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Rifugio Oberto-Maroli > Macugnaga

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Punto di partenza
Punto d'arrivo
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Punto interesse

Very short stage, all downhill, to enjoy a well-deserved break, in the beautiful town of Macugnaga, one of the most important Walser centers.

Special Notes

The scree in the first part is at times steep and, in case of rain, rather slippery.

The only water point is at Alpe Bill.

when to go
June - September
Suitable for
how to get there
description of the route

We start the long descent towards the valley (approximately 1,550 m drop), at first on scree (often with steps, clearly visible), not extremely steep, which makes you lose altitude quickly. Attention must be paid to the signs, which are however well placed. At this point, we pass on a smoothly flowing path in a beautiful needle-shaped forest, which leads to Alpe Bill. From there, we follow the direction of Macugnaga - Staffa.

You soon arrive in the village, an important Walser center, by the beautiful Old Church. In Macugnaga, it is advisable to visit the Museo della Montagna e del Contrabbando, Museum of the Mountains, and Smuggling. Those who wish to continue can reach the Bivacco Emilio Lanti, at the bottom of the Val Quarazza, along the next stage (about 3:30 h from Macugnaga).

What to know

With 4,634 m of its highest peak (the Dufour), Monte Rosa is the second-highest mountain in Europe, after Mont Blanc. It boasts the record of the largest mountain massif in the Alps.

Contrary to what one might think, Monte Rosa does not owe its name to the color that the glaciers or its peaks can take on at sunrise or sunset. The name derives from the patois term rouése (which in turn comes from the Lombard hrosa) which means “glacier”.

Curiously, its name remains the same in German, French, and English, unlike the vast majority of the other great peaks in the Alps.


In the past, the great mountain was also called Monboso, as testified by Leonardo da Vinci in his writings.

What to see

In addition to being one of the most important destinations in international mountaineering, Macugnaga is famous for its gold deposits.

The Anzasca Valley contains the most important Italian gold vein.  The exploitation of the gold mines in the valley developed from 1700 until 1961 when the running costs of the 300, still active, workers became unsustainable.

Today it is possible to visit the gold mine of Guia, in the hamlet of Borca, closed since 1945: one of the few gold mines that can be visited in all of Europe.

what to eat

Another (excellent) traditional Walser dish is the onion soup, served with rye bread and toma della valle (a type of cheese).

where to sleep

Albergo Edelweiss, in Macugnaga. Tel. +39 0324 65124 - +39 338 110 6813


Albergo Macugnaga, in Macugnaga. Tel. +39 0324 65005


Campeggio Sporting Center, in Macugnaga (Isella hamlet). Tel. +39 0324 65135 - +39 347 180 8166


Bivacco Emilio Lanti, in the upper Val Quarazza; new and beautiful, 13 beds, covered. Always Open

How to Reach

Starting point NOT reachable by car.

The nearest location reachable by car is Macugnaga.


Departure point NOT reachable by bus.

The nearest location reachable by bus is Macugnaga, starting from the city of Domodossola. From Macugnaga it is possible to take a cable car up to Passo Moro.

Here the LINK to check the timetables.


Starting point NOT reachable by train.

"It is difficult to take your eyes off the east face of the Rosa: it measures 2,600 m in altitude and is about 4 km wide”

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