The hike around Torre dei Scarperi (Schwabenalpenkopf in German) is an outstanding day hike starting in Val Campo di Dentro/Innerfeldtal in the Italian Dolomites.
Val Campo di Dentro is a side valley of Sesto/Sexten valley in the Alta Pusteria/Hochpustertal region of South Tyrol in Italy. This is the famed region of Lago di Braies, Prato Piazza, and Val Fiscalina.
This quiet valley serves as a secret gateway to Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen, the famous Three Peaks of the Sesto/Sexten Dolomites.
This Val Campo di Dentro hike begins with an easy jaunt through the valley, passing Rifugio Tre Scarperi/Drei Schuster Hütte along the way. The trail ascends around the western flank of Monte Mattina/Morgenkopf and Torre dei Scarperi/Schwabenalpenkopf mountains to reach the Schwaben Alm.
After rounding Torre dei Scarperi, hikers can detour to Rifugio Locatelli/Dreizinnenhütte, the iconic mountain hut that stands north of Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen.
The descent along the eastern flank of Monte Mattina/Morgenkopf to Val Campo di Dentro is spectacular, albeit long.
This is one of the best hikes in the Dolomites. It’s an excellent alternative to the Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal ascent route to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, which has become increasingly popular in the last few years.
This is a moderately-difficult day hike which entails hiking on rugged terrain and loose rocks. There is one secured passage along the ascent, which requires some scrambling. There’s no exposure and there is no need for special equipment.
Note: This Sexten Dolomites hike is also known as the Morgenkopf circuit trail, because it wraps around the Morgenkopf mountain as well. The German name, Morgenkopf, is more widely used than the Italian name, Monte Mattina.
Torre dei Scarperi Loop Trail: Secret Hike from Val Campo di Dentro to Three Peaks, Dolomites
- Trailhead: Antoniusstein Car Park | Google Maps
- Distance: 16.7 km lollipop-circuit
- Time Needed: 6:20 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 1157 meters
- Difficulty: Moderately Difficult
- Minimum Elevation: 1502 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 2502 meters
- Where to Stay in Sesto: B&B Grüne Laterne – Lanterna Verde (budget), Hotel Royal (midrange), Hotel Schoenblick (midrange), or Hotel Monika (luxury)
- Where to Stay in San Candido: Residence Silvia (budget), Residence Kugler (apartments), ATTO Suites & Cuisine (luxury), or Naturhotel Leitlhof (luxury)
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Val Campo di Dentro – Rifugio Locatelli Trail Map
Where to Start the Torre dei Scarperi Circuit Trail
Antoniusstein Car Park in Val Campo di Dentro
The Torre dei Scarperi loop hike begins at the Antoniusstein Car Park in Val Campo di Dentro valley.
Depending on when you’re visiting, you can either drive, or take a shuttle bus to get to the Antoniusstein trailhead.
How to Get to Antoniusstein Car Park
The Val Campo di Dentro road branches off the Sextner Strasse (Sesto/Sexten Valley road), about halfway between San Candido and Sesto.
There is a pay-and-display car park at the entrance of the valley. This car park is called Parcheggio Val Campo di Dentro in Italian and Parkplatz Innerfeldtal in German. Exact Location: Google Maps.
The parking fee is 1.50 EUR per hour (10 EUR max per day). You can pay with EUR coins, cards, or with the EasyPark mobile app.
From the end of June until the end of September, the road leading from the Val Camp di Dentro Car Park to Antoniusstein Car Park is closed to private vehicle traffic between 8:45 am and 6:15 pm.
To avoid this traffic regulation, simply drive up Via Campo di Dentro/Innerfeldstrasse road before 8:45 am.
If the road restriction is in place, park at the Val Camp di Dentro car park at the entrance of the valley and take the Val Campo di Dentro/Innerfeldtal shuttle bus to the Antoniusstein Car Park.
This shuttle runs every 30 minutes from 9:10 until 6 pm, with the exception of a 1:30 hour midday break. This shuttle costs 3 EUR one-way.
Bus 446 (Fischleintal – Kreuzbergpass) connects neighboring towns to the entrance of Val Campo di Dentro. The bus stop is “Innichen, Abzweigung Innerfeldtal.”
Use the Südtirolmobil Journey Planner to lookup bus schedules.
Torre dei Scarperi Circuit Trail Description
Antoniusstein Car Park to Rifugio Tre Scarperi (30 minutes)
Follow trail 105, initially a paved road, in the direction of Rifugio Tre Scarperi/Drei Schuster Hütte (30 minutes) and Rifugio Tre Cime/Drei Zinnen Hütte (3:10 hours).
After a few minutes, a trail branches off the road to the right. You can take this trail, or continue following the road.
When the road and trail merge, you’ll arrive at a wide pasture area, enclosed with a timber fence. Monte Mattina/Morgenkopf is the gorgeous mountain directly ahead, which splits the valley in two.
Follow the flat gravel road along the fence to the alpine chapel, situated just below the Rifugio Tre Scarperi/Drei Schuster Hütte mountain hut.
Rifugio Tre Scarperi to Passo Grande dei Rondoi (2:20 hours)
Shortly after the chapel, pass through the gate and enter the enclosed pasture.
The laminated sign says: “Attention Sheep. Dogs must be leashed.”
Trail 105 crosses the basin and continues up the valley along the scree-filled stream bed, surrounded by thick forested slopes.
Ignore trail 8, which leads to Forcella dei Baranci/Birkenscharte, and keep following the valley floor.
At the next signed junction, turn right on trail 9 to Passo Grande dei Rondoi/Wildgrabenjoch (signed 2 hours). This is where the circuit begins.
Trail 9 steepens immediately, leading through a mixed forest of larch and spruce.
Beneath the towering Monte Mattina/Morgenkopf, trail 9 cuts a nice path through thick dwarf pine. Views open up to the block-shaped Croda dei Rondoi/Schwalbenkofel.
Cross the river of scree and follow the larch-lined path to the wide-open meadow of Schwarzboden (1895 m).
Here, there’s a bench, trough, and signed trail junction.
Bear left on trail 10 to Passo Grande dei Rondoi (1 hour).
The well-graded path climbs up steadily. There’s more and more scree as you near the saddle.
Passo Grande dei Rondoi to Rifugio Locatelli (1:20 hours)
The Passo Grande dei Rondoi/Wildgrabenjoch saddle (2289 m) links Val Campo di Dentro to Val Rinbon and Valle della Rienza (via trail 10).
Looking south, you can see the Cadini di Misurina peaks, Antelao, Punta Sorapiss, La Cesta, and so many more pinnacles.
Turn left, following trail 11 to Rifugio Locatelli-Innerkofler/Drei Zinnen Hütte (1:20 hours).
The path ascends to a rock wall, which marks the start of a protected passage, secured with cables and rungs.
Though a via ferrata kit isn’t necessary, climbing gloves are always helpful for gripping cables.
We always pack our Black Diamond half finger gloves when hiking in the Dolomites.
Scramble up the chimney following the red-painted dots.
When you emerge, the path zigzags up for a few minutes and then quickly eases, bringing you face-to-face with the northern side of Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen.
Cross the grassy Schwaben Alm, whilst savoring the prominent peaks of the Sexten Dolomites.
The trail wraps widely around Torre dei Scarperi/Schwabenalpenkopf (2687 m). After crossing the mountain’s southeast shoulder (a crest), descend to the flat basin below.
From this vantage point, the mighty Punta dei Tre Scarperi/Dreischusterspitze (3145 m) – the highest mountain in the Sexten Dolomites – and Lastron dei Scarperi/Schusterplatte (2957 m) upstage all the other peaks.
At the junction, you can follow trail 11A to Rifugio Tre Scarperi/ Drei-Schuster-Hütte (1:30 hours), starting the return route down to Val Campo di Dentro.
Or, you can detour to Rifugio Locatelli (30 minutes), which is what we did.
Continue east along trail 11. At the next trail junction, turn right on trail 105 to Rifugio Locatelli (20 minutes). Note: after visiting the hut, you’ll return to this junction to start the descent.
Some timber ladders and reinforcements guide you through a karst rockscape.
The path leads straight to the isolated Torre di Toblin/Toblinger Noten tower.
Skirt Torre di Toblin/Toblinger Noten and round the base of Sasso di Sesto/Sextener Stein to reach Rifugio Locatelli.
Eat Lunch at Rifugio Locatelli
Rifugio Locatelli is one of the most visited mountain huts in the Dolomites.
Most hikers approach this hut along the Tre Cime di Lavaredo circuit trail, starting at Rifugio Auronzo. The Auronzo hut is located on the south side of the Three Peaks and is accessible by the Rifugio Auronzo toll road.
Another popular ascent route starts in Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal valley, another side valley of Sesto/Sexten.
Suffice it to say, it’s busy here.
New management has changed the way the Dreizinnenhütte has historically operated. It’s now entirely self-service. Order food outside and drinks inside. Payment is cash only.
The Dreizinnenhütte is usually open from late June until late September.
Before starting the descent, explore the area around the hut. If you follow the trail in the direction of Val Fiscalina for a few minutes, there are marvelous views of the Laghi dei Piani/Bödenseen lakes.
Rifugio Locatelli – Rifugio Tre Scarperi – Antoniusstein Car Park (2 hours)
Retrace your steps along trail 105, hiking once again around the Sasso di Sesto and Torre di Toblin, back towards the square-shaped pillar of rock, otherwise known as Torre dei Scarperi.
When you get to the familiar junction, turn right. Follow trail 105 all the way down to Rifugio Tre Scarperi/Drei-Schuster-Hütte.
Heading north, you can fully appreciate the size and shape of Rocca dei Baranic/Haunold, the jagged mountain that flanks the west side of Val Campo di Dentro.
The descent is long, but highly enjoyable. The views are extraordinary, especially of the valley with its river of sparkling-white scree, rimmed by spruce and larch forest.
Trail 105 slithers down, hugging the eastern flank of Monte Mattina/Morgenkopf.
Parts of the path are reinforced with timber.
The trail drops below the forest line and twists down a series of serpentines to reach the valley floor.
Hike down the rock-filled valley. After crossing the footbridge over the stream, follow the timber poles north to the familiar junction (with trail 9).
Thus completing the circuit, walk the known valley path to Rifugio Tre Scarperi/Drei-Schuster-Hütte and onwards to the Antoniusstein Car Park.
Where to Stay near Val Campo di Dentro
Sesto / Sexten
Sesto/Sexten is a village in Sesto/Sexten Valley, a side valley of Val Pusteria/Pustertal.
Sesto Valley is wedged between the Northern Sesto/Sexten Dolomites and the Carnic Alps. From Sesto, you’re well-positioned to explore Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal and Val Campo di Dentro/Innerfeldtal, two valleys which lead into the heart of Tre Cime Nature Park.
Budget | B&B Grüne Laterne – Lanterna Verde is a traditional, alpine guesthouse with an on-site restaurant.
Midrange | Hotel Schoenblick is a lovely 3-star hotel with sparkling clean rooms and apartments facing the Sesto Sundial. Breakfast is included and half board is optional. 3 nights minimum stay requirement in high season.
Midrange | Hotel Royal is a 3-star-superior hotel with alpine-modern rooms and apartments in Sesto. Stay here for the hospitality, dreamy mountain views, and fantastic breakfast buffet.
Luxury | Hotel Alpenblick is an exceptional hotel in Sesto with a standout gourmet kitchen, committed to sustainability. Ingredients are sourced regionally and from their very own Alpenblick farm. Breakfast, a 5-course dinner, and an afternoon snack (3 pm – 5 pm) are included in the room rate. Beyond the culinary appeal, Hotel Alpenblick is a super friendly and welcoming accommodation with a spa and pool. 5 nights minimum stay requirement.
5-star Luxury | Hotel Monika – MY WELLBEING HOTEL DOLOMITES enjoys a splendid setting on the edge of a meadow with views of the Sexten Dolomites. The hotel spa dazzles with its sky infinity outdoor pool, indoor pool, five saunas, and relaxation zones. You can schedule massages and other treatments as well. Book half board to savor the full experience.
San Candido / Innichen
San Candido is a charming town in Val Pusteria/Pustertal between Dobbiaco/Toblach and Sesto/Sexten. It’s an excellent base for exploring both the Sesto/Sexten Dolomites and the Braies/Prags Dolomites.
Apartments | Residence Kugler offers new, fully-equipped apartments in San Candido.
Luxury | Naturhotel Leitlhof is a 4-star-superior, climate-neutral wellness hotel in San Candido. Situated at a slight elevation and bordered by forest, idyllic Naturhotel Leitlhof overlooks the village and the gorgeous Sexten mountains including Haunold/Rocca dei Baranci and Dreischusterspitze/Cima di Tre Scarperi. Sunsets and sunrises are glorious here. The 2000 m² wellness facilities and outdoor pool are stellar. And, the cuisine is second to none. Read our Naturhotel Leitlhof hotel review.
Luxury | ATTO Suites & Cuisine is a new luxury aparthotel in San Candido, furnished with the highest quality local materials. These gorgeous, minimalist apartments teeter stylistically between Alpine and Nordic. An excellent breakfast is included (with gluten-free options). Other included services: parking, shuttle service to the Leitlhof spa, and bicycle storage room.
Adults-Only Luxury | Post Hotel – Tradition & Lifestyle Adults Only is located in the center of San Candido, close to the pedestrian zone. This chic boutique hotel offers a spa, rooftop terrace, and on-site restaurant and bar. Half board is available.
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Dolomites Trip Planning Essentials
Use our Dolomites Travel Guide to plan an unforgettable trip to Northern Italy.
When to Hike in the Dolomites
The best time to hike in the Dolomites is between mid-June and mid-September. If the weather is stable, the hiking season can extend until late October.
How to Get to the Dolomites
Read How to Get to the Dolomites to find out how to travel to the Dolomites from the closest airports, train stations, and bus terminals.
If you’re traveling without a car, also check out How to Visit the Dolomites Without a Car.
The easiest way to travel between hiking destinations in the Italian Dolomites is with your own car. Check out our itineraries for trip inspiration:
We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your car rental as early as possible.
Best Places to Stay
Figuring out where to stay in the Dolomites is probably the biggest hurdle to planning a trip to the Dolomites. We’ve created three guides to help you decide where to stay:
- Where to Stay in the Dolomites in Summer: best villages and towns in South Tyrol, Trentino and Belluno
- Best Hotels in the Dolomites: best boutique and luxury hotels in the Dolomites
- Dolomites Accommodation Guide: farm stays, mountain huts, wellness hotels, aparthotels
- Best Val Gardena Hotels: best accommodations in Ortisei, Santa Cristina, and Selva
We suggest choosing 2-4 bases for your Dolomites trip and spending 2-4 nights in each base.
- Base 1: Val Gardena
- Base 2: Val di Funes
- Base 3: Alta Badia
- Base 4: Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Base 5: Alta Pusteria
- Base 6: San Martino di Castrozza
What to See & Do
During your trip to the Dolomites, you can go via ferrata climbing, culinary hiking, hut to hut hiking, cycling, paragliding, and so much more. We’ve highlighted our favorite experiences in Best Things to Do in the Dolomites.
Wherever you decide to stay, you’ll be surrounded by glorious mountain scenery and incredible natural landmarks.
In Best Places to Visit in the Dolomites, we’ve outlined the most iconic attractions as well as lesser-known destinations across the Dolomites, including Alpe di Siusi, Lago di Sorapis, Lago Federa, and Seceda.
Dolomites Packing List
- Day Pack: 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)
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- Reusable Water Bottle: Ion Leakproof 32 oz Water Bottle
Outdoor Photography Gear
- Camera Body: Sony Alpha a6400
- Mid-range Zoom Lens: Tamron 17-70mm 2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
- Wide angle Zoom Lens: Sony – E 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide-angle Zoom Lens
- Backpack Camera Clip: Peak Design Camera Clip
Dolomites Hiking Guides
Hiking in the Dolomites is our passion. Year after year, we love discovering new trails and expanding our knowledge of the area. For day hiking, check out Best Day Hikes in the Dolomites. For trekking, take a look at our guide to Hut to Hut Hiking in the Dolomites and Alta Via 1.
For region-specific hiking trails, check out:
- Best Hikes in Val Gardena
- Best Hikes in Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Best Hikes in Alta Badia
- Sexten Dolomites Hiking Guide
Recommended Hiking Guidebook: Cicerone Guide: Shorter Walks in the Dolomites
More Hikes around Alta Pusteria / Hochpustertal
Sesto / Sexten Dolomites:
- Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Trail
- Sentiero Bonacossa North Circuit Trail
- Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint Hike
Braies / Prags Dolomites: