Hiking in Switzerland never ceases to amaze me. I am sure we have clocked hundreds of miles in many pairs of shoes hiking in the Swiss Alps, but we experienced a first for us on our last hike, an Alpine Trail. The final stretch up to Sassariente is classified as an Alpine Trail, which can be very dangerous. Luckily the Alpine Trail is only the final stretch of the hike and then you are awarded with breathtaking views over Lago Maggiore.
We parked near the trailhead at Osteria Grotto Monti Motti. There is a field with plenty of parking nearby .The drive from Lugano is about 1 hr 15 minutes and about a 50 minute drive from Locarno. The road leading up to the Grotto is quite narrow with many tricky turns.
The trailhead starts near Grotto Monti Motti and is about a 2 hour climb to the top of Sassariente. The trails are well marked with trail markers and the hiking path is pretty straightforward.
We enjoyed a fairly non-intense hike up hill and through the woods but the last 15 minutes of the trail were marked as an Alpine trail (Blue and white trail markers), warning fellow hikers to have the proper gear as the trail intensified. They were not joking, the final stretch of this hike is not for those weak in the knees; but with that said, we hiked in a group with adults and children, and encountered no problems.
The last part of the trail is spent scaling along the rock walls on narrow boards. For security, there is a chain handrail drilled into the rocks. We had a large hiking group and we were able to manage the precarious path without issues.
The views from Sassariente are stunning. What a beautiful hike and feeling of accomplishment when you get to the top. There is a small red book to write your name for bragging rights. This hike was new to us, thankfully we had a local friend who happily told us all about the area and guided us to the top.
The hike down from Sassariente only takes about an hour and Osteria Grotto Monti Motti is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon apertivio and pat yourself on the back for a successful hike. This area of Ticino is gorgeous and as you drive down from the mountain there are some perfect spots to pull over and take pictures of the views. We had a great experience hiking to Sassariente and would recommend to add this to your list of hikes in Ticino.