Lake Como – hiking itinerary in Valle Albano Park: Giovo Pass – Sommafiume Pass – Giumello (CH) – San Jorio Pass – Giovo Pass
|Overall distance: 15.9km||Walking time: 5.00|
|Altitude at starting point: 1706m||Maximum altitude: 2012m|
|Altitude difference (ascent): 808m|
|Difficulty level: medium – easy path but quite long and very hilly|
Panorama from San Jorio pass on the Italian side
The itinerary departs from the Giovo pass (1706m), where there is a water fountain.
The beginning of the route is quite easy and sets out on a path that is easy to follow. With slight ups and downs, it enables you to go right to the head of the Albano valley, crossing the meadows and shrub lands that characterise it.
After around 50 minutes it crosses a mountain pasture where there is a drinking trough (the last source of water on the route until the San Jorio shelter). The trail then continues gently downhill until it reaches the course of the Albano river. Here the path forks and leads, on the right, to the Sommafiume mountain pass and, on the left, to the Sommafiume Shelter and the Pizzo Gino mountain.
Turning right, the trail continues uphill and, after about 15 minutes (500 metres from the fork) arrives at a valley in which you can see some small pools, which are important breeding areas for amphibians. Continuing on the hike, after around 20 minutes you will reach the fork for the Cima Verta mountain. From here, the path to the right will take you to the Bocchetta di Sommafiume mountain pass (1925m) within a few minutes. This first stretch of the route takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes of walking, covering a total distance of 5700m.
From the Bocchetta di Sommafiume pass you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view, which overlooks the whole Albano valley on one side and the Morobbia valley on the other side. Once you are through the mountain pass, the route continues in Swiss territory, quickly descending down a slope into a valley and rising once again with some sharp turns on the opposite slope. You will then arrive at another mountain pass, skirt around a building and continue along an inconspicuous path that descends gradually towards the Pecore plain. Along the route there are some beautiful panoramic viewpoints and you can see a distinctive rock formation known as the “Buco di Giumello”.
The descent to the Piano delle Pecore plain (1770m) takes around 50 minutes from the Sommafiume pass. Here you will find some buildings on a mountain pasture and a couple of small lakes. Continuing past the Piano delle Pecore plain, the route follows the trail of a dirt carriage road, which is closed to vehicles. After following the road for half an hour you will arrive at the ski resort of Alpe di Giumello (1604m).
From here, take a path that starts on the right, after the town’s buildings, and starts to ascend again towards the San Jorio pass, passing through long stretches of coniferous woodland. After passing a first fork, around 20 minutes’ walk from Alpe di Giumello, and another after a further half hour of walking, the path begins to make a steeper ascent towards the San Jorio pass, climbing up among meadow areas filled with Swiss stone pine shrubs. The final stretch runs through open space and, around 30 minutes after the last fork, takes you to the San Jorio pass (2012m). The whole stretch through Swiss territory takes 2 hours and 40 minutes to walk and covers 8km.
The view from the San Jorio pass is particularly impressive on clear days, enabling you to admire the Bellinzona plain and Lake Maggiore on the Swiss side, as well as the Liro valley and the peaks of the Valtellina region on the Italian side. After a five-minute walk from the pass, you will arrive at the San Jorio shelter. Another 30 minutes later an easily accessible dirt road will bring you back to Passo del Giovo.
Low: Route suitable for any hiker, without any difficult elevations
Medium: due to length and elevation, itinerary is feasible only for hikers who are in good shape and who have a good level of experience
High: due to length and elevation, itinerary is feasible only for hikers who are in good shape and who have a good level of experience.
However, all itineraries, regardless of the level of difficulty, must only be attempted by people who are used to mountain hiking and with appropriate clothing and equipment.
The itinerary duration is provided for indicative purposes only, and are based on the effective walking time, without rests. These durations may vary significantly depending on each individual’s walking speed.
The itineraries indicate where there are shelters and water sources in the Valle Albano area. However, it must be kept in mind that many shelters may only be accessible on reservation, or may only be open during the summer.
Water supply sources (fountains and drinking troughs) do not work all year round and the quality of drinking water cannot be guaranteed. Hikers are advised to set out on hikes with an adequate water supply.
We cannot guarantee the preservation or accessibility of the routes indicated, nor can we guarantee signposting, where it is present, particularly in relation to weather events or weather conditions that may bring about unforeseeable hazardous conditions or safety risks.
Therefore, those who choose to hike do so at their own risk. In this respect, we recommend that you contact local guides for information and to plan guided excursions.