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Macugnaga Ski Resort Guide

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Macugnaga, Italy

Rated: 3/5 (from 6 ratings)

Macugnaga Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForApres-Ski.
Total Piste Length24 miles
Highest Lift9,744ft
Resort Height4,364ft
 Nearest AirportsMilan Malpensa and Milan Linate
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Macugnaga at a glance

Made up of two pretty villages, Staffa and Pecetto, Macugnaga is located beneath the magnificent Monte Rosa, over the border from Saas Fee in Switzerland. Staffa is the larger of the two and location for the usually lively, informal après ski scene.

 When will it snow in Macugnaga?

The next notable snow forecast for Macugnaga is 3in, expected on 16 August.

See our Snow Forecast for Macugnaga for the latest update, or   Join our Snow Mail Here

Macugnaga Facts, Stats and Ratings

Macugnaga Rated

Ratings for Macugnaga
Intermediate Skiers

How High is Macugnaga?

Max Vertical and Resort Altitude for Macugnaga
Highest Lift9,744ft
Lowest Trail4,364ft
Resort Altitude (Macugnaga)4,364ft
Max Vertical5,381ft

Ski Area, Pistes and Lifts

Macugnaga Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats for Macugnaga
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
 2 1 miles
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
 7 16 miles
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
 4 4 miles
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
 2 4 miles
Total Length
24 miles
Cross Country
Total Length
11 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
°F / in / ft / miles°C / cm / m / km

Macugnaga Summary

The Italian Ski Resort of Macugnaga has direct access to 24 miles of downhill skiing, with 15 marked pistes, served by a total of 12 ski lifts.

With ski lifts as high as 9,744ft, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Macugnaga Overview

Some of Macugnaga's buildings date back to the thirteenth century and it has something of a cult status, and a 'Swiss feel', thanks to its location a few kilometres south of Switzerland. Its position, across the modern border, accounts for its Germanic Walser tribe traditions. The vintage (but fast!) cable car and a piste map done in oil paints help to underline the feeling that you're stepping back in to the era of classic ski resorts; even if Macugnaga's first lift didn't start running until 1950 when those early resorts were losing their monopoly.

Made up of two pretty villages, Staffa and Pecetto, Macugnaga is located beneath the magnificent Monte Rosa, over the border from Saas Fee in one direction (which can be reached on ski with the help of a guide) and fellow Italian ski centre Gressoney on the other. Staffa is the larger of the two villages and the one commonly regarded as 'Macugnaga' as well as being the location for the usually lively, informal après ski scene. The majority of the serious skiing is here and most of the old chalet style buildings, many of them clustered around the central square. Pecetto, a 15 minute walk away, is quieter and has the smaller and easier ski area of Belvedere above it.

Macugnaga originally grew up as a trading and meeting point, but also has a long mining history. The ancient gold mine which can still be visited today, opened in 1710. Another monument to the village's long past, the old church, was built at the place where Macuganga was established. Inside there are frescoes and furniture dating back through the centuries. In the churchyard, beyond the graves of the village's inhabitants, the power of the mountains in emphasised by the graves of guides and hikers who have lost their lives on Monte Rosa - a tribute to the real power of the mountain and a world away from the sanitised ski centres of the modern era.

The image painted so far may give Macugnaga the wrong skiing image as a hardcore winter sports centre like Chamonix or a La Grave; in fact the resort attracts a great number of beginner and second-week skiers who have ideal terrain and conditions. There are some superb long reds and blacks for more advanced skiers but most will want to venture off piste with a guide for more variety.

On the Mountain

The most difficult run is the 'Roccette + Roccette Bis'.

 Skiing in Macugnaga

Macugnaga's skiing is divided in to two sections, a 15 minute walk apart. The smaller Belvedere area above Pecetto has largely easy terrain served by two chairs and a drag. It's a wonderful place for beginners and early intermediate skiers who will enjoy this unintimidating enclave, a million miles from the crowded motorways of the mega-resorts. The very reasonably priced lift pass, especially low season, is another big advantage.

The second and larger area is on Monte Moro, which backs on to Saas Fee in Switzerland. There is no lift link but guides will take you over on skis (beware of the three hour coach journey back!). The two stage cable car from Staffa ascends the full 1643m (5390ft) vertical from the village, opening up some wonderful long reds including the 8km (5 mile) long Meccia B route. This takes you back down to the bottom of the ski area, the middle station of the cable car, as the lower section back down to the village is not-pisted and generally regarded as not skiable. The skiable vertical for the upper section is 1103m (3620 feet). Most of the rest of the skiing is on similar long reds, including the 6.5km (4 mile) Monte Moro. In between there are extensive powder fields to explore with all the skiing in this section above the tree line.

Experts have three blacks to choose from including the 3km (2 mile) long Ruppenstein run, otherwise it's off-piste or heli-skiing with Elialpi. There are also a couple of drags at village level in Staffi giving an added choice for beginners staying in this part of the resort.

Macugnaga offers good sking, particularly, for Intermediate skiers.

 Snowboarding in Macugnaga

Snowboarders will enjoy the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of Macugnaga, and the fact that the cable car accesses superb long pistes of up to 8km (5 miles) in length, often with open powder on either side of the trail. The long cruising reds and blacks of Mount Moro are also largely 'flat free'. First timers should also consider Macugnaga, where the small separate beginners' area at Belvedere is, unusually for Europe, chairlift served, with fun trails down through the trees of very easy, easy and moderate gradient.

The ski school only offers 'boarding lessons if there are at least five participants however. The resort's half pipe is located back on Monte Moro, near the Smeraldo ski lift, when the snow is enough.

Off the slopes Macugnaga tends to be rather quiet, but it's a good place if you like to chill out and stare in awe at the spectacular scenery of Monte Rosa, rather than party all night.

When is Macugnaga open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates for Macugnaga.

Usual opening is early December, and usual closing is Late April.

NOTE:- Lift and Piste openings are always subject to Snow Conditions in Macugnaga.

Snow Making

Macugnaga is able to make snow, with 33 snow cannons.

Ski Lift Capacity

The 12 ski lifts of Macugnaga are able to uplift 7,800 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Where is Macugnaga?

Macugnaga is in the Italian Alps in Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Piedmont, Italy.

How can I get to Macugnaga?

 By Air

The nearest airports to Macugnaga are Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate and Lugano. There are seven airports within three hours drive.

Off the Mountain

Macugnaga Aprés Ski

There are about two dozen bars and restaurants in Macugnaga, half of them spread around the two main villages, the rest in outlying districts. All offer a friendly, informal and fairly priced service. The Flora in the village centre overlooking the square is one of the more popular venues and has a Karaoke room, whilst the Hotel Zumstein's bar features characteristic mountain decor and good views of Monte Rosa.

In quieter Pecettoi the Signal's small bar with open fire is one of the most attractive. A visit to the Bar Happy at Pestarena is worthwhile if only for the name. Most of the late night action is at the Big Ben disco, which stays open to 4am on busy nights.


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