The red-and-white waymarked path on this round walk climbs steeply up to Arnau. Views of the Maggia valley and surrounding mountains can be glimpsed from time to time through the mighty chestnut trees. On reaching the top, you can already spy the distant stone refuges, nestled between barren mountains and lush meadows.
Of the 11 low buildings on the Alpe di Spluga, three are geared to self-catering hikers. They are open from May to October and equipped with a shower/WC, dormitory, kitchen and lounge – and a terrace boasting an immersive "cinema", i.e. nature! Various beverages are available in the hut, paid by means of an honesty box.
A steep ascent must mean there's a descent somewhere: this one is to Cortone. It's then a long yet pleasant descent to Arnau, followed by Giumaglio.