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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    1,110 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    10.6 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Physical DIFF
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Technical DIFF
    Directions to Trailhead

    Rifugio Vittorio Sella

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

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    Table of contents

    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.

    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 for Rifugio Vittorio Sella

    • 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.

    Getting to the Rifugio Vittorio Sella Trailhead

    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.

    Route Information

    • When to do:

      End of May - September

    • Backcountry Campsites:


    • Pets allowed:


    • Family friendly:

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


    • Route Type:

      Out and back

    Rifugio Vittorio Sella Elevation Graph

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