Giro del Marguareis, stage 04: from Rifugio Mongioie to Rifugio Don Barbera
Giro del Marguareis
Giro del Marguareis, stage 04: from Rifugio Mongioie to Rifugio Don Barbera

4. Giro del Marguareis, stage 04: from Rifugio Mongioie to Rifugio Don Barbera

Archeology and history
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This stage is mostly at low altitude and on easy paths, however, pay attention to the waymarking after Gola della Chiusetta.

After crossing pastures and pine woods, beyond Gola della Chiusetta you are back in a high mountain setting, with scenery typical of a karst environment, dry slopes, lakes transformed into peat bogs and pasture. To note in particular is the typical architecture of the hamlets around Carninopendii aridi, laghi trasformati in torbiere e pascoli. Da notare l'architettura tipica delle borgate di Carnino.

1 point of interest

  • Architecture

    The Chapel of Sant'Erim and the Selle Refuge in Carnino

    The Chapel of Sant'Erim (Chapel of Sant'Elmo) was built following the saint's apparitions here to groups of shepherds. Tradition has it that a mass was celebrated here every year on the day the cattle went up to the mountain pastures.
    The Rifugio Selle di Carnino was built from a shepherds hut by the Ligurian Section of the CAI . It was used until the Second World War when it was seriously
    damaged and definitively abandoned.
    [A. Parodi, R. Pockaj, A. Costa - Nel cuore delle Alpi Liguri, collana Sentieri e Rifugi, Andrea Parodi Editore, 2012, p.42]


From the Rifugio Mongioie (1550 m) take the dirt road to the west. Ignore a dirt track to the right and a little further on, leave the road to take the path to the right towards Carnino Inferiore.
The trail continues for a long time on a slight slope and, ignoring a turning on the left for Viozene, climbs to a junction: on the right the trail for Grotta delle Vene branches off, straight (recommended) takes you to the suspended bridge over the river which flows in the Vallone delle Fuse.
A final uphill traverse reaches the Colla di Carnino (1594 m, 1:00 hours from the Mongioie Refuge). Drop down the opposite side of the pass on a wide path that, near the ruins of Tetti delle Donzelle (1516 m, 0:15 mins from Colla di Carnino), you enter the dirt road coming from Carnino Inferiore.
Follow it to the left and leave it after the second bend to the right: here take the path that breaks off to the left, dropping down quite steeply, crosses the dirt track again lower down, then curves east contouring across the hill to Carnino Inferiore (1359 m, 0:15 mins from Tetti delle Donzelle).
Weaving through the narrow streets of the village you arrive at the surfaced parking area lower down.
Follow the dirt road that leads off to the north-west, leaving it immediately to turn left onto a bridge and take the easy track that goes up to the car park at Carnino Superiore (1384 m, 0:10 mins from Carnino Inferiore).
You cross the village, ignore the junction on the left for Passo Lagarè, and enter the Vallone di Carnino.
The winding path turns along sunny slopes; after passing a fountain, the path cuts across the side of the valley, leaving the junction for Passo delle Mastrelle on the right and reaches the narrow gully of the Gorge della Chiusetta (1811 m, 1:20 hours from Upper Carnino).
The narrow passage, which brings you to the Vallone dei Maestri, leads to a first flat pasture, followed by a second, wider one, site of the recent pasture of the Selle di Carnino and the Chapel of Sant'Erim. Keeping to the right
of the buildings, stay on the path that with a long diagonal through pastures and rocks slowly gains altitude, ignore a fork to the right for the Colle del Pas and finally, after a short steeper stretch, you come to Rifugio Don
Barbera (2079 m, 1:05 hours from the Gola della Chiusetta).

  • Departure : Rifugio Mongioie (1550 m)
  • Arrival : Rifugio Don Barbera (2079 m)
  • Towns crossed : Ormea and Briga Alta

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.

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