Lago delle Baste (aka Laghetto delle Baste, Lago di Baste) is a tiny lake on the Mondeval plateau within the Dolomites UNESCO System Pelmo – Croda da Lago.
The Mondeval Plateau is part of the municipality of San Vito di Cadore in the Italian Province of Belluno.
Though incredibly small, Lago delle Baste is nonetheless a worthy hiking destination, because of its impressive location at the foot of Monte Mondeval. Encircled by marshy grasslands, this tiny lake forms the picture-perfect foreground for both Monte Pelmo and Lastoni di Formin.
You can hike to Lago delle Baste from Passo Giau in 1:15 hrs.
Lago delle Baste Hiking Guide
- Trailhead: Passo Giau, Belluno, Italy
- Distance: 3.4 km one-way
- Time Needed: 1:15 hours one-way
- Elevation Gain: 192 meters ascending
- Elevation Loss: 149 meters descending
- Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
- Minimum Elevation: 2172 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 2355 meters
- When to Hike: June – mid-late October, depending on snow conditions.
- Where to Eat: Berghotel Passo Giau
- Where to Stay: Hotel Piccolo Pocol (budget) in Pocol, or 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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Lago delle Baste Hiking Map
How to Get to Passo Giau
Passo Giau (2236 m) is a high mountain pass in the Italian Province of Belluno. It connects Cortina d’Ampezzo with Selva di Cadore and Colle Santa Luci. The pass is a popular photography spot because of its views of Ra Gusela, the Tofane Group, and the Cristallo Group.
The easiest way to get to Passo Giau is with your own vehicle. You can park along the road at the pass. Parking is free, but limited.
- Pocol to Passo Giau | 10.6 km, 18 minutes
- Cortina d’Ampezzo to Passo Giau | 16.3 km, 25 minutes
- Selva di Cadore to Passo Giau | 10.5 km, 20 minutes
During the high summer season (mid/late June – mid/late September), you can take Dolomiti Bus Line 30/4 (Cortina d’Ampezzo – Passo Giau – Selva di Cadore – Pescul) to Passo Giau. This bus isn’t frequent, so please check the schedule in advance.
Passo Giau to Lago delle Baste Trail Description
Passo Giau – Forcella Zonia – Forcella di Col Piombin (20 minutes)
From Passo Giau, follow trail 436 and the Alta Via 1 long distance trail to Forcella Giau and Mondeval.
With your back towards Ra Gusela, walk in the direction of Monte Cernera. A level, dirt footpath leads to Forcella di Zonia (2229 m).
Looking west, you’ll see Monte Pore/Spiz de Poure, Marmolada and the Sella Group.
This trail horizontally crosses the slopes of Col Piombin to Forcella Col Piombin (2239 m). At the saddle, there’s a turn-off to Monte Cernera. Continue straight on trail 436 in the direction of Forcella Giau.
Forcella di Col Piombin to Forcella Giau (40 minutes)
The trail cuts across the upper Val Cernera valley on an undulating path. Though this trail is easy, there some rocky passages, which are potentially slippery, because of the polished stones.
At the Cees de Iou (2225 m) intersection, head right and ascend to Forcella Giau (20 minutes).
Forcella Giau to Lago delle Baste (15 minutes)
From Forcella Giau, bear right, leaving trail 436 behind. Descend along the unmarked but well-trodden footpath towards the cluster of boulders and Lago delle Baste.
If you’re looking at the Tabacco 03 Cortina d’Ampezzo, it’s the black-dotted route that leads to the summit of Monte Mondeval.
Lago delle Baste looks like a splash of water at the base of the grassy slope of Monte Mondeval. Rising behind Lago delle Baste is the massive, always-recognizable Mount Pelmo.
After passing a cluster of fallen boulders, known as La Città di Sassi, the grassy trail quickly steers you to the lake.
Lago delle Baste is surrounded by a sensitive marshy area. Please don’t trudge across the grasslands. If you want to walk to the lakeshore, follow the stone footpath.
Continue following the footpath across the Mondeval Plateau for views of Lastoni di Formin, Croda da Lago, and Becco di Mezzodi.
How to Extend the Lago delle Baste Hike
From Lago delle Baste, you can hike to the summit of Monte Mondeval (Corvo Alto) in 20 minutes. You can also hike to the archaeological burial site of a Mesolithic Hunter, dating back to 10,000 years ago. For an extended hike on Mondeval, read this Passo Giau – Mondeval Trail Guide.
Related: Best Day Hikes in the Dolomites
Where to Stay near Passo Giau
Pocol is a tiny village above the Ampezzo Valley, west of Cortina d’Ampezzo. Pocol sits at the crossroads between SR48 (the road that connects Cortina with Passo Falzarego) and the SP638 (the road that connects Cortina with Passo Giau).
Budget | Hotel Piccolo Pocol is a basic, but very clean bed & breakfast in Pocol. The management is helpful, efficient, and knowledgeable about the region. The breakfast buffet features a number of cakes, croissants, breads, yogurts, sliced cheeses and meats, and of course coffee and juices.
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. You can hike to the beautiful lakes of Lago Federa and Lago di Sorapis. You can explore the Tofane group along the Tofana di Rozes Circuit Trail and the Croda da Lago chain along the Croda da Lago Circuit Trail. You can venture to the Sexten Dolomites, to hike the challenging Sentiero Bonacossa Trail, the moderate Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Trail, and see the famous Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint.
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.
Lago delle Baste 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
- 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
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