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Best 9 Day Hikes In The Dolomites + Instructions & Maps

Best 9 Day Hikes In The Dolomites + Instructions & Maps

Best 9 Day Hikes In The Dolomites + Instructions & Maps

From beautiful alpine meadows to rocky mountain passes; high pristine lakes and breathtaking circuits, there are day hikes in the Dolomites for all tastes and experience levels. Here is our guide to the 9 best day hikes ranging from easy strolls to exhilarating climbs.

Starting our Dolomites hiking early in the season, the alpine air was laced with the lingering chill of spring. Persistent snow clung to the high trails, making some crossings impossible. On the lower paths, alpine flowers were just starting to bloom. High above the meadows, formidable, jagged peaks diminished the rocky paths crunching under our hiking boots.

After a number of visits, the impossibly beautiful landscapes of the Italian Dolomites never cease to impress. Their allure growing every time. They may not have the height and grandeur of the snow-covered French peaks or cute villages and steep-sided valleys of the Swiss Alps.

But what sets the Dolomites apart are the dramatic limestone peaks. Crags that soar out of rolling green meadows. A landscape different to other alpine areas, where the change from rural idyll to inhospitable mountain is swift and stunning.

We’ve hiked trails that meander through meadows, traversed steep slopes, and crossed high summits. It’s the one area of the alps we know better than any other. This guide collects our favourite Dolomites hiking experiences.  

Some are little more than a gentle stroll; others will leave you panting at the top of a rocky peak.


BOOKING YOUR TRIP / If you find this guide helpful, please book your trip via the links on this page (or on our BOOK page). This will earn us a small commission – at no extra cost to you – and help us keep Anywhere We Roam on the road. Thanks for your support – Paul & Mark.

IN THIS GUIDE

DAY HIKES IN THE DOLOMITES


1 – TRE CIME DI LAVAREDO (DREI ZINNEN)

START Rifugio Auronzo | DISTANCE10.3 kilometre round trip | TIME3 hours, 20 minutes | ELEVATION+/- 400 metres | DIFFICULTYEasy-Medium

The Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop is possibly the finest hike in the Dolomites. Circling the three soaring spires of Tre Cime, this easy walk on simple to follow paths, has breathtaking views the entire way. Spiky peaks, reflective lakes, and well-positioned rifugios. If you only do one hiking trail in the Dolomites, make it this one.

INSTRUCTIONS

The trail begins at Rifugio Auronzo. Take path 101 past Rifugio Lavaredo and over Forcella Lavaredo, before descending down to Rifugio Locatelli (Dreizinnenhütte).

Leave the rifugio on path 102 taking care to quickly turn left on path 105. It descends down a small canyon before rising up the other side and passing directly under the three Tre Cime peaks. Stay on path 105 as it rises to Forcella la Col di Mezzo, where it turns left and heads back to Rifugio Auronzo.

More detailed instructions and a downloadable map is available on our Tre Cime guide.

HOW TO GET TO TRE CIME

The trail begins at Rifugio Auronzo, which has a large car park behind a toll booth. The charge is €30 per day (€45 for campervans). It’s is a 40-minute drive from either Cortina d’Ampezzo or Dobbiaco. For public transport, the 444 shuttle bus from Dobbiaco takes 45 minutes.

FACILITIES

There are 5 rifugios along the hiking route. All have restaurants or cafes and toilets, so there’s no need to take supplies with you.

READ MORE / OUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO TRE CIME
Dolomites itinerary road trip
Tre Cime Hut, Dolomites hiking

2 – LAGO DI SORAPIS (SORAPISSEE)

START Passo Tre Croci Car Park | DISTANCE13 kilometre round trip | TIME4 hours, 45 minutes | ELEVATION+/- 725 metres | DIFFICULTYMedium (summit return)

Lago di Sorapis is a glistening turquoise lake backed by the craggy buttresses of the 3,200 mountain which shares its name. While many of the lakes in the Dolomites are packed with people, this one requires a decent hike. You may have it all to yourself.

The hiking trail winds through shady forests and over rocky ledges as views stretch off to jagged craggy peaks. The crisp mountain air, crunchy alpine foliage and crystal clear lake reflections make this Dolomites hike well worth conquering.

INSTRUCTIONS

From Passo Tre Croci, follow path 215 which takes just over an hour to get to the lake. You can either return the way you came, making it an easy 2 hour 30 minute walk or head back over the summit. To return via the summit, head back on path 215. After 10 minutes, turn left on path 216 to climb the steep path up 400 metres.

At the top, there’s a short tricky section with a handrail as you cross over a small basin. Stay on 216 as it passes through Forcella Marcoira and then drops steeply down the other side. Turn right on path 213 which takes you back to the Passo Tre Croci. More detailed instructions and a downloadable map is available on our Lago di Sorapis guide.

HOW TO GET TO LAGO DI SORAPIS

The trail begins at Passo Tre Croci which is a 15 minute drive from Cortina D’Ampezzo. Car parking is free and available all along the side of the road. For public transport take a 20-minute ride on the 030 bus from Cortina.

FACILITIES

Rifugio Alfonso Vandelli sits just below Lago di Sorapis. It serves simple food and drinks during summer. It opens later in the year than many other rifugios, so check ahead.

READ MORE / THE EXHILARATING HIKE TO LAGO DI SORAPIS
Lago di Sorapis hike, Dolomites
Lago di Sorapis hike, Dolomites

3 – LAGO DI BRAIES (PRAGSER WILDSEE)

START Hotel Lago di Braies | DISTANCE3.5 kilometre round trip | TIME1 hour, 30 minutes | ELEVATION+/- 50 metres | DIFFICULTYEasy

Lago di Braies is the most Instagram friendly of the Dolomites’ lakes. Emerald water shimmers against dramatic cliffs in the background, with romantic wooden boats lining the shore.

This very easy Dolomites hike circumnavigates the lake passing a quaint chapel nestled among towering pine trees and a few shingle beaches. It’s a beautiful but popular spot so arrive early in the morning, just as the sun starts to rise over the peaks for a quieter visit.  

INSTRUCTIONS

The path around the lake takes just over an hour. It alternates between running along the edge of the water and diverting into the woods. You can’t go wrong. For more great ideas in the area, read our guide to Lago di Braies.

HOW TO GET TO LAGO DI BRAIES

There are 3 car parks at Lago di Braies but they can fill up quickly. Arrive early or come in the late afternoon. For public transport, the 442 bus runs to Lago di Braies from Dobbiaco via Vallabass (Niederdorf) train station, but only during summer months (mid-June to mid-Sep)

FACILITIES 

There are toilets at the car parks and Hotel Lago di Braies, which also has a restaurant and bar overlooking the lake. We’d recommend taking your own picnic as it can be a bit touristy.  

READ MORE / VISITING THE BEAUTIFUL LAGO DI BRAIES

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