September is the perfect month to hike in the Dolomites. The weather is generally stable, skies are clear, temperatures are mild, rifugios are open, hotels aren’t full, and cable cars (chairlifts, gondolas) operate all month.
Though certainly not as crowded as July and August, September is still bustling with hikers. In this post, we’re going to outline everything you need to know about hiking in the Dolomites in September.
Hiking in the Dolomites in September
Visiting the Dolomites in September
- The weather is generally stable throughout the month of September.
- The average daytime temperature hovers around 20°C / 68°F
- Rifugios (mountain huts) are generally open until late September. Some huts are open until the last Sunday of September. Others are open until the very last day of September.
- Cable Cars (gondolas, chairlifts, etc…) operate all month.
- Buses (in South Tyrol) operate the whole month of September, though there is a schedule change starting in mid-September, with reduced bus frequency.
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Weather in the Dolomites in September
September has a reputation for being stable. And for the most part, it is. But, freak storms can certainly happen.
We’ve visited the Dolomites in September twice.
During our first visit to the Dolomites in September, we only experienced 4.5 days of rain out of 21 days. On the days that it rained, it poured all day.
On one such rainy day, the rain turned into sleet, which then turned into snow. And before we even realized it, we were in the middle of a snow blizzard trying to find Rifugio Lagazuoi (September 8th). For a semi-dramatic retelling of getting through this storm, check out this Instagram post.
Note to everyone: if it starts to snow and you still have a lot of elevation to gain, turn back around. Footprints and waymarks get covered up and you’ll have an impossible time trying to find your way when the snow is blinding you and you’re freezing cold.
The weather gods must have felt sorry for us. Because for the next 17 days we had brilliant weather with clear skies and burning red sunsets.
The point is that September is generally a great month to hike in the Dolomites, but like anywhere, the weather can be unpredictable.
During our second visit to the Dolomites in September (specifically to San Martino di Castrozza), the weather was brilliant again. It only rained once during our seven-day trip.
Average Temperature in the Dolomites in September
The average daytime temperature is 20°C / 68°F
The average nighttime temperature is 9°C / 48.2
Dolomites Rifugios Opening Times in September
One of the most memorable experiences you can have in the Dolomites is visiting a rifugio. On a day hike, you can visit a mountain hut for lunch, or simply a refreshing beverage. On a hut to hut hike, you’ll overnight in rifugi at the end of each stage of your trek.
Mountain huts in the Dolomites are generally open from late June until late September. Some huts close down for the season on the last Sunday of September, while others close down on the last day of September. If you’re planning a hut to hut trek in the Dolomites in September, it’s important to research the opening times of each mountain hut.
Depending on the weather conditions, some rifugi will stay open until mid-October. You can read about which mountain huts stay open in October in our guide to hiking in the Dolomites in October.
Hikes to Mountain Huts
Below, we’ve linked to all the hikes we’ve done, where you can visit a mountain hut along the way. Unless otherwise specified, these are day hikes.
Puez-Odle Nature Park Mountain Hut Hikes
Pale di San Martino Mountain Hut Hikes
Rosengarten Group Mountain Hut Hikes
- Rifugio Bolzano and Rifugio Alpe di Tires
- Gartlhütte and Tierser Alpl (3 day hike)
- Rifugio Alpe di Tires (day hike or 2-day hike)
Tre Cime Nature Park Mountain Hut Hikes
Sella Group Mountain Hut Hikes
Fanes-Sennes-Prags Nature Park Mountain Hut Hikes
Gondolas, Chairlifts, and Cable Cars Operating Times in September
Hiking in the Dolomites is extremely accessible due to a system of gondolas, chairlifts, and cable cars across the region. Many hikes begin with cableways, thus cutting out long tedious ascents.
Most cableways in the Dolomites operate the whole month of September. Very popular cableways will open up as early as mid-May and stay open until mid-October.
Here are some popular chairlifts and gondolas in Val Gardena, Alta Badia, Eggental, and San Martino di Castrozza.
Popular Summer Cableways in Alta Badia for Hiking
In Alta Badia, summer lifts are generally open from mid-June until late-September. See all Alta Badia cableways here.
La Crusc 1 (chairlift) and La Crusc 2 (gondola)
- Location: Badia
- Open: June 12 – September 26, 2021
- Hiking Trail: Armentara Meadows
- Summer Pricing: Santa Croce website
- Location: La Villa
- Open: June 19 – September 26, 2021
- Hiking Trail: Gherdenacia Plateau to Rifugio Puez
- Summer Pricing: Gardenaccia chairlift website
Read Next: Alta Badia Summer Guide
Popular Summer Cableways in Val Gardena for Hiking
Most summer lifts in Val Gardena are open from mid-May until mid-October.
- Location: Ortisei
- Open: TBD (generally mid-May until mid-October)
- Hiking Trail: Resciesca to Malga Brogles to Seceda
- Summer Pricing: Resciesa Funicular website
The Ortisei – Furnes – Seceda Cableways
- Location: Ortisei
- Open: May 29 – October 10, 2021
- Hiking Trail: Seceda to Regensburger Hütte
- Summer Pricing: Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda cable car website
Ortisei Alpe di Siusi Ropeway
- Location: Ortisei
- Open: TBD (generally late May until end of October)
- Hiking Trail: Alpe di Siusi to Saltria and Monte Pana
- Summer Pricing: Ortisei Alpe di Siusi Ropeway
Col Raiser Cable Car
- Location: Selva di Val Gardena
- Open: May 15 – October 10, 2021
- Hiking Trail: Col dala Pieres and Rifugio Stevia
- Summer Pricing: Col Raiser website
Read Next: Best Hikes in Val Gardena
Popular Summer Chairlifts in Eggental for Hiking
Chairlifts around Carezza are open from early-June until mid-October. See the summer chairlift schedule here.
- Location: Carezza
- Open: TBD (generally open mid-June until mid-October)
- Hiking Trail: Vajolet Towers and 3-day Rosengarten Trek
- Summer Pricing: Carezza Summer Lifts website
Popular Summer Cableways in San Martino di Castrozza for Hiking
Colverde Gondola and Rosetta Cableway
The Colverde and Rosetta cableways connect the town center of San Martino di Castrozza in Primiero Valley to Altopiano delle Pale di San Martino, a vast stone plateau reaching an elevation of 2700 meters. From the Rosetta mountain station, hikers have access to many popular day hikes and via ferrata climbing routes.
- Location: San Martino di Castrozza, Trentino
- Open daily: June 26 – September 19, 2021
- Open on weekends: June 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 | October 2-3, 9-10
- Moderately difficult day hike: Rifugio Rosetta to Rifugio Pradidali Circuit
- Very challenging peak hike: Cima della Vezzana Summit
- Summer Pricing: San Martino website
Other Popular Summer Cableways in the Dolomites
Lagazuoi Cable Car
- Location: Falzarego pass
- Mountain Station: Rifugio Lagazuoi
- Open: TBD (generally end of May until mid-October)
- Summer Pricing: Lagazuoi cable car website
Where to Stay in the Dolomites in September
If you’re trying to decide where to base yourself, we’ve outlined each destination in this guide: Where to Stay in the Dolomites.
Here are the hotels we stayed in during our September trips.
Hotel Col Alto in Corvara, Alta Badia
Extensive spa and wellness area, Deluxe bedding, Generous breakfast buffets
Hotel Ciasa Soleil in La Villa, Alta Badia
Intimate atmosphere, Sunrise and sunset views of Fanes, Beautifully designed
Sporthotel Alpenrose in Carezza, Eggental
Trail accessibility (e.g. Rosengarten Trek), Delicious food (breakfast and dinner), Views of Latemar from the indoor swimming pool
Hotel Rodella in Selva, Val Gardena
Unbeatable sunset views of Sella and Langkofel, Comfortable, light-filled rooms, Location (walking distance to Col Raiser Cable Car)
Dorthotel Beludei in Santa Cristina, Val Gardena
Visionary cuisine, Luxurious rooms, Rejuvenating spa and wellness area
Related: The Dolomites Accommodation Guide
Transit in the Dolomites in September
The info below is based on our experience using buses in South Tyrol. Use the Südtirol Mobil site for bus timetables.
Buses run throughout the whole month of September. However, starting in mid-September, the bus schedule changes.
High season is roughly from late-June until mid-September. Low Season is from late-May until late-June and from mid-September until mid-October. The main difference between high season (early September) and low season (late September) is the frequency and last bus departure. For example, in late September, some buses will stop operating an hour earlier than in high season.
What to Wear in the Dolomites in September
On most days, we hiked in shorts and athletic t-shirts. When overnighting in the rifugios in September, bring a down jacket and fleece-lined leggings.
Day Hiking Essentials
- Sturdy high-cut hiking boots, preferably grade B/C like the women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX / Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (what Kati and I wear) or the men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX.
- Day Hiking Backpack: Women’s Opsrey Tempest 20, or the Men’s Osprey Talon 22.
- Cat 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles. We love our Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- Rain Jacket
- Hiking Pants
- Hiking Shirts
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More Information for Your Trip to the Dolomites:
- Dolomites Travel Guide
- Best Hotels in the Dolomites
- Where to Stay in the Dolomites in Summer
- Dolomites Road Trip Itinerary
- Best Things to Do in the Dolomites
Popular Day Hikes in the Dolomites
Our Favorite Destinations in the Dolomites: