The hike to Mount Caucasus is a wonderful walk to take with children as it does not present any particular technical difficulties but offers a 360° panorama of the Alps, the bay of Sestri Levante, Mount Portofino and, on a clear day, even Corsica.
There are several paths that converge at the summit of Monte Caucaso: the path from Neirone, the one from Passo della Scoglina, and the path from Barbagelata, which is the one we recommend if, like us, you plan to hike with children.
Once on the summit, it is a must to go down and have lunch at the refuge , perhaps sitting at the outside tables in front of a good plate of polenta and a truly spectacular panorama.
Paradise, without a doubt, is here.
How to get to Barbagelata
To get to Barbagelata from Genoa, you can drive along either the Valfontanabuona or the Val Trebbia.
☛ Valfontanabuona: from Genoa you have to follow the road to Monleone, from there turn towards Favale di Málvaro and climb to the Scoglina Pass. At the crossroads, take the road to the left and you will reach Barbagelata.
☛ Val Trebbia: from Genoa, take the SS45 state road to Montebruno. From there you take the turnoff to Barbagelata.
In any case, it takes about 1h15 minutes by car.
Mount Caucasus with children and lunch at the refuge: route
- Signposts: red triangle
- Departure: Barbagelata (1117 m)
- Arrival: Mount Caucasus (1245 m)
- Height difference: 200 m
- Length: 3.5 km (one way)
- Walking time: 1h20 (with children)
The hike to Monte Caucaso is really a beautiful walk to take with children and possibly initiate them into mountain trekking, if they are not yet accustomed to it, because it does not have a great difference in altitude and the path is for the most part wide and easy.
Along the way, however, there are some nice climbs that require a minimum of training and hiking boots.
▶ You might be interested in How to dress in the mountains.
Leave your car near the panel describing the route. Parking is free at the side of the road.
The path starts slightly uphill near a stone and marble monument in memory of the partisans. Here you will also find a sign indicating the various itineraries and the refuge at the summit.
Go past the bar that closes the road to vehicles and continue along the dirt track that enters the forest.
Along the path, shortly after the start, you will find the source of the Aveto river on the right, where you can fill your water bottle with drinking water .
The path continues through a beautiful wood with several undemanding ups and downs until, after about 55 minutes of walking, you reach the Gabba pass at 1083 metres above sea level. From there to the little white chapel on the summit of the Caucasus Mountain, it is another 20 minutes or so.
When you are at the foot of Mount Caucasus, you can choose between two different paths to the summit: the dirt road on the left – a little longer but less steep – or the path on the right, which climbs a lot and leads directly to the little chapel.
When you reach the summit, you can have a look at the little chapel, which has a slate altar, and then go down for lunch at the Mount Caucasus refuge on the south side.
Lunch at the Mount Caucasus hut
In summer, the Mount Caucasus hut sets up beautiful tables on the panoramic terrace.
If desired, it also has a few seats inside, while upstairs there is a large room with 12 beds for those who wish to stay overnight.
Lunch is a set menu (it’s €24.00 for an adult) and offers polenta with meat sauce, roast pork ribs with a side salad and tomatoes or, as today, cabbage. And then an excellent tart with jam, water, wine, and coffee. All good and in generous portions.
When you reluctantly decide that the time has come to leave this paradise and return to the car, you have to retrace the same path as on the way out.
Most of the route remains shaded by beech trees, so it is a feasible hike even in warmer weather.
The ascent to Mount Caucasus is an undemanding trek rewarded by exceptional panoramic views and is definitely worth the trip even if you do not live nearby.
* Some photos in the article were given to me by Maurizio, the friendly manager of the refuge, to whom I extend my thanks.