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Riale Di Censo, Osogna

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1st outing in Ticino, the canyon Eldorado in southern Switzerland. The Riale di Censo is one of the local classics. Long and varied, with a first section in the woods and a second more open to the valley, the descent is pleasant but ultimately quite physical. The sequence of waterfalls and obstacles is almost seamless, with a beautiful verticality particularly in the central section, just after the mid-course bridge. A few slides and abseils in the active section are also part of the program.

Technical summary

Type ✦ Water canyon
Location ✦ Claro
Region ✦ Ticino
Country ✦ Switzerland
Length ✦ 1100m
Vertical rise ✦ 460m
Difficulty ✦ v5-a4-III
Max abseiling ✦ 55m
Duration ✦ 5h to 6h
Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

After Locarno and Bellinzona, near the village of Claro, just above the Al Censo campsite. Park just outside the campsite, at the bridge that marks the exit from the canyon.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 1h

From the bridge, take the winding road upwards and once in the village, take the forest path which climbs gradually, marked with orange dots and white and red Swiss markers. After about 30′ you cross a bridge over the canyon bed. Climb another 30′ or so to branch off onto a path marked with an arrow and 2 blue waves, indicating the start of the canyon 5′ further on.

Course 4h à 5h

The canyon descends from east to west over a total distance of more than 1km, with a vertical drop of 460m. The equipment in place is satisfactory, with rappels mostly on 2 points.

1st section

The first part is a series of fairly short obstacles, except for the big, slippery 55m waterfall, which is followed by a tricky 15m intermediate belay. At the end of this sequence, you arrive at the small approach bridge, which marks the halfway point and provides an easy escape route.
Part 2

The second part opens out into the valley with a series of vertical waterfalls over 120m long (50m, 6m, 25m, 40m), visible from the campsite. We then return to the woods to finish with a number of more obstacles, including a magnificent almost-final 40m abseil in the hollow of a well-watered fissure that takes us into a basin with sculpted walls.

Before setting off, call the Infoline on +41 91 756 66 15 for information on water release forecasts for the upstream dam.


Immediate, as you exit directly to the bridge and parking lot.

Map & topo



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