Cascate del Pisciadu

Colfosco (Calfosch / Kolfuschg) / Val Badia / Corvara, Bolzano - Alto Adige (Bozen - Sudtirol) Province, Italy

About Cascate del Pisciadu


Hiking Distance: 5.4km round trip (from Colfosco Adventure Park; can be much shorter from Luianta)
Suggested Time: 2 hours (from Colfosco Adventure Park; can be as short as 45-60 minutes from Luianta)

Date first visited: 2018-07-16
Date last visited: 2018-07-16

Waterfall Latitude: 46.54252
Waterfall Longitude: 11.84682

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The Cascate del Pisciadu (or Cascate del Pisciadù; Pisciadu Waterfalls) was one of the waterfalls we targeted in our return trip to the Dolomites area of Northern Italy in the Summer of 2018. It was a tall, multi-tiered waterfall without much literature concerning its height (I’ve seen 80m thrown around).

On its own, the waterfall was thin and light-flowing. It probably wouldn’t be much to go out of the way for. However, what was notable about this waterfall was its location. It sat smack in the heart of the Dolomites where this waterfall was actually in the grooves of one of the region’s signature massifs.

Cascate_di_Pisciadu_168_07162018 - Making it up to the end of the trail at the base of the Cascate del Pisciadu
Making it up to the end of the trail at the base of the Cascate del Pisciadu

It also helped that the waterfall was close to Colfosco (Calfosch), which also happened to be one of the highest towns in the Alta Badia Region of the Italian Dolomites. So we had the perfect waterfalling excuse to explore this part of Northern Italy that we would have otherwise overlooked.

When we made our visit, we were able to see the waterfall from the twisty road going through Colfosco. That compelled us to find a trailhead and seek out a closer look at the falls. While there were several ways to visit the waterfall, the nearest trailhead was at a car park for a restaurant by a hairpin turn (I believe the restaurant was called Ristorante Bar Mesoles; see directions below).

I actually did the hike a little further away at the Colfosco Adventure Park so our daughter could play in the obstacle courses there while I partook in the hike to get close to the Cascate del Pisciadu. Doing the hike this way (along Trail 28) meant that I wound up spending nearly two hours on the trail, which was at least two or three times as long as starting the trail from the trailheads closer to the main part of town (namely from Luianta via Trail 650).

From the Colfosco Adventure Park, I followed the signs saying “tru dles cascades”, which led me for about five minutes towards a separate trail that descended towards a bridge crossing the Sodlisia Stream. On the other side of the bridge, I went right and followed the signs, which at this point suggested that the falls was another 50 minutes away. The footpath was wide and gently undulated though was generally uphill.

Cascate_di_Pisciadu_170_07162018 - Looking back towards Colfosco and the Dolomite Mountains from the base of the Cascate del Pisciadu
Looking back towards Colfosco and the Dolomite Mountains from the base of the Cascate del Pisciadu

Along the way, there were rest benches, gorgeous views across the valley towards the Dolomite massifs backing Colfosco and the neighboring towns, and even some surprise seasonal cascades tumbling off of the nearby massifs towering over the trail. Eventually, I made it to a grassy clearing that was popular with people chillaxing and having picnics. There was also a squat toilet outhouse as well as some trail junctions.

It was here that the shorter path from Colfosco would join up with the last remaining climb up to the Cascate del Pisciadu, which was clearly visible at this point. There was a spur trail climbing up another five minutes towards the base of one of the drops of the Cascate del Pisciadu. While the trail was closed during my visit (probably due to the threat of a rockfall), it didn’t stop numerous people from going up anyways.

Once at the base of the falls, I was only able to see a couple of its mostly twisting and hidden tiers, which made the viewing experience a little underwhelming. It seemed like I was able to see more of the waterfall the further away I was from it. However, I was able to look across the valley for a commanding view of the Dolomite Massifs all around the valley in addition to getting a little spray from the Cascate del Pisciadu itself.

After having my fill, I returned the way I came, which was primarily downhill most of the way.

Cascate_di_Pisciadu_003_07162018 - This was the view of the Cascate del Pisciadu from the roadside pullout between the big Colfosch sign and the Hotel Luianta
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_024_07162018 - This was the view of the Cascate del Pisciadu with some cable cars from the Hotel Bar and Restaurant Mesoles
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_032_07162018 - While I was out hiking, Tahia got to run around in the obstacle courses of the Colfosco Adventure Park
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_043_07162018 - Looking back towards the town of Colfosco as I was making my way towards the Cascate del Pisciadu Trail
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_052_07162018 - This was the view of the Cascate del Pisciadu from the hiking trail leading towards it from the path linking Corvara with the falls (as well as the Colfosco Adventure Park, where I made my start)
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_057_07162018 - Context of the hiking trail to Cascate del Pisciadu with some of the Dolomite Massifs looming in the background
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_066_07162018 - Even with the geographical isolation of Val Badia, where Ladin was still spoken by some locals, there were still Austrian colors painted along the trail despite being in Northern Italy
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_073_07162018 - When the scenery opened up a bit, I was able to get this nice view towards the Cascate del Pisciadu in context with its supporting Dolomite Massif and the trail leading towards all of that
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_077_07162018 - Focused on the angled view of the Cascate del Pisciadu
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_105_07162018 - Another contextual view of the Dolomite Massifs and the hiking trail. It was at this trail junction did I realize that the waterfall I had been seeing on this trail was not actually the Cascate del Pisciadu!  Instead, it was a side waterfall, and the spur path going to the left of this picture was heading towards it
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_112_07162018 - All zoomed in on the bottom of the side cascade that I had mistaken for the Cascate del Pisciadu
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_115_07162018 - Looking back across the Val Badia from the waterfall trail towards imposing Dolomite mountains
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_139_07162018 - Now this waterfall was the Cascate del Pisciadu, which was noticeably thicker than the one I had seen earlier
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_144_07162018 - Contextual view of the Cascate del Pisciadu as seen from the picnic area
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_147_07162018 - Looking across the picnic area beneath the Cascate del Pisciadu
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_152_07162018 - Contextual view of the Cascate del Pisciadu and a footbridge spanning its stream
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_154_07162018 - The footbridge leading to the base of one of the drops of the Cascate del Pisciadu was closed, but that didn't stop a lot of people from finding another way to cross the stream
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_166_07162018 - The higher I went up on the short spur to the Cascate del Pisciadu, the better the views across the Val Badia Valley became
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_172_07162018 - Finally making it up to the end of the trail at this section of the Cascate del Pisciadu
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_187_07162018 - Looking up at the Cascate del Pisciadu from the closed footbridge
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_193_07162018 - Making my way back down to the attractive picnic area in front of the Cascate del Pisciadu
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_194_07162018 - Context of the squat toilet outhouse fronting the Cascate del Pisciadu
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_205_07162018 - A different look at the trail junctions by the picnic area with the Dolomite Massif and part of the Cascate del Pisciadu towering over them
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_230_07162018 - Beautiful views towards the towns of Colfosco and Corvara as I was making my way back to the trailhead at the Colfosco Adventure Park
Cascate_di_Pisciadu_240_07162018 - Almost all the way back at the Colfosco Adventure Park, but not before enjoying this glorious scenery as I was near the conclusion of my hike to Cascate del Pisciadu

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The Cascate del Pisciadu was near the town of Colfosco. Since we were based in Selva di Val Gardena, I’ll describe the driving directions from there. For driving directions from more farflung locations, I’d use an app like Google Maps using Colfosco or Corvara as one of the destinations. However, I do ahve to warn you that the roads in the Dolomites are very narrow and twisty, and unless you’re a confident driver who knows these roads well, the driving is going to be slow.

Cascate_di_Pisciadu_021_07162018 - This was the car park for the Hotel Bar and Ristorante Mesoles, which was probably the closest trailhead to reach the Cascate del Pisciadu
This was the car park for the Hotel Bar and Ristorante Mesoles, which was probably the closest trailhead to reach the Cascate del Pisciadu

So from the center of the busy town of Val Gardena, we would drive southeast on the SS242 for about 5km before turning left onto the SS243. Then, we’d follow the SS243 into the town of Colfosco.

Shortly after the big “Calfosch” sign, there was a pullout on the right (about 11km from the SS242/SS243 junction), where we stopped the car and got a nice view towards Cascate del Pisciadu backed by the Dolomite Massif. The picture you see at the top of this page came from that spot.

Continuing the drive for another 600m, we arrived at the Ristorante Mesoles, where there was a wide car park. There was a road-turned-hiking-trail (Strada Rönn), which led down to the picnic area before the Cascate del Pisciadu, and I’d imagine this was the closest car park. However, I’m not sure if public parking was allowed here.

Cascate_di_Pisciadu_037_07162018 - This was the car park for the Colfosco Adventure Park, which was very spacious, but it also might have doubled or tripled the overall hiking distance to reach the Cascate del Pisciadu
This was the car park for the Colfosco Adventure Park, which was very spacious, but it also might have doubled or tripled the overall hiking distance to reach the Cascate del Pisciadu

So continuing the drive further east, we’d enter the small town of Colfosco, where we could try to score a parking spot (Hotel Luianta was one such place) where a 20 minute walk would also lead to the picnic area before the Cascate del Pisciadu.

We wound up driving even further than that as we continued another 2km from the hairpin turn at the Ristorante Mesoles towards the spacious car park at the Colfosco Adventure Park. This car park was a pay and display lot taking coins only.

Overall, this drive took us about a pretty solid hour even though distance-wise, it was only about 18km to get from the Val Gardena center to the Colfosco Adventure Park. That kind of tells you how narrow and winding the roads are here.

For context, Selva di Val Gardena (Wolkenstein) was about 20km (about an hour drive) west of Corvara in Badia, about 22km (over an hour drive) north of Canazei, 43km (over an hour drive) east of Bolzano (Bozen), and 72km (over 90 minutes drive) southwest from Brunico (Bruneck), Italy.

Sweep examining the Dolomite massifs near Colfosco before zooming in and panning along the path of Cascate del Pisciadu


360 degree sweep of the scenery at the picnic area before the final spur trail to the Cascate del Pisciadu


Sweep of the waterfall and scenery downstream from the closed off bridge


360 degree sweep from the base of Cascate del Pisciadu

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Tagged with: colfosco, corvara, val badia, dolomites, dolomiti, italy, italia, calfosch, waterfall, pisciadu, luianta



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