Panoramic views along the trail of Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike in Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy
Italy Gran Paradiso Rifugio Vittorio Sella

Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike

Gran Paradiso National Park
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Trailhead of Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike in Gran Paradiso National Park, ItalySignpost along Rifugio Vittorio Sella trail in ValnonteySignpost in Valnontey on Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike in Gran Paradiso National Park, ItalyTrail in Valnontey on Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike in Gran Paradiso National Park, ItalyChamois along the trail of Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike in Gran Paradiso National Park, ItalyWild stream along the trail of Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike in Gran Paradiso National Park, ItalyViews of Valnontey Valley on Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike in Gran Paradiso National Park, ItalyBeautiful scenery from Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike in Gran Paradiso National Park, ItalyOld Italian buildings along the Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike in Gran Paradiso National ParkOld farmhouses on Rifugio Vittorio Sella trailPeaks around Valnontey Valley on Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike in Gran Paradiso National Park, ItalyRifugio Vittorio Sella hike has beautiful views looking towards CogneFarmhouse along the trail of Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike in Gran Paradiso National Park, ItalyNew building on Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike in Gran Paradiso National Park, ItalyFinal destination of Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike in Gran Paradiso National Park, ItalyGolden eagle met on Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike in Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy

Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike

Distance: 6.6mi
Elevation: 3,642ft
Time: 5-6h

Difficulty Rating:

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10 Overall Rating
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Rifugio Vittorio Sella is one of the most scenic hikes in Gran Paradiso National Park. The trail rewards you with amazing views of snowy mountains and spectacular glaciers. At the end of the hike, you can enjoy traditional food and refreshments from the Rifugio Vittorio Sella mountain chalet in the high valley of Alpe Lauson.

Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike Map

Getting there

Head to Cogne, and then take the Rue Grand Paradis road to drive to Valnontey village. Park your car at one of the car parks. The trail starts just after the Valnontey village.

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About

When to do

End of May - September

Backcountry Campsites

No

Pets allowed

Yes

Family friendly

Older Children only

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Out and back


Rifugio Vittorio Sella
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Rifugio Vittorio Sella

The Rifugio Vittorio Sella hike starts from Valnontey village. Park your car at one of the paid car parks (1 Euro per hour or 4 Euros for the whole day). Cross the river and go towards the hotels up the hill. You will see a trail signboard. Follow route 18.

Pass the Valnontey botanical garden on your right and continue straight ahead. The trail ascends via switchbacks through a pine forest. You will hear a waterfall cascading down the mountain slope. This place is rich with streams of water rushing down the mountains.

While switchbacking up the pine forest, be ready with your camera, as every corner will offer better views of snowy mountain tops from the trail. You will soon cross a bridge over a stream, itis a good place to have a break.

After the bridge walk past an old damaged stone hut, ascend further, keeping it to your right. Here you will find a water faucet. We are told the water is drinkable, however we didn’t drink from it, we didn’t want to take the chance. We’d suggest filtering the water if you want to drink it.

Soon you will reach a meadow where you will see some old ruins of traditional Italian buildings. Continue through the meadow.

After another water faucet, you will see amazing glaciers, resting on the San Pietro mountains. A lot of hikers take a break here as the views are beautiful and you can just tuck yourself into the grass and relax before the next stage of the hike.

Continue along the trail, where there will be another water faucet and a wooden bridge crossing a stream. After some ascent, the trail will join another path. When it does, turn left and ascend, leaving the mountain slope on your right.

After quite a bit more ascent, you will see the idyllic grey brick farm resting on the slope of a mountain, surrounded by snowy peaks. This is not the Rifugio yet. Continue along the trail. You will soon see another building and an EU flag behind it. Rifugio Vittorio Sella is right by the flag.

Here you can use the restrooms, get some fresh drinking water and grab a bite in the restaurant. You can also arrange to spend a night here if you’re doing a longer hike.

If you’re lucky, you might be able to see herds of ibex on the mountain slopes. This is also a nesting area of golden eagles. Spend some time to rest here as the view of the snowy peaks around you are just breathtaking.

After you take a break, go back the same way you came.

 

Insider Hints

  • If you want to make the hike longer, consider hiking to Colle Di Rosa, which is a 3,193m peak roughly 1:50 hours more from the Rifugio Vittorio Sella. Inquire at the Rifugio for more information about the route and difficulty.

  • Try the amazing desserts and great coffee at the bar in Rifugio Vittorio Sella. Bring cash, as there were no card machines when we were there.

  • When parking, be aware that it currently only accepts coins. If you don't have coins, the nice people in the cafes nearby will be happy to break your notes for you. If you don’t have any cash – the closest ATM is in Cogne (3,5km away).

  • The hut is open from the end of May to the end of September.

Comments

frederikdebosschere 2 months ago

10.0 Overall Rating
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claritam 1 year ago

The views surpassed my expectations! You have to be there to experience it!

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Scott P. 1 year ago

This is a fantastic hike you shouldn't miss. Do it while you can!

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Jacob M. 1 year ago

Stunning views snowy mountains and spectacular glaciers. Well worth the climb.

3.0 Overall Rating
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Filip l. 1 year ago

Good hike for exploration. Just a bit demanding. Had my body crying by turning fats into sweats.

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Alexis Schweitzer 1 year ago

Very nice location and a wonderful view

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MountainPaw 1 year ago

Splendid walk with views over wide valleys. The Rifugio is in a strategic position and will be great for nature lovers

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SnowdonLover 1 year ago

Amazing Rifugio. Keep pressing your camera, it has a lot of adorable views.

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Antonin Sand 1 year ago

The views were amazing. All were beautiful.

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Danny V. 2 years ago

Amazing hike in the Italian Alps! It is alright to feel tired sometimes. It's all worth it.

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14 Comments Show all

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