Monte San Primo excursion

Monte San Primo excursion: the two ascent paths!

Excursion to Monte San Primo, the top of the Como Pre-Alps, is the highest in the Como triangle (1,682 m).

It is a very popular peak for hikers and families by virtue of a simple and safe route (there are several ascent routes) and a spectacular panorama that has no equal, in which the gaze extends to 360 degrees dominating both branches of Lake Como below, the Como Pre-Alps, the Alps (often recognizable the Monte Rosa) and the Po Valley.

On extremely clear days you can even see the northern Apennines. Not for nothing else, some consider it the most panoramic mountain in the whole territory Como And Lecco!

We present you two climbing routes to reach the summit: a shorter one with a greater difference in height, the other longer with a lesser slope (more suitable for children or the less trained).

1. Monte San Primo path from Piano Rancio

At the Ghisallo pass, turning left and following the indication "San Primo”, you reach Piano Rancio where we suggest you leave your car at the ski lifts (after the Genzianella restaurant on the right).

You start the climb aiming at direction Alpe Borgo, and go up an asphalted road in the middle of very green meadows. You will soon reach Alpe Borgo (about 15 minutes) and take the path that branches off sloping to the right.

Following the white and red signs, you then enter a tree-lined section which in summer grants the only shade along the route (enjoy it!)

After a few more minutes of walking, you emerge from the vegetation to reach a crossroads (about 15 minutes) where you will find directions to follow towards: Alpe Spessola, Dorsal, Terrabiotta And Fill of Sormano.

Thanks to Martina Sangianini for sending us some shots of the trail.

Resuming the path, in this slightly bumpy section, in half an hour you reach Alpe di Terrabiotta, where the dirt road joins up from the Fill of Sormano (see next route).

The first breathtaking view opens up: from the southwest, turning east and then north again: Monte Palanzone, the Po Valley, Lake Pusiano, Monte Cornizzolo, Corni di Canzo, Monte Moregallo, the Lecco branch of Lake Como, Monte Resegone, Monte Two Hands, Grigne Group, Bellagio and the high lake, Tremezzina.

Thanks to Martina Sangianini for sending us some shots of the trail.

2. Monte San Primo path from the Colma di Sormano

  • Round-trip length: about 15km
  • Elevation gain: about 550m
  • Ascent duration: about 3 hours
  • Water on the trail: absent
  • Refreshment points: no one on the trail

From Sormano you reach the top of Sormano, where there is the possibility of parking.

From here, take the dirt path immediately near the "La Colma" refreshment point, heading north, reaching Alpe Spessola (1238m asl) after about 50 minutes, recognizable by a splendid beech tree. Here behind us opens the view of the Grigne and the Resegone.

Continuing along the path, always well signposted, you reach a bubble (in the photo) from which you can begin to glimpse the Lecco branch of the Lake Como and Alpe di Terrabiotta, thus rejoining the path that climbs from Meal plan.

You therefore have the same two choices to continue: coastal path or that along the ridges, more panoramic but with some ups and downs that increase the difference in height to overcome.

In another hour's walk, however, the summit is reached, with its wonderful view.

Trails for reaching the summit of Monte San Primo from Alpe di Terrabiotta

To the west, on the other hand, the path continues which offers you two possibilities: continue along the dirt road which gently climbs halfway up to the summit, or take the ridge which, with a little more effort, offers a rewarding route of ups and downs and wonderful panoramas.

For both paths it is necessary calculate at least 1 hour of walking, also because in some places you won't be able not to stop and enjoy the view!

Peak and Panorama: Monte San Primo Excursion

The last section, in which the slope increases sharply, is common to both choices.

Hold tight at this point, because in a few minutes you will reach the summit: here you will find a cross, two radio antennas and a trigonometric point of the Military Geographical Institute. But the wonder is all for the panorama!

Thanks to Martina Sangianini, Martina Marzorati And Piera Anastasia for sending us some shots of the trail.

Descent and stop at Rifugio Martina

For the descent, you can follow the same itinerary as for the ascent. If, on the other hand, you want to complete the round trip, you can go down towards the Martina refuge (1221m asl) at Alpe dei Picitt and from here return to the initial parking lot.

Be careful though, this descent route is much steeper and bumpier, not recommended if you are inexperienced.

Some advice for the excursion on Monte San Primo

  • Wherever you start from, in summer be provided with water! The trails are mostly in the sun and there are no refreshments once you set off.
  • In winter, find out about the snow situation before leaving: crampons or, sometimes, even snowshoes may be necessary.

  • In case of snow, the last part of the path that from Terrabiotta climbs the coast towards the summit is often closed. We recommend that you always respect the indications present so as not to put yourself and others at risk!

Thanks to Martina Sangianini for sending us some shots of the trail.

We thank the author of the article Martina Sangianini, our super creator.