Rifugio Garelli hike
One of the many great Rifugios to hike to, the Garelli Rifugio is the only Rifugio in Valle Pesio. From its windows you can enjoy the view of Punta Marguareis, a limestone mountain in the center of the Ligurian Alps. In the mountain water and time have carved some crevasses that are 2297ft deep. From the Garelli Rifugio, you can get to France, or to the Vermenagna and Ellero valleys.
Make your way to Chiusa Pesio then go straight through it. After 6.2mi you’ll arrive at the Certosa di Pesio. You’ll pass the bridge on the left and you go straight for 2.5mi more, until Rifugio Pian delle Gorre (3386ft).
|When to do|
June to end of October
Yes, in Pian delle Gorre
Yes, in Pian delle Gorre or in the Rifugio
Out and back
Route Description for Rifugio Garelli
From the parking at Rifugio Pian delle Gorre you’ll walk past the Rifugio. From the open grassy area, you’ll find the trail to the left of the Rifugio. The path goes through one of the oldest forests in the area, and it’s a pleasure to walk between these giants any season.
After 30-45 minutes you’ll reach the Gias Sottano di Sestrera (4400ft). “Gias” means shelter for animals, but it’s obvious this structure no longer serves that purpose.
The trail continues in the woods and shrubbery to get to the Gias Soprano di Sestrera (6060ft). The Rifugio Garelli, at 6450ft high, is visible from the Gias and you can reach it after 20-30 minutes of walking.
The views from the Rifugio are amazing. The limestone cliffs of Monte Marguareis dominate the scenery. In July, all along the green mountain prairies, you’ll see purple rhododendron.
The route back is just you came or, if you prefer, you can take the path that goes into the Vallone del Marguareis.
From the Rifugio you can walk to the Porta Sestrera and the Rifugio Mondovì in Valle Ellero.
Alpinists can climb to the peak, through the Canalino dei Genovesi.
The forest of big firs you walked through was managed by the Carthusians starting in 1173. Later the Consolata Fathers Order bought the land and the forest, and, now finally, the Valle Pesio Natural Park manages them.
The Rifugio was built in 1950, but burned in 1987. In 1991 it was fully restored.
Check out the Marguareis Natural Park’s website for more details.
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