Cascate di Riva (Reinbachfalle)

Sand in Taufers / Campo Tures / Val Pusteria, Bolzano - Alto Adige (Bozen - Sudtirol) Province, Italy

About Cascate di Riva (Reinbachfalle)


Hiking Distance: 4km round trip
Suggested Time: 2 hours

Date first visited: 2013-05-31
Date last visited: 2013-05-31

Waterfall Latitude: 46.91618
Waterfall Longitude: 11.98062

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Le Cascate di Riva (Riva Waterfalls; also Reinbachfälle in German) was a series of attractive waterfalls.

From what we could tell, there were three main drops on the Riva River though there were other waterfalls and cascades both on and off the Riva River.

Campo_Tures_059_20130531 - One of the attractive drops of the Cascate di Riva (Riva Waterfalls)
One of the attractive drops of the Cascate di Riva (Riva Waterfalls)

These waterfalls also have an alternate name by Cascate di Campo Tures (Campo Tures Waterfalls) because of its proximity to the town of Campo Tures (Sand in Taufers in German).

Speaking of the town, we noticed an attractive castle perched on a hill overlooking the town itself while backed by snowy white mountains.

It was too bad that the weather didn’t cooperate enough for us to truly see the full scale of the surrounding mountains, but even what was revealed was enough to impress us.

Given that these waterfalls were said to be one of the famous waterfalls in the Alto Adige (Südtirol) region, we have to believe that the picturesque Dolomites scenery along with the attractive castle and town must have helped the stature of the falls.

Campo_Tures_001_20130530 - Looking out towards the Taufers Castle on the outskirts of Campo Tures or Sand in Taufers
Looking out towards the Taufers Castle on the outskirts of Campo Tures or Sand in Taufers

It was certainly our waterfalling excuse to go this far out near the Austrian-Italian border.

The Cascate di Riva Waterfalls Hike – From Trailhead to First Waterfall

As for the waterfall experience itself, we started from a souvenir shop and cafe at Winkel, which was in the middle of the woods roughly 3km from Campo Tures (see directions below).

A wide trail began adjacent to the cafe as it went right into a forest of tall trees immediately giving us the feeling that we were truly back to Nature.

This trail persisted gradually uphill flanked by trees as well as the Riva River.

Campo_Tures_012_20130531 - Julie starting on the hike leading up to the Cascate di Riva from Winkel
Julie starting on the hike leading up to the Cascate di Riva from Winkel

We’d eventually reach the lookout for the first Riva Waterfall roughly 15 minutes from the start.

The first waterfall was a gushing 10m stocky waterfall that was towered over by tall cliffs concealing a gorge further upstream.

Despite the overcast conditions, Julie and I were quite struck by the clarity and color of the river suggesting that the watersource might be glacial in origin.

The lookout area of this first waterfall also allowed us to notice one of the abstract carvings depicting some kind of struggle of someone helping others scale the boulder they were perched on.

Campo_Tures_022_20130531 - The first of the Riva Waterfalls
The first of the Riva Waterfalls

I suspect the carving (the first of several) might be related to the pilgrimage trail (of which the waterfall trail seemed to coincide with) dedicated to San Francesco d’Assisi.

By the way, San Francesco d’Assisi is the same guy whom they dedicated the well-known town and basilica to in the Umbria region near Perugia.

The Cascate di Riva Waterfalls Hike – From the First Waterfall to the Second Waterfall

After the first Cascate di Riva waterfall, the path continued climbing.

Even though there were lots of trail junctions en route, there were enough signs pointing the way to continue on the waterfall trail (trail number 2, I believe).

Campo_Tures_043_20130531 - The ascending Cascate di Riva Trail between the first and second waterfalls
The ascending Cascate di Riva Trail between the first and second waterfalls

During this stretch, I recalled that we passed by a bunch of rock cairns that seemed to have some kind of significance, but I knew not what it was.

About 15 minutes later in the climb, we then reached a narrow wooden set of steps leading down to an overlook of the second Cascate di Riva waterfall.

This one featured a multi-tiered cascading shape that we found to be very attractive.

I personally found this second waterfall to be the most attractive of the three Riva Waterfalls, especially if you’re into graceful waterfalls (see photo at the top of this page).

Campo_Tures_062_20130531 - Limited real estate at the overlook for the second of the Riva Waterfalls
Limited real estate at the overlook for the second of the Riva Waterfalls

I don’t know the height of this tier of the Cascate di Riva, but it certainly seemed taller than the first waterfall.

The Cascate di Riva Waterfalls Hike – From the Second Waterfall to the Third Waterfall

Beyond the second waterfall, the trail continued climbing up more steps and switchbacks.

Near the apex of the next climb, we noticed another carving of two people reaching out for each other.

Again, I wasn’t sure what the scene was depicting but I speculate it had to do with San Francesco d’Assisi.

Campo_Tures_067_20130531 - The third of the Cascate di Riva, which was probably the tallest and most powerful of the three main waterfalls
The third of the Cascate di Riva, which was probably the tallest and most powerful of the three main waterfalls

At about 15 minutes of climbing and walking past the second waterfall, we reached a footbridge that was wet with the mist of the third Riva Waterfall.

This one was probably the most powerful and possibly the tallest (someone said it was 42m tall though that seemed kind of generous).

Given the tight gorge that the falls spilled into, there was a lot of mist swirling about during our visit.

In addition to an angled view from the footbridge, it was also possible to brave the wet and muddy conditions to try to view the falls directly across the gorge at an overlook with some wooden railings for protection from the dropoff.

The Cascate di Riva Waterfalls Hike – Beyond the Third Waterfall

Campo_Tures_076_20130531 - Context of a tall but thin fourth waterfall though I'm not sure if this counts as one of the Cascate di Riva
Context of a tall but thin fourth waterfall though I’m not sure if this counts as one of the Cascate di Riva

Beyond this third Riva Waterfall, the trail continued climbing towards another trail junction near a shrine.

This was where the San Francesco trail diverged from the remainder of the waterfall trail.

So we kept left as we passed by the shrine and then continued towards a lookout with a bench where we noticed a fourth waterfall.

The fourth waterfall appeared to be thin and temporary, and we weren’t sure if the additional waterfall signs beyond the third waterfall were referring to this waterfall.

Campo_Tures_079_20130531 - Context of a small shrine probably relating to San Francesco d'Assisi, which was situated next to a trail junction well upstream of the main Cascate di Riva
Context of a small shrine probably relating to San Francesco d’Assisi, which was situated next to a trail junction well upstream of the main Cascate di Riva

Finally, the Cascate di Riva trail continued beyond this overlook of the temporary waterfall to its end where there was a cafe and a road.

This was our turnaround point as we descended back the way we came to the trailhead.

However, we could have extended our walk by taking the road back down the hill to the town of Campo Tures (Sand in Taufers).

That would have incorporated visiting the attractive castle in town, but we’d still have to walk an additional 3km back to the car park by Winkel.

In any case, our out-and-back hike took us just under two hours.

Authorities

The Cascate di Riva (Riva Waterfalls) reside near the town of Campo Tures in the Bolzano-Alto-Adige Province of Italy. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit the Sand in Taufers Tourism Board website.

Campo_Tures_116_20130531 - Julie briefly checking out the cafe at Winkel, which was right at the start of our hike up to the Cascate di Riva
Campo_Tures_009_20130531 - Julie leaving the cafe to go onto the Cascate di Riva Trail
Campo_Tures_015_20130531 - I wasn't sure what this was, but it appeared to be a shrine of some sort.  We saw this adjacent to the Cascate di Riva Trail
Campo_Tures_016_20130531 - Julie following the red and white markers indicating the Cascate di Riva Trail (as well as possibly other trails that coincided with it)
Campo_Tures_021_20130531 - Looking ahead at the first of the Cascate di Riva waterfalls
Campo_Tures_022_20130531 - Angled view of the first of the Cascate di Riva
Campo_Tures_027_20130531 - Context of the trail with Julie way up ahead checking out the first of the Cascate di Riva
Campo_Tures_029_20130531 - This was the wooden carving (drenched in the first Riva Waterfall's mist by the way) that seemed to depict someone helping a pair of people scale this boulder
Campo_Tures_041_20130531 - Continuing on the trail between the first and second Riva Waterfalls where these markers helped us stay the course. Note the colors seemed representative of Austrian flag colors, which might hint at the Austrian heritage of this area
Campo_Tures_042_20130531 - Lots of rock cairns and knocked over cairns on this huge flat boulder seen along the trail to the Cascate di Riva
Campo_Tures_044_20130531 - Julie continuing to hike towards the second of the Riva Waterfalls while passing by this rest bench
Campo_Tures_046_20130531 - Looking down at the second of the Cascate di Riva where I found this one to be the most attractive one of the bunch
Campo_Tures_070_20130531 - Walking by some kind of shrine seen along the trail beyond the third of the Cascate di Riva
Campo_Tures_071_20130531 - At the other end of the Cascate di Riva waterfalls trail where there was a cafe by a road (suggesting it might be possible to drive up here and do the hike in reverse)
Campo_Tures_075_20130531 - This tall but thin waterfall was the fourth waterfall that we noticed, but this was not on the Riva
Campo_Tures_078_20130531 - Context of the fencing near where we spotted the fourth waterfall (if you call it part of the Cascate di Riva)
Campo_Tures_082_20130531 - Julie approaching the bridge before the third Riva Waterfall as we were heading back to the trailhead
Campo_Tures_089_20130531 - Context of the very misty lookout right across from the third of the Cascate di Riva looking back towards the footbridge crossing the gorge caused by the Riva
Campo_Tures_094_20130531 - Here was another wooden carving of two people reaching for each other.  We noticed this one between the second and third waterfalls on the return hike on the Cascate di Riva Trail
Campo_Tures_101_20130531 - Looking back at the overlook for the second of the Cascate di Riva
Campo_Tures_103_20130531 - We noticed this interesting landmark or memorial not far before the second Riva Waterfall
Campo_Tures_109_20130531 - Julie in a rain poncho heading back along the Cascate di Riva Trail towards Winkel
Campo_Tures_112_20130531 - Making it back down to the first of the Cascate di Riva
Campo_Tures_115_20130531 - Context of Julie on the Cascate di Riva Trail adjacent to the Riva watercourse as we were almost back at the beginning

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We drove to le Cascate di Riva from Bolzano so that’s how we’ll describe the route in this section.

From Bolzano, we drove north on the A22 for about 44km before exiting at Bressanone.

Once at that exit, we followed the signs for Val Pusteria, which ultimately put us onto the two-lane E66.

We then followed the E66 for about 25km to the town of Brunico, where we then followed the signs for Campo Tures (Sand in Taufers), which was on the SS621.

Campo_Tures_117_20130531 - The car park at Winkel for the Cascate di Riva
The car park at Winkel for the Cascate di Riva

When the SP48 (Via Industriale) branched off from the SS621 (roughly 13km north of Brunico), we stayed right to go onto Via Industriale, and then followed this road for 2.3km to the turnoff for Cascate di Riva.

We must warn that the signs for the waterfall were seen at this turnoff heading south on Via Industriale.

However, we did not see the sign heading north!

I don’t know what’s up with these signs being seen in one direction (this must’ve been the second or third time it happened to us on this trip).

However, if you end up doing what we did and find yourself in Campo Tures (Sand in Taufers), then you missed the turnoff!

Campo_Tures_005_20130530 - The Taufers Castle was the main landmark in Campo Tures or Sand in Taufers
The Taufers Castle was the main landmark in Campo Tures or Sand in Taufers

Once on the correct turnoff, the road narrows considerably (almost single-lane) as it crosses the Ahr Stream and follows the Caminata di Tures towards the car park at Winkel.

During our visit, the car park required a euro for each hour, but paying 3 euros would have been good for the day (if you wanted to do extend this into a longer walk than two hours).

The drive was just under 2 hours between Bolzano and Campo Tures.

For additional context, Bolzano was 61km (under an hour drive) north of Trento, 269km (2.5-3 hours drive) northwest of Venice (Venezia), and 280km (over 3 hours drive) northeast of Milan (Milano).

Top down then left to right sweep of the lowermost of the falls in Campo Tures


Bottom up and angled sweep of the attractive middle tier of the falls


Bottom up sweep starting from downstream the bridge, then going across the bridge before ending at the powerful and misty uppermost waterfall

Tagged with: sand in taufers, campo tures, val pusteria, bolzano, trentino, alto adige, sudtirol, bozen, italy, waterfall, dolomites, dolomiti, south tyrol



Visitor Comments:

Riva Waterfalls July 24, 2014 1:06 pm by Martin - Great Info! The Riva Waterfalls are one of our fav. too. The actual german name of the castle is "Burg Taufers". ...Read More

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