Follow us on Instagram @moonhoneytravelers for hiking and travel inspiration!

3-Day Catinaccio Rosengarten Dolomites Trek

The Rosengarten (Catinaccio) group is a massif in the Italian Dolomites in Northern Italy between Val di Fassa in Trentino and Val d’Ega/Eggental in South Tyrol. 

Rosengarten means “Rose Garden” in German. It’s a reference to the mythic tale of King Laurin and his rose garden.

At sunset, these striking mountains glow crimson and orange, inspiring the name and association with King Laurin’s legendary roses.

We created this 3-day trek across the Rosengarten so that we could see the Vajolet Towers, experience the Santner Klettersteig (optional), and revisit our favorite rifugio Tierser Alpl.

We’d label this trek as moderately-difficult, though it certainly encompasses some very easy stretches. Each day is on the shorter side, so you have ample time to take breaks and savor the views along the way.

It’s also possible to combine stages 1 and 2, especially if you start the trek at Kölner Hütte.

We wrote this Rosengarten trekking guide based on our personal experience. Keep in mind that things can change over time: trail difficulty, accessibility, and routing (due to rock falls) and hut management (reservation system, hospitality, payment, food quality, etc…). Please do your due diligence before tackling this route.

Santner Via Ferrata, Catinaccio Rosengarten Trek, Dolomites

Catinacco Rosengarten Trekking Map

ROSENGARTEN TREK STAGES

Where to Stay

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Circular Route


Catinaccio Rosengarten Hut-to-Hut Hiking Itinerary


3-Day Rosengarten Linear Route

Day 1 | Carezza / Karersee – Paolina Hütte – Kölnerhütte – Santner Klettersteig – Santnerpasshütte  – Gartlhütte (6.3 km, 3:30 hours)

Day 2 | Gartlhütte – Rifugio Vajolet – Grasleitenpasshütte / Rifugio Passo Principe  – Molignon Pass  – Tierser Alpl / Alpe di Tires (6.4 km, 3:30 hours)

Day 3 | Tierser Alpl / Alpe di Tires – Passo Duran – Plattkofelhütte / Rifugio Sasso Piato – Passo Sella / Sellajoch (12.5 km, 4 hours)

Reverse the Rosengarten Route | We don’t recommend reversing the route.

Via Ferrata Equipment | Yes, you need via ferrata equipment if you plan on climbing the Santner Via Ferrata on day 1. A via ferrata kit consists of a climbing helmet, climbing harness, and via ferrata lanyard with carabiners. We also recommend packing Black Diamond half finger gloves.


Rosengarten Circular Route

We planned a linear route through the Rosengarten mountains, because we were traveling without a car. Over the years, many readers have asked us how to turn this Rosengarten hike into a circuit.

One way to turn this into a circuit is to start atop Alpe di Siusi. There’s a free car park at the Siusi-Alpe di Siusi cable car valley station. Take the Siusi-Alpe di Siusi gondola up to start the trek.

Stage 1 | Compaccio/Compatsch (Alpe di Siusi) – Rifugio Bolzano – Rifugio Alpe di Tires (14.2 km / 5:10 hours) – Follow this Rifugio Bolzano day hike route.

Stage 2 | Rifugio Alpe di Tires – Gartlhütte (base of Vajolet Towers) – Rifugio Antermoia (12.1 km / 5:15 hours) – Hike to Gartlhütte at the base of the Vajolet Towers (no via ferrata required). Return to Principe Pass Refuge and then continue to Rifugio Antermoia. 

Stage 3 | Rifugio Antermoia – Rifugio Sasso Piatto – Alpe di Siusi – Compaccio/Compatsch (17.8 km / 6 hours) – Hike back to Alpe di Siusi, passing Rifugio Sass Piatto along the way. Detour to Rauchhütte for unforgettable food and wine to celebrate the end of your trek.


When to Hike across Catinaccio Rosengarten

Mid-June until mid-October.

You need to time your trek with the opening times of the mountain huts. All huts are open until late September.

Only Santnerpasshütte, Gartlhütte (Stage 1) and Tierser Alpl (Day 2) are open until mid-October, depending on snow conditions.

Vajolet Towers Rosengarten Dolomites

How to Book the 3-Day Rosengarten Trek

All mountain huts along this Rosengarten trekking route must be booked individually and independently. 

It’s important to make reservations for overnight stays in huts several months in advance.

For more information about trekking in the Dolomites, read our guide to hut to hut hiking in the Dolomites.

Day 1 | Stay in Gartlhütte (Rifugio Re. Alberto). Alternatively, you can stay in Santnerpasshütte (Rifugio Passo Santner), Rifugio Vajolet, or Rifugio Paul Preuss.

Day 2 | Stay in Tierser Alpl, or Plattkofelhütte (Rifugio Sasso Piatto)

Hotel Alpenrose in Carezza/Karersee in Val D’Ega/Eggental, Dolomites

Arrival Day in Carezza in Val d’Ega


How to Get to Karersee/Carezza

There’s a direct bus (line 180) from Bolzano (Bozen) to Carezza (Karersee) in Val d’Ega (Eggental).

The bus is operated by Südtirol Mobil and takes 55 minutes. It costs around 5 EUR per person.


Where to Stay in Karersee/Carezza

Midrange | Sporthotel Passo Carezza is located at Passo Carezza (Karerpass) mountain pass. This modern property offers 18 comfortable rooms and suites featuring bold patterns and vibrant colors. Breakfast and spa access are included in the room rate. There’s an on-site snack bar and a few restaurants located nearby.

Luxury | We stayed at Hotel Alpenrose before trekking across the Rosengarten Dolomites. The hotel location is unbeatable for starting this hike, since it’s located at the Paolina chairlift valley station. 

Positioned between the  Latemar and Rosengarten mountains, Hotel Alpenrose flaunts arresting mountain views. Even from the indoor-outdoor pool, you can savor the alpine landscapes whilst swimming, or swinging away on their ceiling lounge chairs.

Highlights of our stay were the outstanding 5-course dinner menu, the wellness facilities, and the bountiful breakfast. The hotel also has a lodge-style lounge and bar, which is a great place to grab a drink before dinner.

Because day 1 of the trek is on the shorter side, you can enjoy a long, luxurious breakfast here, before setting off.

The mountain village of Carezza / Karersee is very small. So, if you needed any last minute supplies or a pharmacy, you have to head to the next town: Nova Levante (Welschnofen).

Look for accommodation in Carezza.


Where to Stay in Nova Levante/Welschnofen

There are more accommodations in the nearby village of Nova Levante in Val d’Ega.

Budget-Midrange | Haus Herta B&B is a guesthouse with sparkling clean rooms. Guests are treated to a delicious homemade breakfast. 2 nights minimum stay.

Midrange | Stern B&B & Suite Apartments is a 3-star superior hotel in Nova Levante with a wellness area and indoor pool. Breakfast is included.

Luxury | Tyrol Living & Cafe is a luxurious aparthotel with an alpine-modern aesthetic. Guests love the location, new amenities, and on-site café.

Look for accommodation in Nova Levante.

Santer Via Ferrata Rosengarten Dolomites

Rosengarten Trek Stage 1: Paolina Hütte – Gartlhütte

The hike begins with a cableway ascent. If you’re staying in Carezza, take the Paolina chairlift. If you’re staying in Nova Levante, take the Cable Car König Laurin I + II.


Stage 1 Trail Stats

Trailhead | Rifugio Paolina, accessible by chairlift, from Carezza

Distance | 6.3 km

Time Needed | 3:30 hours

Elevation Gain | 735 meters

Elevation Loss | 259 meters

Difficulty | Moderately Difficult

Minimum Elevation | 2126 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2752 meters

Route with Via Ferrata | Paolina Hütte (2125 m) – Kölnerhütte (2337 m) – Santner Klettersteig – Santnerpasshütte (2734 m) – Gartlhütte (2621 m)

Route without Via Ferrata | Paolina Hütte (2125 m) – Kölnerhütte (2337 m) – Tschagerjoch / Passo delle Coronelle (2635 m) – Rifugio Paul Preuss (2243 m) – Rifugio Vajolet (2243 m) – Gartlhütte (2621 m)

Lunch Option | Santnerpasshütte


Paolina Chairlift

To start the hike, take the Paolina chairlift up to Paolina Hütte (Rifugio Paolina).

Summer Opening Times | June – mid-October

Pricing | Consult eggental.com


Paolina Hütte to Kölnerhütte (1:20 hours)

From the Paolina chairlift mountain station (Rifugio Paolina Hütte), take trail 552 to Kölnerhütte (Rifugio Fronza alle Coronelle). Along this level path to Kölnerhütte there are marvelous views of the Latemar massif.


Kölnerhütte – Santner Klettersteig – Santnerpasshütte (2 hours)

From Kölnerhütte, the trail ascends immediately behind the hut. After a short steep section, the trail splits. If you’re doing the Santner via ferrata, take the left trail numbered 542.

If you’re doing the hiking route, take the right trail numbered 550 in the direction of Tschagerjoch (Passo delle Coronelle).

After turning left at the trail intersection, the path is quite level initially. After 30 minutes of mostly flat walking, the trail ascends.

You don’t need any equipment initially, but it’s a good idea to put on your harness and helmet right here.

Follow the red-painted trail markers, which are either lines or “Ss.” The markers will guide you through the mountains along the route. 

It took us 2 hours to hike from the Kölnerhütte to Santnerpasshütte, the mountain hut at the Santner mountain pass.

However, the via ferrata was clogged up with two large guided groups, so we spent a lot of time waiting. If you’re not following guided groups (hopefully), then it should take far less time. 

When you reach the Santner pass, the views open up and you can see the magical Vajolet Towers. As you descend to Gartlhütte, this views continue to marvel.


Our Experience Hiking the Santner Via Ferrata

This was the first via ferrata that we climbed. The assisted climbing section was surprisingly short. At all times, we felt extremely secure.

I was nervous throughout the whole route, always anticipating that the “hard stuff” was coming up. But, it never did. So, when we finished the route, it felt surprisingly easy. 

We know our readers have different hiking backgrounds. So, let me add this. If you’ve done a via ferrata, the Santner Klettersteig will likely be easy for you.

If you’ve never done a via ferrata, but have a lot of alpine hiking experience, are conditionally fit, and comfortable using your hands to climb, and don’t suffer any vertigo, this will be fun and only moderately difficult.

If you have limited alpine hiking experince, then this will be a challenge. 

If you decide to do the via ferrata, make sure to wear a full kit.


Stay in Gartlhütte (2621 m)

Gartlhütte (Rifugio Re. Alberto) is located at the base of the Vajolet Towers. This refuge is open mid-June until early October, depending on snow conditions.

Reservation | Send a booking request using the form on the Gartlhütte website.

Payment | Cash only

Showers | Yes, Coin-operated (3 EUR)

Drinking Water | The tap water isn’t drinkable. You can buy water.

Half Board or à la carte | Both available

Rooms | Dormitory and private rooms available. 


Or, Stay in Santnerpasshütte (2734 m)

Reservation | Contact the Santernpass hut directly by email, or by phone.

Payment | Cash only

Showers | None

Drinking Water | Tap water isn’t drinkable. You can purchase water bottles, or purify. 

Half Board or à la carte | Half board only with a 4-course dinner.

Rooms | Double Rooms and Dormitory. 

Tierser Alpl, Rosengarten Catinaccio Dolomites Hiking Trail

Rosengarten Trek Stage 2: Gartlhütte – Tierser Alpl


Stage 2 Trail Stats

Distance | 6.4 km

Time Needed | 3:30 hours

Elevation Gain | 595 meters

Elevation Loss | 753 meters

Difficulty | Moderately Difficult

Minimum Elevation | 2267 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2613 meters

Route | Gartlhütte (2621 m) – Rifugio Vajolet (2243 m) – Grasleitenpasshütte / Rifugio Passo Principe (2601 m) – Molignon Pass (2598 m) – Tierser Alpl / Alpe di Tires (2440 m)

Lunch Option | Grasleitenpasshütte / Rifugio Passo Principe


Gartlhütte to Grasleitenpasshütte/Rifugio Passo Principe (1:30 hours)

The hike today isn’t very long, but it involves many ascents and descents. In fact, you’ll be making 3 separate descents and 2 ascents. 

From Gartlhütte, you’ll descend for about 40 minutes to Rifugio Vajolet. This section is steep and requires careful footing, as the terrain is unstable. It’s kinda tedious. 

From Rifugio Vajolet, follow trail 584 for 50 minutes up to Grasleitenhütte (Rifugio Passo Principe), the mountain hut at Grasleitenpass (Passo Principe) 

Grasleitenhütte is a darling rifugio wedged into the side of the mountain. It’s cozy and warm and smells like freshly baked cinnamon cake. The weather wasn’t great, so we took a long break here and enjoyed their vegetable soup and baked goods. 


Grasleitenpasshütte/Rifugio Passo Principe to Tierser Alpl/Rifugio Alpe di Tires (2 hours)

From Grasleitenpass, it’s 2 hours to Tierser Alpl. You’ll initially descend along trail 11A and then ascend to Molignon Pass along trail 3A. This section is characterized by hairpins that traverse scree slopes. 

From Molignonpass, it’s about 30 minutes to Tierser Alpl. As you hike across the rocky plateau, keep your eyes out for the Geisler (Odle) peaks off to the right and Tierser Alpl.

The view of the red-roofed mountain hut beneath the Rosszähne (Denti di Terrarossa) is one of my favorite views in the Dolomites.

The final descent is secured (no equipment needed). When you reach level ground, it’s a short flat walk to the hut. 


Stay in  Tierser Alpl (2440 m)

Reservation | Send a booking request.

Payment |

Alpine Club | Alpine Club membership discounts are administered.

Showers | Yes, coin-operated (4 EUR for a 3 min shower)

Drinking | The tap water is safe to drink

Food | Excellent

Half Board or à la carte | Both available. You can decide when you sit down for dinner. We highly recommend half board.

Rooms | Private, shared, and dormitory rooms.

Sassolungo Circuit Trail, Val Gardena, Dolomites

Rosengarten Trek Stage 3: Tierser Alpl – Passo Sella


Stage 3 Trail Stats

Distance | 12.5 km

Time Needed | 4 hours

Elevation Gain |  361 meters

Elevation Loss | 627 meters

Difficulty | Easy – Moderate

Minimum Elevation | 2175 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2447 meters

Route | Tierser Alpl / Alpe di Tires (2440 m) – Passo Duran (2204 m) – Plattkofelhütte / Rifugio Sasso Piato (2300 m) – Passo Sella / Sellajoch (2100 m)

Lunch Option | Plattkofelhütte / Rifugio Sasso Piato


Tierser Alpl – Plattkofelhütte – Passo Sella (4 hours)

Day 3 is longer in distance than the first two days, but it’s quite level most of the time. There are no long, dramatic elevation gains. 

Initially, you’ll follow a gravel road down to Passo Duran for about 50 minutes. The beautiful Val Duron valley is off to your right. It’s a 2-hour walk from Tierser Alpl to Plattkofelhütte. You’ll pass pastures full of grazing cattle and horses, before reaching Plattkofelhütte.

Plattkofelhütte (Rifugio Sasso Piato) is the perfect place for a relaxed and indulgent lunch. This hut is situated on the well-known Sassolungo (Langkofel) circuit trail.

To reach Sella Pass, you have two options. The easier and faster option is to hike right onto trail 557 via Rifugio Friedrich – August.

The more difficult and longer route is to hike left onto trail 527 and then 525 via Langkofelhütte.


Where to Stay Post-Trek: Selva in Val Gardena

If you want to continue your journey in the Dolomites, we recommend heading to Val Gardena next. There are buses that connect Sella Pass to Val Gardena.

Take Bus 471 from Passo Sella (Schutzhaus Sellajoch) to Plan. Then take Bus 350 from Plan to Selva (Wolkenstein), Santa Cristina, or Ortisei.

Between mid-June and mid-September, the bus departs every 30 minutes. For more info and timetables, use the journey planner on suedtirolmobil.info.

Selva is the closest town in Val Gardena to Sella Pass (30-minute bus ride). It lies between the Sassolungo and the Puez-Odle groups at the foot of the flat-topped Sella Massif, one of the most awe-inspiring mountains in the Dolomites.

Read Next: Best Hikes in Val Gardena and Best Hotels in Val Gardena

Budget | Family-run Hotel Garni Morene is a clean and comfortable guesthouse, set in an idyllic location outside the town center of Selva. Stay here for the unbeatable price, mountain views, and hospitality. Breakfast included.

Luxury | Linder Cycling Hotel stands out with its bold architecture, stylish urban accents, and laid-back atmosphere. Beyond the captivating design, Linder Cycling Hotel boasts excellent facilities, including a rooftop terrace, indoor pool, bar and the à la carte Luis Eatery restaurant.

5-star Luxury | Hotel Granbaita Dolomites is an ode to alpine elegance. This stately hotel pampers guests with its lavish rooms, extensive spa area (7 saunas, indoor-outdoor pool, fitness room, spa), and decadent tasting menus. Book half board.

Look for accommodation in Selva (Wolkenstein).



Explore the Dolomites

Dolomites Travel:

Hut to Hut Hiking Trails:

Dolomites Destinations:


More Hut to Hut Hiking Trails

Austria:

Slovenia:

Italy:

Europe:


Catinaccio Rosengarten Dolomites 3 Day Hut to Hut Hike

Pin this Image for Future Trip Planning!


Stay Connected:

Connect with us on Pinterest.

Follow us on Instagram.

Like us on Facebook.

Sign up for our Newsletter.

Support Us:

If you love reading our content, you can buy us a coffee via Ko-Fi.

Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails,

Sabrina & Kati

Leave a Comment