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Monte San Primo excursion

The excursion to Monte San Primo is a very popular destination due to its simple and danger-free route, but above all it offers a panorama that takes your breath away.

Monte San Primo excursion

Excursion to Monte San Primo , the peak of the Como Prealps, the highest in the Larian triangle (1,682 m).

It is a peak very popular with hikers and families thanks to a simple and danger-free route (there are several climbing routes) and a spectacular panorama that has no equal, in which the view extends 360 degrees dominating both branches of Lake Como below, the Como Prealps, the Alps (often recognizable as Monte Rosa ) and the Po Valley.

On extremely clear days you can even see the northern Apennines. Indeed, some consider it the most panoramic mountain in the entire area between Como and Lecco !

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

1. Monte San Primo path from Piano Rancio

General informations

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

You begin the climb heading towards Alpe Borgo , and go up along a small asphalt road in the middle of very green meadows.

You quickly reach Alpe Borgo (about 15 minutes) and take the path that slopes off to the right.

Following the white and red signs you then enter a tree-lined stretch which in summer provides the only shade on 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 Difesala , Dorsale , Terrabiotta and Colma di Sormano .

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

Therefore, taking the path again, which is a bit bumpy in this section, in half an hour you reach the Terrabiotta alp, where it reconnects with the dirt road coming from Colma di Sormano (see the next route).

The first breathtaking view opens up: from the south-west, 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 Due Mani , Grigne Group, Bellagio and the upper lake, Tremezzina.

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

2. Monte San Primo path from Colma di Sormano

General informations

From Sormano you can reach Colma di Sormano, where there is the possibility of parking.

From here, take the dirt path immediately near the "La Colma" refreshment point, heading north, reaching the Insieme Alp (1238m above sea level) after about 50 minutes, recognizable by a splendid beech tree. 

Here behind us the view opens up on the Grigne and the Resegone.

Continuing the path, always well signposted, you reach a bubble (in the photo) from which you can begin to glimpse the Lecco branch of Lake Como and the Terrabiotta Alp, thus rejoining the path that goes up from Piano Rancio .

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

However, in another hour's walk you reach the summit, with its wonderful view.

Paths to the summit of Monte San Primo from Alpe di Terrabiotta

To the west, however, the path continues which presents you with two possibilities : continue along the dirt road which climbs gently halfway up to the summit, or follow the ridge which, with a little more effort, offers a satisfying route. of ups and downs and wonderful views.

For both routes it is necessary to calculate at least 1 hour of walking , also because in some points you will not be able not to stop and enjoy the view!

Summit and Panorama: Monte San Primo excursion

The last stretch, where the slope increases significantly, is common to both choices.

Hold on 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 Geographic Institute. But the wonder is all about the view!

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

Descent and stop at the Martina Refuge

For the descent, you can follow the same itinerary as the ascent. If you want to complete the circular tour instead, you can descend towards the Martina refuge (1221m above sea level) at the Picitt alp and from here return to the initial car park.

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

Some advice for the excursion on Monte San Primo

  • Wherever you leave from, be equipped with water in the summer! 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: you may need crampons or, sometimes, even snowshoes.
  • In case of snow, the last part of the path that climbs the coast towards the summit from Terrabiotta is often closed. We recommend that you always respect the instructions so as not to put yourself and others at risk!
Thanks to Martina Sangianini , Martina Marzorati and Piera Anastasia for sending us some shots of the path.

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