Some of the best day hikes in the Dolomites are loop trails around mammoth Dolomites mountains, like the Tre Cime di Lavaredo circuit trail, Croda da Lago circuit trail, Pala di San Martino circuit trail, etc…
The loop trail around Tofana di Rozes, near Cortina d’Ampezzo, is no exception. It’s scenic, varied, and challenging. But unlike the other trails mentioned, the Tofana di Rozes circuit isn’t well-known.
The Tofana di Rozes loop hike begins at Rifugio Dibona. The trail cuts across the southern slopes of Tofana di Rozes, ascends effortlessly to the Forcella Col dei Bos saddle, continues towards the Travenanzes valley, and then steeply ascends the rugged Majarié glacial cirque to Rifugio Giussani. The circuit concludes with an easy descent back to Rifugio Dibona.
During the First World War, the front line crossed the Tofane group. Evidence of military fortifications are scattered across the mountains. Along the trail, you’ll see trenches, caves, tunnels, and old barracks.
Tofane di Rozes Circuit Hiking Guide
- Trailhead: Rifugio Dibona, Belluno
- Distance: 11.9 km circuit
- Time Needed: 5:30 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 1266 meters ascending/descending
- Difficulty: Moderately Difficult
- Minimum Elevation: 2019 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 2578 meters
- When to Hike: Late June – mid-late October, depending on snow conditions.
- Where to Eat: Rifugio Dibona, or Rifugio Giussani (mid-June – mid-September)
- Where to Stay: Jaegerhaus Agriturismo (budget), Camina Suite & Spa (midrange), or Dolomiti Lodge Alverà (luxury) in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
- Recommended Trail Map: Tabacco 03 Cortina d’Ampezzo
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Where is Tofana di Rozes
Tofana di Rozes is a significant mountain in the Tofane Group in Belluno, Veneto, in Northeastern Italy. The Tofane mountains are located west of Cortina d’Ampezzo, within the Dolomiti D’Ampezzo Natural Park.
Tofana di Rozes Hiking Map
Tofana di Rozes Circuit Trail Difficulty
This hike is usually categorized as moderate. However, we’d label it as moderately-difficult.
Most of the trail is in excellent condition. However, there are a few washed out parts, which require sure-footedness and experience in unstable terrain.
This hike also requires stamina, as you have to conquer 1266 meters of elevation gain. The ascent up Majarié to Rifugio Giussani is taxing, but not technical.
Where to Start the Tofana di Rozes Circuit Trail
Rifugio Dibona Trailhead
The Tofana di Rozes loop trail starts at Rifugio Dibona, a mountain hut situated in Vallon di Tofana in the Italian Dolomites.
From Cortina d’Ampezzo, drive SR48 in the direction of Passo Falzarego. About 800 meters after passing La Locanda del Cantoniere, turn right onto Località Dibona, where there’s a large Rifugio Dibona sign and access restriction signs. Only vehicles less than 2.45 meters are permitted to drive up this private access road.
Follow Località Dibona for 3.8 km/10 minutes to Rifugio Dibona. The final stretch of road isn’t paved and quite bumpy. The maximum speed limit is 20 km/hr.
- Cortina d’Ampezzo to Rifugio Dibona | 12.8 km, 24 minutes
- Falzarego Pass to Rifugio Dibona | 11.6 km, 22 minutes
- San Cassiano, Alta Badia to Rifugio Dibona | 23.3 km, 37 minutes
- Ortisei, Val Gardena to Rifugio Dibona | 58.6 km, 1:30 hours
There’s a large car park directly next to the hut. Parking is free.
There is no public transit to Rifugio Dibona. However, there is a bus stop on the main SR48 road at the Località Dibona turn-off.
Tofane di Rozes Loop Trail Description
Rifugio Dibona to Forcella Col dei Bos (1:30 – 1:45 hours)
From the Rifugio Dibona car park, follow trail 403 towards the Tofane mountains.
The gravel track leads northwest through isolated stone pine and larch. In no time at all, the path brings you face-to-face with the south wall of Tofane di Rozes. From this perspective, Tofana di Rozes looks like a giant red tombstone.
Shortly after passing some building ruins, you’ll reach the “Vallon de Tofana” trail intersection (2120 m). Follow the upper left track (signed trail 442 in the direction of Gall. Del Castelletto/Via Ferrata Lipella). In paper trail maps this is trail 404.
- Recommended Trail Map: Tabacco 03 Cortina d’Ampezzo
Looking south, you’ll see the distinctly-shaped peaks of Croda da Lago, Lastoi de Formin, Monte Cernera, Ra Gusela, Nuvolau, Cinque Torri, and Averau.
Looking east, you’ll see the Sorapiss Group and Antelau, towering above the Boite Valley.
When the trail divides again, follow the right upper track (trail 442), not the lower left trail (trail 412).
Lined by dwarf pine, the narrow trail steadily ascends towards the south face of Tofana di Rozes. With the elevation gain, you’ll be able to see Pelmo and Civetta.
When you reach the rockwall, continue left onto trail 404. Follow this level balcony path west, towards the ever-present Marmolada and its glistening glacier.
The trail crosses scree fields easily at first. But, as you progress, there are some crumbling, washed-out sections that require extra attention and the aided support of hiking poles:
- Recommended Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
After that rough stretch, the trail continues across a tussock slope towards Col dei Bos, Lagazuoi, and Fanes.
Trail 404 heads downhill, steering you north to the saddle between Col dei Bos and Tofana di Rozes. With great ease, the path weaves its way through a sea of dolomite boulders.
The Forcella Col dei Bos saddle is very wide. As you hike up the saddle, you’ll pass a total of 3 Forcella Col dei Bos trail signs.
When you reach the first Forcella Col dei Bos signed intersection (2290 m), head right (even though there’s no sign indicating our direction).
Along the trail, there are old fortifications and caves from the First World War.
The trail passes a second Forcella Col dei Bos sign (2305 m) and then a third and final Forcella Col dei Bos signed intersection (2331 m).
Continue on trail 404 in the direction of Val Travenanzes.
Forcella Col dei Bos to Minighel Via Ferrata Turn-Off (45 minutes)
Trail 404 slowly descends in the direction of Val Travenanzes, the valley etched between the Fanes and Tofane Groups. This easy path permits you to soak in the grandeur of the mountains and the wild Travenanzes valley.
After about 30 minutes, the trail divides. Head right in the direction of Rifugio Giussani. The path leads across scree slopes, parallel to the valley, towards the imposing Nemesis.
Be extra cautious when crossing the steep, sienna-stained slope. It’s washed out in places and can be quite tricky.
Soon, the trail splits again. The right path leads to the base of the Sara del Minighel via ferrata, or Minighel ladder. Though the via ferrata is really short and only takes about 15-minutes to complete, it’s extremely exposed. It’s by far the more efficient route, but you need to bring a full via ferrata kit.
Via Ferrata Kit
- Climbing Helmet: black diamond women’s climbing helmet / black diamond men’s climbing helmet
- Lanyard: PETZL Scorpio Lanyard with Carabiners and Energy Absorber
- Harness: PETZL Corax Climbing Harness
- Climbing gloves: Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger Gloves
Alternative Route around the Minighel Via Ferrata (1 hour)
If you decide against the ladder, continue straight along the Sentiero Facile (“Easy Trail”).
Heading north, the narrow trail clings to the rockwall, above the valley. After a small water crossing, the path steeply zigzags up a gully to a signed intersection. Follow trail 403 in the direction of Majarié cirque and Rifugio Giussani.
From here, the trail heads south up a steep, rocky path, secured with cables and logs. It ascends relentlessly for 20 minutes and then eventually flattens out, crossing scree slopes. Soon, our trail (#403) merges with the Minighel Via Ferrata ascending path.
Follow trail 403 to Forcella Fontananegra and Rifugio Camillo Giussani.
Up the Majarié cirque to Forcella Fontananegra and Rifugio Giussani (50 minutes)
Between the formidable peaks of the Tofane Group, you’ll continuously hike up the barren landscape of the Majarié cirque. Accented with giant boulders, this rocky landscape is somewhat menacing.
As we journeyed uphill, there wasn’t a soul in sight. Relics of the Great War are ever-present. It felt like we were trespassing the rocky heart of the Tofane Group.
This ascent is a slog. The good news is that the path gets easier as you near the Forcella Fontanannegra saddle (2561 m).
The small Giussani refuge is built directly on the saddle between Tofana de Rozes and Tofana di Mezzo. The hut is typically open from mid-June until mid-September, depending on snow conditions.
Rifugio Giussani to Rifugio Dibona (1 hour)
The final descent to Rifugio Dibona is swift and easy. You’ll zigzag an old military road, between Tofana de Rozes and Punta Anna.
When you complete the circuit, follow the wide familiar track to Rifugio Dibona.
Where to Stay near Tofane di Rozes
Ringed by the Ampezzo Dolomites, Cortina d’Ampezzo boasts a central and stunning location in the Ampezzo Valley in Veneto. You can stay here for a few days or for several weeks and never run out of things to see and do: Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Lago di Sorapis, Croda da Lago Hike, Lago Federa, Passo Giau to Mondeval, Sentiero Bonacossa Trail and the Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint, Passo Falzarego and Rifugio Lagazuoi.
Budget | Jaegerhaus Agriturismo is a highly-recommended farm stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo. The farm is located 2 km north of the town center in a dreamy location, facing Punta della Croce and Croda del Pomagagnon. Expect a delicious breakfast buffet. You can also eat dinner in their restaurant, which features ingredients sourced directly from their farm. Rooms are clean, cozy and designed in an alpine-rustic style.
Midrange | Camina Suite & Spa is a modern and stylish accommodation, managed by a caring and kind staff. Highlights of staying here are the bright, spacious suites, lovely furnishings and design accents, balcony views, and air conditioning. The breakfast is outstanding. Don’t miss out on their spa facilities (may need to be booked in advance due to COVID regulations).
Luxury | Dolomiti Lodge Alverà is a splurge-worthy hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo, featuring an on-site spa and pool, on-site restaurant, and plush suites. Guests rave about the hotel’s mountain views, breakfast, wellness facilities, and design.
Tofana di Rozes Hiking Essentials
- Hiking Backpack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B/C high-cut hiking boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- Polarized, CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- Camera Body: Sony Alpha a6400
- Mid-range Zoom Lens: Sony Vario-Tessar 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS ZEISS
- Wide angle Zoom Lens: Sony – E 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide-angle Zoom Lens
- Backpack Camera Clip: Peak Design Camera Clip
Dolomites Hiking Guides
- Day Hiking: Cicerone Guide: Shorter Walks in the Dolomites
Rules for Visiting the Regional Natural Park of the Ampezzo Dolomites
The Natural Park of the Ampezzo Dolomites is a protected area that encompasses the Tofana Group. During your visit, please respect the fragile environment and follow the park rules:
- Wild camping is forbidden.
- Sleeping in campers in forbidden.
- Biking/cycling on hiking trails is forbidden.
- Pack up all your trash and do not liter.
- Keep your dog on a leash.
- Stay on the established trails.
- Lighting fires is forbidden.
- Do not pick, or collect flowers, mushrooms, plants, fossils, rocks, minerals, and war relics.
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Plan your trip to the Dolomites:
- Dolomites Travel Guide
- Best Things to Do in the Dolomites
- Best Places to Visit in the Dolomites
- 7-Day Dolomites Road Trip Itinerary
- Best Day Hikes in the Dolomites
Where to Stay in the Dolomites:
Our Favorite Destinations in the Dolomites