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San Salvatore Forest Trail



1.7 mile 2.7 kilometer point to point
59% Runnable


Ascent: 1,609' 490 m
Descent: -97' -30 m
High: 2,971' 906 m
Low: 1,459' 445 m


Avg Grade: 19% (11°)
Max Grade: 69% (35°)


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Trail shared by Gavin Harte


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A testing climb up San Salvatore with great views of Lake Lugano and Swiss Alps.

Gavin Harte

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Open all year but would advise against tackling this in winter given that many parts get little or no sun. Can be very icy.

Runner Notes

Rocks and roots. Plenty of loose stones so proper trail running shoes are advisable.


I chose to start from the trailhead in Pazzallo as you're straight into the green from there. This is also the middle station of the funicular railway which climbs up the mountain. You can also start your climb from the bottom of the funicular (Via delle Scuole 7, 6900 Paradiso) but as this is in the city you're going to be running on asphalt. It's not ugly, but you're going through residential areas which are not as enjoyable as the forest trail. Either way the route is well marked with the yellow route markers so familiar to those of you who have ever been running in Switzerland.

The trail is mostly in the forest with a lot of rock steps rather than plain trail so your legs definitely get a good workout. You shouldn't have any difficulties in finding the way up as there is basically only one path. Just below the peak you can take one of two paths, but they both come to the same place.

This is not a long trail and if you're fit you should be able to be up and back in a little over an hour (with time for a quick break and photo opportunity at the top). If the climb took it out of you, or you don't like running downhill, then take the funicular back down to either the middle station or back to the city.

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes


in Lugano


  4.0 from 2 votes
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in Lugano


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10 Views Last Month
967 Since May 3, 2015



View of the beautiful Lugano and the Ticinese alps in the background
May 3, 2015 near Montagnola, CH
View from the top looking south towards Monte San Giorgio (middle) and Milan in the distance (1 hour south)
May 3, 2015 near Melide, CH
View towards Monte Boglia (the bald peak on left) and Porlezza and the end of the lake
May 3, 2015 near Montagnola, CH
Look for this sign at the trailhead. Up all the way from here
May 3, 2015 near Sorengo, CH


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