The Rifugio means a small mountain hut where climbers can take refuge from the elements. These huts often provide food and accommodation for the serious climbers. The Menaggio Rifugio sits at a height of approximately 1400 metres on the southern slopes of Monte Grona (1736m). This hike will take you around 4-5 hours there and back and is classed as a difficult climb. Parts of which you only have a 2ft wide path to walk along with no barriers and a long drop down.
The hike starts from the town of Breglia which can be reached by the C13 bus from Menaggio. From Breglia take the road leading up to Monti di Breglia, the signpost will read Rifugio Menaggio. At the second bend in this road (just after the fountain) there is a shortcut to your right which is signposted Monti di Breglia/Rifugio Menaggio. Follow this steep trail which eventually brings you out on to the road again which you need to cross over in order to take the next shortcut. Walk for approximately 20m after which you then turn right and follow the sign for Rifugio Menaggio. Continue along this steep trail which leads onto another road which you follow fo r another 300m. Turn to your left crossing the field, after which you have to cross the road once more and walk through a wooded area which leads onto the road at Monti di Breglia. Just a litlte further along you will reach a lovely picnic area with a fountain. Stop and catch your breath as well as having a drink of water. From this point you leave the road behind and continue to follow the rocky trail to the left which will be signed. Once you reach the large ‘parking’ area, cross it and pick up the trail to the left. On arriving at the junction you will see a metal sign indicating the trail – “Sentiero alto” to the right or “Sentiero basso” to the left.
The best views are on the trail to your right (Sentiero alto) which takes you through birch trees and broom up to the junction for S.Amate and Monte Bregagno. Keep to the left at this junction. The trail starts to even out leading you along the slopes and onto the Rifugio. Just another 10 minutes from here there is a fantastic viewpoint called “Pizza Coppa” where you can see across Lake Como, Menaggio valley, Lake Piano and Lake Lugano.
You must pay attention when hiking along some of the narrow rugged pathways with the shear drops. Always wear the correct clothing and footwear and ensure that you have some snacks and water packed away in a rucksack. Remember to be sensible in the hot sun and if you are planning a long hike, don’t wait until midday to start. Leave early when the weather is at it’s coolest.
Please note that after heavy snowfall it is recommended to take the Sentiero basso trail to the left.