Alta Valtellina

Val Viola | Run 21 km | Dreamy trails

One of the most breathtaking routes of all the valley, this is the former race route of the Skyrace Alta Valtellina, which from 2019 onwards goes by the name Val Viola Trail.

The reference to a Skyrace is pretty misleading as this is not a technical route, not at all. It’s truly runnable, which meant you always had a great race on your hands. Flow trails, stunning single track, and imposing peaks. It’s a sun-soaked valley and usually spends the whole of June/July/August enjoying the rays. You are at altitude though, so conditions can be changeable. Windproof jackets are therefore recommended.

There are a number of options for parking, including in Arnoga on the corner of the pass to Livigno, or at any of the small, fee-paying car parks that lead into Val Viola. During the high season there might be a ticket kiosk at the start of the little lane – This is a good thing as the valley is so special that a high number of cars would disturb the peace.

Expect a lot of marmots and a lot of whooping for joy. The second half is super quick, while the first half is more mountainous.


Livigno | Run 12 km | Crap Vert

Most definitely not ‘Crap Vert’, the name is highly misleading. Crap, in this area, refers to (piles of) huge boulders and that’s basically what this hill consists of. The route starts from a little car park for the most beautiful B&B in The Palle (away from the hustle and bustle of Livigno). It follows a beautiful, runnable trail around to the lake before starting the climb. it is not an easy climb, but it’s a solid marker of form. The views get better and better as you scale the mountainside, then before you know it you’re at the top and you’ve rewarded with the most sublime bit of flow trail that takes you across the pass road. From here, simply drop back down to the Bait de Angial, or wherever you’ve parked the car. Simple.

Nice bit of crap vertical that’s best done as the sun is setting. Dreamy views await.

(Komoot thinks some of the route is off-grid – it isn’t. There are signs).


Val Viola | Run 7km | A sprightly rifugio ramble

For anyone sleeping over at Val Viola's Rifugio Federico in Dosde, this route is an absolute must. A pre-breakfast dawn raid, a recreational hike for a jump in the lake on really hot days or a post-hike gentle cool-down jog, this 7km takes you through the most breathtaking scenery of the valley. 


Val Viola | Run 43km | A very special hut-to-hut run

Here's a particularly mind-blowing route that starts in Val Grosina, just above Grosio. From there, a number of tracks and trails head up the valley towards Rifugio Eita. (There's also a road with restricted access but the trails on the righthand side of the road are much more interesting). From Eita, continue in the same direction and run and over Passo Verva along a gravel track. Drop down the other side and you're into Val Viola. Swing left, follow the single track and keep going until Rifugio Federica in Dosde.

Tip: sleep here and carry on the next day. 

Once you've regained your energy at the rifugio, head up towards Passo Dosde at 2,800 metres. It's pretty amazing. A slightly techy descent to a lake (the deepest in the Alps), before the downhill gets super runnable towards Malghera. This is where you might start meeting other hikers, but you'll be going to fast back to your parked car at Fusine that you won't notice. A great way to round off a hut-to-hut. 

Passo `dosde 1.jpg