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GardaTrek - Medium Loop 2: from the Rifugio San Pietro hut to Ceniga

Arco, Dro & Drena, Tenno

Duration in hours
Distance in km
Suggested period

A long, downhill hike towards the Sarca Valley from the thick woods of Monte Calino to the orchards surrounding Ceniga, just beside the shore of river Sarca. 

This stage is a constant downhill hike towards the Sarca Valley, with just one short uphill stretch up to Monte Biaina before you get back down to the valley bottom. You are always walking through the woods but, from time to time, the branches thin out and give you a view of the lower Sarca Valley and Lake Garda.

The trail passes Croce di Bondiga, a panoramic viewing point and stop-off point for hikers and also for the many bikers who ride the trails of Garda Trentino: Here you have spectacular views over all of the upper end of Lake Garda. 

Shortly before you get to Ceniga, the Medium Loop crosses the area of Laghel, a sheltered valley which is renowned in the area for its vanishing lake (or “non-existing lake”). When there is heavy rain, a lake is formed which is then reabsorbed by the ground and goes to feed a spring beneath.

Further information and useful links

This trek can normally be done all year round, but in the winter months you might come across some snow on the way. For this reason you should check the conditions of the trail if you are thinking of doing it from November to March. In this period it's advisable to check in advance the opening of mountain huts and accommodation along the route, as they might be closed. 

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


Route info
Route number
12,9 km
6 h 20 min
Altitude difference (+)
950 m
Altitude difference (-)
1.802 m
Technical skills
Physical effort
Highest point
1.095 m
Lowest point
100 m

After this long hike, stop at the little beach in Ceniga, below the Roman bridge, and take a refreshing swim in the river Sarca: it's well deserved!


Safety guidelines

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
Mountain hut Rifugio San Pietro - Monte Calino

From just beside the mountain hut Rifugio San Pietro you take the trail SAT 401 (Sentiero Frassati) as far as Treni and the cross Croce di Bondiga. From here you continue on the trail SAT 409. Once you pass Bocca di Tovo, the highest point on this stage, continue on SAT 409B, staying on the forest trail until you meet SAT 407 which leads down through the woods until it comes out onto the road at Mandrea. Cross the road and take SAT 408 to Bocchetta di Padaro and then head down to Laghel: here turn left and take the dirt road which leads up to Fontane before descending towards Ceniga on the final stretch of the trail SAT 431. 

Note:  if you want to shorten the route, from Laghel descend towards Arco and from there go back to Riva del Garda by public transport.


public transportation

To reach Rifugio San Pietro you can take the intercity bus line 211 (Riva del Garda - Tenno - Fiavè - Ponte Arche). The nearest stop to the route is "Tenno Ville del Monte". 

Attention! Buses are not very frequent!

Up-to-date information on timetables and routes.


How to get there

From Riva del Garda follow the SS421 road in the direction of Lago di Tenno. Once in Tenno, follow the road that climbs to the right towards the village of Canale di Tenno and follow the signs for Località Calino and then Rifugio San Pietro.

Find out how to reach Garda Trentino

Where to park

Free parking space available in Località Calino. 

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.

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