.2016 by GabrielleMerk - Tour Date: 16.05.2016

    This captivating hike down the Bavona Valley (a side valley to the Maggia Valley) has so much to offer! This U-shaped glacier valley is lined on both sides by magnificent steep cliffs, and the valley bottom is so lush and green and wild with overgrown vegetation. And yet there are a number of charming villages along the way; this valley is so full of rocks from a multitude of landslides, that the natives built their homes of stone, in, on and adjacent to the boulders!

    The first half of the hike, from the village of San Carlo at the back of the valley to Foroglio with its 50-m high waterfall proceeds mostly along forested paths, crossing the road a few times. From Foroglio to Bignasco at the end of the valley, the trail changes to a very rocky one: in fact, the trail is called “Sentiera della pietra” or “Trail of stones”. There are several uphill and downhill portions through chestnut forests, in, around and through piles of huge boulders deposited here thousands of years ago. Along the way are information boards describing the uses the locals made of these boulders, such as building stone walls across the gaps to keep their goats safe while grazing in the forest, or even planting meadow grass on top of them as fodder for the animals.

    This link has some additional very interesting information about the history of this valley:

    The trail markers for this valley are very misleading, and give very short times, probably the time required to walk along the road. Plan for at least 4 hours of walking time, plus extra to discover the villages and possibly to climb the steep hill behind Foroglio to the waterfall

    NOTE: There are very few buses that run in the valley so it is recommended to start in San Carlo. At the end of the tour, the Maggia Valley bus from Cavergno or Bignasco runs more often, about once an hour.



    Quick-Links about this Tour

    Published on 19.05.2016 by GabrielleMerk - Tour Date: 16.05.2016

    Route Details 

    Download GPS-File / SwitzerlandMobility Map
    Download GPS-File / SwitzerlandMobility Map
    Time Required
    4 hours
    13 km
    354 m
    852 m
    Season Start / Season End
    May - October
    Level of Difficulty (Hiking)
    Points of Interest
    50m waterfall in Foroglio, Trail of The Living Rock (Pietra Viva) with the stables built under the boulders.
    Starting Point
    San Carlo (Bavona)
    Starting Point with Public Transport
    Return with Public Transport
    Places to Eat
    Sonlerto, Foroglio, Cavergno, Bignasco
    Things to Note
    Very few buses run in the valley, so check the schedules carefully. If you start in San Carlo, then there are hourly buses back out of the Maggia Valley from Cavergno or Bignasco.

    Route Description 

    00:00 Start the hike at the bridge in San Carlo at the back of the Bavona Valley (second last bus stop). Head in the direction of Foroglio. *** The trail marker reads 1hr. 20 mins. to Foroglio and 3 hours to Bignasco, but following the Cristallina Trail, the tour takes a good 4 hours.

    00:25 Arrive at the little chapel on the road. Continue for a short piece along the road, but watch for the yellow trail markers, as the trail heads back into the woods and crosses the road a couple of times.

    00:45 Arrive in Sonlerto. Here before the village is a Grotto on the East side of the road where you can have something to eat. The trail heads up to the right through the village. At about the center of the village the trail heads to the road and crosses to the other side where you cross the river then head South.

    01:00 Arrive at the little hamlet of Faedo. Continue toward Roseto.

    01:15 Arrive Roseto. Continue down to the road and cross the bridge, then turn left onto the forest trail, toward Foroglio.

    01:30 Approach Foroglio. You can see the waterfall above the first stone roofs.

    There are two trails from the village to the waterfall. One trail is a short level walk (starts to the left of the Grotto / Restaurant right at the bridge) and goes to the base of the falls. The other trail is a steep climb up the hill starting at the top of the village. NOTE: there are a couple of tricky places here where there are cables to hold onto.

    From Foroglio head toward Bignasco along the "Sentieri di Pietra" ("Path of Stones") along which are several educational panels describing how the locals made best use of the boulder-strewn landscape. (NOTE: The trail marker says 1hr.20mins. to Bignasco, but following the "Sentieri di Pietra" takes much longer).

    01:45 Arrive Ritorto. A short piece down the road the trail heads off into the forest to the left and from here are two up-and-down sections across paths laid with large stones.

    03:00 Arrive in Fontana. Continue on the trail.

    03:30 Arrive down at the road at Mulini. Cross the bridge and turn left onto the forest road. Continue on toward Bignasco.

    03:20 Arrive at the bridge that goes to Cavergno on the left (5mins to bus stop at the church) or straight on to Bignasco (15mins. to the bus stop)

    03:35 Arrive Bignasco.





    Es ist immer schön, neue Seitentäler im Tessin zu entdecken
    Hiked on 16.05.2016 by GabrielleMerk
    Es ist immer schön, neue Seitentäler im Tessin zu entdecken
    Ein herrlich schönes und wildes Tal! Was da alles mit Steinen gebaut wurde.
    Hiked on 16.05.2016 by UrnerUrs
    Ein herrlich schönes und wildes Tal! Was da alles mit Steinen gebaut wurde.



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