Mount Baldo on Lake Garda: Hiking and Trails

The excursions on Mount Baldo are definitely among the best things to do on Lake Garda in Italy. The view that sweeps over the entire lake and its conformation is something incredible in any season of the year. In fact, it is possible to go trekking on Mount Baldo even in winter with the only problem that you will only find one active mountain hut during this period. No matter, the silence that will envelop you will make the experience even more unique.

Few words about Mount Baldo

Mount Baldo consists of a ridge parallel to the Lake Garda which stretches for 40 km, between the lake to the west and the Lagarina Valley to the east. In the southern part the ridge is bordered by the Caprino plain and in the north by the Loppio valley.

Some data on Monte Baldo: it reaches its maximum height at the 2218 m peak Valdritta, and its minimum height at 65 m above Lake Garda. The total elevation difference is over 2000 meters.

Main peaks

The major chain consists of two parts, Mount Baldo and Mount Altissimo, which remains isolated.

Peaks, starting from the south, are: Creste di Naole (1660 m) – Crinale di Costabella (2062 m) – Coal Santo (2072 m) – Vetta delle Buse (2154 m) – Cima Sascaga (2134 m) – Punta Telegrafo (2200 m) – Punta Pettorina (2191 m) – Cima Valdritta (2218 m) – Cima Val Finestra (2086 m) – Cima del Longino (2180 m) – Cima Pozzette (2128 m) – Dos della Colma (1830 m) and, finally, the Altissimo (2078 m).

Strong point of a trek on Mount Baldo is definitely the fact that along all the trails you will undoubtedly have fantastic views.

escursioni e trekking sul Monte Baldo
Panorama at night from Rifugio Chierego

The Garden of Europe

Mount Baldo is also called the garden of Europe because of its great floristic heritage. Due to its very varied and peculiar morphological characteristics it has different climatic zones each with different peculiarities. Walking along the paths of Mount Baldo, in particular we can find:

  • Mediterranean belt (up to 700 m
  • Mountain belt (700 m to 1,500 m)
  • Boreal belt (from 1,500 m to 2,000 m)
  • Alpine belt (from 2,000 m).

Rich fauna

In addition to a very rich flora it presents an equally interesting fauna. One can encounter marmots, toads many types of birds of prey and its ever-present chamois that have been “inhabiting” it for quite a while and reproduce more and more each year. Indicative of this is an excellent mountain environment for raising pups and breeding.

escursioni e trekking sul Monte Baldo i camosci
A chamois on Mount Baldo

There is a chance to see chamois (and thus make trekking on Mount Baldo even more unique) even near the mountain huts, especially early in the morning or in the evening when nature gives breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.

escursioni e trekking sul Monte Baldo

The best routes and trails on Mount Baldo

Thanks to my passion for hiking, I have hiked almost every trail on Mount Baldo. For this reason, I wanted to summarize the ones you can hike should you want to discover it to the fullest.

Trail 656 (Lino Ottaviani ) + Trail 658

Malga Valfredda – Rifugio Chierego – Rifugio Telegrafo

Description: Height difference 600 m D+/4 km about 1.30 hours This trail runs on the east side of Monte Baldo and for the first 30/40 minutes it is immediately uphill and gives us the opportunity to reach the ridges. From here, in about an hour, we reach the Chierego mountain hut, and in about 2 hours the Telegraph mountain hut.

Suitable for children. In the first part, however, more care must be taken up to Rifugio Chierego. If you then continue to the Telegraph Shelter be careful on the trail, which is exposed in places.

escursioni e trekking sul Monte Baldo
Rifugio Chierego

Reach the starting point of the hike: when you get to Spiazzi, keep left to Novezza. After about 2 km turn left again to reach first the Malga Ime farmhouse, and then Malga Valfredda.

Naole road via mule track

This is one of the classic excursions to Monte Baldo: an access route via military mule track to the mountain huts. It is mostly on a mule road, an easy trail suitable for families and MTB enthusiasts.

Description: an easy trail about 7 km long.

It initially runs through a beautiful beech forest, then continues on the western slope of Mount Baldo with panoramic views of much of Lake Garda. Estimated walking time is about 2 hours. The huts Forte Naole, Fiori del Baldo and Rifugio Chierego can be reached.

Trail 662 starting in Caprino Veronese

This is among the most challenging trekking routes on Mount Baldo.

Description: elevation gain 1500 mt D+, time to reach the mountain hut about 3 hours.

Particularly challenging trail in the first part due to the considerable initial elevation gain that leads from the town of Caprino Veronese to the area of the Colonei di Pesina huts and then reaches the Forte Naole mountain hut. For those who want to lengthen the trek, there is then the possibility of being able to continue to the Chierego and Telegrafo mountain hut by intercepting the aforementioned Trail 658.

Trail 657 (Vallone Osanna) Novezzina – Rifugio Telegrafo

Another challenging trail that runs on the east side of Monte Baldo.

Description: difference in altitude about 920 mt D+

Starting from the bend before reaching Novezzina, the trail is immediately challenging. In the first part it climbs along a large meadow, then intercepts the trail proper, which in about 2 hours and 40 minutes without ever flattening leads straight to the Telegraph mountain hut. However, it does not present any particular technical difficulties. Only good training is needed.

Trail 652 ( Morocco Trail ) Novezzina – Rifugio Telegrafo

This hike on Mount Baldo also presents the possibility of a variant with Trail 66 to the very direct Cima Valdritta, the highest peak.

Description: elevation gain 620 mt D+ about 1 hour and 45 minutes walk.

This trail starts on the left side of the Graziani road shortly after passing the “Horse of Novezza”. Since there is a small number of parking spaces available, it is advisable to start early in the morning. This is also preferable because I suggest that you avoid leaving during the hottest hours.

I also advise against it especially if in the presence of children younger than 10 years of age or people with knee problems since the downhill section would be too challenging. As mentioned earlier, there is the possibility of the variant to Cima Valdritta via trail 66.

Alta via del Monte Baldo, from Caprino to Monte Altissimo

The most classic of the Mount Baldo hikes, crossing the entire ridge from Caprino Veronese to Mount Altissimo.

Description: 14 km 1800 mt D+ and about 5 hours walk to Telegrafo mountain hut, challenging start due to immediate elevation gain development.

Another 5 hours from Telegrafo to Monte Altissimo Starting point, precisely, the village of Caprino where you have to start climbing by taking trail 662 towards Colonei di Pesina and Forte di Naole. Passing by the Fiori del Baldo and Chierego mountain hut, you then arrive at the Telegrafo mountain hut.

escursioni e trekking sul Monte Baldo
Telegrafo mountain hut

I recommend combining the hike with an overnight stay at the Telegraph Shelter. The next morning you resume the hike on trail 651 towards Monte Altissimo. On the way there is a possibility to detour to Cima Valdritta (2218 m asl, the highest peak of Monte Baldo).

After about 5 hours of walking, paying attention to some somewhat exposed sections and with some steel ropes, you reach the mountain station of the Malcesine-Monte Baldo cable car. There, if you wish, you can descend to the shores of Lake Garda and return to the initial starting point, avoiding having to retrace the path backwards.

Do you want to proceed further?

For those who want to lengthen this hike on Mount Baldo, you can proceed from Baita dei Forti m. 1752 following trail No. 651. At first you walk on the long pasture of Colma di Malcesine, then you descend and after a few hundred meters you join the same road coming from the arrival of the cable car, towards Bocca di Navene at m. 1425. From here, proceeding again for a short distance on the main road, you will then find on the left the SAT 651 marker that climbs first to the Navene ridge and then to the Lastè di Tolghe ridges to Busa Brodeghera. It then continues by grafting onto the dirt road that leads to Rifugio Altissimo. Indicatively it is about 2 1/2 hours of walking from the cable car arrival.

Again I recommend an overnight stay at the mountain hut. The next morning you can descend to the Graziani mountain hut via trail 0633 and return by car.

Trail 654 Assenza – Rifugio Telegrafo

Other Monte Baldo trail of high difficulty.

Description: 6 hours with a total elevation gain of 2100 meters.

The trail starts from the main square of Assenza di Brenzone, practically on the shore of Lake Garda. The ascent to the mountain hut is long and challenging, but it is nevertheless a great route that connects Lake Garda to what is the highest mountain hut on Mount Baldo. Given the length of the route, it is advisable to plan to stay overnight in the mountain hut.

There is also the possibility of following the “Forcellin” variant, in this case be careful because you will face challenging and exposed sections. For this reason, if you are not well trained, I advise you to avoid following it.

Ventrar Trail

One of the most beautiful and exciting hikes on Mount Baldo in the area, which from Tratto Spino descends along the Prai and leads to the Ventrar Trail. A botanical paradise judged to be among the most beautiful in Europe.

Description: 5 km with a total elevation gain of 500 meters.

The start of the trail is at the top station of the Malcesine – Monte Baldo cable car. In this case, the first piece is short and very easy, this makes it particularly suitable for those who do not want too elaborate itineraries. Actually, later, using the Ventrar Trail leads to a narrow and exposed section where, in some places, it is possible to find steel ropes to support the hiker, although these are not always necessary.

E-Bike route on Mount Baldo

Many trails normally used for trekking on Mt. Baldo can also be traveled by E-Bike or MTB. I would like to point out the following itinerary: Caprino – Vilmezzano – Pradonego – Malga Ime – Colonei – Due Pozze – Rifugio Fiori Del Baldo

E-Bike route description

You start from Caprino Veronese at an altitude of 254 mt and complete more than 1200 mt of elevation gain by e-bike. Along the route you can enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Garda as well as unspoiled nature rich in wild vegetation.

During the ascent, it is possible to stop and rest in the “malghe” (shepherd’s huts) along the trails, as well as take countless photographs of the landscape and nature.

escursioni e trekking sul Monte Baldo It is a beautiful route in that by e-bike one experiences the countless up and downs from one mountain ridge to another in a fun way. Finally, lunch at the hut is a must. The return is all downhill, more than an hour of adrenaline on paved but secondary roads to enjoy the scenery safely.

What season for a hike on Mount Baldo?

One of the great qualities of Mount Baldo is that it is“multi-season,” and each one offers incredible views and thrills.

Summer/Spring: these are obviously the seasons when it is busiest and the time when you can reach all the mountain huts as they are all operational. Summer, as well as spring, is the ideal time to see chamois running on its slopes. From April to May, in fact, baby chamois are encountered with their families; they climb up to the ridges in search of food after giving birth downstream in the vegetation.

Fall: the foliage and colors that can be glimpsed on a trek on Mount Baldo during this period, bewitch any hiker. The colors are outstanding, especially in the area of Malga Ime / Valfredda and in the area of the two pools and Prada.

escursioni e trekking sul Monte Baldo

Winter: by definition the somewhat more complicated season to hike the trails on Mount Baldo. The landscape changes dramatically and, especially in case of snowfall, it would be the case to take a route with due care and precautions. If there is plenty of snow, the Costabella ridge, that is, the one that goes up from Prada to the Chierego mountain hut, becomes very popular with ski mountaineers.

One experience I want to recommend for the winter is to snowshoe the mule track that goes up from the two puddles. I do not recommend, however, the ridges as bad weather conditions and snow in general are inadvisable trails. Beyond the Chierego mountain hut the use of crampons and ice axe is absolutely recommended, as well as great care.

It only remains for me to wish you: happy trekking on Mount Baldo.

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