We visit the Orridi di Uriezzo, a trekking route through the Piedmontese canyons
The Antigorio valley, which is the extension of Italian territory that creeps between Switzerland, north of Lake Maggiore, offers us a spectacle of nature: the Uriezzo Gorges. We are in the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola. Here time has created several gorges that were formed by the streams that in the past flowed downstream of the Toce Glacier. Today we can admire the Orridi di Uriezzo with a pleasant walk.
What we see today is the fruit of the last ice age, which ended about 12,000 years ago. What today is the Antigorio and Formazza Valley was a huge glacier. In the valley flowed several streams that over time have eroded the granite rock creating narrow valleys, winding tunnels, and gorges that emerged when the ice disappeared.
Today in Uriezzo you can visit three Gorges: the North-East one, the West one and the South one, which is the most spectacular. It is about 200 meters long and has a depth of 20-30 meters. The ravine located to the West is the most difficult to visit and is suitable for experienced people, while the North East one is very narrow and is about 100 meters long.
The Orridi of Uriezzo
The Orridi di Uriezzo are the easiest to reach. A well-marked path allows us to admire them in complete safety. The best access point is that of Premia, the other two are one in Baceno and the other in Verampio.
You arrive at the entrance to Premia by following the detour indicated for Crego and Uriezzo, passing through the imposing Balmafredda wall. Before arriving at the starting point in the direction of Crego, where, at the road bridge over the River Toce, you can admire the imposing Arvera ravine.
Returning to the Balmafredda wall, continue towards Uriezzo. The road ends near the oratory of Santa Lucia. From here continue on foot. The hiking signs are the ones with yellow arrows. Before entering the dirt road, turning right, at the height of a villa, you enter the first ravine, that of the North-East. The entrance is right at the end of the property. Here a crack in the rock allows us to experience a unique spectacle. To pass between the high and narrow rocks, at the end of which, you have to go back to reach the Orrido Sud.
The South Ravine and the Marmitte dei Giganti
Back at the crossroads, now continue on the dirt road. The ravine is about 100 meters away, but making a detour you reach the Balmasurda bridge, where you can admire the gorge of the same name. After crossing the bridge, Crego is reached in 30 minutes. Before arriving at this group of houses, following the path on the right you reach the Maiesso bridge. where to admire the spectacle of the characteristic Marmitte dei Giganti (see the photo of the title) along the Toce river. After the bridge, go up to the left until you reach the spectacular Orrido Sud. At the exit, after a few minutes, you walk back to the oratory of Santa Lucia.
From Baceno follow the mule track that starts from the monumental church of San Gaudenzio and descends to the Verampio hamlet. From here, precise indications lead to an area of terraced wood, then the road descends to the service track to a gas pipeline in the stretch that runs parallel to the South Orrido.
Access from Verampio
The access to Verampio starts from the Trattoria della Campagna and follows the service track to the pipeline that crosses the Devero stream and runs along the Toce river as far as the Maiesso wooden bridge. We are at the Marmitte dei Giganti. And from here continue to the entrance of the South Orrido.
The best time
The Orridi di Uriezzo can be visited all year round, except in the winter months. The best period, however, is the one between the end of March and mid-April, when at the same time you can admire the wild cherry trees in bloom.
The fourth Orrido
In Valle Formazza There is also a fourth ravine, called di Vallaccia, which is located near the church of Baceno and ends with a jump on the Devero stream. The most spectacular point is the one that can be admired a few minutes walk from the church. Arrived at the waterfall, with a comfortable metal staircase you reach the panoramic point.
How do I get to Premia?
Premia can be reached by car following the A26 motorway, Genova-Gravellona Toce, in the direction of the latter. Then Strada Statale 659 towards Crodo. After this locality, continue towards Baceno-Premia, up to the destination.