Alpine crossing Merano - Lake Garda

8 days, 8 participants, the continuation of the well-known E5
    Online training: Preparing for a multi-day hike

The completion of the crossing of the Alps and the extension of the E5 from Merano to Lake Garda.

The well-known E5 does not end in Merano/Meran, but rather builds up to a brilliant finale from here to the finish at Lake Garda. The landscape appears more southerly, the mountains are partly lovely, partly rugged and unexpectedly high alpine. The very first stage takes you into the dream landscape of the Vintschgau. Before reaching the highest peak in Tyrol, the 3,905 m Ortler, you hike into the Martell and Ulten valleys and, after crossing the language and national border, on into the Val di Sole. The name says it all and the view south to the Brenta and Adamello is spectacular. The peaks of the Brenta Dolomites form a rugged contrast to the glaciated Adamello, and we have the best view of them from the famous Grafferhütte and, almost needless to say, another hospitable top base on our route. At Lake Garda, you have actually reached the southern edge of the Alps and can (assuming you have completed the E5 from Oberstdorf to Merano) report on a complete crossing of the Alps. 

Program and schedule

Tour schedule
Thomas recommendation
  • Mountain guide:in with the appropriate necessary qualifications
  • 5 x nights in cabins
  • 2 x overnight stay in hotel/ inn
  • 7 x half board
  • 4 - 5 x transfers by cab and bus
  • Return from Riva del Garda to Merano
  • Mountain railroads & lifts according to program
  • Free participation in the Online Training: Alpine Crossing - Preparation (1 h)

Additional costs

  • Snacks, drinks
  • Arrival, possibly parking fee

Day 1: Meeting point is at 10:00 am at the Texelbergbahn valley station. From there, the Texelbahn cable car takes us up to the Giggelberg (1,565 m). Here starts one of the most beautiful sections of the Merano High Altitude Trail through the wild landscape of the Texel Group. Numerous vantage points offer us magnificent views of the Adige Valley deep below and across to the glaciers of the Ortler region. A highlight is the suspension bridge over the 1000-step gorge before the cable car takes us from Unterstell back down into the valley to Naturno. Overnight stay at the hotel. Ascent 450 hm / descent 700 hm, time 3 h

Day 2: With public transport we go in the morning from Naturns to Latsch. From there we reach comfortably with a small chair lift to the Tarscher Alm (1.940 m). There we start our ascent up to the Tarscher Pass (2,530 m). We continue to enjoy the view of the Ortler group and can already see the steep rocky peaks of the Dolomites in the distance. We hike down to the Kuppelwieser Alm, where we can enjoy an excellent apple or poppy seed strudel! After a short hike a bus takes us via St. Nikolaus to St. Gertraud. Overnight stay in St. Gertraud. Ascent 600 hm / descent 600 hm/ walking time 5 h

Day 3After breakfast we start our hike to the Rabbi Joch at 2.449 m and over the Haselgruber hut and the Haselgrubersee. During a break we enjoy the great view. Afterwards we descend in the direction of Piazzolo. From there a cab takes us further into Val di Sole until we reach the rustic Albergo Lago Rosso (1,178 m). The rustic inn is located in the middle of the Adamello Brenta National Park on the unique Lake Tovel. Overnight stay at the Albergo Lago Rosso. Ascent 1,000 m / Descent 1,100 m / Hiking time 6 h

Day 4Our crossing of the Brenta starts with the ascent through the Val di San Maria della Flavone to the Groste Pass (2,442 m). First we take a shady path through the woods. Later we reach the Malga Flavona alpine pasture, where our path is now narrow and steeply uphill. A lonely and green high valley rewards us for our efforts. Above the tree line, a steep mountain path leads to the pass. Only a few minutes of descent separate us from the Rifugio Graffer (2,261 m) in the middle of the "Madonna di Campiglio" ski area. Grandiose views to the Latemar, Mendelkamm and the Sarntal Alps delight us the whole day. Ascent 1.265 m / Descent 250 m / Walking time 6 h

Day 5: Dream hiking day: Past wild rock towers, the rock face "Crozzon di Brenta" and the "Cima Brenta" we hike through the heart of the Brenta Dolomites. After a short rest at the Tuckett hut we start on a spectacular path over the Brentei hut to the "Bocca di Brenta". At the end of a huge rocky basin we climb over short passages secured by steel ropes to the top of the "Bocca di Brenta" pass at 2,552 m above sea level. Our destination for the day, the Rifugio Pedrotti is located in the middle of the impressive rocky scenery of Cima Brenta Bassa 2.812 m, Cima Brenta Alta and the Croz del Rifuguo 2.568 m. A breathtaking view! Ascent 850 m / Descent 650 m / Walking time 6 h

Day 6: Early the next morning we hike past the south-facing rock faces of the Brenta. On the opposite slope we see the Pedrotti hut only as a small dot between the immense Brenta rocks. Slightly ascending we reach the Forcolotta di Noghera (2,423 m), where we may be able to observe a herd of climbing chamois. First steeply down, then across we continue from there to the Agostini hut, where we strengthen ourselves for the descent to the Cacciatore hut. Overnight stay at the Cacciatore hut. Ascent 840 m / Descent 190 m / Walking time 5 h

Day 7: We drive to the beautiful Tenno Lake. The last and very varied stage leads us up to the San Pietro hut (963 m). From here we have a breathtaking view of the destination of our great mountain hiking week: Lake Garda. We take a short rest at the hut and enjoy the view of our destination. We slowly descend past the waterfalls of Varone. Through olive groves we hike the last kilometers to the shore of Lake Garda at Riva del Garda. A great long distance hike comes to an end! Overnight stay in a hotel on Lake Garda. Ascent 410 m / Descent 830 m / Walking time 5 h

Day 8: Joint return journey to the Texelberg cable car.

Note on program changes: 


All courses and guided tours are conscientiously organized and carried out in accordance with the safety standards of the Vivalpin Mountain and Ski School with qualified specialists (e.g. mountain and ski guides, mountain hiking guides, etc.). The provisional tour program may be adjusted for safety-related reasons, such as bad weather, dangerous conditions, unforeseen natural events or inadequate conditions of the participants. The final program will be decided by the guide on site.

Good physical condition, sure-footedness, head for heights and endurance for daily stages with approx. 8 kg luggage of approx. 7 hours walking time, ascents up to 1.300 Hm and 5 hours in the ascent, descents up to 1.250 Hm. Good preparation is half the battle for multi-day hikes: Get used to your mountain boots and to carrying a backpack. The best way to practice this is on hikes with comparable altitude differences. For your specific preparation we recommend our Intensive training in surefootedness and head for heights.

"The hike from Merano to Lake Garda is my personal recommendation. The stages are fantastic, sometimes wild, sometimes almost Mediterranean and, unlike the classic E5 from Oberstdorf to Merano, there is less hustle and bustle. You could spend weeks in the Brenta Dolomites alone (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)."

Thomas Storck
UIMLA Mountain Guide
Member of the VIVALPIN Competence Team

8 TN

Meeting point at 10:00 am at the Texelbergbahn valley station

AV huts and inn

8 days

Public transport conditionally recommendable

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