(duration 3 h – medium difficulty – length 7,3 km – altitude difference 675 m)
Let’s discover a path off the beaten track: take your time and walk at your own speed through nature, with magnificent views on the surrounding mountains.
You reach Passo Feudo with the two lifts starting from Predazzo: cable car Predazzo-Gardonè and chairlift Gardonè-Passo Feudo.
Once you reach Passo Feudo, head downhill along the forestry road. Before the flat section on the left, you see the signposts “Baito Sugadoi” and “Funivie Gardonè”. Walk along the path across the slope below Rifugio Passo Feudo, passing almost straight under the chairlift.
Surrounded by high mountain pastures and endless amounts of coloured flowers, the path leads to a small valley with a stream running through it. Continue along the mountain side and walk slightly uphill. Along the path you find some cows, they love spending their summer holidays in the mountains!
The ascent is easy. There is a section of rocks and fir trees and just after you find a path going down towards Funivia Monte Gardonè (1 hour walk). Ignore this signpost and follow the sign indicating “Bait Sugadoi 0.35 min” and “Funivie Gardonè 2.40 hours”.
The path climbs up through the meadows. You will notice a big rock, with holes around it on ther ground, made by the busy marmots. You might be able to hear them whistle. Do you know why they whistle? Marmots live in groups and dig their burrows below the meadows. The burrow has various entrances, some are very distant one from another. While the majority of the family is in the burrow or eating outside on the meadows, one of them stands guard. When there is “danger” (man, animals, birds) it whistles to warn the rest of the family. This is the signal for running back towards the shelter. They are clever, aren’t they?
If you hear a marmot whistle, try and find out where the sound is coming from! With some training you will be able to see the “sentinel”: standing still in an erect position, scrutinising the surrounding environment ready to run away into its burrow.
As you continue you reach a small summit where you can stop for a short break and admire the landscape. You will see the Sella massif with Piz Boè, Marmolada south face, the Pale di San Martino, Lagorai mountain chain, Monte Agnello and the Latemar slopes. Below, further down, the village of Predazzo.
Here you see cows at pasture and the sound of their bells contributes to your full relaxation in this alpine atmosphere. During the summer cows eat grass and pasture flowers and this helps making a tasty farm cheese, more tasty than the cheese produced during the rest of the year. Look for it in the dairies of Cavalese and Predazzo, it is so special!
Continue along the flat path going then slightly downhill. You will notice a red and white roof on the left. In a few minutes you reach the small “Bait dei Sugadoi” (2196 m) situated in a basin and protected from the wind. The hut is built in stone and wood and there is a table with benches on the meadow, ideal for a short break or for lunch.
The path continues downhill and beyond the pasture you find the first trees: larches, spruces, dwarf, pinus cembra. You will see some rhododendrons: the blossoming is in July, when they all turn into a beautiful pink cushion.
Keep following the red and white CAI signpost indicating the path; do not bother with the blue marks you find on trees and rocks: they only mark the borders between municipality land, but do not lead anywhere.
Continue downhill through the woods with majestic trees with foliage reaching the ground, alternating with pastures and take a break for a well-deserved pic-nic. There is a section a bit steeper ending at a junction with a forestry road. Ignore the signposts to the left leading to “Le Prese–Valsorda”, and continue downhill, on the cobble stone road to the right. On a bend you will find information boards, follow the sign to “Malga Baita Gardonè”.
Leave the dirt road and follow the path going up and down through a pine wood carpeted with dry pine needles and larch trees on green grass. You will surely see some cows grazing.
We soon arrive at the Dragon Forest one of the three easy thematic paths for families and children in Gardonè. If you still have enough energy left or if you have children in your group, don’t miss a walk in the Dragon Forest. Otherwise continue to the right towards the cable car start, taking you back to Predazzo and the Baita Gardonè where you can rest and eat some delicious food.
This itinerary can also be done in the opposite direction: leaving from Gardonè and arriving at the Rifugio Passo Feudo. The vertical height gain is 700 m, the uphill gradient is constant so that the path is never too difficult. If you decide to follow the path in this direction, when you reach the Passo Feudo your effort will be rewarded with a magnificent view and you won’t resist to the temptation of indulging in a delicious cake at the mountain hut.