Another mountain bike trail that gave us great views of Lake Garda and the northern basin of the Benaco. This path is intertwined with other trails we've already undertaken around Lake Garda, but introduces, for us, the novelty of Rocchetta pass. After the effort of the climb rewarded by breathtaking views, the descent leaning over Leano is just right for those who love speed.



Technical data

Trentino Alto-Adige - Garda lake MTB

Start/Arrive Riva del Garda
Time 3-5 hours
Elevation gain 1250 m
Lenght 28 km
Difficulty Hard
Panorama Really beautiful

Elevation chart

Riva, Ponale trail and Rocchetta pass


Ponale trail from Riva del Garda

This route once again stretchs itself on the roads and single tracks of the mountains that dominate the western side of the Upper Garda in Trentino. It starts from Riva del Garda and climbs on the Ponale trail, once the main road leading into the Ledro valley and now adapted for trekkers or  mountain bikers. To reach the entrance of the road, famous among all the mountain bikers (perhaps best known among German bikers than Italian ones), you must follow the shore of lake Garda MTB through the center of Riva del Garda and, for a few hundred meters, up the Gardesana occidentale road.
Shortly before entering the first gallery, on the right, starts the uphill road that we will follow. This stretch of trail is really busy, especially on summer weekends, so if you can not come here at other times of the year, take care and let the way to pedestrians. The Ponale road will give you glimpses and views, interrupted by evocative passages into dark tunnels. After a few kilometers you will come close to a renewed construction that now is a facility where you can stop and get some drinks. Little further you'll reach a fork that will allow you to turn left going towards the town of Pregasina, leaving to the right the last curves of the road leading to Val di Ledro (we will ride it downhill at the end of the tour). After another couple of miles you will reach the end of the road prohibited to cars, coming to a vantage point from which a statue of the Virgin overlooks the stretch of Lake Garda in Trentino.

Rocchetta pass from Pregasina

After a well-deserved break, we continue uphill (the tunnel on the right will bring you back to Ledro valley) to reach the small town of Pregasina in a splendid position on the lake. We follow the signs leading to Nota pass: here you can find a fountain in which possibly make the water supply. A little further on, take the left still uphill, reaching the church and going back on dirt roads. From this point the route becomes more challenging and  slope increases: stretches of the road are cemented... and this is not a good sign for those who do not like hard work! The shadow of the beech trees gives a bit of relief and allows you to reach without having to sweat too much at Larches mouth (bocca larici). Here, after enjoying yet another spectacular view, we continue uphill to the right towards the malga PalĂ er that you'll reach a little later. We continue on the path on the left to Rocchetta pass, always uphill but this proves to be a mistake: it is preferable to turn right on a slight downhill to climb again a little later on the left on a trail you can ride: we are forced to push our mountain bikes for half an hour because of the presence of steps that would have been much more fun downhill than uphill. We reach Rocchetta pass and once again the view opens, this time revealing beautiful views of the southern side of Lake Garda and Monte Baldo massif.

Guil pass and downhill

Here the alternatives are almost endless: we decide to follow the trail to the Guil pass and a little further to a tour junction we keep on the right pushing the bike for the first few meters. Back on the saddle we ride along a wonderful single track, first uphill and then flat again, with amazing views on Lake Garda. Here we touch the highest point of the route and then leave the side facing the lake and swoop down in a large clearing to  reach Guil pass. Once again there are many alternatives: you can go on the left to take the trail to Nota pass and then, for the most trained, the legendary (for mountain bikers) climb up Tremalzo.
We are satisfied with today's ride and decide to start the descent to the right, taking the road that will lead us through a picturesque canyon, the few houses of Leano and then to fall again sharply, always on a dirt road up to Biacesa center. Here we can take the bike road that leads from Molina di Ledro to Riva del Garda, turning left and then right on the main road of the Ledro valley for a few meters. Before the tunnel we turn on the right and take the Ponale trail, following back the road we rode until reaching Riva del Garda where we will conclude our ring: a really exciting biking tour in the paradise of bikers: Garda Trentino, lake Garda MTB!
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Slow bicycle traveller with a passion for writing and photography. If he's not traveling he loves to get lost along the thousand paths that run through the beautiful mountains of Trentino and Lake Iseo surroundings where he lives, both on foot and by mountain bike.
Eternal Peter Pan who loves to realize their dreams without leaving them too long in the drawer, has devoted much of his life to cycling, traveling in New Zealand, the Balkans, Norway Argentina and many other countries. Lately he spent ten months by bike in South East Asia and crossed the Andes by bike.

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