Ticino / Tessin

Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 46.37613°N / 8.90516°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Scrambling, Canyoneering, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 11168 ft / 3404 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Ticino (MAP)
Ticino (MAP)
Lago di Ritom
Lago di Ritom, a famous Ticino view

Ticino (or Tessin as the German-speaking people in Switzerland call it) is the Italian speaking Kanton of Switzerland. It is situated between Wallis, Uri and Graubunden in the north and Italy in the south. Furthermore, Ticino is the southernmost part of Switzerland. It has an area of 2812 square kilometers and has 319.200 inhabitants. The capital is the city of Bellinzona, which means  ‘Beautiful Zone/Area’ ; a perfect description of the area's beauty.

Ticino is a world on it’s own since it cannot be compared to any other area in Switzerland nor in the entire Alps. This is mainly because of the climate: Ticino has the great mountains of the Alps but on the other hand it also has the mild climate of the Mediterranean. As a result you will find yourself along palm trees in the valleys looking up towards the high rocky and snowy peaks above you, which is an experience you don’t want to miss out on.

Because of these features the area is excellent for hiking, scrambling and climbing, but also for relaxing and enjoying the sun at for instance lake Lago Maggiore,  which was created by the carving of ancient glaciers.

Ticino consists of some amazing valleys like the main Leventina valley which is the valley you cross when accessing Ticino from north (Gotthard). Other famous valleys are Valle Verzasca, Valle Maggia and Val di Blenio which all hold some real beautiful hiking trails and challenging peaks waiting to be climbed.

Ticino has two main ridges where the highest mountains of the area can be found. On the west side bordering Italy it is the Basodino-Massif. A strongly glaciated mountain of 3279m high. On the east side, at the border with the Kanton of Graubunden,the Adula-massif can be found. Adula, with its 3404meters high, is the highest peak of Ticino and is better known under the name Rheinwaldhorn. (the German name)

Going from north to south through Ticino, the mountains will gradually become lower in elevation, since the Alps will end and you will enter Italy’s Po-area with big cities like Milano.

Some views of Ticino / Tessin:

Witenwasserenstock 3082m

Hidden Falls

Typical House


Mountain lake by the Pizzo Campo Tencia

Pizzo Rotondo 3192m

Colorful east wall

Almost unknown...

Torrone Alto and beautiful...


acqua - water

Typical Church

Censo falls

Lago di Ritom

Major Mountains of Ticino:

Upper Eastern Ridge (First W-E ending N-S)

Pizzo Taneda (2667m)
Piz Blas (3019m)
Scopi (3190m)
Cima di Camadra (3172m)
Piz Medel (3211m)
Pizzo Gaglianera(3121m)
Piz Terri (3149m)
Pizzo Cassinello (3101m)
P di Cassimoi (3128m)
P. Jut (3129m)
Grauhorn (3260m)
Rheinwaldhorn/Adula (3402)
Logia (3079m)
Vogelberg (3218m)
Rheinquellhorn (3200m)
Poncione del Freggione
Cima del Cogn (3063m)
Pizzo Muccia (2963m)
Pizzo delle Streghe
Torrone Alto (2950m)
Torrent Basso 2820m)
Cima D'Orz (2700m)
P. di Campedell (2724m)
Mottone (2692m)
Torrone Rosso (2670m)
Pizzo di Claro (2727m)
P. de Molinera (2288m)

Lago Scuro
Piz Blas

Scopi 3190m

Cima di Camadra 3172m
Cima di Camadra

Piz Medel 3211m
Piz Medel

Piz Gaglianera 3121m
Piz Gaglianera

View from South to the...
Piz Terri

Pizzo Cassinello 3103m
Pizzo Cassinello

Pizzo di Cassimoi 3129m
Pizzo di Cassimoi

Adula Group
Piz Jut (left)

Rheinwaldhorn 3402m

Vogelberg 3218 m


Cima del Cogn 3063m
Cima del Cogn

Pizzo Muccia
Pizzo Muccia

The trail direct to Gola delle Streghe
Pizzo delle Streghe
Torent Basso, Torrone Alto...
Torrone Alto
Torent Basso and Torrone Alto...
Torent Basso
Mottone & Forcel
Torrone Rosso (2670m)
Torrone Rosso
'Hausberg Bellinzona'
Pizzo di Claro
South West Face
Piz de Molinera

Upper Middle Ridge (W-E) (ending South)

Pne de Arbione (2409m)
Pne pro do Robuc (2507m)
Pecianett (2744m)
P. del Sole (2773m)
P. d'Era (2618m)
P. di Campello (2660m)
Cima di Gana Rossa (2565m)
P. Molare (2585m)
Motto Crostel (2302m)
Pizzo Alto (2366m)
P. Erra (2416m)
Cogn (2166m)
Pizzo Matro (2171m)

Long Ridge in Leventina

Cima del Cogn 3063m
P. del Sole & P. d'Era

Pizzo Erra
Pizzo Erra

Pizzo Matro
Pizzo Matro

Upper left Ridge (W-E)

P.Cassina Baggio (2860m)
P. Gallina (3061m)
P. Nero (2904m)
Forcella (2860m)
Pne di Manio (2924m)
Chuebodenhorn (3070m)
P. Rotondo (3192m)
P. Pesciora (3122m)
Huenerstock (2889m)
Lucendro (2963m)
Fibbia (2739m)
Pizzo Centrale (3000m)

Poncione di Cassina Baggio seen from Val Piana
Pne di Cassina Baggio

Pizzo Gallina
Pizzo Gallina

Pizzo Nero
Pizzo Nero

Poncione di Manio
Poncione di Manio

Pizzo Pesciora 3120m
Pizzo Pesciora
Entering Val Bedretto
Chüebodenhorn 3070m

Pizzo Rotondo
Pizzo Rotondo

Pizzo Pesciora 3120m
Pizzo Pesciora

P. Pesciora

Pizzo Lucendro 2963m
Pizzo Lucendro 2963m
Pizzo centrale and Blauberg
Pizzo Centrale

Val Bavona West Ridge (N-S)

Poncione val Piana (2660m)
P.S. Giacamo (2924m)
Marchhorn (2962m)
Kastelhorn (3128m)
Basodino (3272m)
Tamierhorn (3087m)
P. Medola (2759m)
Kalberhorn (2805m)
P. Fiorera (2921m)
Madone di Formazzo (2510m)
P. Cazzola (2750m)
Wandfluhhorn (2863m)
Madone Batnall (2748m)
P. Quadro (2792)
Pizzo Stella/Martschenspitz (2688m)

Poncione val Piana from the top 1
Poncione val Piana

Punta del Termine - Marchhorn

Again Kastelhorn and the last...

The summit of Cristallina. In...

Basodino route from Val Bavona

The view from high up in Vallone del Vannino. In the distance, some 10 km east, are Pizzo Cazzola (2756m), Hirelli (2786m) and Pizzo Biela (2863m).
Pizzo Cazzola

Pizzo Stella or Martschenspitz
Wandfluhhorn (summit)

Pizzo Stella or Martschenspitz
Pizzo Stella or Martschenspitz

Val Peccia West Ridge (N-S)

P. Gararesc (2729m)
Cristallina (2912m)
Cavallo del Toro
Poncione di Braga (2864m)
Pulpito (2532m)
P. Castello (2808m)
P dei Foioi (2624m)
Rosso (2604m)
P Oglie (2604m)
Pzo Maldra (2640m)

Cavagnolo group


Poncione di Braga, 2864m
Poncione di Braga


Val Sambuco west Ridge ( N-S)

P. del L Scuro (2648m)
Pne dei Laghetti (2616m)
P. di Rod (2699m)
P. della Valetta (2580m)
P. del Piatto (2616m)

Valle Leventina West Ridge (N-S)

Pne Sambuco (2587m)
Madone (2710m)
Pizzo del Prevat (2558m)
P. Campolungo (2714m)
P. Cana (2953m)
Pizzo Campo tencia (3072m)
P. Barone (2863m)
P. di Piancoi (2769m)
P. dei Laghetti (2443m)
Cima Bianca (2612m)
P. di Mezzodi (2708m)
Madom Gross (2741m)
P. Cramosino (2718m)
Cima d'Efra (2577m)
Cima Lunga (2512m)
Poncione d'Alnasca (2301m)
Pne Rosso (2505m)
Cima di Precastello (2539m)
Pne di Piotta (2439m)
Madone (2395m)
Pizzo di Vogorno (2442m)
Cima dell Uomo (2390m)

Gaggio (2267m)

P.ne Sambuco
P.ne Sambuco

Pizzo del Prevat
Pizzo del Prevat

Piz Prevat
Campolungo & Prevat

Pizzo Campo Tencia 3072
Pizzo Campo Tencia

Cima Bianca (2612m)
Cima Bianca

Madom Gröss
Madom Gross

Pizzo Cramosino
Pizzo Cramosino

Cima Lunga from q.2330 of Poncione Rosso
Cima Lunga

Poncione d'Alnasca S wall
Poncione d'Alnasca

Poncione Rosso
Poncione Rosso

Poncione del Laghetti, Poncione del Venn and Cima di Precastello
Cima di Precastello

Poncione di Piotta

Madone di Vogorno

Pizzo di vogorno
Pizzo di vogorno

Cima dell'Uomo
Cima d'Erbea E from Gaggio
Cima d'Erbea


Valle Maggia East Ridge (N-S)

Madas (2739m)
Corona di Redorta (2804m)
Triangolino (2591m)
Monte Zucchero (2735m)
P. del cocco (2339m)
Sasso Bello (2290m)
P. Alber (2213m)
P. Muretto (2257m)
Piancasia (2360m)
Madom da Sgiof (2265m)
P. di Corbella (2060m)
Cima della Trosa (1869m)

Monte Zucchero & Sonogno
Monte Zucchero

Madom da Sgiof
Madom da Sgiof

Cima della Trosa
Cima della Trosa

Val Vergeletto North Ridge (W-E)

P. Porcarescio (2447m)
Pianca (2376m)
Rosso di Ribia (2541m)
Cima di Catogn (2398m)
P. Cramalina (2322m)


Pizzo Ruscada (2004m)
Pianascio (1644m)
Monte Limidario (Gridone, 2188m)

Pizzo Ruscada
Pizzo Ruscada

Monte Limidario

Lago Maggiore & Southern Ticino Mountains

Monte Tamaro (1962m)
Pne Breno (1654m)
Monte Lema (1621m)

Monte Paglione, Covreto, Sasso Corbaro (1594m)
Monte Gambarogno (1734m)
Monte Gradiccioli (1936m)

More south:
Monte Generoso (1701m)

Ticino view...
Monte Tamaro
Broad backed Monte Paglione
Monte Paglione
Sasso Corbaro
Sasso Corbaro
Monte Gambarogno
Monte Gambarogno
Monte Gradiccioli
Monte Gradiccioli
Monte Generoso panorama....
Monte Generoso

Valle Leventina

Ticino View
Leventina North side
Almost unknown...
Censo waterfall
Ticino river in Valle Leventina
Typical House
Typical Ticino house

Valle Leventina is the main valley of Ticino. When coming to Ticino from the north you can ether come from the Nufenen- or Gotthard pass. Descending from one of these passes you will enter Ticino in Valle Leventina. You are immediately in another world. Almost always when the weather in the other parts of Switzerland is bad, the clouds will clear up when entering Ticino. This is the result of of the the Mediterranean climate.
The Leventina valley is situated at low altitude, mainly somewhere between 200 and 700 meters above sea level. The mountains rise high above the valley until 3100 meters. As a result climbing these mountains requires a large altitude gain. The altitude gain for climbing a mountain here can go  up to 3000 meters, which requires a good physical condition. The highest mountain to be climbed here is Pizzo Campo Tencia (3071m). Other great climbing possibilities are Cima dell Uomo, Pizzo di Claro, and Torrone Alto.

To get more information about climbing these mountains: (click to go to their SP-pages)

Torrone Alto
Pizzo di Claro

For climbing Cima dell’ Uomo, Pizzo Vogorno and many others:
Mornera cableway
This is the home page of the Mornera cableway, which gives you access to climb these mountains. Also info about climbing durations, access etc. can be found.
This cableway is located just north of the city of Bellinzona, (Access map can be found on the mentioned site) and is a perfect way for spending one or more days high in the Ticino Alps.

A nice trad climbing route in Leventina is Via del Veterano

Val Verzasca

Impressive wall
Wall high above the verzasca Valley
Lavertezzo's wonderful ancient bridge.
Verzasca River
Verzasca River

Pizzo di vogorno
Pizzo di vogorno (2442m)

Val verzasca is one of the most famous valleys of Ticino. When you enter the valley the first thing you see is an immense Dam. It is the famous ‘James Bond’ Dam since James Bond jumped of it in the movie: Goldeneye. For the thrillseekers: You can imitate him and bungee-jump of it. I have to say: It is a jump of 270 vertical meters and is one of the highest bungee-jumps in the world!
Continuing inside the valley you will come to enjoy the beauty of this valley: little ancient towns, a tremendously beautiful green colored river which the valley is most famous for: The Ticino River.
The valley holds an enormous amount of trails which are all well-marked (See the Map & Book section below)
Also many great mountains can be climbed. Most of them are not too well-known and often seldomly climbed. When you like to be ‘alone’ in the mountains this is the right place to visit.
See the Val Verzasca SP Page for more information about this tremendous area.

For climbing information and hiking trails go to:
Ticino Tourism

Valle Maggia

Basodino 3273m
Basodino (3271m) at the end of the Maggia Valley
acqua - water
Water of the Maggia River
corniches on the summit ridge...
View into Maggia valley
Behind the Kastelhorn, right...

Valle Maggia is situated in the northwestern part of Ticino.
It holds over 700km of marked trails, which gives a tremendous amount of opportunities for hiking in the area.
Great hikes are for example the trails to the 48 mountain lakes or to the 6 Dams in the area.
To plan your route you can buy the 1:50.0000 Vallemaggia map at the tourist office which is situated in the village of Maggia, Valle Maggia. For other maps see the Books & MAps section below.

A well-known place for hikes and climbs is Robiei, a cableway at the end of the Maggia-Valley.
This is a nice internet page with a lot of nice hiking suggestions.
Go to this page and click on ‘Wanderwege’ on the left side.

The Robiei cableway brings you up to an elevation of about 1800 meters and is the starting point for many great hikes and climbs.
The most famous mountains to be climbed here are Christallina and Basodino.
Click on these names to go to the SP-pages of these mountains for more information about climbing them.

Official Valle Maggia site:

Val Bedretto

Witenwasserenstock 3082m
Witenwasserenstock 3082m
Autumn enters the Val Bedretto
Autumn enters the Val Bedretto

The Val Bedretto is a fine range in the upperleft part of Ticino/ Tessin. Most people enter Ticino from North (Gotthard) en head towards the south into the Leventina valley. As a result the Val Bedretto does not see many visitors.

The Val Bedretto is a fine valley and mountain range with some high and impressive peaks like Pizzo Rotondo, Witwasserenstock & Chuebodenhorn, all well above 3000 meters.

The val Bedretto consists of 4 major towns. Bedretto (3 small settlements : Fontana, Villa and Bedretto) ,Ossasco, Ronco & All'Acqua.
Some of the most popular peaks to be climbed here are Cristallina, Lucendro and the highest peak of this range: Pizzo Rotondo

For more information see the Val Bedretto SP Page or see the Official Val Bedretto internet page.

the N ridge (middle part)
Val Bedretto N ridge by gabriele

Monte Tamaro/ Monte Lema

View from Monte Tamaro
View from Monte Tamaro towards Lago Maggiore
Ticino view...
Monte tamaro Radio Mast

Monte Tamaro is situated in the southern part of Ticino, a few kilometers south of Locarno. A cableway brings you up to Monte Lema (1620m). Here starts an impressive route towards Monte Tamaro (1964m)
You walk over mountain ridges and have great views towards the Lago Maggiore and the Monte Rosa Group in Wallis.

For more information go to: Monte Tamaro

Entirely in the south you can find Monte Generoso, check out the SP page:
Monte generoso SP

Getting There

Getting there
Getting in ticino by Car

Main access routes:
-You can access from the south (Italy): Take the A8 Highway coming from Milano
-You can access from the North: Take the '2' Highway through Switzerland to the south: After the Gotthard (pass or tunnel) you will enter Ticino.

Minor access routes:

-You can access from the west, when coming out of Wallis. Take the Nufenenpass (2450m), you will enter Ticino at Airolo in the north of the Kanton.
Note: Nufenenpass is closed in winter!
-You can enter from the east by taking the St bernard/San Bernardino Pass when coming from Graubunden.
descend the pass and you are straight on the route to Bellinzona.
-Take the Lukmanier/ Lucomagno pass. you will enter Ticino form the north-east into val di Blenio

External Links

View into Val di Blenio
View into val di Blenio

Main Links for ticino:

Ticino Tourism

Links for specific valleys:

Val Verzasca
Valle Maggia

Cableway Links:

Monte Tamaro/Lema
Monte Generoso


Campings in Ticino can be found on: Camping search

Personal Favourite:
Camping Al Censo, Claro
Camping Al Censo

For hotels and other places to stay:
Visit the Major cities: Bellinzona, Lugano or Locarno

Weather Forecast

Up to date weather Forecast:

Books about Ticino

Ticino Maps: Kompass 110 Valle Maggia & Val Verzasca

Ticino Maps: Kompass 111 Ticino Sud

Ticino Maps: Kompass 90 Lago Maggiore

Maps (1:50.000):

•Kompass 110: Valle Maggia & Val Verzasca (code: 9783850269100)
•Kompass 111: Tessin Sud; Locarno & Lugano (code: 9783854913375)
•Kompass 90: Lago Maggiore (code: 9783854910978)

Ticino Books: Rother Wanderfuhrer Tessin

Ticino Books: Rother Wanderfuhrer Tessin South


Rother – Tessin Wanderfuhrer Zwischen Gotthard und Luganer See
(EAN 9783763340781)
50 trails in Northern Tessin

Rother Tessin Wanderfuhrer Lago Maggiore Luganer See
(EAN 9783763330522)
50 trails in southern Tessin

Topo d’escalade Tessin et Mesolcina – Guida d’arrampicata – letterführer
G l a u c o C u g i n i
Editions du CAS, Berne 2006
ISBN 3-85902-253-9
A guide consisting of about 2100 routes in Ticino!