Minimal travels for intrepid girls

Hiking to Coca Hut in the Orobian Alps

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Hiking is one of my greatest passions. When summer comes, I want to bath into the sea as much as I want to climb the mountains. Being connected to nature is what makes me reach my inner peace and reconcile with the rest of the world. And going for a hike is the best way I know so far to be completely surrounded by nature.

But trekking and climbling a mountain is not only that. It is proving ourselves, phisically and purposefully struggling to test who we are. Making a great effort in order to reach what we consider a priceless prize.

The first excursion I had the chance to do this year was to the Coca Hut.

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy

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The Coca Hut (whose complete Italian name is Rifugio Merelli al Coca) owes its name to Mount Coca, the highest peak of the Orobian Alps. These ones are a mountain range in northern Italy, belonging to the most famous Alps. The city where I currently live (Bergamo) is a great starting point to explore all the beautiful paths and huts of this area.

I will now tell you about the path Bianca and I walked to reach the Coca Hut.

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Path no. 301: from Valbondione to the Coca Hut

Every hiking path has got a precise number and there are some very good maps which provides the entire net of the Alpine trails. My favourite are the Kompass. Be sure not to go hiking without having a clue of where you are going.

The only path leading from the valley to the Coca Hut is the no. 301. It starts from the very small town of Valbondione and goes up to 1900 mt of altitude. The easiest and fastest way to reach Valbondione is by car, but there is also a bus service from Bergamo (which takes about 2,30 – 3 hours).

No. 301 is not an easy path for someone who isn’t a trainer hiker. It’s not like going for a walk, yet it’s also far from being impossible. In my opinion it’s challenging in the right way. Take a look at this chart to get an idea:

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hiking mountains coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy map altiitude

©geoportale-caibergamo

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The difference in height from the starting point of Valbondione is only about 1000 mt, but the lenght of the trail is 3 km, so quite short. That means you will face a pretty steep ascent.

Anyway, don’t get scared. Once you choose to walk no. 301, you have to reach the last houses of the built-up area of Valbondione and find the beginning of the path on the left. All along there will be the typical red and white signs so hikers don’t get lost.

Now is where the challenge begins.

You have to go down the path and cross the river Serio, then start climbing up several steep turning points made of rocks. This is already a tough part of the trail but it offers a beautiful view over the surrounding valley.

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

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In the woods

After a while, the trail enters the woods. You will find lots of spots to sit down, rest your feet, hydrate yourselves, eat your packed lunch, take a nap and ultimately enjoy the silence.

 

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

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Once the path emerges from the last trees, you will already be at a significant altitude. I love seeing the profile of the mountains, how they differ. One is almost completely rocky while the one beside is covered in greenery.

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

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Towards the Hut

Now it’s time to hit the last part of the trail, gather all the energies you’ve got. The will to discover what awaits beyond that rocky spur is guiding you. From here on the landscape becomes truly stunning.

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

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And there is the hut, misteriously perched on the rocks!

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

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The path meets two cold and powerful streams:

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail river

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail explorer girl

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail river

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail landscape

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

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The last meters…

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

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The trail looked from above:

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

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Finally arrived to the Coca Hut! You can now rest and fully enjoy the green and rocky mountains that surround you.

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail explorer girl

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail

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The view from the window of the hut:

hiking mountains green pizzo coca hut peak trekking orobie orobian alps bergamo italy woods forest nature path trail flowers

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The Coca Hut is managed by a young couple of Valbondione. They love nature and their territory, and they decided to leave their office jobs to move here. You can tell that they put love and cure in everything that they do. Coming to Coca Hut you feel welcome and at home, and you can share your love for the mountain with the other hikers and guests. Not to mention all the traditional and homemade dishes you can taste.

From the hut you can also keep hiking for another 30-40 minutes and reach the Lake Coca, a small alpine lake. But we didn’t, because when we arrived we really fancied a cup of hot tea (which then turned into a pint of beer).

We really had an unforgettable and beautiful time hiking to the Coca Hut.

 

Useful links

For more info about the path 301 and the hut check these links:

http://geoportale.caibergamo.it/it/sentiero/301

http://rifugiococa.it/en/

 

 

 

2 Comments

  • Tom says:

    I love a good hike. When my brother and i were children, our family did loads of hikes in the swiss alps 🙂 This article and the beautiful pictures really reminded me of those times. Thank you for this good hike tipp!

    Cheers Tom

    • Gloria says:

      Thank you so much Tom! I’m glad it reminded you of your childhood 🙂 Italy and Switzerland share one of the most beautiful mountain range in the world 🙂

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