The Gorge della Reina
An impressive canyon between calcareous rock faces, the Gorge della Reina, is the main attraction on this excursion. There are splendid early blooms in the springtime - including a number of species of wild orchids - thanks to the mild climate.
2 points of interest
- History and historical trail
La Réino JanoThe toponym of the Gorge della Reina refers to Queen Giovanna d'Angiò, who ascended the throne of the Kingdom of Naples in 1343 on the death of her uncle Roberto, at the age of only 16. Her life, decidedly adventurous but not excessively lucky, brought her only sporadically
to take refuge in search of rest and tranquility in the lands of the Cuneo area; however, this was enough to make her enter into myths and legends with the decidedly more popular name of "Rèino Jano".
Le Gorge della ReinaTradition has it that Queen Giovanna (the Reino Jano, hence the toponym of the gorges) refused to marry the son of the King of France. The latter, angry at her refusal, moved to meet her with her army. The Queen then took refuge in Roaschia, awaiting the events. The troops of the son of the King of France, who lined up on the top of the mountain to gain a dominant position before launching the attack, were however plunged by divine wrath into the abyss of the gorges, which opened up below them.
At the end of Corso Francia, in Entracque (922 m) the route begins on a small unpaved road that immediately turns into a mule track and begins to climb uphill through the forest. The mule track cuts across midslope and crosses over the Rio Costabella on a stone bridge.
On the other side, the track passes by the turnoff to the left (the trail is used for the return leg) and continues at a very slight uphill incline through the forest. At an unmarked fork, the route takes the trail on the right, downhill and over a wooden bridge spanning a torrent. After a brief uphill stretch, the trail reaches a dirt road: by following this to the right, hikers can enjoy a quick detour to the charming hamlet of Tetti Violin (1042 m, 35 minutes from Entracque, fountain).
Backtracking to the last fork, the route now turns right until the next turnoff, where it turns right on a wide mule track.
The mule track climbs up into the woods and splits into two footpaths: the route follows the one on the left, entering a copse of beeches, and then emerges at the foot of imposing calcareous cliffs.
Turning left, the route crosses a stream and winds uphill once more. After a few meters, there is a turnoff to the right on a trail heading uphill: this second detour leads to the mouth of the deep and narrow canyon of the Gorge della Reina (1190 m, 40 minutes from Tetti Violin).
When the snow that piles up in the gorge has melted, hikers can walk to the very end of the canyon, where there is a small but high waterfall. The path may be slippery and caution is advised. Rocks may also fall from the canyon walls.
Backtracking once again to the main trail, the route climbs steeply up to the grassy pastures and the ruins of Tetti Stramondin (1228 m, 20 minutes from the Gorge della Reina).
Descending on the opposite slope, the route immediately passes by the turnoff on the right for Colletto della Lausa and instead continues straight on. The route descends the Vallone di Costabella, remaining in the woods, with a few switchbacks and some traverses leading to a clearing. Here the route stays to the right, ignoring a turnoff to the left, and a few meters further downvalley it meets up with an old, rough mule track. The route follows this to the left, beside the Rio Costabella, until it returns to the stone bridge crossed at the beginning of the excursion. The route then follows the path backward to Entracque (922 m, 30 minutes from Tetti Stramondin).
- Departure : Entracque, Chapel of Sant'Antonio (922 m)
- Arrival : Entracque, Chapel of Sant'Antonio (922 m)
- Towns crossed : Entracque
Access and parking
From Borgo San Dalmazzo drive up the Valle Gesso. After passing Valdieri, turn left for Entracque. At the entry to Entracque, follow the signs and turn left for Trinità until you reach the Chapel of Sant'Antonio.
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Campeggio Il bosco
The small campsite is located in a quiet and panoramic position about 2 km from the center of Entracque. Il Bosco has 50 grass pitches (23 occupied by permanent guests) and provides toilets and showers with free hot water, bar service. The campsite is the ideal place to stop for access to the via ferrata, mtb routes and walks.