A classic of Garda Trentino with climbs to satisfy the most serious cyclist. The route is also suitable for the battery charge of current e-bikes. The first part has an insidious (but avoidable) descent
The 734 route is suitable for All Mountain bikes, or avoiding the first downhill stretch, also Cross Country. The ascent, with an altitude difference of just over 1000 meters develops largely on asphalt, dirt and gravel sections. The average gradient is just under 10%, however at some points it reaches and surpasses 15%. The first descent really is wild: you’ll either love it or hate it! The rocky ground is very loose and for those who don’t have confidence on this type of terrain, it could prove a bit too challenging.
There is the option instead to descend from Campi, where the terrain is much more stable with a gradually increasing gradient. The final part, on concrete, exceeds 20% with a breathtaking view of Riva and Alto Garda.
Take note: when descending it is advisable to check your speed and brake using the front and rear brakes - especially during the autumn season or when the ground is wet.
Be careful: after Malga Grassi there is a 500 m detour to avoid a landslide.
BIKER’S CODE OF RESPONSIBILITY
ALWAYS WEAR YOUR HELMET !
Suggestions taken from NORBA and IMBA codes of conduct.
The information on this chart is subject to inevitable variations, so this means that none of the indications are absolute. It is not entirely possible to avoid giving inexact or imprecise information, given how quickly environmental and weather conditions can change. For this reason we decline any responsibility for changes which the user may encounter. In any case, the hiker is advised to check the conditions of the places, environment and weather before setting out.
The route departs from Riva del Garda, next to the Garda Trentino Tourist office.
You must pass through the old town where there is no route signage. So, from the tourist office head north to the roundabout, keeping left to take the cycle path of via Dante Alighieri. Once you reach Viale Roma, turn right and follow the road to take the next turn left onto Viale Pilati. At the junction turn right onto viale Giovanni Prati and continue straight onto Via Ardaro.
Here the climbing starts gently, but prepare yourself for the very different gradients ahead. After crossing the village of San Giacomo, a little before reaching the crossroads you will see the signage for MTB route 734. Follow it to cross the road where you must take the steep slope on your right which runs along the Albola stream.
The slope reaches 20% here and at the first fork, led by the signage, keep right where you can catch your breath for a few metres. Follow the narrow dirt road which will join with the provincial road toward Lake Tenno. At one of its hairpin bends, keep to the left taking a disused dirt track. The steepest stretch of climb is behind you at this point, but the ascents are still challenging. The alternative is to follow the normal/main road up to Pranzo, as do many road cyclists.
If you have the strength to stay on the dirt road, continue as indicated until you meet the asphalt road again, follow this for a few hundred meters, up to the next bend at Deva. Following the curve of the road, spot the sign leading you sharp right, continuing to climb again a dirt/gravel section eventually returning to the main road leading to Pranzo.
After passing through the narrow passageway regulated by a traffic light, follow the signs left to leave the provincial road for Lake Tenno and continue through the famous chestnut groves of the area. Back on the normal road there is a short stretch through a tunnel to reach Campi. From here it is easy to follow the signs to reach the Capanna Grassi refuge: the half way point of the route. The Refuge is unmissable stop for the Trentino regulars and a great opportunity to take a break and get some water.
For your descent from the rifugio there is the previously proposed wild option of the very challenging, loose terrain. However, if you do not feel not confident with this then the easiest option would be to return to Riva, via Campi following the same path of ascent.
On the other hand there’s also the option to follow the signs for route 735, which rejoins you with route 734. Doing this would give you the opportunity to tackle the famous old “Pinza” road descent. If instead you are determined and feeling brave enough to face the complete descent, follow the route signs near to the refuge and continue on, crossing the beautiful meadows on a convenient dirt road.
Entering the wood, and crossing the stream you will face a short climb.
N.B. In the vicinity of the stream, part of the path has collapsed due to a small landslide, so pay attention because the passage is currently rather tight. Having passed that section, the rocky downhill adventure begins! There are a few forks in the descent which are signposted and the last section is on concrete. All going well, you will pass by the characteristic San Rocco church following the path until the entrance of the Pinza on your right. From here the terrain returns to a more forgiving gravel kind. Take the time to enjoy the panorama, but please check your speed: even though the path is quite large, some sections are a little more dangerous. By the last section, on cement your brakes will be very hot. Finishing the descent you are practically at the entrance to the centre of Riva del Garda, your starting point.
The towns in Garda Trentino - Riva del Garda, Torbole sul Garda, Nago and Arco – are connected by a number of urban and intercity bus lines which will take you to the starting point of the trail. For up-to-the-minute information on timetables and routes: www.gardatrentino.it
You can also get to Riva del Garda and Torbole sul Garda by the public ferry service. For up-to-the-minute information on timetables and routes: www.gardatrentino.it
Info about bike public transport: www.gardatrentino.it
To reach the start of this route it is necessary to go through the old town of Riva del Garda, using the bicycle lanes and main roads.
Getting to northern lake Garda / Garda Trentino: www.gardatrentino.it
Riding your bike requires specific clothing and equipment, even for relatively short and easy trips. It is always better to be prepared… e.g. for bad weather or a drop your energy levels. The unexpected things also make up a part of the fun!
Remember to throughly evaluate the type of route you plan to do, the locations you plan to cross and the current season. Has it been raining? Attention: The paths may be slippery and require more caution.
What do I need to bring on my bike tour?
It is always advised to let someone know where you plan to go and how long you expect to be.
Emergency telephone number 112