If mountain ranges were musical genres then the Italian Dolomites would be opera – like La Traviata or Eugene Onegin. You know the ones that are so achingly beautiful that crying is the only appropriate response. 

Hiking in the Dolomites Mountains is an intoxicating outdoor, cultural, and culinary experience. From the unimaginable, tear-inducing beauty of the peaks to the charm and hospitality of the mountain huts, hiking in the Italian Dolomites can easily become an addiction.

The Dolomites are a vast mountain range in the Italian Alps, composed of about 26 sub-ranges, in northeastern Italy. Forming part of the Southern Limestone Alps (like Slovenia’s Julian Alps), these mountains stretch across three Italian regions: Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige (Trentino – Südtirol), and Friuli Venezia Giulia. 

To help you figure out where to hike, we’ve curated all the best Dolomites day hikes, ranging from delightfully easy walks to very demanding peak hikes.

If you have any questions about these Dolomites hiking trails, follow us on Instagram @moonhoneytravelers, and send us a DM, or leave us a comment.

Best Hikes in the Dolomites

Easy Day Hikes in the Dolomites:

  1. Seceda Ridgeline to Rifugio Firenze 
  2. Adolf Munkel Trail 
  3. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit 
  4. Armentara Meadows Trail
  5. Baita Segantini and Monte Castellaz Circuit
  6. Alpe di Siusi to Monte Pana
  7. Path of the Larches 

Moderate Day Hikes in the Dolomites:

  1. Monte Pic Summit
  2. Rifugio Genova and the Val di Funes Alpine Pastures 
  3. Sass de Putia Circuit
  4. Lago di Sorapiss 
  5. Rifugio Puez and Rifugio Gardenacia

Challenging Hikes in the Dolomites:

  1. Resciesa Plateau to Seceda Ridgeline 
  2. Col dala Pieres Summit
  3. Cima Pisciadù Summit
  4. Vajolet Towers
  5. Val Venegia to Rifugio Mulaz
  6. Around Pala di San Martino: Rifugio Rosetta to Rifugio Pradidali 
  7. Rifugio Fanes and Rifugio Lavarella
  8. Cima della Vezzana Summit

2021 Update. We just hiked these trails in June/July 2021 and loved them:

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Dolomites Hiking Map

1. Seceda Ridgeline to Regensburger Hütte Circuit Hike

Seceda, Dolomites Hiking Trails
  • Where: Puez-Odle Nature Park 
  • Trailhead: Seceda Cableway Mountain Station
  • Cableway Ascent/Descent: Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda Cableways, Ortisei, Val Gardena
  • Distance: 8.9 km Circuit
  • Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
  • Time Needed: 3:00 – 3:30 hours 
  • Where to Stay: Casa al Sole in Ortisei

Seceda is a mountain in the Odle/Geisler Group in South Tyrol. The Seceda summit (2518 meters) is one of the most celebrated photography spots in the Dolomites, because of its striking view of the dagger-like Fermeda Peaks. 

The easiest and swiftest way to reach Seceda is by cableway ascent from the village of Ortisei in Val Gardena. From the Seceda cableway mountain station, it’s a mere 10-minute walk to the Seceda summit. 

This dazzling location is just the beginning of a wonderful loop trail in Puez Odle Nature Park. From the summit, follow the Seceda ridgeline in the direction of the staggering Odle/Geisler peaks. 

When you reach the Furcella de Pana/Panascharte notch, continue right on trail 1 in the direction of Baita Troier. The dizzy trail that plummets to the left leads to Val di Funes

At the next intersection, turn left on trail 2B, and hike to the Pieralongia alpine pasture hut. The trail continues to Rifugio Firenze/Regensburger Hütte, a mountain hut at the foot of Mount Stevia, facing Sassolungo. 

You can eat lunch at the hut, before completing the circuit to Seceda. 

Learn More: Seceda to Rifugio Firenze Hike

Seceda Hiking Tips

  • The Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda cableways usually operate from early June until mid-October. See opening hours.
  • Alternative Ascents: You can also hike to Seceda from the Col Raiser gondola mountain station (1 hour). The Col Raiser gondola is a great option if you’re staying in Selva di Val Gardena or Santa Cristina. Alternatively, you can hike to Seceda without a cable car (see Monte Pic hike), or from the Resciesa plateau (see Resciesa to Seceda hike). 
  • If you want to see the sunrise at Seceda, stay the night at Rifugio Firenze or Rifugio Fermeda. Wild camping is not allowed at Seceda, or anywhere in Puez-Odle Nature Park. 
  • Along the trail, you’ll pass several mountain huts and refuges, which offer food, drinks, and restrooms. 

2. Adolf Munkel Trail

Adolf Munkel Trail, Best Dolomites Hiking Trails
  • Where: Puez-Odle Nature Park 
  • Trailhead: Zannes/Zans Car Park, Val di Funes, South Tyrol 
  • Distance: 9.2 km Circuit 
  • Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
  • Time Needed: 3:00 – 3:30 hours
  • Where to Stay: Fallerhof or Hotel Fines in Santa Maddalena, Val di Funes

The Adolf Munkel Trail (Via delle Odle, Adolf Munkel Weg) is a hiking path at the foot of the Geisler Group in Val di Funes (Villnösstal). 

It’s one of the most impressive day hikes in the Dolomites because it brings you to the very base of the piercing Geisler Peaks. 

As you weave in and out of stone pine and larch forest, you’ll see these remarkable spires jutting out of fields of pearly-white scree. 

The Adolf Munkel Trail also strings together some of the loveliest alpine pasture huts (Alm in German, Malga in Italian) in Val di Funes: including Dusler Alm, Geisler Alm, and Gschnagenhardt Alm. All these huts offer hungry hikers delicious food served with unforgettable views. 

Learn More: Adolf Munkel Trail Guide

Adolf Munkel Trail Hiking Tips

  • Hike the Adolf Munkel Trail in the late afternoon for the best light. 
  • Allow extra time in order to savor a South Tyrolean meal at one of the alpine pasture huts.

3. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Hike

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit, Best Hikes in the Italian Dolomites
  • Where: Tre Cime Nature Park / Naturpark Drei Zinnen / Parco Naturale Tre Cime
  • Trailhead: Rifugio Auronzo, Belluno 
  • Distance: 9.7 km Circuit 
  • Difficulty: Easy – Moderate 
  • Time Needed: 4 hours
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Rosengarten in Dobbiaco. You can also stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Drei Zinnen in German) is the name given to three massive peaks in the Sexten Dolomites: The Cima Grande (2,999 m), Cima Occidentale (2,973 m), and Cima Piccola (2,857 m). These three monoliths are a landmark of the Italian Dolomites. Not surprisingly, the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hiking trail is one of the most popular destinations in the Dolomites.

The loop trail around the iconic Three Peaks is an easy-moderate day hike that takes about 4 hours to complete. 

The trail starts at the mountain hut Rifugio Auronzo, which is accessible by a toll road (30 EUR for private cars). From Rifugio Auronzo, you can either start the circuit clockwise on trail 105 towards Langelam or counter-clockwise on trail 101 towards Rifugio Lavaredo. It’s more popular to hike the loop counter-clockwise, but we prefer clockwise. 

Though most people venture here to behold the mighty Three Peaks, they soon realize that Tre Cime di Lavaredo is just the beginning of an unending visual feast that extends in every possible direction. Along this Dolomites hiking trail, you’ll be equally mesmerized by the fantastical Cadini di Misurina and jagged Monte Paterno/Paternkofel. 

Remember the bit about opera? Well, we’re in the Wagnerian realm now. 

For a tasty lunch and the most impressive view of Tre Cime di Lavaredo, grab a bite to eat at Rifugio Locatelli/Dreizinnenhütte.

Learn More: Tre Cime di Lavaredo Day Hike 

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Hiking Tips

  • The toll road to Rifugio Auronzo is usually open from late May/beginning of June until late October/early November, depending on snow conditions. To find out if the toll road is open, you can reach out to the Auronzo tourist office: iat@comune.auronzo.bl.it 
  • The mountain huts along the trail are usually open from late June until late September. 
  • Given the popularity of this Dolomites hiking destination, we suggest starting early in the morning, or late in the afternoon. You can drive to Rifugio Auronzo at any time. The staff responsible for collecting the toll fee is present at the toll station from 6 am until 8 pm. If you pass the toll station before 6 am, you can pick up your ticket by pressing the clearly visible button and pay the toll upon return (after your hike). 
  • If you’d like to experience staying in a mountain hut and hiking hut-to-hut, check out our 3-day Tre Cima di Lavaredo trek

4. Armentara Meadows Trail

Armentara Meadows Trail, Alta Badia, Best Dolomites Hikes
  • Where: Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park / Fanes-Sennes-Prags Nature Park
  • Trailhead: La Crusc Church 
  • Cableway Ascent: Santa Croce Chairlift followed by the La Crusc Chairlift, Badia, Alta Badia, South Tyrol
  • Distance: 9 km point-to-point 
  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Time Needed: 3 hours 
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Melodia del Bosco in Badia

Some of the most beautiful Dolomites hiking trails are blissfully easy. If you’re in the mood for a gentle saunter across sloping meadows, this is for you.

Walking across Armentara meadows is like listening to a Rossini, or Donizetti opera. It’s light, happy, and effortless. That’s my last opera reference, promise!

The Armentara plateau is located on the western edge of Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park in Alta Badia.

To start this hike, head to the village of Badia in Alta Badia. Take the Santa Croce Chairlift followed by the La Crusc Chairlift to the La Crusc/Santa Croce/Heiligkreuz church. 

From the pilgrimage church, follow trail 15 to Armentara, beneath the arresting rock faces of Mt. Sasso di Santa Croce. The trail slowly and continuously descends across rolling green pastures, peppered with hay huts. 

For lunch, we recommend stopping at Űtia Ranch da André. From this hut, continue on trail 7a all the way down to Badia (1:15 hours).

Learn More: Armentara Meadows Day Hike

5. Baita Segantini and Monte Castellaz Hike

Baita Segantini Loop TrBaita Segantini Hike, Pale di San Martino, Best Day Hikes in the Dolomites
  • Where: Pale di San Martino Natural Park
  • Trailhead: Passo Rolle, Trentino 
  • Distance: 9.2 km Circuit
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time Needed: 3:00 – 3:30 hours 
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Colbricon Beauty & Relax in San Martino di Castrozza

Baita Segantini is an alpine pasture hut directly facing the Pale di San Martino mountain range in Trentino. 

This spectacular Dolomites destination is easy to get to and as you can imagine very popular. While most people make a beeline for Baita Segantini, we recommend approaching the hut from Monte Castellaz. It’s a far more interesting approach, rewarding hikers with dramatic views of the Pala Group from multiple angles. 

Starting at the Passo Rolle, a mountain pass high above San Martino di Castrozza, hike to the Capanna Cervino mountain hut. Proceed along the road in the direction of Baita Segantini for about 10 minutes. When you reach a signed intersection, turn left towards the solitary Monte Castellaz mountain. 

The trail ascends to the summit of Monte Castellaz, marked by the Cristo Pensante (“Pensive Christ”) sculpture. Enjoy the various viewpoints, before starting the descent along the north flank of Castellaz. When the trail levels, you’ll hike across grassy pastures towards the Pale di San Martino peaks. The trail ushers you to the perfectly positioned Baita Segantini hut. 

From Baita Segantini, follow the road all the way down to Passo Rolle (45 minutes). 

Learn More: Baita Segantini Hiking Guide 

Baita Segantini Hiking Tips

  • Hike this trail in the late afternoon.
  • Watch the sunset at Baita Segantini. 
  • There’s a large, free parking lot at Passo Rolle. 
  • You can extend this hike by hiking to Val Venegia from Baita Segantini. 

6. Alpe di Siusi to Monte Pana

Alpe di Siusi Meadows, Dolomites
  • Where: Alpe di Siusi
  • Trailhead: Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Gondola Mountain Station
  • Cableway Ascent: Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Gondola, Ortisei, Val Gardena
  • Ending Point: Santa Cristina, Val Gardena
  • Distance: 12.8 km point-to-point 
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time Needed: 3:30 hours
  • Where to Stay: Casa al Sole in Ortisei

Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm in German, Mont de Sëuc in Ladin) is the largest high alpine pasture in Europe. The plateau is furrowed with walking and biking paths, leading towards the Sassolungo Group, Catinaccio/Rosengarten mountains, and Sciliar/Schlern massif. 

If you’re staying in Ortisei, you can easily ascend to the Alpe di Siusi meadows via the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola. From the mountain station, we recommend traversing the plateau along trail 9 to Saltria. From Saltria, we hiked along trail 30 to the Monte Pana plateau, before descending to Santa Cristina, another village in Val Gardena. 

Learn More: Alpe di Siusi to Monte Pana Hike 

Alpe di Siusi Hiking Tips

  • Eat lunch at Radauer Schwaige or Saltner Schwaige. 
  • Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola usually operates from late May/early June until late October/early November. 
  • Alpe di Siusi is at its most beautiful at sunrise and sunset. Consider staying the night on the plateau at Sporthotel Sonne and Alpina Dolomites.

7. Path of the Larches

Path of the Larches: Winter Hike in San Cassiano, Alta Badia
  • Where: Fanes-Sennes-Prags Nature Park
  • Trailhead: San Cassiano, Alta Badia 
  • Distance: 5.8 km out-and-back
  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Time Needed: 1:30 –  2 hours
  • Where to Stay: Lagació Hotel Mountain Residence in San Cassiano

Path of the Larches (Tru di lersc) is a short scenic trail between the Rü farm and the Rudiferia farm, above San Cassiano/Sankt Kassian in Alta Badia. 

At Rü, turn left onto Path of the Larches in the direction of La Crusc. The larch-lined trail runs along the border of the Fanes-Sennes-Prags Nature Park, steadily descending the whole time. The village of La Villa at the foot of the Puez Group is visible ahead.

This delightful Dolomites hiking trail is a perfect excursion on arrival and departure days, or when you don’t have a lot of time. It’s also something you can do all year round. We hiked the trail knee-deep in snow and it was enchanting.

Learn More: Path of the Larches Trail 

8. Monte Pic Summit

Monte Pic Day Hike, Val Gardena, Dolomites Hiking Trails
  • Where: Puez-Odle Nature Park, South Tyrol
  • Trailhead: Cristauta/Praplan Car Park, Santa Cristina, Val Gardena
  • Distance: 13.9 km Circuit
  • Difficulty: Moderate / Moderately-Difficult 
  • Time Needed: 6 hours 
  • Where We Stayed: Dorfhotel Beludei in Santa Cristina 

Monte Pic/Picberg is a panoramic mountain in the Val Gardena Dolomites, high above Ortisei and Santa Cristina. You can easily combine Monte Pic with the Seceda Ridgeline, which is an excellent option when the cableways aren’t operating. 

This is one of our favorite day hikes in the Dolomites, because it gives you a great overview of the Odle Group and the Seceda Alp. The trail connects a number of Val Gardena alpine pasture huts and refuges, which make for delightful rest stops along this gorgeous tour. 

The highlight of this Dolomites hike is the view from Monte Pic and the descent to the Baita Seurasas alpine pastures, one of the best-kept secrets in Val Gardena.

Learn More: Monte Pic Day Hike 

9. Rifugio Genova and the Val di Funes Alpine Pastures 

Hike to Furcella de Furcia / Kreuzjoch, Val di Funes
  • Where: Puez-Odle Nature Park
  • Trailhead: Zannes/Zan Car Park in Val di Funes, South Tyrol
  • Distance: 11 km Circuit 
  • Difficulty: Moderate 
  • Time Needed: 4:30 hours
  • Where to Stay: Fallerhof or Hotel Fines in Santa Maddalena, Val di Funes

Rifugio Genova/Schlüterhütte is a mountain hut in Puez-Odle Nature Park. Starting at the Zannes Car Park (like the Adolf Munkel Trail) in Val di Funes, follow trail 6 in the direction of Furcella de Furcia/Kreuzjoch. This trail leads across quiet meadows and ascends steadily to the Kreuzjoch saddle. 

This corner of Puez-Geisler Nature Park is delightfully quiet.

With steady views of the Puez and Fanes mountains, continue along trail 5 and then trail 3 to Rifugio Genova. Sasso di Santa Croce/Mount Heiligenkreuzkofel rises above Val Badia like a ship at the crest of a wave. 

From Rifugio Genova, continue to Malga Gampen/Gampenalm (30 minutes) and then to Zans/Zannes (50 minutes). As you wander across the Val di Funes alpine pastures, you’ll be treated to yet another satisfying vista of the Geisler peaks. 

Learn More: Rifugio Genova Day Hike 

10. Sass de Putia Circuit Hike

Sass de Putia Circuit, Hiking in the Dolomites
  • Where: Puez-Odle Nature Park
  • Trailhead: Passo delle Erbe, Alta Badia
  • Distance: 12.8
  • Difficulty: Moderate 
  • Time Needed: 4 Hours
  • Where We Stayed: Ütia de Börz at Passo delle Erbe

Sass de Putia/Peitlerkofel is a solitary two-headed mountain in Puez-Odle Nature Park. 

A highly enjoyable hiking path circuits Sass de Putia, weaving through forest and across alpine pastures.

From the Passo delle Erbe mountain pass, follow the road towards Sass de Putia. When you reach the alpine pastures at the base of the mountain’s northern slopes (20 minutes), turn right and follow signs to the Forcela de Pütia/Peitlerscharte mountain saddle. 

The ascent to the saddle is the hardest part of the hike. It’s straightforward, but continuously uphill. 

From here, the trail descends across romantic alpine pastures and continues to Ütia Vaciara and Ütia de Göma, two huts directly on the trail. We had a wonderful lunch at Ütia de Göma. 

Learn More: Sass de Putia Trail Guide

Tips for Hiking around Sass de Putia

  • Stay the night at Ütia de Börz, an upscale mountain refuge, located directly at the trailhead. Their food is outstanding. 
  • You can combine this hike with the summit of Sass de Putia (difficult). 
  • You can detour to Rifugio Genova from the Forcela de Pütia saddle. 

11. Lago di Sorapiss Hike

Lago di Sorapiss, Best Dolomites Hiking Trails
  • Where: Parco Naturale delle Dolomiti d’Ampezzo
  • Trailhead: Passo Tre Croci, Belluno
  • Distance: 12 km out-and-back 
  • Difficulty: Moderate 
  • Time Needed: 4 hours 
  • Where to Stay: Faloria Mountain Spa Resort in Cortina d’Ampezzo

Lago di Sorapiss is a glacial lake in the Sorapiss Group in the province of Belluno. Ringed by larch trees and situated at the base of the towering Punta Sorapiss, Lake Sorapiss is one of the most alluring Dolomites hiking destinations. 

Apart from the mountain backdrop, it’s the lake’s unique color that captivates. The turquoise water has a milky quality due to suspended powdered rock. You might think you’re looking at an enchantress’ pool filled with a magic potion.

The easiest way to get to Lago di Sorapiss is from the Passo Tre Croci mountain pass, located about half-way between Cortina d’Ampezzo and Misurina. 

From Passo Tre Croci, follow trail 215 towards Rifugio Vandelli. Trail 215 is initially wide and level. After about an hour, the trail becomes increasingly steep and narrow. There are some exposed sections, secured with cables. 

Shortly before arriving at the lake, you’ll pass the Rifugio Vandelli mountain hut.

We hiked back to Passo Tre Croci via the same route. However, there are other options, including the return route via Forcella Marcoira. 

Tips for Visiting Lago di Sorapiss

  • Avoid hiking to Lago di Sorpaiss in July and August. This is a very popular Dolomites day hike and your experience will be greatly impacted by the amount of people on this trail. 
  • Swimming is not allowed in Lago di Sorapiss

12. Rifugio Puez and Rifugio Gardenacia 

Rifugio Gardenacia Day Hike, La Villa to Colfosco, Italian Dolomites
  • Where: Puez-Odle Nature Park
  • Trailhead: Gardenaccia Chairlift Mountain Station
  • Cableway Ascent: Gardenaccia Chairlift, La Villa, Alta Badia
  • Ending Point: Corvara or Colfosco, Alta Badia 
  • Distance: 13 km point-to-point
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Time Needed: 6 hours 
  • Where We Stayed: Hotel Ciasa Soleil in La Villa

Rifugio Puez (Puez Hütte, Ütia de Puez) and Rifugio Gardenacia are two mountain huts in Puez-Odle Nature Park. 

This point-to-point Dolomites hike begins with the Gardenaccia Chairlift ascent from the village of La Villa in Val Badia. From the mountain station, follow trail 5 to Rifugio Gardenacia (50 minutes), a cheerful mountain hut facing Fanes with a dozen resident Haflinger horses. 

Continue in the direction of Rifugio Puez on trail 5/11 and then trail 15. Trail 15 cuts across the vast and desolate Gherdenacia alpine plateau, which looks like a stone desert (similar to the Altopiano delle Pale di San Martino). After ascending to Forcella de Gherdenacia, continue towards the cone-shaped Col dala Sone (2663 m) mountain. It’s another 40 minutes to Puez Hütte. Shortly before arriving at the hut, there are some impressive views of Vallunga/Langental Valley. 

From Puez mountain hut, we followed trail 2 (direction: Colfosco) to Forcella de Ciampëi Scharte and then trail 4 followed by 4A to Corvara. Given the long descent (trail 4A), we think it’s better to end in Colfosco. 

Learn More: Rifugio Puez Day Hike

Tips for Hiking across the Gherdenacia Plateau

  • You could make this a circuit hike. When trail 4 intersects with trail 7, follow trail 7 to Forcella del Sassongher and then trail 5 back to Rifugio Gardenacia. 
  • There are many ways to modify this hike. For example, you can hike down to Langental (trail 14) and end your hike in Selva di Val Gardena. You could also end the hike at Passo Gardena via Sas Ciampac (Trail 2, 2A). 

13. Resciesa Plateau to Seceda Ridgeline

Rifugio Brogles / Brogles Hütte, Val Di Funes Hike, Dolomites
  • Where: Puez-Odle Nature Park
  • Trailhead: Resciesa Funicular Mountain Station
  • Cableway Ascent: Resciesa Funicular, Ortisei, Val Gardena 
  • Cableway Descent: Seceda Cableway Mountain Station, or Col Raiser Gondola Mountain Station
  • Distance: 8.6 km point-to-point 
  • Difficulty: Moderately Difficult 
  • Time Needed: 3 – 4 hours 
  • Where We Stayed: Dorfhotel Beludei in Santa Cristina 

Update 2021: The Panascharte path from Malga Brogles is still closed and will remain closed in 2021. If you want to do this trail, you must ascend to Seceda via Mittagscharte. See Resciesa-Seceda trail guide for more info.

The Seceda ridgeline can be approached in a number of ways. The easiest way is via the Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda cableways. However, a more exciting route is from the Resciesa plateau.

Starting in the village of Ortisei in Val Gardena, take the Resciesa funicular up to the Resciesa plateau. From the mountain station, follow trail 35 to Malga Brogles

As you hike across the Resciesa Alp on a pleasantly flat and easy walking path, you’re also walking towards the Geisler Peaks. The views are fantastic. 

From Malga Brogles, the difficult part begins. You’ll ascend to the Seceda ridgeline via a steep trail to Panascharte wind gap. Note: it’s possible that this route is closed due to rockfalls. Please reach out to the Seceda cableway to find out if the trail is open, or closed. If it’s indeed closed, you can also hike to Seceda via Furcela De Mesdi/Mittagsscharte, but it’s longer and more difficult. Another option is to hike down to Ortisei via Val d’Anna (trail 5). 

Once you reach the Panascharte, follow the Seceda ridgeline to the Seceda summit. 

Depending on where you’re staying in Val Gardena, you can either descend to Ortisei via Ortisei – Furnes – Seceda cableways or to Selva di Val Gardena via the Col Raiser gondola.

Learn More: Resciesa to Seceda Day Hike

14. Col dala Pieres Summit Hike 

Rifugio Stevia and Col dala Pieres Day Hike, Val Gardena, South Tyrol, Italian Dolomites
  • Where: Puez-Odle Nature Park
  • Trailhead: Col Raiser Gondola Mountain Station 
  • Cableway Ascent/Descent: Col Raiser Gondola, Selva di Val Gardena, Val Gardena 
  • Distance: 13.7 km Circuit
  • Difficulty: Difficult 
  • Time Needed: 6 – 7 hours 
  • Where We Stayed: Hotel Rodella in Selva di Val Gardena 

This excellent Dolomites hiking trail is for confident hikers who crave intoxicating views of the Sella Group, Sassolungo Group, and the Odle Peaks. The hike to Col dala Pieres summit begins with a Col Raiser cableway ascent from Selva di Val Gardena.

From the Col Raiser mountain station, follow the easy trail 4 to Rifugio Firenze/Regensburger Hütte. 

From the mountain hut, descend along trail 1, for a few minutes, until you locate the 17B trail intersection, on your left. Ascend to Forcella Piza/Pizascharte along a steep and narrow, rock-laden gorge. Part of the trail is secured with wooden planks and cables. 

Atop Stevia plateau, wonderful views extend in every direction. We recommend detouring to Rifugio Stevia, before backtracking and conquering Col dala Pieres. As you descend to the hut across the Stevia alpine pastures, you’ll likely share the path with grazing sheep. 

After a nice break at Stevia hut, ascend to Col dala Pieres (trail 17) and then start the somewhat challenging descent to Forcella Forces de Sieles. From here, follow trail 2 back to Rifugio Firenze and then to the Col Raiser mountain station. 

Learn More: Col dala Pieres Trail Guide

15. Cima Pisciadù Summit Hike 

Hiking up to Cima Pisciadù, Sella Group, Italian Dolomites
  • Where: Sella Group
  • Trailhead: Passo Gardena, South Tyrol 
  • Ending Point: Passo Gardena, Colfosco, or Corvara
  • Distance: 8 – 12 km circuit or point-to-point, depending on where you end the hike.
  • Difficulty: Difficult 
  • Time Needed: 6 – 7 hours 
  • Where We Stayed: Hotel Col Alto in Corvara 

This is one of the best hikes in the Dolomites for experienced hikers. This loop trail begins at Passo Gardena, the mountain pass between Val Badia and Val Gardena. 

From the pass, follow the lovely balcony trail 666 to Val Setus, a steep sloping valley, defined by crumbling rocks and scree. The ascent up Val Setus to Lake Pisciadù is steep and partially secured (no equipment necessary).

At Lake Pisciadù, there’s a mountain hut, which is the only place to eat along the route. 

If you feel energized (and the hike has been very manageable so far), you can continue one hour to the summit of Cima Pisciadù, for more thrilling views. 

From the summit, return to the lake by the same route. The circuit trail continues down to Val de Mezdi and ultimately back to Passo Gardena, or to Colfosco / Corvara (two villages in Alta Badia).

Learn More: Cima Pisciadù Hiking Guide

16. Vajolet Towers

Gartlhütte, Vajolet Towers Day Hike, Italian Dolomites
  • Where: Sciliar-Catinaccio Nature Park / Schlern-Rosengarten Nature Park 
  • Trailhead: Paolina Chairlift Mountain Station 
  • Cableway Ascent/Descent: Paolina Chairlift, Carezza/Karersee, Val d’Ega/Eggental, South Tyrol
  • Distance: 13.8 km
  • Difficulty: Difficult 
  • Time Needed: 6-7 hours 
  • Where to Stay: Kölner Hütte (Rifugio Fronza alle Coronelle)

The Vajolet Towers are six summits in the Catinaccio/Rosengarten Dolomites. These majestic towers are a worthy day hiking destination in the Dolomites if you’re staying in Val di Fassa, or in Val d’Ega. 

We started this hike with the Paolina Chairlift in Carezza, because we were staying at Sporthotel Alpenrose. You can also shave off 2-hours of this hike, by ascending to Kölner Hütte via the Laurin II Chairlift from Nova Levante.

From the Paolina chairlift mountain station, we followed the gentle path to Kölnerhütte. 

From the Kölner mountain hut, there are two ways to hike to the Vajolet towers. You can either take the hiking path via Passo delle Coronelle/Tschagerjoch or the Santner Via Ferrata route. We highly recommend the via ferrata route. It’s more interesting. 

If you take the via ferrata route up, you’ll plateau at Santnerpass. The view of Gartlhütte, the mountain hut at the foot of the towers, is glorious. Descend to Kölner hütte via the Passo delle Coronelle/Tschagerjoch hiking path. 

We hiked here as part of our 3-day hut-to-hut hike across the Rosengarten. You can find out more details about the Santner via ferrata ascent and the trek in our 3-day Rosengarten Trekking Guide.

Tips for hiking to the Vajolet Towers

  • You can rent via ferrata equipment at the sports shop at Sporthotel Alpenrose.
  • Start this hike early, to avoid guided tour groups along the Santner via ferrata. 

17. Val Venegia to Rifugio Mulaz

Trail 720, Val Venegia to Passo Mulaz Hike, Pale di San Martino
  • Where: Pale di San Martino Natural Park 
  • Trailhead: Malga Venegia, Val Venegia, Trentino 
  • Distance: 12.6 km Circuit
  • Difficulty: Moderately Difficult – Difficult 
  • Time Needed: 6:30 – 7 hours
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Colbricon Beauty & Relax in San Martino di Castrozza

This Dolomites day hike is an excellent introduction to the Pale di San Martino range. It combines charming alpine pasture huts, dreamy valleys, high alpine Rifugios, scree slopes, rolling meadows and larch forests into one divine hiking tour. 

The hike begins with any easy stroll through Val Venegia to the Malga Venegiota alpine pastures. From Malga Venegiota, you’ll start the ascent to Passo Mulaz and Rifugio Mulaz. 

From the Mulaz hut, the loop trail continues to Passo dei Fochet and Passo di Venegiota, showcasing some of the most varied and interesting views of the Pala Group, Civetta, and so many other mountains I can’t even begin to name. 

Learn More: Rifugio Mulaz Circuit Hike 

18. Around Pala di San Martino: Rifugio Rosetta to Rifugio Pradidali 

Pala di San Martino Circuit, Dolomites Hiking Trails
  • Where: Pale di San Martino Natural Park
  • Trailhead: Rosetta Cableway Mountain Station
  • Cableway Ascent/Descent: Col Verde Gondola and Rosetta Cableway, San Martino di Castrozza, Trentino
  • Distance: 12.1 km Circuit
  • Difficulty: Difficult. Technically demanding. 
  • Time Needed: 6 hours
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Colbricon Beauty & Relax in San Martino di Castrozza

This classic Dolomites day hike wraps around Pala di San Martino, a mountain in the central Pala Group. With the assistance of two cableways (Col Verde and Rosetta), you’ll arrive at the Altopiano delle Pale di San Martino, a vast lunar landscape. 

Descend to the Rifugio Rosetta mountain hut straight ahead (10 minutes). From here, we recommend hiking counter-clockwise around Pala di San Martino. Follow signs to Passo di Ball and Rifugio Pradidali. 

This hike traverses difficult terrain, requiring surefootedness and some scrambling. 

Learn More: Rifugio Rosetta to Rifugio Pradidali Hiking Guide

Pala di San Martino Circuit Hiking Tips

  • This route involves a rather lengthy secured passage along an exposed ledge. Though via ferrata equipment isn’t necessary, we highly recommend climbing gloves, which make grasping steel cables more comfortable. 
  • You can hike this trail from late June until mid-October, weather permitting. If you’re hiking here between late September and mid-October, the cableways are only open on the weekend. 

19. Rifugio Fanes and Rifugio Lavarella

Capanna Alpina to Rifugio Fanes Day Hike, Dolomites, Italy
  • Where: Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park
  • Trailhead: Sciaré Bus Stop or Capanna Alpina, San Cassiano, Alta Badia 
  • Ending Point: La Villa, Alta Badia 
  • Distance: 19.6 km point-to-point
  • Difficulty: Demanding 
  • Time Needed: 8 hours 
  • Where We Stayed: Hotel Ciasa Soleil in La Villa

Rifugio Fanes and Rifugio Lavarella are two stately mountain huts in Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park along the famous Alta Via 1 hiking trail.

You can do a moderate out-and-back hike to Fanes Hütte, starting and ending at the Capanna Alpina mountain hut. There’s a paid parking lot (cash only) directly at the hut. 

A more challenging option is to extend the hike to Forcella de Medesc (trail 12) and ultimately down the Val de Medesc valley to La Villa in Val Badia. The descent from the Forcella de Medesc is demanding, requiring you to skillfully hike down steep scree slopes. We were pretty exhausted by the end of the day.

Learn More: Rifugio Fanes Trail Guide

Rifugio Fanes and Rifugio Lavarella Day Hiking Tips:

  • Rifugio Lavarella is home to the highest brewery in Europe. Make sure to grab a beer with lunch. 
  • If you stay in La Villa, like we did, take bus line 465  in the direction of Passo Falzarego to Sciaré. From the bus stop, it’s a 20-minute walk to the Capanna Alpine mountain hut. 

20. Cima della Vezzana Summit 

Cimma della Vezzana Summit, Pale di San Martino
  • Where: Pale di San Martino Natural Park / Pala Group 
  • Trailhead: Rosetta Cableway Mountain Station
  • Cableway Ascent/Descent: Col Verde Gondola and Rosetta Cableway, San Martino di Castrozza, Trentino
  • Distance: 13.8 km out-and-back 
  • Difficulty: Extremely Challenging. Technically demanding. 
  • Time Needed: 6 hours 
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Colbricon Beauty & Relax in San Martino di Castrozza

Cima della Vezzana is the highest mountain in the Pale di San Martino range. You can summit Cima della Vezzana in 3 hours from the Rosetta cableway mountain station. 

This is the most challenging hike in our Dolomites hiking guide. It’s a taxing route, which should only be undertaken by the most experienced alpine hikers. 

Learn More: Cima della Vezzana Hiking Guide

When to Hike in the Dolomites

The best time to hike in the Dolomites is from late June until the end of September. During that timeframe, Dolomites hiking trails are mostly clear of snow, Rifugios (mountain huts) are open, and cableways are operating.

We tried hiking in the Dolomites in May and were shit out of luck. Too much snowfall and rain prevented us from exploring the Dolomites in Spring.

October may still be promising, but many rifugios (mountain huts) and chairlifts will already be closed. However, October is a great time to visit the Dolomites, when you relish solitude and fall colors. Here’s our essential guide to hiking in the Dolomites in October.

Our favorite month to hike in the Dolomites is September. Read Next: September in the Dolomites.

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