This itinerary leads us to discover a path which is off the beaten track: you will be able to take your time walking at your own speed through nature, with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.
You reach Passo Feudo with the two lifts which set off from the town of Predazzo: with the bubble car you reach Gardonè, with the chairlift you then reach Rifugio Passo Feudo.
Once you reach Passo Feudo, head downhill along the forestry road. Just before reaching the flat section, on the left, you will see signposts for “Baito Sugadoi” and “Funivie Gardonè”. Start walking along the path which cuts across the slope below Rifugio Passo Feudo, passing almost straight under the chairlift.
You will be surrounded by high mountain pastures and endless amounts of coloured flowers. The paths reaches a small valley which has a stream running through it. Continue along the side of the mountain, and walk slightly uphill. Along the path you will find some cows’ drinking troughs: they too spend their summer holidays in the mountains.
It is an easy ascent. There is a section where you pass through rocks and fir trees and just after this you will find a path which goes down towards Funivia Monte Gardonè (1 hour’s walk). Ignore this signpost and follow the sign which indicates “Bait Sugadoi 0.35 min” and “Funivie Gardonè 2.40 hours”.
The path climbs up through the meadows. You will notice quite a big rock, with holes in the ground around it: these have been made by 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 meadow’s surface. 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 an apparent “danger” approaching (man, animals, birds) it whistles to warn the rest of the family. This is the signal to start running back towards shelter. They are very clever aren’t they?
If you hear a marmot whistle, try and find out where the sound is coming from! With a bit of training you will be able to see the “sentinel”: still, in an erect position, scrutinising the surrounding environment ready to run away into its burrow.
As you continue you will reach a small summit: here you can stop for a short break and admire the landscape. You will see the Sella massif with Piz Boè, Marmolada’s south face, the Pale di San Martino, Lagorai’s mountain chain, Monte Agnello and the Latemar slopes. Below, further down, the town of Predazzo.
Here you will see cows at pasture and the sound of their bells contributes to your relaxing into the full alpine atmosphere. During summer cows eat the grass and flowers of the pasture which make the taste of farm cheese all the more intense compared to the cheese produced during the remainder of the year. Look for it in the dairies of Cavalese and Predazzo, taste it and savour its goodness!
Continue along the path, which is flat and then slightly downhill. You will notice a red and white roof sticking out from a dip on the left. In a few minutes you will reach the small “Bait dei Sugadoi” (2196 m) situated in a basin which protects it from the wind. The hut is built from 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 gradually, beyond the pasture, you will find the first trees: larches, spruces, dwarf, pinus cembra. You will find some rhododendrons: the prettiest blooms are in July, when they all turn into what looks like a beautiful pink cushion.
Keep following the red and white CAI signposts (it is the signposts which indicate the path) and do not bother with the blue marks you find on trees and rocks: they only mark the borders between communal land but do not lead anywhere.
Continue downhill with sections running through the woods, with majestic trees whose foliage reaches the ground, alternating with pastures full of snow, and if you haven’t done so, it is an invitation to take a break for a well-deserved picnic. There is a section which is a bit steeper and ends at a junction with a forestry road. Ignore sign posts to the left (they lead to “Le Prese – Valsorda”) and continue downhill, on the right, onto the cobble stone road. On a bend you will find information boards, follow indications for “Malga Baita Gardonè”
Now leave the dirt road to follow a path which goes up and down through a pine wood carpeted with dry pine needles and then larch trees with green grass. You will see some cows grazing here too.
We soon arrive at the Dragon Forest one of the three easy theme paths for families and children at Gardonè. If you still have enough energy left or you have children in your group, a walk in the Dragon Forest is well worthwhile. Otherwise continue to the right, towards the departure point for the bubble car which takes you back to Predazzo and the Baita Gardonè where you can rest and have a delicious bite to eat.
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 fairly constant, so 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 it will be difficult to resist the temptation of indulging in a delicious cake at the hut.