Left: Hike route with Monviso on the left. Right: View of Lago Superiore and Monviso.
Length: ~ 5.24 km / 3.3 miles
Duration: ~ 2.5 hours
Elevation: 486 m / 1,594' difference
Location: Italy, Piemonte, Alta Valle Po, Pian del Re
We were inspired to take a look around Pian del Re for a couple of reasons. First of all, we were eager for a up-close view of Monviso as well as a look at where the Po River starts. Second, we had a cousin visiting and wanted to show her the mountains around Cuneo. So we did a small loop that included Rifugio Pian del Re (2013 m), Lago Superiore (2313 m), Lago Fiorenza (2113 m) and back to Rifugio Pian del Re for a late lunch. There are a lot of hiking choices in the area needless to say. See Alpi Cuneesi Valle Po for examples.
During our 2.5 hours hike, Monviso was usually in view with clouds dancing around its summit. The mountain is considered the inspiration for the Paramount Pictures logo.
Within a 100 meters of the Rifugio Pian del Re is the beginning of the Po River, the longest river in Italy. We started up V16 trail and we came down from Lago Fiorenza (V13A trail) where we came upon the sorgente source. People were gathered around photographing it, groups of kids sat on rocks, and couples sunbathed nearby.
Left: View of Rifugio Pian del Re with Monviso. Right: Two hikers contemplate Monviso.
Left: [Asteraceae] Cirsium spinosissimum. Center: [Liliaceae] Paradisea liliastrum. Right: [Ranunculaceae] Aquilegia alpina.
Left: Sign showing Flora of the Valle del Po. Right: Pian del Re sign.
Left: Start of the Po River. Right: View of Lago Superiore to Monviso.