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PIEMONTE

The Antrona Valley ring: Antrona Lake and Campliccioli Lake

Short excursion around the lakes of Antrona and Campliccioli, in the lower Antrona Valley.
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T
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3:00 h
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10km
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400
7
description

THE HIKE

The Antrona landslide of 1642

The Antrona Valley is one of the most remote and least known valleys of the Ossola. In the past it attempted to gain its importance as a transit valley between Italy and Switzerland like the nearby Sempione Pass, but clearly the Sempione prevailed.


As if that wasn't enough, in 1642 a huge landslide of 20 million cubic meters of earth and boulders broke away from the Cima di Pozzuoli, destroying 40 buildings in the old town of Antrona and killing 95 people. As evidence of that landslide, Lake Antrona was formed thanks to the landslide of 1642.


Map of the Valle Antrona landslide
The landslide of 1642. The yellow part is the deposit area of the enormous landslide. Lake Antrona, on the left, was formed following the landslide!

Lake Antrona and the Sajont waterfall

We park at Lake Antrona (1073 m) - in one of the various car parks between the bridge over the Ovesca stream and Alpe Russi. It seems you can also continue by car to the Lake Campliccioli dam, but we prefer to start from Lake Antrona. We first pass through the north side of the lake, taking a new path with metal protections that takes us behind the Sajont waterfall.


Sajont waterfall, path, Antrona Lake
The Sajont cigarette waterfall, just above Lake Antrona.

Lake Campliccioli and the mining trail

We then continue along the lakeside until we reach the path to Alpe Piana and the Lake Campliccioli dam (1352 m, 1.30 hours). From the dam we go up a bend in the road to intercept a nice segment of a narrow gauge railway line that served some mines in the area.


Mining path, Campliccioli Lake, Antrona Valley
The beginning of the mining path, near the Lake Campliccioli dam.

With the railway between our feet, we reach the end of Lake Campliccioli, cross the stream that feeds the lake, and go up to Alpe Granarioli (1412 m, 40 minutes), which invites us to stop.


Variation of Lake Cingino

Here the path continues to Lake Cingino, made famous by a BBC video with 200 million views which shows a group of ibex clinging to the semi-vertical wall of the dam. From Lake Cingino you can then cross on level ground to Lake Camposecco through a tunnel of over 2km dug into the mountain - you walk alongside the penstock that carries the waters of Lake Cingino upstream of the Campliccioli hydroelectric power station.


The downhill

If instead we stop at Alpe Granarioli, we return to Lake Antrona, keeping to the opposite shore of Lake Campliccioli. Once we reach the dam (30 minutes), we descend along a wide and beautiful mule track, the old Strada Antronasca, on the northern side of the valley. With a constant slope, it takes us back to Alpe Ronco, near Lake Antrona (45 minutes).

Mappa

MAP

Foto

PHOTO GALLERY

EQUIPMENT

The mountains are a dangerous environment: make sure you always have the right equipment — hiking or trail shoes, warm clothes and waterproofs in case of unexpected changes in weather conditions, a small emergency kit.

 

I've made an Amazon "shopping note" to make sure you have everything — ps if you buy from these links, 3% goes to support the development and maintenance of Hikes of the World 🙏.

 

  • Breathable t-shirt ( example )

  • Sweatshirt, fleece, or light jacket

  • Waterproof windbreaker (for example: men / women )

  • Gloves and hat (you never know)

  • Backpack with rain cover

  • Trekking poles (not essential, but they help to unload the weight of the backpack and ease the impact on the joints)

  • Trekking or trail running shoes (in great vogue lately because they are lightweight. These Salomon ones - for men and women - are an excellent entry-level, preferably Gore-Tex)

  • For via ferratas: complete via ferrata kit (I have this one , very light and compact, with this harness and helmet — or you can buy complete kits ). Buy in store to receive ad hoc support

  • To sleep a night in a refuge: sheet or light sleeping bag

  • Water bottle or thermos

  • Light crampons if you think you will find ice or snow on the route

  • Power bank or cell phone charger

  • Camera

  • Drone, for those who love to "fly" (used in moderation and at a distance from other people. I have had the DJI Mini 2 for over 2 years and have found myself very happy with it. The DJI Mini 3 also allows you to take vertical photographs)

  • Small emergency kit ( example )

  • Sun cream (essential)

  • Sunglasses

HIKES IN THE SAME REGION

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