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Garda Trek - Top Loop 1: from Riva del Garda to Rifugio Pernici

Riva del Garda, Ledro
Duration in hours
Distance in km
Suggested period

This stage counts nearly 1600 metres of elevation gain, from the mediterranean shores of Lake Garda to the alpine peaks between Garda Trentino and Valle di Ledro. 

The first stage of Garda Treks takes you from the Mediterranean ambience of the centre of Riva del Garda to the alpine environment of the ridges which lead you one step after another to the mountain hut Rifugio Pernici.

This trail starts out with a very tough stretch, gaining altitude fast as you head up the steep slopes of Monte Rocchetta on the trail SAT 418. The elevation gain is approx. 1550 m, but it's well worth the effort as you enjoy the fabulous views on both sides once you get to the ridge. 

Please note that along the route there is nowhere to stop off for refreshments. So make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks.

In the vicinity of Rifugio Pernici you can find a number of trenches dating back to the First World War. This was in fact part of the Austrian defence line. The building which today hosts the hut was built during that period as an officers' cantine.

Further information and useful links

The mountain hut Rifugio Nino Pernici is open every day from the end of April to mid-October. In any case, it is advisable to check the website or contact the manager to be sure.

For more information on routes, services (guides, mountain huts, shops etc.) and hiking friendly accommodation: Garda Trentino - +39 0464 554444


Route info
Route number
13,7 km
7 h 00 min
Altitude difference (+)
1.822 m
Altitude difference (-)
317 m
Technical skills
Physical effort
Highest point
1.794 m
Lowest point
88 m

At the Pernici hut you must absolutely taste the potato polenta: a substantial dish ideal for recovering strength after hiking.

If you want to head back down to Riva del Garda after sleeping over in the hut we recommend this route: Trail SAT 402, the “pinza” trail: outside the hut take SAT 402 which leads down to Riva del Garda. The trail passes through Campi and then joins the old “pinza” road, one of the ancient communication routes in Garda Trentino. Near Riva del Garda, the trails passes by the ruins of San Giovanni and the chapel of Santa Maria Maddalena; when you come to the junction with SAT 404 you can choose to continue on in the direction of Bastione to enjoy the marvellous view of the lake or else head straight down to the town centre.

Safety guidelines

While not involving any particular technical difficulties, this trek should only be undertaken by hikers with good fitness levels and plenty of experience since there are some very exposed stretches which require due caution.
From late autumn to the end of spring you may come across icy stretches which make the going treacherous and require you to have the appropriate equipment. Much of the trail runs along the ridge and in case of bad weather may be subject to severe weather conditions, especially during a thunderstorm. Make sure you have footwear and clothing suited to hiking in alpine conditions.
This excursion is only recommended from June to mid-October.


Safety Tips

  1. Choose itineraries that suit your physical and technical abilities. Collect information about the area you are visiting and the trail’s conditions and get a detailed trekking map.
  2. Wear clothes and take equipment that suit the difficulty and length of your tour. Keep emergency gear in your rucksack, including first aid supplies.
  3. Do not go walking alone in the mountains. In any case, tell someone where you are going and report back on returning.
  4. Look at the weather forecast before setting off and always keep an eye on the weather.
  5. In case of doubt, go back. It is better to give up than risk bad weather or face difficulties beyond your strength, ability and equipment.
  6. Do not leave marked paths and do not take shortcuts.
  7. All described walks are in a natural environment and therefore their use is at your own risk.

This information is subject to inevitable variations, so none of these 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, it is advisable to check environment and weather conditions before setting out.

Punto di partenza
Riva del Garda - via Monte Oro

SAT 404 leads up from Riva del Garda towards Bastione which offers a lovely view over Lake Garda. Go on until you come to the junction where you head up to the right on SAT 402. Follow a stretch of the old “pinza” road until you come to the junction with SAT 418. Follow this trail along the mountain side in and out of the woods until you come to the area of Cima Sat. Now follow SAT 413 which winds up and down with a series of panoramic viewing points on the Tenno area and Lake Garda until you come to the mountain hut Rifugio Nino Pernici.

public transportation

The main towns in Garda Trentino - Riva del Garda, Arco, Torbole sul Garda, Nago – are connected by several urban and intercity bus lines which will take you to the starting point of tours or in the immediate surroundings.

You can also get to Riva del Garda and Torbole sul Garda by the public ferry service.

Up-to-date information on timetables and routes.


How to get there

The SAT 404 trail starts in Riva del Garda, in via Monte Oro, near the covered car park.

Find out how to reach Garda Trentino


Where to park

Parking near the former hospital (Via Rosmini) or the former cemetery (Viale Damiano Chiesa).

Paid parking: Terme Romane (Viale Roma), Vecchia stazione (Largo Medaglie d’Oro), Ex-agraria (Via Lutti), Area ex-Cattoi (Viale Rovereto).

You need to wear the right clothing and take the proper gear when you go hiking in the mountains. Even on relatively short easy outings make sure to take all you need so you don't run into trouble if things take an unexpected turn, for example a storm blows up or you have a sudden drop in energy levels.

What should you take when you go on a hike?

Your rucksack (for a day trip a 25/30L capacity should do) should contain:

  • water canteen (1L)
  • snacks (e.g. mixed dried fruit or chocolate)
  • First aid kit
  • windproof jacket
  • fleece
  • change of t-shirt and socks (in a plastic bag)
  • make sure to wear or at least bring a pair of long trousers
  • hat
  • sun screen
  • sunglasses
  • gloves
  • whistle to attract attention in an emergency


Make sure you're wearing the right footwear for the trail and season. The going can get rough and rocky underfoot and a pair of hiking boots will protect you from sprains. When wet, a grassy slope, rocky slab or steep trail can be dangerous unless you are wearing the proper footwear.

And finally... don't forget to bring your camera! You'll need it to capture the stunning views you come across all over Garda Trentino. And if you like, you can share your memories with us at #GardaTrentino.

Emergency telephone number 112.

Riva del Garda
Bastione scenic lift
Riva del Garda
always open
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