Are you ready to follow me in a spectacular trek that will take you between alpine lakes with crystal clear waters, rocky peaks, ibexes and unspoiled nature? Then I will guide you exploring the upper Gerola Valley with all its views you will not easily forget, that will surprise and fascinate you. The path I will describe is a beautiful circular route that from the Pescegallo lake will take you to the Salmurano lodge at Mt. 1830 and then up again to the Benigni lodge. From the Benigni lodge you descend on the opposite side reaching the most green-blue lake I have ever seen, the Zancone lake and finally close this magnificent circular route with the Trona lake. The whole excursion lasts about 6 hours, so it is better to be trained to face it without particular difficulties.
From Pescegallo to Salmurano hut
Ready to start… and on! We park the car at Pescegallo, where everything begins (especially the climb). As soon as you leave the parking you will find that the path is immediately rather steep, with an entire stretch characterized by steps. In about forty minutes we reach the Pescegallo lake which has disappointed us because of the lack of water, being late August. Try to plan the trek between mid-June and mid-July (after a “snowy” winter, of course), so you will be enough lucky to see the lake full of water in all its splendor. We then continue towards the Salmurano refuge where we find a four-legged friend waiting for us, ready to play with us. I don’t dwell too much on describing the path as, in my opinion, there are no particular technical difficulties in this section.
From Salmurano hut to… attention to the passage between the rocks!
We leave behind the Salmurano lodge and we continue the climb through large alpine meadows that become ski slopes during the winter season (looking up you will see the stretch of chairlift that rises from Pescegallo) thus reaching the Passo Salmurano, where a small wooden chapel stands out with the statue of the Virgin Mary. From there on, the landscape changes, we abandon the wide grassy slopes to dive into a more rugged and rocky landscape. We are crossing the Bergamo side, where a narrow stretch of path leads us to the foot of a passage between the rocks where you need to climb a little. I do not want to frighten you at all, I am not certainly the super brave who throws herself into every kind of path, but it is better you pay attention on this passage! In my opinion it is more frightening observing the climb than doing it. Looking at it, it seems very steep and complex, but I assure you that this sensation immediately disappears from the beginning of the “climb”.
Benigni hut and Piazzotti lake, finally to the top
After the passage between the rocks, a series of switchbacks takes us to the plain that hosts the Benigni refuge and the Piazzotti lake, another modest but really nice stretch of water. This landscape too is full of colors, the transparent and crystalline water of the lake reflects the rocky peaks alternated with green meadows. Today we decided not to have lunch at the lodge, we stop by the lake with our picnic to enjoy this multicolor show. Nearby the Benigni refuge we also have the opportunity to admire the ibexes, which wander undisturbed and not at all afraid by human presence. Well, it’s time to get off, we still have a couple of ponds not to be overlooked, but first we want to enjoy a Genepì liquor at the Benigni lodge that will give us the recharge for the descent.
The most green-blue lake I have ever seen: the Zancone
We begin the descent and, after crossing a grassy valley we reach the Passo Bocca di Trona. In the distance, Zancone lake and Trona lake are clearly visible, set like two gems between the rocky peaks. We continue without particular difficulties to the Zancone lake where a stop is absolutely a must. Admiring the green-blue color of its waters, you will absolutely dive into, thanks to the water trasparency. Unable to leave this show, we decide to continue our trek along the right bank of the lake, in order to steal more shots and immortalize it in all its beauty. If I’m not mistaken, there are two paths, the one we walked, along the bank of the lake, and the other one higher that allows to admire the view from afar.
We close the circular route with the Trona lake
After leaving Zancone lake behind, we continue uphill towards the last stop of our circular route, that is Trona lake. As for Zancone lake, in this case too, the paths that run along the lake are two, one high and one along the bank of the lake: since we are not yet tired of admiring natural beauty, we choose the path that runs along the lake as well we can observe it in all its beauty. We stop for a while on the dam for the last shots, the waters of the Trona lake are of a beautiful deep cobalt blue. Now is time to get off, it is already 5 and we still have about an hour to walk. We will be back on our way along the path that appears semi-flat at the beginning and then continues downhill, sections in the woods and sections on stony grounds or meadows. We reach the parking very tired but super satisfied with the magnificent ride that allowed us to admire wonderful mountain landscapes.