Hike to Alpe Motti and Lago Panelatte – E

A classic hike of Valle Vigezzo: here you will find all the info to reach Lago Panelatte! Enjoy this hike!

Drive to Toceno. From Toceno take the road for Arvogno, where you can park your car. There are two car parks here. (You can also continue by car until you reach the bridge over “Melezzo”, but parking along the edges of the road is not always available).

Cross the bridge and continue on the unpaved road or take the ancient mule track (M21) to the right. The two roads join after a short distance. The level path goes until a bridge over Rio Verzasco. Cross the bridge and follow the track that goes near some huts into the wood and becomes steeper.

This is an ancient mule track, used for centuries by the inhabitants of Toceno, Druogno and Crana and their herds of cows to reach the high pastures for summer alpine grazing. It is really a beautiful track, well preserved and marked by a lot of signs (M21).

After having crossed some steep little torrents, you will reach Alpe Villasco (1642 m): a hut in bad condition and a fountain of fresh water. Then the path  winds up to reach the wide pastures of Alpe Motti. There are here three big huts in good condition and a building that dominates the valley. The latter was the casera (the ancient dairy). There is also a spring of fresh water. The path climbs through pastures and rare specimens of larches.

Keep going up until you reach the small chapel dedicated to S. Pantaleone (1992 m). Turn left and walk up till you reach Lago Panelatte. It is a small lake of glacial origin, partly covered by cotton grass. Its name derives from the habit of mountaineers of resting and having lunch here during the ascent or descent to move the cattle to different pastures.

Towards north-east you can see the peaks of Pizzo Campolatte (2306 m) and Pizzo Medaro (2553 m) – the highest peak of Valle Vigezzo. Towards east the valley of Bagni di Craveggia, covered by woods, and Valle Onsernone, in the Swiss territory.
You can return along the same route.

Time of ascent: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Ascent: m 860

Trek grade: E

Text by Enrico Cheula
Photo by Roberto Paniz