The Sexten Dolomites (Dolomiti di Sesto in Italian, Sextener Dolomiten in German) is a mountain range in South Tyrol and Belluno in northeastern Italy.

This Dolomites range is bounded by Val Pusteria/Pustertal in the north, Val di Sesto/Sexten Valley in the northeast/east, Val d’Ansiei in the south, and by Val di Landro/Höhlensteintal in the west. 

The main focal point of the range is Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen, which are three obelisk-shaped peaks – long-regarded as the symbol of the Dolomites. Ringed by the beautiful Cadini di Misurina and Monte Paterno/Paternkofel, these three solitary peaks stand amidst the most striking pinnacles and ridge-lines of the Dolomites. 

Full of history and wonder, the Sexten Dolomites are one of the most beloved hiking and via ferrata climbing destinations in Italy. Whether you hike here for a day, or several weeks, this gorgeous region will leave a lasting impression.

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Sexten Dolomites Hiking Guide

Val Fiscalina / Fischleintal, Sexten Dolomites

Essential Tips

  • When to Visit: June – October
  • When to Hike Hut-to-Hut: July – Late September
  • Permits: None Needed
  • Trail Map: Tobacco 010: Sextener Dolomiten/Dolomiti di Sesto 1.25.000
  • Best base for hiking in the Northern Sexten Dolomites: Alta Pusteria/Pustertal Valley, Sesto/Sexten Valley, or Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal Valley in South Tyrol.
  • Best base for hiking in the Southern Sexten Dolomites: Lake Misurina, Lake Antorno or Cortina d’Ampezzo in Belluno.
  • Hiking Gear: Cat 4 Polarized Sunglasses like these Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses; Trekking Poles like these Unisex Black Diamond Hiking Poles; and Grade B/C Hiking Boots.

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Sexten Dolomites Hiking Map

7 Hikes in the Sexten Dolomites

Easy Walks in the Sexten Dolomites

  1. Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint
  2. Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal: Bad Moos to Rifugio Fondovalle/Talschlusshütte

Easy-Moderate Hikes in the Sexten Dolomites 

  1. Pratti di Croda Rossa/Rotwandwiesen to Passo Monte Croce/Kreuzbergpass  
  2. Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen Loop Trail

Moderately Difficult Hikes in the Sexten Dolomites

  1. Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal to Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen 

Difficult Hikes in the Sexten Dolomites

  1. Sentiero Bonacossa North Trail Circuit through Cadini di Misurina

Multi-Day Hikes in the Sexten Dolomites 

  1. 3-Day Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen Hut-to-Hut Hike

1. Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint Hike

Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint, Sexten Dolomites
  • Trailhead: Rifugio Auronzo
  • Distance: 3.9 km out-and-back
  • Total ascent/descent: 144 m ascending/descending
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time Needed: 30-40 minutes one-way
  • When to Hike: mid-June – late-October, depending on snow conditions.

The Cadini di Misurina mountains are located in the municipality of Auronzo di Cadore in the Italian province of Belluno in Veneto. They form the southernmost mountain group of the Sexten range.

Though these mountains are striking from multiple angles, there’s one vantage point that upstages all others. Nicknamed the Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint and sometimes referred to as the Towers of Mordor, the Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint brings you face-to-face with the northern side of the Cadini peaks. 

The fastest way to get to the Cadini Viewpoint is by driving, or taking the bus, to Rifugio Auronzo via the Rifugio Auronzo – Tre Cime di Lavaredo toll road. From the hut, it’s a 30-40 minute walk to the famous viewpoint. This short hike can easily be combined with the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit trail in a single day. 

Learn More: Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint Hike

2. Pratti di Croda Rossa (Rotwandwiesen) Meadows to Passo Monte Croce (Kreuzbergpass) mountain pass

Trail 15, Sexten Dolomites
Trail 15
  • Trailhead: Rifugio Piano Fiscalina/Fischleinbodenhütte Parking Lot, Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal, South Tyrol
  • Distance: 9.1 km point-to-point
  • Total ascent: 613 m
  • Total descent: 431 m
  • Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
  • Time Needed: 4 hours
  • When to Hike: mid-June – late-October, depending on snow conditions.

The Prati di Croda Rossa (Rotwandwiesen in German) meadows lie at the foot of the Croda Rossa di Sesto/Sextener Rotwand mountain in the northern Sesto/Sexten Dolomites. 

This scenic, family-friendly destination is accessible by cableway from Sesto Moso/Sexten Moos, adjacent to the Bad Moos Dolomites Spa Resort. The Croda Rossa cable car operates between mid-June and mid-October. You can view the summer schedule and operating times on the dreizinnen website. Parking is free at the cabelway valley station. Address: Via Val Fiscalina, 23, 39030 Sesto BZ, Italy

However, you can forgo the cableway and start the hike further up Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal valley, close to Hotel Dolomitenhof. There’s a paid parking lot at the Fischleinboden hut:

  • 2 EUR for the first hour 
  • 1 EUR for any additional hour
  • 8 EUR per day

The parking machine only accepts cash in the form of coins and 5 EUR or 10 EUR bills.

Just across from the Fischleinboden parking lot, there’s a trail that leads into the forest. Follow trail 124 and then trail 153 up to Prati di Croda Rossa/Rotwandwiesen. The ascent takes 1:10 hrs. 

From the Croda Rossa/Rotwand meadows, we recommend hiking along trail 15/15a, at the base of the Sesto/Sexten mountains, all the way to Passo Monte Croce/Kreuzbergpass mountain pass. 

This point-to-point hike offers a lot of variation in a short period of time. You’ll hike through forests as well as across meadows and mountain slopes.

From Passo Monte Croce/Kreuzbergpass, you can hop on bus line 446 back to Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal. 

Though this trail is generally straightforward, it’s easy to end up following trails 19 and 18 to the pass, as opposed to trail 15, from the Pratti di Croda Rossa meadows. We don’t recommend trail 18, because it’s a forest road, popular among e-bikers. Trail 15 is a hiking path and far more scenic and enjoyable. 

That being said, when you arrive at Pratti di Croda Rossa, the best views of the meadows are along trail 19. So, you may want to walk along trail 19 for 10 minutes, before backtracking and locating trail 15.

3. Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal Valley Trail

Trail 102, Val Fiscalina, Fischleintal, Sexten Dolomites
Trail 102
  • Trailhead: Bad Moos Dolomites Spa Resort
  • Destination: Rifugio Fondo Valle/Talschlusshütte
  • Distance: 4.2 km one-way, 8.4 km out-and-back
  • Total ascent: 174 m
  • Total descent: 174 m
  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Time Needed: 1 hour one-way 
  • When to Hike: May – October, depending on snow conditions 

Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal is a gorgeous side valley of Valle di Sesto/Sextental, famous for its view of the Sesto/Sexten Sundial

Many excursions into the Sexten mountains begin in Val Fiscalina, however the valley itself is a wonderful destination for leisurely walking.

We highly recommend starting at the Bad Moos Dolomites Spa Resort, next to the Croda Rossa/Rotwand cable car valley station. If you drive further up the valley to Rifugio Piano Fiscalino/Fischleinbodenhütte (1454 m), you’ll miss out on the most delightful larch forest path. 

Starting at the Croda Rossa/Rotwand cable car parking lot, cross the street and locate the bridge over the Rio Fiscalino/Fischleinbach stream. 

Turn left and follow this path (Trail 102) to Rifugio Piano Fiscalino/Fischleinbodenhütte (30 minutes). 

Walk through the parking lot towards Hotel Dolomitenhof and then continue up the valley along the vibrant meadow. 

Straight ahead, the giant Cima Uno/Einserkofel (2698 m), Crode Fiscaline/Oberbachernspitzen (2677 m), Croda dei Toni/Zwölferkofel (3094 m), and Cima Undici/Elferkofel (3092 m) tower above the meadow. Directly east, you’ll see Punta Tre Scarperi/Dreischusterspitze (3145 m) – the highest peak in the Sexten Dolomites –  Forcella dei Sassi/Steinalpenscharte (2678 m), and Monte Casella/Gsellknoten (2870 m). 

Rifugio Fondo Valle/Talschlusshütte, Val Fiscalina, Dolomites
Rifugio Fondo Valle/Talschlusshütte

After 10 minutes, the trail divides. Take the left trail and follow the river bed to Rifugio Fondo Valle/Talschlusshütte (1548 m), a mountain hut at the head of the valley (20 minutes). 

The valley trail terminates here. 

In the next section, we’ll explain how you can extend this hike all the way to Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen. 

4. Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal to Rifugio Locatelli/Dreizinnenhütte

Trail 102, Altensteintal, Sexten Dolomites
Trail 102
  • Trailhead: Rifugio Piano Fiscalina/Fischleinbodenhütte car park
  • Distance: 13.4 km out-and-back
  • Total ascent: 958 m
  • Total descent: 948 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate. This trail is not technically difficult, but you need to be acclimated and fit. 
  • Time Needed: 3:10 hours one-way / 6-7 hours total 
  • When to Hike: Late June – Late September/Mid-October, depending on snow conditions 

One of the most scenic approaches to the iconic Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen is from Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal. 

Starting at the Rifugio Piano Fiscalina/Fischleinbodenhütte car park, follow the flat valley path for about 30 minutes to Rifugio Fondo Valle/Talschlusshütte (1548 m).

From the hut, continue on trail 102 in the direction of Rifugio A. Locatelli/Dreizinnenhütte, signed 2:40 hours.

The path ascends very gently to another intersection with a painted billboard, identifying all the significant peaks and side valleys of the immediate surroundings. Head right.

For the next 2 hours, you’ll steadily ascend Valle Sasso Vecchio/Altensteintal valley between the Einserkofel/Cima Uno (2698 m) and Crode Fiscaline/Oberbachernspitzen (2677 m) peaks (on your left) and the Punte Sasso Vecchio/Altensteinspitzen and Crodon di San Candido/Innichriedlknoten (2891 m) peaks (on your right).

There’s very little shade along this trail and the stone path reflects the sun like snow. Bring sun protection (hat, sun lotion, and Cat 4 sunglasses like these Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses).

After an hour, the trail levels out next to the Altensteinerbach stream. The flat walking is a nice respite, but it doesn’t last long.

As you gain elevation, the Monte Paterno/Paternkofel (2476 m) and Croda dei Piani/Bödenknoten (2712 m) dominate your view. 

The high-alpine landscape is defined by rugged, sculpturesque peaks, dwarf pine, and solitary larch. 

Rifugio Locatelli / Dreizinnenhütte, Sexten Dolomites
Rifugio Locatelli/Dreizinnenhütte (2405 m)

The final stretch to the Rifugio Locatelli/Dreizinnenhütte mountain hut is remarkably easy. You’ll walk across meadows, passing above the Laghi dei Piani/Bödenseen lakes, towards the impressive Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen peaks.

Rifugio Locatelli/Dreizinnenhütte directly faces the northern sides of the Three Peaks, making it the ultimate finale to this wonderful day hike. Grab lunch here and savor one of the most cherished vistas in the Dolomites. The hut is open from late June until late September. For exact dates, consult the hut’s website.

5. Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen Loop Trail 

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hut to Hut Hike, Sesto Dolomites
Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen

The Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal ascent route to Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen may be the most scenic route, but it’s not the fastest. 

A far easier way to approach these peaks is by driving the toll road all the way up to Rifugio Auronzo on the Belluno-side. 

Rifugio Auronzo, Cadini di Misurina, Sesto Dolomites, Italy
Rifugio Auronzo (2333 m) and Cadini di Misurina

Rifugio Auronzo is situated on the southern side of Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen with heart-achingly-beautiful views of the northern Cadini di Misurina group. 

From the parking lot at Rifugio Auronzo, you can follow the circuit trail clockwise or counterclockwise around the Three Peaks. We recommend hiking clockwise, heading to Langalm first. 

You can read our full description of this day hike here: Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Hike

6. Sentiero Bonacossa Trail: Northern Circuit

Sentiero Bonacossa Trail, Cadini di Misurina, Sexten Dolomites
Protected passage along Sentiero Bonacossa
  • Trailhead: Rifugio Auronzo or Lake Antorno
  • Distance: 12.5 km circuit
  • Total ascent/descent: 869 m ascending/descending
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Time Needed: 6 hours
  • When to Hike: July – October, depending on snow conditions

Sentiero Alberto Bonacossa is an exhilarating hiking trail that runs through the dramatic Cadini di Misurina mountain group. The trail unfolds almost cinematically, as you conquer secured passages, narrow ledges, and steep rocky valleys. 

We hiked the northern Sentiero Bonacossa route from Rifugio Auronzo to Rifugio Fonda Savio, and looped back to our starting point via Lake Antorno and Trail 101.

Learn More: Sentiero Bonacossa North Trail

7. Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen 3 Day Hut-to-Hut Hike

Büllelejochhütte (Rifugio Pian di Cengia), Trekking Tre Cime di Lavaredo - Hut to Hut
Rifugio Pian di Cengia/Büllelejochhütte
  • Trailhead: Rifugio Piano Fiscalina/Fischleinbodenhütte car park
  • Type of Trail: Figure-Eight Circuit 
  • Difficulty: Easy-Moderate 
  • Time Needed: 3 Days, or 2 Days
  • When to Hike: July – mid/late September, when the mountain huts are open.

If you want to combine the Val Fiscalina ascent route with the circuit trail around Tre Cime di Lavaredo, you can link the trails with an overnight in a mountain hut(s). You’ll also get to stay in the highest and one of the loveliest refuges in the Sexten Dolomites: Rifugio Pian di Cengia/Büllelejochhütte. 

This was the very first hut-to-hut hike we ever did and it’s a perfect introduction to multi-day hiking in the Alps. Here’s our 3-day Tre Cime trekking guide.

  • Day 1: Rifugio Piano Fiscalina/Fischleinbodenhütte car park – Rifugio Locatelli/Dreizinnenhütte (6.8 km, 3:10 hrs)
  • Day 2: Rifugio Locatelli/Dreizinnenhütte – Rifugio Lavaredo – Rifugio Auronzo – Langalm – Rifugio Locatelli/Dreizinnenhütte – Rifugio Pian di Cengia/Büllelejochhütte (12.6 km, 6 hours)
  • Day 3: Rifugio Pian di Cengia/Büllelejochhütte – Rifugio Zsigmondy Comici/Zsigmondy Hütte – Rifugio Piano Fiscalina/Fischleinbodenhütte car park (7.9 km, 3 hours)

Fit and experienced hikers can condense this into 2 days, by completing the loop trail around the three peaks on Day 1.

Here’s how we integrated this route into a 7-day Dolomites road trip itinerary

Where to Stay in the Sexten Dolomites 

The Sexten Dolomites are located in both South Tyrol and Belluno. For exploring the Northern Sexten range, we recommend staying in Puster Valley in the villages of San Candido/Innichen or Dobbiaco/Toblach, or Sesto/Sexten Valley and its side-valley Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal.

For exploring the southern Sexten range, we recommend staying near Lake Misurina, Lake Antorno, or Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Val Fiscalina / Fischleintal

Val Fiscalina/Fischlential is a gorgeous side valley of Sesto/Sexten Valley. It’s also one of the most popular trailheads in the northern Sexten Dolomites. Luckily there are two excellent accommodation in Val Fiscalina you can choose from: Bad Moos and Dolomitenhof.

Bad Moos Dolomites Spa Resort 

Bad Moos Dolomites Spa Resort is located at the entrance of Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal in the Sesto/Sexten hamlet of Moso/Moos. The hotel’s location is perfect for exploring both the Sexten Dolomites and the Carnic Alps.

Boasting a 2500 m2 wellness area and its own sulphur source, this Sexten wellness hotel offers guests the greatest gift of all: relaxation. The extensive sauna complex lures you in with its cavernous, candlelit sulphur grotto, cold sulphur plunge pool (6.1°C), Kneipp trail, and multiple saunas. 

The outdoor-indoor pool is filled with mineral-rich water containing sulphur, fluoride, magnesium, and calcium, which support your digestive system, musculoskeletal system, and integumentary system. 

Beyond the wellness area, we were delighted by:

  • The rich and decadent breakfast buffet
  • The welcoming and energetic staff 
  • The complimentary afternoon snack 
  • The relaxed dining atmosphere
  • And, our very comfortable bedroom

Book your stay at Bad Moos Dolomites Spa Resort

Look for accommodation in Sesto/Sexten

Hotel Dolomitenhof 

The historic Hotel Dolomitenhof is located in the middle of Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal at the Fischleinbodenhütte trailhead. The hotel’s enviable location is perfect for anyone traveling without a car, as you can start many hikes directly from the hotel’s doorstep. 

With unobstructed mountain views, Hotel Dolomitenhof is without a question one of the most perfectly situated hotels in the Dolomites. The outdoor pool and encircling lawn, peppered with lounge chairs, overlook the northern face of the Sexten Sundial. 

Retreat indoors, and you’ll be treated to a modern sauna area (“Badehaus Bergsteiger”) comprising 4 beautiful saunas, a cold plunge pool, showers, and a relaxation room. 

During your stay, you can also look forward to gourmet multi-course dinners, which highlight the rich flavors of the region. Dinner menus notate which dishes feature local ingredients sourced from partner farms. The dining staff is attentive and precise, making the whole dining experience seamless. 

Book your stay at Hotel Dolomitenhof

Look for accommodation in Sesto/Sexten

Lake Antorno 

If you want to deeply explore the southern Sesto/Sexten Dolomites, we recommend staying near Lake Antorno or Lake Misurina. From Lago d’Antorno, it’s a mere 10 minute drive to Rifugio Auronzo. 

Midrange | Albergo Chalet Lago Antorno is situated along the Tre Cime di Lavaredo panoramic road, directly across from Lake Antorno. With its unbeatable location, you can embark on a variety of hikes directly from the hotel’s doorstep: Rifugio Fonda Savio, Rifugio Auronzo, Monte Piana. As a guest, you’ll love the views of the Cadini di Misurina peaks, the cozy rooms, and the on-site à la carte restaurant. Breakfast is included. 

Look for accommodation near Lake Misurina.

Cortina d’Ampezzo 

Ringed by the Ampezzo Dolomites mountains, Cortina d’Ampezzo boasts a central and stunning location in the Ampezzo Valley in Belluno, Veneto. You can stay here for a few days or for several weeks and never run out of things to see and do: Lago di Sorapis, Tofana di Rozes Circuit, Lago Federa, Croda da Lago Circuit, Passo Giau to Mondeval, 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. 

Look for accommodation in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

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