The path to the Antrona Pass (Passo di Saas) is one of the oldest mountain passes in the Saas Valley and walking it is an unforgettable experience for all hiking enthusiasts. The first historical records of humans crossing the pass date back to the 13th century, when the pass is mentioned in a document from 1217 (Saas archives E1 from 1 July 1415). However, in 1963 the mountain guide Albert Imseng (1917-1963) discovered a coin dating from 324–500 BC, proving that this pass was already in use in Roman times. The pass was predominantly used for trade; it was particularly popular with Saas men looking to purchase their women wedding rings, brooches, and other items of jewellery from Domodossola and Villadossola. Copper kettles also reached the Saas Valley via the same trade path – an item that went on to become indispensable in the old Saas households.
For the Italians, the route was particularly important for the salt trade, which is why the inhabitants of the valley built a salt store at the pass in 1792. The remains of this store can still be seen at the pass today, and its three rooms can be made out: the lounge/dining room, the kitchen, and the store room where the sacks of salt were kept. After the opening of the military and trade route over the Simplon in 1805, trade along the Antrona Pass ground to a halt.
Today, those who wish to slightly shorten the long walk to the Antrona Pass can travel via cableway from Saas-Almagell to Furggstalden. From there, the trail leads in a south-easterly direction across Mäslaugrabe to Chapf and then on to Furggu.
From there, hikers reach the old trade route by walking up the valley floor of the Furgg Valley, crossing Schönenboden and Bitzbrunnen. At the end of the valley the path climbs up to the Antrona Pass (Passo di Saas) at 2,838 m a.s.l., and hikers are greeted with a wonderful view over the Antrona Valley and the Cingino reservoir.
Alternative A: (multiple-day tourr; 40km)
This alternative route provides hikers with an experience of both nature and spirituality. From the Antrona Pass (Passo di Saas) hikers can eventually descend down to the Italian towns of Villadossola and Domodossola. This is a long trail, but rewards hikers with a huge variety of natural and spiritual sights and experiences. Hikers pass several churches and chapels along the way, as well as a number of villages offering options for overnight stays (particularly in Antronapiana).
The trail starts by passing the Cingino reservoir and Alpe Lombraoro until it reaches the Bacino di Compliccioli reservoir.
After crossing the dam, the trail descends down to Lago di Antrona, just behind which lies the largest settlement in the rearmost part of the Antrona Valley – Antronapiana.
The path continues on past the municipalities of Schieranco and Viganella and then climbs up to the area surrounding Sasso Cresti. Here, hikers have the possibility to start their descent down to Villadossola, with its numerous rail and bus connections for onward travel.
Those interested in continuing, however, can take the path at Boschetto that leads towards Sogno and Tappia. This route provides hikers with a cultural and spiritual experience, as after passing Rogoledo and Trontana the path arrives at the Sacred Mount Calvary (Sacro Monte Calvario) before descending down to Domodossola. Numerous trains leave from Domodossola railway station.
Make sure you plan enough time for the hike and be sure to wear sturdy walking shoes and good outdoor clothing.
Pay attention to the cableway timetable and remember to factor in the return journey time.
Key figures for the last 12 months (since Oktober 2015)
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Compared with all other Hiking tours in the Wallis region
Tour history (B05521)
First published: Mittwoch, 26. Juni 2013
Last updated: Donnerstag, 28. August 2014
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