Alpe Money hike
The Alpe Money Hike is a beautiful trail in Gran Paradiso National Park. It takes you right up to the Gran Paradiso Mountain range and offers probably the best views of the highest mountain in the national park and the stunning Money and Tribolazione Glaciers under it, without having to climb it. A beautiful valley surrounded by Herbetet, Gran Paradiso, Testa della Tribolazione and Roccia Viva peaks takes you to the land of waterfalls and has some of the best views in whole Italian Alps.
Take the SR47 road to Cogne and then the Rue Grand Paradis road to Valnontey village.
|When to do|
June - October
Route Description for Alpe Money
Some parts of the Alpe Money hike cross some small streams, so make sure that your shoes are waterproof and with a good grip or bring some water shoes. This is especially relevant after rainy days as some parts of the trail might get a bit muddy or slippery.
Most people hike this route as an out and back, making it short 3-4 hour hike. We think that going the whole loop is a must-do as the trail gets you closer to the land of waterfalls under the stunning glaciers. The exposure on this trail is mild and we thought that the trail was mostly of good quality and easy to follow.
The Alpe Money hike starts from the village of Valnontey. Park your car at the car park and start walking against the river flow, keeping it to your right. You will soon see a signpost, follow route 22 to Alpe Money. The first section of the hike takes you through the Valnontey River Trail.
The hike begins with an easy walk through the forest. You will pass a pony farm. After that, cross the river on a wooden bridge and continue walking against the stream on the other side.
You will soon have to cross the bridge again and move further against the river. After a couple of minutes, the road splits. Keep left. Just before you reach the river stream the trail goes to the left and slightly uphill.
Follow the river until you reach a signpost. The trail goes left and uphill from here and is marked as 22C. The trail goes steeply up the slope and will be an intense ascent almost all the way until you reach Alpe Money.
After switch backing up for quite a while, the trail evens out. You will see a short section with a rope and a few metal steps. There is mild exposure here. After that, the trail continues to switchback up again.
After more climbing you will descend to a stream. There is a bridge here, and cross to the other side and continue. You will then come to a sign and continue following route 22D.
After less than 10 minutes of hiking, you will walk into a beautiful meadow. Here the views are breathtaking. You will see the old stone houses of Money village surrounded by the beautiful snow-capped peaks, and the tallest of them all – Mt Gran Paradiso. This is a stunning place to spend some time and rest before continuing further.
Continue towards the snowy mountain wall, passing through the rock boulders. The trail will split at a fork and there won’t be a sign this time. Keep left and ascend. After you cross another bridge, you will start to descend easily.
Narrowing towards the Gran Paradiso slopes, you will have a perfect opportunity to see the stunning and enormous Money and Tribolazione glaciers and water streams rushing down from them, forming the Valnontey River.
After a short descent you will walk onto a ridge. The descent here becomes steeper and the gravel on the trail makes it uncomfortable and somewhat dangerous to walk on so watch your step. Having hiking poles here really will help a lot.
After this section on the ridge, the trail leads you through rock boulders and you will be near a stream. Keep it to your right, ascend until you see a big boulder with yellow arrows on it. You can cross the stream there. After crossing continue to descend, you will see stunning waterfalls behind you and the beautiful Valnontey Valley in front.
The trail then takes you to the main stream of the Valnontey River. Cross over the bridge and start descending. There will be a signpost. Follow the trail heading down to the Valnontey Village.
After walking down along the river, you will reach a long wooden bridge. Cross it to the other side of the stream and follow the sign leading to Valnontey.
From here, enjoy a beautiful and relaxing hike through a pine forest, until you reach the point where you started the ascent to Alpe Money. Return to Valnontey the same way you came there first, walking along the river.
The hike can be muddy, slippery and wet after rain, as there are numerous streams you have to cross. Bring poles to help.
If you are feeling tired you can finish your hike at Alpe Money and return the same way you came (as most hikers do), but we really recommend doing the whole circuit as the views are stunning all along the trail.
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