Tour of the small glacier lakes

Giro laghetti glaciali - profilo

At the foot of the Bessanese Glacier there is a chance to closely observe geological events such as moraines, glacier lakes, melting glacier, small basins full of silt and rocky sediments.

At a time of global glacier melting, it is possible to see how much the Bessanese glacier has melted and what the consequences are.  A rare chance to observe in safety how the glacier melts and what it leaves behind.


Suggested period
July – August
Starting point
Rifugio Gastaldi (2695 m)
Elevation gain
150 m
Travel time
1,30 hrs

Recommended for

  • Hikers
  • Families


From Pian della Mussa climb to Rifugio Gastaldi where a bulletin board shows the itinerary.


The entire itinerary develops in the wide Crot del Ciaussinè basin.  The massif and hollow, at one time completely occupied by the glacier, views are breathtaking and worthy of a visit even on the occasion of the classic Rifugio Gastaldi trip.

The trail descends from Rifugio Gastaldi to the foot of the great left moraine of the Bessanese glacier, where there is a first little melting lake.  It proceeds encircling the moraine and climbs a small bump from where there is a beautiful view of the main lake situated at the end of the glacier strip.

Among rubble and small moraine bumps, you will arrive at another beautiful small lake, the banks of which are of blue ice, melting under the sun and releasing the surface glacier stones in the lake waters.

The trail enters the Arnas valley on sedimentary ground and reaches the small lake at the foot of Rocca Affinau.  Just a little farther, the trail joins with the Tour della Bessanese trail (clearly identified) and, after having crossed Rio d’Arnas, starts the climb to the Rifugio.

A short deviation will take you to the two small fascinating Arnas lakes, hidden along the main Tour della Bessanese’s trail. You will shortly reach the Rifugio by flanking a chaotic mass of rocks, habitat of several groundhogs.

At the beginning and along the trail, wooden boards explain the geological phenomenona to be observed.


depliant descrittivo presso il Rifugio Gastaldi


Alte Valli di Lanzo – carta n° 17 Ed L’Escursionista & Monti editori; Valli di Lanzo – carta dei sentieri 3 Val d’Ala e Val Grande Ed Sentieri .biz; Valli di Lanzo – carta dei sentieri 2 Val di Viù e Val d’Ala Ed Sentieri .biz

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