One of the most popular classic tour offering a great variety of landscapes: the wide view on Val d’Ala along the climb to Rifugio Gastaldi, the rubble valleys and the Crot del Ciaussinè glacial lakes, the majestic Croce Rossa overlooking Lago della Rossa, the last pastures of the Bellacomba basin, the blooming pasturelands of the Saulera valley descending on Pian della Mussa.
Lago della Rossa Loop
- Skilled hikers
Follow the county road SP1 past the Balme village to the Pian della Mussa’s end (about 6 km). Park the car in proximity of Rifugio Gastaldi trail’s starting point (at the foot of Rifugio Città di Ciriè).
Reach the Rifugio Gastaldi following its access itinerary. Turn south and descend to Crot del Ciaussinè. Cross the two Arnas stream branches and climb the rubble slope encircling, on the left, Rocca Affinau.
- Climb the wide valley in the direction of the Collarin d’Arnas rocky belt that closes it off (snowfields at the beginning of the season). Through a ledge you reach the higher plateau. Leave the Laghetto del Collarin to your right and, always proceeding southwards, cross the whole plateau so as to look out on Lago della Rossa. At the beginning of the season it is possible to see icebergs floating on the lake. Once you reach the San Camillo bivouac, leave the lake at the back of you and, turning east, you will enter a small steep gully (pay attention to unstable stones). You will reach the Bellacomba basin after loosing 100 m. Cross the plateau heading for the clear pass on the opposite side and climb to Passo delle Mangioire.
- Wishing to travel along less popular trails, turn to the left (direction Lago del Crotas). Cross again the stream and climb a meadow, at first, following the red marks. You now cross diagonally, from left to right, a great rock rubble slope so as to arrive at a small pass overlooking the Lago del Crotas. Circle it on the left and climb the slope to Quara di Bellacomba from where you will overlook the same name hollow, characterized by Lago di Bessanetto. Descend the steep grassy slopes, reach the lake and then turn left to arrive at the lower end of the Bellacomba basin where you will find the trail climbing to Passo delle Magioire.
Descend through a narrow and steep rubble gully from which you will exit pretty soon. Keep to the left and continue descending at half slope on steep grassy slopes until you reach the valley bottom. Vegetation now becomes lush (rhododendron blooming is wonderful at the beginning of July, with glimpses of Uja di Ciamarella) and you reach Alpe Saulera. Follow the stream and head to the plateau’s end from where the trail descends steeply and winding in a larch wood (pay attention: the beginning of the trail is not clearly visible). You will meet, at first, Ville Sigismondi and then Pian della Mussa – Grange della Mussa. Climb the paved road for about 1 km and reach the starting parking area.
“Escursionismo per tutti” di Roberto Bergamino e Umbro Tessiore Ed. Arti Grafiche San Rocco; “72 Escursioni fra le Uje di Lanzo” di Sergio Marchisio Ed. L’Arciere
Alte Valli di Lanzo – carta n° 17 L’Escursionista & Monti editori; Valli di Lanzo – carta dei sentieri 3 Val d’Ala e Val Grande