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Lake Darengo

At an altitude of nearly 2000 metres hidden at the end of a glacial valley and surrounded by pinnacles of bare rock is lago Darengo, a crystal clear mountain lake that’s fed all year round by patches of melting snow. In the beautiful valley leading to the lake, full of streams and waterfalls, you are able to admire typical alpine vegetation. The hike is not difficult but one has to deal with its length and ascent. Possibility spend the night in one of the self catering mountain huts.

  • Rifugio Pianezza – resrvation and keys with Mr. Ranzetta, Livo tel. (+39) 338 7485410
  • Rifugio Capanna Como reservation on-line  www.caicomo.it – gather keys at Livo, Bar Trattoria S. Anna tel. 0344 85756

Description

Car route: From Gravedona, leave the lake side road at the height of Albergo 2000, and pick up the provincial road Sp4 in the direction of Peglio, Livo, Dosso del Liro. Just before arriving at the town Peglio stands the church Saint Eusebio from where you have a superb view of the valley and of the lake. Worth a stop.  From Peglio cross the Pian dei Gorghigli to Livo.
If you wish to proceed along the mountain road in the direction of Dangri, you have to pay a fee of 1 euro. Outside the townhall of Livo there is a ticket machine. Near the cemetery, just outside Livo, there are some parking spaces.  The mountain road to Crotto Dangri (quite narrow at at some places bumby) descends into the valley and ends at Crotto Dangri – a typical inn – where you park the car.

Walking route: the ones travelling by bus get off at the bus terminal at Livo (665 m). You cross the picturesque village following the trail signs n°4 of the Via dei Monti Lariani, a trail of 125 km along the west side of the lake which connects the rural mountain settlements.
At he exit of the village you continue along the mountain road leading to Crotto Dangri. You pass the cemetery where the beautiful 14th century church S. Giacomo stands.
The road descends into the Livo Valley  to Dangri. Once at Dangri (659 m 0.45 min) you pass the inn called Crotto Dangri (open  almost all year) and cross the beautiful old roman bridge. On the other side of the bridge, you turn left leaving at this point the Via dei Monti Lariani n°4 which continues to the right.
From here onwards you follow the red white red trail signs. An old mule track leads up in 40 wide bends to the settlement of Baggio, passing by S. Anna, a small baroque Sanctuary. From the fountain on the left of the settlement Baggio (970 m, 1.35 hrs from Livo), you follow the trail along the steep slopes, into the valley. You reach a bridge which you cross. From here it goes uphill to Borgo, a group of mountain huts.
Continuing along the stream you reach another bridge which you do not cross. You remain on the left side of the stream. After a long stretch through beech woods you reach a pasture where there is a beautiful old stone bridge over the stream. The beautiful  pasture is called Pianezza (1260m, 3.00hrs from Livo). On the other side of the bridge stands Rifugio Pianezza.
You do not cross the bridge but you continue on the left side of the stream through the valley with its beautiful vegetation and little streams. You reach Alpe Darengo (1380 m, 3.45 hrs from Livo). Paying attention to the signs you cross the pasture and then arrive at the rocky stream bed which you cross. From here the steep final climb to the lake starts. Just before getting to the lake you pass closed down Rifugio Lago Darengo. .On the edge of the glacial lake that is about 10 meters deep, stands Capanna Como (1790 m, 4.30 hrs from Livo).

Note: Lago Darengo is situated on the Alta Via, a 4 day hiking trail that only expert hikers should undertake. The starting point is S. Bartolomeo, above Gera Lario. Then the track passes Bivacco Ledù on lago Ledù, lago Cavrig, lago Darengo, Rifugio Sant Iorio, Rifugio Giovo, Rifugio Sommafiume and ends at the Rifugio Menaggio.

Directions & Parking

Map directions →

Parking

At the cemetery of Livo slightly out of the town (pay a fee of 1 euro)
At Crotto Dangri (pay a fee of 1 euro)

By public transport

Bus line C10 to Dongo bus stop Convento Francescani
From here bus line C18 to Livo.