Steinrast Kofelraster Seen Ulten Seen Ankunft person marketing peer
Steinrast Kofelraster Seen Ulten Seen Ankunft person marketing peer

Hike to the Covolo Lakes

Passing several alpine pastures and grazing cows, the hike in the Val d’Ultimo valley proceeds to the beautiful Covolo Lakes

We start our hiking tour on a beautiful summer day in Pracupola (Kuppelwies) in the Val d'Ultimo valley and drive towards Steinrast, located at approx. 1,720 m a.s.l. Whilst parking our car on the left side of the road, right beneath the mountain tavern, on the right side we already see the first signpost indicating the hiking path which leads into the forest. It is a pleasant August morning with some scattered clouds in the sky. The well signposted path starts rather steep, but after the first 20-minute hike over rough and smooth we reach a half-ruined hut in the middle of sunny alpine meadows and enjoy for a first break. After an hour walking time along the path no. 4/4A through wonderful mountain meadows and forests (300 m of altitude difference), we find ourselves in front of the Malga Kühberg mountain hut. This idyllically situated hut at 2,064 m a.s.l. does not only invite to try the delicious local delicacies, but it offers also overnight stays (upon request).

A fence line defines the grazing areas for the cattle - the path now proceeds cross-country, leading past grazing and ruminating cows. One of them decides to accompany us for a short distance. After another three quarters of an hour we see the alpine meadows behind us, and a mountain brook with stepstones and the unmanaged Malga del Covolo mountain hut (Kofelraster Alm, 2,313 m a.s.l.) right in front of us. From afar we can hear a series of familiar whistles: marmots are here! Unfortunately, we are unable to spot them with the naked eye between the rocks. Now the mountain lakes are close - a short, but rocky and steep ascent separates us from our destination.

The path branches off on the left towards the peak of Mt. Gran Ladro (Hoher Dieb, literally "High Thief", 2,730 m a.s.l.) with a spectacular view on the Ultimo Mountains, the Texel Group and the Dolomites. This alternative would lengthen the hike for one hour and a further 300 m of altitude difference (each direction). We decide to continue towards the lakes. The last section takes past some "Rocky Men" and grazing sheep. Finally we reach the Covolo Lakes (Kofelraster Seen) on the dividing crest between the Val d'Ultimo and the Val Venosta valleys, and take a deep breath. The first lake welcomes us with cottongrass on the shore and some sunrays. But due to the altitude of more than 2,400 m a.s.l., it quickly gets cold when the sun hides behind the clouds. After a snack with speck, cheese and hard rye bread, we turn back. Although it would be possible to hike back passing the Malga Marschnell mountain hut (2,213 m a.s.l.), we follow the same way of the ascent. Don't forget good walking boots, water and windproof clothes, as well as food and water!

Suitable for families? The path is partly stony and steep (the last section, for instance) and requires therefore a good physical condition and some mountain experience. On this hike, three mountain experienced kids joined us, aged 6, 8 and 10.

Author: MS

difficulty: moderate route with lake
  • Starting point:
    Steinrast mountain tavern, located above the villages of Pracupola and Santa Valburga in the Val d'Ultimo valley
  • Time required:
    03:30 h
  • Track length:
    8,8 km
  • Altitude:
    from 1.717 m to 2.405 m
  • Altitude difference:
    +690 m | -690 m
  • Signposts:
    no. 4/4A
  • Destination:
    Covolo Lakes
  • Resting points:
    Malga Kühberg Alm (2012 m, open from the beginning of June to the end of October)
  • Recommended time of year:
    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  • Download GPX track:
    Hike to the Covolo Lakes

If you want to do this hike, we suggest you to check the weather and trail conditions in advance and on site before setting out.

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