Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 46.29565°N / 9.32372°E
Additional Information GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map
Activities Activities: Hiking, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 6263 ft / 1909 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Dosso MottoneDosso Mottone seen from the east
Valchaivenna to the north of Lago di Como is a moderately broad valley with an average elevation of less than 300m above sea level. To the east and west, however, it is flanked by steep mountains, which rise in several steps to more than 3000m. The region has been settled  since before Roman times and enjoyed prosperity thanks to several important mountain passes within reach from Chiavenna, the region’s most important city. Today the most important pass is at Maloja in the east, connecting the Italian plains with the Oberengadin region of Switzerland. It has been constructed by the Romans, with the old Roman road heading up to the pass straight as a ruler. In the middle ages, nearby Septimer Pass became more important, a donkey route towards Chur and the Rhine River Valley. And to the north, Splügenpass connects to the Hochrheintal, the topmost part of the Rhine River Valley. Within the valley a kind of transhumance evolved, typical for this part of Italy and neighbouring (Swiss) Ticino. In winter everybody including animals stayed on the pastures of the broad valley floor. In Spring and Autumn animal owners moved to summer villages located at between 1000m and 1500m halfway up the mountain and in summer the animals were herded up to the mountain pastures around and above 2000m. Much of this transhumance is still in place even though quite often the animals are shipped up and down the mountains by truck.
Alpe Cermeno in front of the Val Masino Alps
Alpe Scima
Dosso Mottone
But anyhow, it is the summer villages (called Monti in Ticino), that you will see on this page and which make the strenuous hike to Dosso Mottone worthwhile. They usually consist of about a dozen houses, all very small and low, their walls built and even their roofs tiled with natural stones. Quite often there is a little chapel, most of the times standing out as the only whitewashed building of the hamlet. Thanks to the meadows and pastures used for grazing the animals, all of these hamlets have stunning views into and across Valchiavenna towards the 3000ers of the Platta, Albula and Val Masino Groups.
Alpe Cermeno beneath Dosso Mottone (1909m)
Dosso Mottone
Alpe Scima in front of Dosso Mottone
Dosso Mottone itself is a broad backed mountain of almost 2000m. It is covered in larch forests and only the very top is almost tree-free. It has a massive south-east face, dropping into Valle Pilotera, but can be easily reached by a hiking trail, along its northern slopes. This trail has been connecting the lower summer villages with Alpe Scima in the saddle beyond.

360° Summit Panorama

360° summit panorama from Dosso Mottone

Getting There

Looking from Alpe Scima into Val BregagliaLooking from Alpe Scima into Val Bregaglia
The closest trailhead for Dosso Mottone is in Gordone to the south-west of Chiavenna. In fact, an even closer one is located few kilometers to the south-west on the road into Val Bodengo, near Capella Donadio.
  • From the south (Milano)
    • Take SS36 north to and beyond the end of Lago di Como
    • After San Cassiano at a roundabout leave onto SP2dirB east to to Gordona
  • From the north (Splügen, Switzerland)
    • Take motorway A13 to Splügen
    • Leave the motorway at Splügen for Splügenpass
    • At the border the road switches to SS36, which you follow to Chiavenna
    • In the City switch to SP 2 to Gordona
  • From the east (St Moritz, Maloja, Switzerland)
    • Take B27 / B3 across Malojapass into Bergell / Val Bregaglia
    • At the border it turns into SS37 to Chiavenna
    • Switch to SP2 south to Gordona
    • Leave SS36 to the south-west in direction Poncetta


Dosso Mottone
On the upper part of the Dosso Mottone Route
Alpe Cermeno in front of the Val Masino Alps
The route is straightforward, yo have to follow a trail which connects Capella Donadia with Alpe Gualda, Alpe Orlo and Alpe Cermeno. It always stays close to the ridge but rather on the Valle Pilotera side. Above Alpe Cermeno you cross a large pasture, heading for the northern side of Dosso Mottone. The trail now steeply climbs the north slopes only narrowly avoiding the massive south-east face of the mountain. When the trail levels look out for an unmarked path to Dosso Mottone’s summit. There is a steep winding one, which heads up to the top from the north-east. However, it is overgrown with some UIAA II climbing in between the brambles. An easier route follows the main trail, passing Dosso Mottone and then turning back onto its north-west ridge. There is no decent path and the little you find is also overgrown. However, it is easier to wind along the summit blocks from this side than to climb them from the other.

Red Tape

As you hike through hamlets and along pastures keep in mind that you might be on private property. If you want to start from the trailhead in Val Bodengo you need to acquire a permit for your car (available in any shop or bar in Gordona).

When to Climb

Dosso Mottone can be climbed in any season. In winter it is a perfect ski tour or snowshoe destination.


Looking into ValchaivennaLooking into Valchiavenna during the descent from Dosso Mottone
There's lots of accomodation options around Lago di Como, including hotels, apartments, agriturismo and campgrounds. There are numerous sites in at least three different languages. A good starting point should be

Weather Conditions

Maps & Books


  • Digital Maps
  • Regular Maps
    • Valchiavenna, Val Bregaglia Kompass Map WK92 Kompass Verlag 1:500000 ISBN: 978-3-85026-694-9


  • Comer See Eugen E. Hüsler Rother Verlag ISBN: 978-3-7633-4040-8