September is the perfect month to hike in the Dolomites. The weather is generally stable, 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.
Also check out our Dolomites Travel Guide
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Hiking in 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 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.
Weather in the Dolomites in September
September has a reputation for being very stable. And for the most part, it is. But, freak storms can certainly happen.
We’ve visited the Dolomites in September twice.
During our 21 days in the Dolomites in September (first visit), we only experienced 4.5 days of rain. 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 stop in a mountain hut for lunch, or simply a refreshing beverage. On a hut to hut hike, you’ll overnight in rifugios at the end of each stage of your trek.
Situated directly on the trail, these charming alpine refuges are great hiking destinations. Read about some of our favorite rifugio hikes here:
- Rifugio Pisciadu – Sella Group
- Rifugio Stevia – Puez-Odle Nature Park
- Rifugio Malga Brogles – Puez-Odle Nature Park / Val di Funes
- Gschnagenhardt Alm – Puez-Odle Nature Park / Val di Funes
- Rifugio Genova – Puez-Odle Nature Park / Val di Funes
- Rifugio Gardenacia – Puez-Odle Nature Park
- Rifugio Fanes and Lavarella – Fanes-Sennes-Prags Nature Park
- Gartlhütte and Tierser Alpl – 3 Day Trek in Catinaccio Rosengarten Nature Park
- Dreizinnenhütte and Büllelejochhütte – Tre Cime Nature Park
- Tierser Alpl – Alpe di Siusi and Catinaccio Rosengarten Nature Park
- Rifugio Mulaz – Pale di San Martino
- Rifugio Rosetta and Rifugio Pradidali – Pale di San Martino
Mountain huts in the Dolomites are generally open from late-June until late-September. Depending on the weather conditions, some rifugios will stay open until mid-October. In 2019, many rifugios closed on the last Sunday of September (Sep 29th), as opposed to the last day of the month.
If you’re planning a hut to hut trek in the Dolomites in September, it’s important to check hut websites for their opening times. These times may certainly vary between rifugios.
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 open from June 13 until October 4, 2020. See all Alta Badia cableways here.
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: May 16 – October 11, 2020
- Hiking Trail: Resciesca to Malga Brogles to Seceda
- Resciesa Funicular
The Ortisei – Furnes – Seceda Cableways
- Location: Ortisei
- Open: May 29 – October 11, 2020
- Hiking Trail: Seceda to Regensburger Hütte
- Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda cable car website
Ortisei Alpe di Siusi Ropeway
- Location: Ortisei
- Open: May 18 – November 1, 2020
- Hiking Trail: Alpe di Siusi to Saltria and Monte Pana
- Ortisei Alpe di Siusi Ropeway
Col Raiser Cable Car
- Location: Selva di Val Gardena
- Open: May 30 – October 11, 2020
- Hiking Trail: Col dala Pieres and Rifugio Stevia
- 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: June 11 – October 11, 2020
- Hiking Trail: Vajolet Towers and 3-day Rosengarten Trek
Laurin II Chairlift
- Location: Nova Levante
- Open: June 11 – August 30, 2020
- Hiking Trail: Vajolet Towers and 3-day Rosengarten Trek
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: Late June until late September. If weather conditions are favorable, these cableways will stay open until mid-October (Fridays – Sundays only).
- Hiking Trails: Rifugio Rosetta to Rifugio Pradidali Circuit and Cima della Vezzana Summit
Other Popular Summer Cableways in the Dolomites
Lagazuoi Cable Car
- Location: Falzarego pass
- Mountain Station: Rifugio Lagazuoi
- Open: May 30 – October 18, 2020
- Lagazuoi cable car website
Where to Stay in the Dolomites in September
We recommend staying in San Martino di Castrozza, Val Gardena, Alta Badia, Cortina d’Ampezzo, and/or Eggental. 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 our favorite Dolomites hotels:
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
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.
- Rain Jacket
- Puff Jacket
- Down Vest
Waterproof Grade B/C Hiking Shoes
When buying hiking pants, we think flexibility and the ability to shed water are two important criteria. We both bought two pairs of these Macpac Women’s Hike Tight Pants and we love them. They’re breathable and extremely comfortable in all types of weather. Bonus: you don’t need to wear a belt.
For Overnighting in Rifugios
If you have any questions about visiting the Dolomites in September, drop us a comment below.
More Information for Your Trip to the Dolomites:
- Dolomites Travel Guide
- Where to Stay in the Dolomites in Summer
- Dolomites Road Trip Itinerary
- Alta Badia Summer Guide
- Best Hikes in Val Gardena
Popular Day Hikes in the Dolomites
Hut to Hut Hikes in the Dolomites:
- Trekking Tre Cime di Lavaredo (3 days)
- Rosengarten Dolomites Traverse (3 days)
- Alta Via 1 Trek (4-10 days)
More Information for Your Trip to Italy: