Lakes of St. Gotthard

Water

The excursion leading to the lakes of St. Gotthard is truly fascinating due to the presence of magnificent pools of water in which the sky and mountains are reflected with spectacular scenic effects. The significant height is the reason why summer and early fall are the best periods for a hike. The walk is not difficult but it does require a little training and the right equipment. Along the route, which starts from the top of the St. Gotthard Pass (2091 metros), you will come upon the shimmering blue or emerald waters of the lakes, stirred by breezes that ruffle its surface, a truly stunning mesmerising sight!

Itinerary: Lakes of St. Gotthard (5h, see map)


The excursion leading to the lakes of St. Gotthard is truly fascinating due to the presence of numerous, magnificent water pools in which the sky and mountains are reflected with spectacular scenic effects. The path that connects them winds through the wild natural beauty of the Alpine Chain. Framed by towering peaks, it is dotted with large granite boulders perched on flowering meadows and on the shores of the lakes, almost forming a perfect puzzle. Due to its high altitude, it is best hiked either in summer or early fall. The walk is not difficult but it does require a little training and the right equipment.

The route starts from the Hospice situated at the top of the St. Gotthard Pass (2091 metres), which can be reached by car (parking is available) of by PostBus. Following the trail (identified with white/red markings) indicating Orsino-Realp, you head towards the Lucendro Dam. The lake of the same name is particularly striking on account of its intense and somewhat unusual light green colour.

The next expanse of water on the trail is Lake Orsino. Standing at an altitude of 2286 metres its banks are part gravel and part grass, while its waters are of such a deep blue color that they almost seem to be an open eye looking upwards towards the sky. Just a little further you will see a farmhouse.
As you climb upwards you can continue to admire this beautiful small lake while other two are already getting closer: those of the Orsirora. The first is of a deep green color, while the second is blue. Who knows if their name is in some way associated with the past presence of bears in the region? On the way, you will also encounter other two small lakes called Valletta (2468 and 2432 m) and, further on, several more, boasting iridescent blue or emerald waters, that are bizarrely shaped, and which also reflect the sky and the mountains. Set amidst moss and rocks, these sparkling pools of water, stirred by light breezes that ripple their surface, will most definitely enchant visitors. They are all beautiful, whether you decide to stop and admire them from their banks, immersed in silence, or whether you decide to view them from above.

Along the route you will be surrounded by Alpine flora and fauna and who knows, you might even happen to chance upon a few timid marmots.
The trail takes around 5 hours without stops.

To complete your tour, you can also take the chance to visit the National Museum of St. Gotthard which, thanks to documents, reconstructions, and videos, highlights the importance of this route as a link between the north and south.