Via Spluga

Page Type
Sondrio, Italy, Europe
Route Type:
Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Half a day
walk up

Route Quality: 0 Votes

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Via Spluga
Created On: Aug 25, 2006
Last Edited On: Sep 5, 2006


The "sentiero del Cardinello" is the wildest part of an historical "road" crossing the Alps !
This route/road was built by ancient Romans and was allowing to cross from (actual) Val Chiavenna to Rhein valley.
Used, very badly, by Napoleone I° and his troups ... they say that carrying guns along this road in winter can be dangerous ... but he ignored it so that some dozens of his soldiers died here.

Now it is a very fine walk-up that allows to get the Montespluga dam starting from Isola; some exposed ledges in the higher part, dangerous with snow and/or ice in fall, winter and spring, are well equipped by fixed metal ropes.

Perfect for a family walk and very fine, paying some attention, for mountain biking

Getting There

Starting from Milan, along the SS 36 (Spluga) to Campodolcino.
At the fork forward to the left toward Isola.
the lake of Isolathe lake of Isola : starting point for the Cardinello path

Once you're in Isola cross the bridge over the stream, turn to the left (hydroelectric power station) and go on till a meadow where you can park the car, just before a no thoroughfare sign.

Route Description

Estremely simple !
Follow the road, cross the small buit up area of Torni then go along the very fine mule track that leads you to Montespluga dam.
Keep always the left side of the valley (orographic), don't cross the stream, its useless.
I'm trying to describe it with images ...

the Val dei Cardinello
from the car parking.
in the skyline the ridge of Piodaroli,
coming down from Cime di Val Loga toward East
the last house
the last house on the other side of the valley
the first waterfall
the first waterfall
waterfall in Valle Spluga
the first waterfall from above
the starting point of the Cardinello valley
the beginning of the Cardinello valley,
from this point you're almost always in the shade
the first bridge
the first bridge : here you can turn to the left,
cross the stream,
walk on a less fine path
before coming back to the right side
the starting point of the paved path
the starting point of the paved path :
starting from here you walk above some cliffs
and the path goes on ...
and the path goes on :
on the left side you can see some fixed ropes
the second bridge
the second bridge that allows you
to come back if you've crossed the first one
along the ledges
really strange to find a series of natural ledges into this kind of rock ..
along the ledges
little after the mid of the rocky part
the last cut in the rock
the last cut in the rock, maybe cut by Romans,
maybe natural ... don't know
the dam of Montespluga lake
the dam of Montespluga lake suddenly comes out
getting the dam
getting the dam, with Pizzo Suretta growing in background
the stream
the stream of the Cardinello valley, while coming down
Montespluga lake
this is the ending point of the "sentiero del Cardinello", now the Via Spluga goes on on the left side
the original (Roman) road is on the bottom of the lake and sometimes it can be seen ...

Essential Gear

mountain shoes

a small thought

I was doubtful wheter writing about this simple walk ...
but it is so fine and not too short : about 600m of difference in elevation into a wonderful scenery :)

Via Spluga

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