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Garda Trek - Top Loop: The crown of Garda Trentino

· 1 review · Long distance hiking trail · Garda Trentino · Open
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  • View from the Bastione: Riva del Garda
    View from the Bastione: Riva del Garda
    Photo: Archivio APT Garda Trentino, North Lake Garda Trentino

7 challenging stages from one mountain hut to the next, from the shores of the lake to 2000 m and above, touching on all of the peaks surrounding the northern shores of Lake Garda.

Distance 92.5 km
47:00 h
7,956 m
6,297 m
2,058 m
89 m

A crown formed of mountain peaks and a series of unforgettable views, taking you from the lake shore to over 2000 metres above sea level. A challenging trek full of thrills and surprises, and crowning it all, the return to the starting point by ferry.

The highest circuit of Garda Trek (Top Loop) is made up of 7 stages which can be done one after the other or on separate occasions and the treks can also be cut short if needs be. There are in fact a number of different options for getting back to Riva del Garda, either on foot or by public transport. During your hike along the Top Loop you can sleep either in mountain huts or in hotels in the valley, experiencing different kinds of accommodation. 

As a rule, the Top Loop can be hiked from June to October, but it is always advisable to check whether or not there is still any snow before setting out.

Please note that the Top Loop is a very challenging hike, which requires training and alpine skills. 


Author’s recommendation

 From palms and olive trees up to pastures and mountain pine: the Top Loop summerizes the variety of landscapes offered by Garda Trentino.  


Profile picture of Staff Outdoor Garda Trentino VB
Staff Outdoor Garda Trentino VB 
Update: April 06, 2023
Highest point
Monte Altissimo, 2,058 m
Lowest point
Riva del Garda, 89 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 7.93%Dirt road 19.23%Forested/wild trail 3.82%Path 61.35%Road 6.45%Unknown 1.20%
7.3 km
Dirt road
17.8 km
Forested/wild trail
3.5 km
56.8 km
6 km
1.1 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Canale di Tenno medieval village
Ristoro San Giovanni
Rifugio Malga San Giovanni

Safety information

This excursion is only recommended from June to mid-October.


Safety Tips

  1. Choose itineraries that suit your physical and technical abilities. Collect information about the area you are visiting and the trail’s conditions and get a detailed trekking map.
  2. Wear clothes and take equipment that suit the difficulty and length of your tour. Keep emergency gear in your rucksack, including first aid supplies.
  3. Do not go walking alone in the mountains. In any case, tell someone where you are going and report back on returning.
  4. Look at the weather forecast before setting off and always keep an eye on the weather.
  5. In case of doubt, go back. It is better to give up than risk bad weather or face difficulties beyond your strength, ability and equipment.
  6. Do not leave marked paths and do not take shortcuts.
  7. All described walks are in a natural environment and therefore their use is at your own risk.

This information is subject to inevitable variations, so none of these indications are absolute. It is not entirely possible to avoid giving inexact or imprecise information, given how quickly environmental and weather conditions can change. For this reason, we decline any responsibility for changes which the user may encounter. In any case, it is advisable to check environment and weather conditions before setting out.

Tips and hints

For information on the conditions along the trails and whether or not the mountain huts are open you can contact the local offices of the mountaineering association (SAT - Società Alpinisti Tridentini). In Garda Trentino there are clubs in Riva del Garda and Arco

For more information on routes, services (guides, mountain huts, shops etc.) and hiking friendly accommodation: Garda Trentino - +39 0464 554444



Riva del Garda (88 m)
45.886981, 10.837777
45°53'13.1"N 10°50'16.0"E
32T 642592 5083132


Riva del Garda

Turn-by-turn directions

The trek begins and ends in Riva del Garda and is entirely on SAT hiking trails which present no particular technical difficulties but can at times be exposed and therefore require experience and attention to safety. For details see the description of the individual  stages:

Public transport


The main towns in Garda Trentino - Riva del Garda, Arco, Torbole sul Garda, Nago – are connected by several urban and intercity bus lines which will take you to the starting point of tours or in the immediate surroundings.

You can also get to Riva del Garda and Torbole sul Garda by the public ferry service.

Up-to-date information on timetables and routes.


By road

A22 motorway, exit: Rovereto Sud - Lago di Garda. Then SS240 in the direction of Riva del Garda. 

Find out how to reach Garda Trentino.



Parking near the former hospital (Via Rosmini) or the former cemetery (Viale Damiano Chiesa).

Paid parking: Terme Romane (Viale Roma), Vecchia stazione (Largo Medaglie d’Oro), Ex-agraria (Via Lutti), Area ex-Cattoi (Viale Rovereto).


45.886981, 10.837777
45°53'13.1"N 10°50'16.0"E
32T 642592 5083132
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

Garda Trentino TREKKING Map – Available in the info points of Garda Trentino (Riva del Garda, Arco, Torbole sul Garda, Ledro, Comano Terme)


You need to wear the right clothing and take the proper gear when you go hiking in the mountains. Even on relatively short easy outings make sure to take all you need so you don't run into trouble if things take an unexpected turn, for example a storm blows up or you have a sudden drop in energy levels.

What should you take when you go on a hike?

Your rucksack (for a day trip a 25/30L capacity should do) should contain:

  • water canteen (1L)
  • snacks (e.g. mixed dried fruit or chocolate)
  • First aid kit
  • windproof jacket
  • fleece
  • change of t-shirt and socks (in a plastic bag)
  • make sure to wear or at least bring a pair of long trousers
  • hat
  • sun screen
  • sunglasses
  • gloves
  • whistle to attract attention in an emergency


Make sure you're wearing the right footwear for the trail and season. The going can get rough and rocky underfoot and a pair of hiking boots will protect you from sprains. When wet, a grassy slope, rocky slab or steep trail can be dangerous unless you are wearing the proper footwear.

And finally... don't forget to bring your camera! You'll need it to capture the stunning views you come across all over Garda Trentino. And if you like, you can share your memories with us at #GardaTrentino.

Emergency telephone number 112.

Questions and answers

Question from Markéta Šimková · July 25, 2022 · Community
Hi, I would like to walk this rout in the middle of August this year. Please, dont you know if it is possible? Are all the routes open/or with some alternatives? And are there many ladders/via ferrate like parts? I would like to do go on this hike with my dog. Thank you very much.
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Hallo Marketa, during the hike there are no via ferratas but some parts may be exposed. At the moment there is a small part of the path above Nago, which is closed but you can easily bypass it. Remember to bring water with you and to book the refuges in advance.
Question from Myrthe Datema · May 14, 2022 · Community
Me and a friend of mine are planning on doing the Garda Trek Top loop this summer (beginning of July). Does anybody know if all the stages are opened? Recommendations and reviews are welcome as well!
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Buongiorno, you can walk Garda Trek Loop. Stage 2: Sentiero della Regina is closed, so you have to walk the alternative route Rifugio San Pietro is closed at the moment, but it should open asap. For further information, do not hesistate to contact us
2 more replies
Question from Guido Lattuneddu · June 29, 2020 · Community
Buongiorno, scusate il disturbo, voglio sapere semplicemente che cosa significa che il Top Loop è chiuso. Dovrei farlo ad Agosto con mio fratello e quindi volevo sapere se per caso in quel periodo sarà aperto. Vi ringrazio per l'attenzione e il vostro tempo.
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Buongiorno Guido, sono ancora presenti degli schianti nella zona del Monte Creino (parte sentiero 637 - tappa 5). Stiamo lavorando per liberare il sentiero quanto prima, quindi la invito a ricontattarci prima di iniziare il trekking.


Bruno Arndt
February 17, 2022 · Community
Wir sind Ende September den Top Loop gegangen. Etappe 4 & 5 mussten wir wegen der geschlossener Hütte umplanen. Grundsätzlich: Aussicht sehr schön, Trittfestigkeit sollte vorhanden sein, ebenso Fähigkeiten im Bergauf- & bergabsteigen. Negativ: Etappe 1 & 6 (vermutlich auch 4) führen über weite Teile durch den Wald, ohne nennenswerte Aussicht. Etappe 2 & 3 sowie 7 sind sehr schön. Etappe 7 haben wir noch verlängert über den Telegraf um dann in der Hütte zu schlafen. Aufstieg Etappe 1 und 6, insbesondere 1 sehr stark. Wenn ich die Tour nochmals gehen würde, würde ich mir für die Waldstrecken Alternativen suchen.
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Photos from others

92.5 km
47:00 h
7,956 m
6,297 m
Highest point
2,058 m
Lowest point
89 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Scenic Summit route Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Flora Insider tip


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Maps and trails
  • 7 Stages
Long distance hiking trail · Garda Trentino
Garda Trek - Top Loop 1: from Riva del Garda to Rifugio Pernici
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 1 Open
Distance 13.7 km
Duration 7:00 h
Ascent 1,822 m
Descent 317 m

This stage counts nearly 1600 metres of elevation gain, from the mediterranean shores of Lake Garda to the alpine peaks between Garda Trentino and ...

from Staff Outdoor Garda Trentino VB,   Garda Trentino
Long distance hiking trail · Garda Trentino
GardaTrek - Top Loop 2: descent to Lake Tenno
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 2 closed
Distance 11.6 km
Duration 5:00 h
Ascent 678 m
Descent 1,305 m

This stage goes from a hut to the next, from Nino Pernici to San Pietro, touching the verdant shores of lake Tenno and the evocative medieval ...

from Staff Outdoor Garda Trentino VB,   Garda Trentino
Long distance hiking trail · Garda Trentino
GardaTrek - Top Loop 3: a long descent to the River Sarca
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 3 Open
Distance 20.3 km
Duration 7:55 h
Ascent 1,418 m
Descent 2,269 m

From San Pietro hut (1000 m above sea level) to the valley bottom again. Another stage characterized by a great variety of lanscapes as you ...

from Staff Outdoor Garda Trentino VB,   Garda Trentino
Long distance hiking trail · Garda Lake
GardaTrek - Top Loop 4: to the balcony over Lake Garda
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 4 Open
Distance 16.3 km
Duration 7:50 h
Ascent 1,917 m
Descent 16 m

Another uphill stage! From the bottom of the valley there is almost 2000 metres of elevation gain to get to one of the most spectacular viewing ...

from Staff Outdoor Garda Trentino VB,   Garda Trentino
Long distance hiking trail · Garda Trentino
GardaTrek - Top Loop 5: Across the former Austrian Front
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 5 Open
Distance 12.3 km
Duration 4:00 h
Ascent 0 m
Descent 1,797 m

A breathtaking descent from the over 2000 metres a.s.l. of the pastures of Monte Stivo to Nago in the valley floor, across the former front of teh ...

from Staff Outdoor Garda Trentino VB,   Garda Trentino
Long distance hiking trail · Garda Trentino
GardaTrek - Top Loop 6: In the Garden of Europe
recommended route Difficulty difficult Stage 6 Open
Distance 11.3 km
Duration 7:00 h
Ascent 1,839 m
Descent 0 m

This stage takes you to Monte Baldo, renowned for the exceptional variety of its flora (it's therefore known as "Garden of Europe") and the ...

from Staff Outdoor Garda Trentino VB,   Garda Trentino
Long distance hiking trail · Garda Trentino
GardaTrek - Top Loop 7: Back to the water
recommended route Difficulty moderate Stage 7 Open
Distance 7.6 km
Duration 2:50 h
Ascent 345 m
Descent 655 m

A breathtaking finale for the Top Loop of GardaTrek: take the cable car down to Monte Baldo and return by ferry to get back to where you started ...

from Staff Outdoor Garda Trentino VB,   Garda Trentino
Distance  km
Duration : h
Ascent  m
Descent  m
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