Cascata di Bignasco

Val Bavona / Valle Maggia, Ticino Canton, Switzerland

About Cascata di Bignasco

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2013-06-04
Date last visited: 2013-06-04

Waterfall Latitude: 46.33587
Waterfall Longitude: 8.61297

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Cascata di Bignasco was a surprisingly satisfying waterfall that we noticed while we were headed up the Valle Maggia en route to the Cascata di Foroglio.

At first, we intended to treat it like the other miscellaneous roadside waterfalls sprinkled about the valley.

Bignasco_022_20130604 - Cascata di Bignasco
Cascata di Bignasco

However, the closer we drove to it, the more we realized that it was compelling enough for us to leave the main road and look for a way to get closer by foot.

Even though we didn’t see anything in the literature stating its height, we estimate that it might be somewhere between 40m to 60m tall.

It turned out that there was a formal car park (see directions below) as well as an established walkway leading right up to the plunge pool at the base of the Cascata di Bignasco.

To the left of the plunge pool (behind an unlocked gate that we were supposed to keep closed), there was a picnic table in a shady spot.

It seemed like a nice place to have a picnic while basking in the tranquility of the scenery.

Bignasco_010_20130604 - Julie approaching the base of the Cascata di Bignasco
Julie approaching the base of the Cascata di Bignasco

There was also a large man-made swimming pool nearby (to the right of the large car park) though it was closed and being worked on during our visit in June 2013.

Perhaps under more typical conditions, I’d imagine that this would be an ideal place for the family as the pool seemed to be inviting for kids while the rest of the amenities seemed to be built with families in mind.

Overall, we spent about 10 minutes away from the car as this was essentially a roadside waterfall.

Other aspects of Cascata di Bignasco

When we first noticed Cascata di Bignasco on the road through Valle Maggia, we saw there was a historical-looking building to the topright of the waterfall itself.

Bignasco_008_20130604 - Context of Cascata di Bignasco with a church or some kind of building perched way higher up the cliff from it
Context of Cascata di Bignasco with a church or some kind of building perched way higher up the cliff from it

We weren’t sure whether it was a church or if it had any particular importance or significance, but we didn’t really look into how to access that building high up the cliff.

I’d imagine that if it was accessible, there ought to be nice views of Valle Maggia from that higher vantage point.

Moreover, from what we could tell, this was a legitimate waterfall that ought to last most of the Summer.

Even though power lines ran along much of the Maggia River (kind of impacting the view of the waterfall from the main road), it didn’t seem like this waterfall was subject to diversion or regulation for hydroelectricity (though we can’t verify that claim).

We wondered about that because there were other major waterfalls in the valley that seemed to be sacrificed for hydroelectricity such as the Cascata di Soladino.

Other waterfalls in Valle Maggia and Valle Bavona

Bignasco_022_20130604 - Cascata di Bignasco
Cascata di Bignasco

Just to underscore the quantity of waterfalls in both the valleys of Valle Maggia and Valle Bavona, we noticed another attractive waterfall near the town of Cevio, which was just before we reached Bignasco.

As we continued to drive deeper into the valley towards Cascata di Foroglio, we also spotted another waterfall that we stopped for called the Cascata di Mondada (I think).

This particular waterfall didn’t have any particular infrastructure to invite visitation, and it even appeared as if you had to cross into someone’s private property to get a good look at it.


Cascata di Bignasco resides near Maggia in the Ticino canton of Switzerland. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit the Ticino Tourism Board website.

Cevio_002_20130604 - Looking up at the thin Cascata di Cevio, which tumbled down the mountain over the hamlet of Cevio in Valle Maggia
Cevio_004_20130604 - Context of the Cascata di Cevio and the road passing deeper into Valle Maggia
Cevio_008_20130604 - Context of the Cascata di Cevio spilling over the hamlet of Cevio
Cevio_009_20130604 - Another contextual view of the Cascata di Cevio and the road passing deeper into Valle Maggia
Bignasco_002_20130604 - Looking back in the direction of Cevio while we were entering the town of Bignasco
Bignasco_035_20130604 - The unlocked gate fronting Cascata di Bignasco
Mondada_001_20130604 - We noticed what we thought was the Cascata di Mondada while going to the Cascata di Foroglio so we pulled over by this bus stop in the hopes of getting a closer look at it
Mondada_005_20130604 - This was probably the closest look we could get of the Cascata di Mondada, but I sensed that it was from someone's yard so I don't think it's sanctioned
Mondada_007_20130604 - Full context of the attractive Cascata di Mondada, but you can see from the stuff below that this view came from someone's yard
Locarno_002_20130604 - On the northern shores of Lago di Maggiore was the city of Locarno, which was where we spent the night the day we visited Cascata di Bignasco
Lago_di_Como_178_20130603 - If you are visiting Lago di Como (in Italy, not far from Locarno), it's certainly worth the boat ride across the lake to the charming town of Bellagio and its sloping arcades

Since we found Cascata di Bignasco while pursuing Cascata di Foroglio, look at the Cascata di Foroglio page, which contains directions from Locarno while passing through Cevio and Bignasco.

Once in the town of Bignasco, we then took a road that crossed the Maggia River towards the residences on the other side of the river (it might be the only road crossing the river in town).

Immediately after crossing the bridge, there was a turnoff to the right that we took that we followed for a couple of blocks.

Then, we noticed the large car park for the waterfall, which was where we turned left to park in one of its many spaces.

Even though there weren’t signs explicitly for Cascata di Bignasco, the waterfall was prominent enough that we were able to navigate our way to the car park for the falls.

Finally, to give you some geographical context, Locarno was 76km (about 90 minutes drive) northwest of Lenno, Italy, 72km (over an hour drive) north of Como, Italy, and 118km (over 90 minutes drive) north of Milan (Milano), Italy.

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Nearly 360 degree sweep starting from a picnic table then panning around past the swimming pool towards the bottom up sweep of the waterfall itself

Tagged with: val bavona, valle maggia, ticino, switzerland, waterfall, locarno, italy, bignasco, soladino, cevio

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