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GardaTrek - Top Loop 3: a long descent to the River Sarca
Dro & Drena, Arco, Tenno
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From San Pietro hut (1000 m above sea level) to the valley bottom again. Another stage characterized by a great variety of lanscapes as you descend to the Sarca river shores. 

After climbing Monte Biaina, between Valle Lomasona  Valle del Sarca, this trail takes us back down to the valley again, a gradual descent to the River Sarca at the picturesque Roman bridge of Ceniga.

This is a moderately difficult hike and gives you a chance to catch your breath and enjoy the landscape of Garda Trentino after the first 2 more challenging stages. While you walk in the wood you can clearly see the landscape around you change as you proceed: leaving firs and beech trees, you will meet olive trees and orchards as you approach the end of the stage. 

The only uphill stretch of this stage will take you to the top of Monte Biaina, with its peak cross: a great lookout point above northern lake Garda. The trail then leads to San Giovanni al Monte: this is where the people of Arco traditionally had their mountain cottages among the woods and meadows. 

Further information and useful links
  • For accommodation in Ceniga and surroundings take a look at the website www.gardatrentino.it.
  • If you would like to finish the trek before you get to Ceniga: from the cross Croce di Bondiga turn onto SAT 409. After a descent through the woods, the trail comes out on a forestry road which leads to a paved road: follow this until you come to the town of Varignano. Here there is a bus stop served by the urban transport of the Basso Sarca or lower Sarca Valley which will take you back to Riva del Garda (Bus timetable information on:
  •  For more information on routes and hike services: guides, shops and hiking friendly accommodation:  APT Garda Trentino, Tel. +39 0464 554444 www.gardatrentino.it
Route info
Route number
20,3 km
Activity time
7 h 55 min
Altitude difference (+)
1.418 m
Altitude difference (-)
2.269 m
Technical skills
Physical effort
Highest point
1.340 m
Lowest point
100 m

Anybody who is looking for somewhere to stop off and enjoy some local Trentino specialities is advised to take at break at  Malga San Giovanni.

Safety guidelines

This trek presents no particular technical difficulties and requires you to be reasonably fit. Make sure to have footwear and clothing suited to mid-mountain terrain. Recommended from April to mid-October.

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.

Punto di partenza
Mountain hut San Pietro - Monte Calino

From the hut Rifugio San Pietro follow signposts for SAT 401. Head uphill towards Monte Calino and keep on the SAT trail which leads you down to Treni where you walk along a stretch of dirt track as far as the cross of Bondiga; keep going as far as the crossroads and the signpost for SAT 409. Head uphill as far as Bocca di Tovo where you follow SAT 407 for a short stretch, then turn onto SAT 407B. You reach the top of Monte Biaina then head down again until you come back to trail number 407. Head downhill on 407 until you get to Prai da Gom and the hamlet of San Giovanni al Monte. Now follow SAT 408 downhill with stretches of trail alternating with road until you come out above the village of Padaro where you follow the SAT trail which leads to Salt della Cavra. Continue on down keeping to the left on a dirt track until you come to Fontane di Laghel where you take the trail SAT 431 to the Roman bridge of Ceniga and the village shortly after.

public transportation
No public transport available for this stage. 
How to get there

Getting to the mountain hut Rifugio San Pietro:

  • from Ville del Monte 556 metres a.s.l. (hamlet of Sant'Antonio) on trail 406 which passes through Canale 598 m, Case Bastiani 854 m and leads to the mountain hut – 1h 30
  • from Gavazzo Nuova 201 m, on the trail Sentiero di Gola (trail 401) passing through Tenno 427 m - 2h 15
  • from Malga Lomasona pasture 536 m (road from Dasindo) on trail 410 to Sella del Calino 966 m and themountain hut – 2h

Getting to northern lake Garda / Garda Trentino: www.gardatrentino.it

Where to park
No parking possibility for this stage

The trek proposed here does not have bolted routes or via ferratas, and so there is no need for helmets, harness or rope. However, considering how physically demanding the route is, the length of the stages and the presence of some exposed stretches, this type of trek is only recommended for people who are very fit, who have a good sense of direction and who are used to hiking in a mountain environment.  
GardaTrek requires you to have standard hiking equipment for alpine terrain and we suggest you also bring a wind and waterproof jacket and fleece in case of bad weather, a torch, a change of underwear, sunglasses and sunscreen, a water canteen and snacks.

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