Upper and Lower Lake Sella
Upper and Lower Lake Sella

Upper and Lower Lake Sella

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Fairly long excursion that offers the most striking panoramic views along the tract from Lower to Upper Lake Sella. Possibility to stay overnight at the refuge.

After the path reaches the Livio Bianco Refuge, the environment shows clear signs of the effects of the most recent glaciations (a well-sculpted glacial bowl, scarred, sheepbacked rocks, ...). Upper Lake Sella, the trek's destination, is the largest body of water in the Park of the Maritime Alps.

2 points of interest

  • History and historical trail

    The place name "Vallone della Meris"

    The Vallone della Meris (or, in the masculine, the Vallone del Merìs, pronounced with an accent on the 'i', differently from the normal pronunciation) owes its name to its favorable exposure,"a meriggio", at the meridian, which provides warmth and light.

  • History and historical trail

    The place name "Chiot de la Sela"

    This place, known as Chiot de la Sela, probably dervied its name from the past presence of a small "sella", a stone structure with a barrel vault, usually partially underground, which was used to store food). Chiot de la Sela was the location of the Royal Hunting Lodges, used by the Savoys when they hosted hunting parties in the Vallone della Meris.


Departing from Sant'Anna di Valdieri (980 m), the route comes to a fork near the Gias del Lago (2 hours and 50 minutes from Sant'Anna di Valdieri), following the same route as the itinerary to the "Livio Bianco" Refuge {->06}.
Instead of turning left towards the Refuge, however, the path to Lake Sella follows the right fork, which cuts diagonally uphill across the grassy, rock-strewn slope.
The trail reaches the foot of a large bastion of sheepbacked rocks, passing to the right of them with numerous switchbacks, many of them retracing the old mule track, which reappears at this point. When the path reaches the flat portion on which stands the Gias Gros, the intermediate Lake Sella is visible on the left.
After crossing the meadow, the path continues upward through detritic ground; the mule track, winding tortuously, passes around another imposing bastion of rock and reaches a hunting blind, and then forks just at the foot of the waterfall formed by the runoff from Upper Lake Sella.
The left fork, which should be ignored, crosses the spillway and climbs up to Colle di Valmiana; following the right fork, hikers instead rapidly come to the lovely Upper Lake Sella(2331 m, 1 hour and 25 minutes from the fork at the Gias del Lago), whose 123,000 square meters form the largest body of water in the Park.

  • Departure : Sant'Anna di Valdieri (980 m)
  • Arrival : Upper Lake Sella (2330 m)
  • Towns crossed : Valdieri

Altimetric profile


Is in the midst of the park
The national park is an unrestricted natural area but subjected to regulations which must be known by all visitors.


Nuova Benese service company - Regular line Cuneo, Valdieri, Entracque - Telephone: 00 39 (0) 171 69 29 29 - www.benese.it

SNCF line TER Provence Alpes-Côte d'Azur For travel in the PACA region and towards Cuneo www.ter-sncf.com/pac

Trenitalia for travel in the Piedmont region https://www.trenitalia.com/it.html

Access and parking

Drive up the Valle Gesso from Borgo San Dalmazzo. After passing Valdieri, continue on towards Terme until you reach Sant'Anna.

Parking :

Sant'Anna di Valdieri

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