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15 Best Day Hikes In The Dolomites

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dolomitesThe Dolomites in Italy are a paradise for hikers and come complete with high peaks and vivid viewpoints. Each of the hikes here can be completed in a single day. Don’t worry about any special equipment since there are no via ferratas.  

Some of the less lengthy hikes can be hiked together and completed in one day. Unless otherwise noted, hike distances are round trip. The hiking season here in the Dolomites is from the month of June through the month of September, the trails are clear of snow. 

However, by the middle of October, the first snow can already start to fall, thus ending the hiking season. Having noted all that, get ready to take notes. Here are the 15 best day hikes in the Dolomites.

15 Best Day Hikes In The Dolomites

1. The Tofana Di Mezzo Hike

Tofana di Mezzo is one of the best places to get a view of the Dolomites from the shortest hiking trail. This easy trail is only 0.3 kilometers in length, still, it scales a cliff edge and includes a slippery ascent of 55 meters to the mountain’s peak. In order to reach the hiking trail, you will need to climb staircases that begin at the area’s highest cable car station, Cima Tofana.

You can scramble up the short but steep hill to Tofana di Mezzo from the hiking trail and enjoy incredible 360° views of the impressive Dolomites. Give yourself half an hour. Remember, if you have a fear of heights, you might want to forget this one. 

2. The Seceda Hike

Take the local cable car to Seceda, in Val Gardena to complete this 1.3-kilometer loop trail. You simply hike uphill to the viewpoint. The total ascent here is 110 meters.  

Hike down the trail along the ridgeline towards the peaks. When you arrive at the trail junction, head back to the station. You will need between half an hour to 45 minutes.

3. The Cinque Torri Hike

Take the convenient, quick chairlift in Cortina d’Ampezzo to the well-known hiking and rock climbing spot, Cinque Torri. Hike around in this open-air museum complete with bunkers and trenches from WWII. The chairlift and this educational area make it great for kids as it’s an easy, 1.9-kilometer loop with an ascent of 130 meters and everyone learns a bit about history here too.  Give yourself an hour for this one. If you have the time and energy, combine this hike with the Rifugio Averau and Rifugio Nuvolau hikes and make a day of it.

4. The Cadini Di Misurina Hike

This is a gorgeous, short, and easy hike not far from the Tre Cime Naturepark and Cortina d’Ampezzo. It begins at the well-known Rifugio Auronzo and ends at the popular Cadini di Misurina viewpoint. It has a length of 3.2 kilometers.  

Along with enjoying the view of the Cadini di Misurina, hiking this trail also allows you to see the beautiful “backside” of Tre Cime di Lavaredo. This trek has a total ascent of 210 meters. You will need between one and two hours to complete it. What’s more? If you enjoy short hikes but don’t like crowds, this is yet another reason to hit the trail here.

5. The Lago Di Braies Loop Hike

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The lovely Lago di Braies is a lake located in Fanes-Sennes-Brais Nature Park, South Tyrol. It is nigh-famous for its majestic mountain backdrop and its clear aquamarine water. Camera bugs and hikers both enjoy this short, easy hike. 

This hike has a total ascent of 100 meters. It can be completed in between one and a half and two hours. The loop around the shimmering, aquamarine lake is also considered family-friendly. The distance of the loop is 3.7 kilometers and offers incredible views of the lake from all angles.

6. The Lagazuoi To Falzarego Pass Hike

This easy hike in Cortina d’Ampezzo starts with a cable car ride from the historic Falzarego Pass to the Lagazuoi, one of the many mountain peaks here. The view from the upper cable car station is phenomenal. There are a number of hiking trails that run through Lagazuoi.

You hike downhill from the mountain peak to your vehicle which you have hopefully parked at the Falzarego Pass. The distance is a total of four kilometers from point to point. The elevation loss is 650 meters.

Allow yourself between two to three hours to complete this attractive trek. From the trail, you will see Averau, the Cinque Torri, Croda da Lago, Gran Diedro, and Nuvolau. It’s family-friendly too. The best time to go is from June through September.

7. The Rifugio Averau And Rifugio Nuvolau Hike

If you’d enjoy a hike in Cortina d’Ampezzo that comes complete with a drink or meal with an unforgettable view, this hike is for you! The hike is 4 kilometers long and is rated easy. The total ascent is 335 meters and it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to complete plus count on some additional time at the rifugios.

The hike starts at Rifugio Averau which reportedly serves some of the best pasta dishes in the Dolomites. From here, you hike past Rifugio Nuvolau which sits atop Mount Nuvolau. Here, at an impressive elevation of 2,575 meters, you can enjoy 360-degree views of the mountain peaks. Hopefully, you’re lucky enough to complete the hike on a clear day. Have lunch on the outdoor terrace, and make a meal a memory! 

8. The Piz Boe Hike

This hike in Val Gardena starts at Passo Pordoi. From there you ride the cable car to Sass Pordoi. From there, it is a comparatively short yet nevertheless moderately strenuous hike with a total ascent of 430 meters. Remember, this summit of Piz Boè is the highest peak in the Sella Group. Enjoy the panoramic views from here. They are said to be breathtaking and well worth the effort. Allow yourselves between two and four hours for this noteworthy hike.

The best time to take this hike is always early in the day when there are fewer chances of any crowds. The best time of the year to do it is between the end of June and the end of September. If you wish to avoid any remaining snow, wait until September, for sure!

9. The Cinque Torri And The Rifugio Averau And Rifugio Nuvolau Hikes

Combine two of arguably the best day hikes here into a slightly long but more epic hiking adventure. This combo hike in Cortina d’Ampezzo is an exceptionally good idea if you only have a single day here in the Dolomites. Despite the fact that you are combining two treks, the total distance is still relatively short at only six kilometers so it’s still workable.

Rated easy to moderate, this two-trek hike has a total ascent of 465 meters. Allow yourself between two and a half to three hours to complete this hike and don’t forget to plan on spending additional time at the popular rifugios. The views are no less than gorgeous, you get a great meal and can enjoy memorable views of the Dolomites.

10. The Alpe Di Siusi Hike

Alpe di Siusi in the Dolomites is Europe’s highest alpine meadow. It offers travelers wonderful views and plenty of natural beauty. With cabins, hotels, and rifugios scattered ‘cross the landscape, there are several options in terms of accommodations.

Perhaps the best way to enjoy the area is to take this hike from comfy Compatsch to striking Saltria. The total distance of this adventure is under seven kilometers. This easy, downhill hike includes a 260-meter descent.    

You will need between two and three hours here plus whatever time you wish to spend at the local rifugios. Saltria is the lowest point, and you can take a bus ride back to the starting point at Compatsch and avoid a lengthy, unnecessary hike up again. Need more? The hillsides here are rife with more biking and hiking trails.

11. The Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Hike

One of the best hikes in the Dolomites is the loop around the triple peaks of Tre Cime di Lavaredo. These peaks are the symbol of the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hike is an essential one in the Dolomites and is 8.8 kilometers long with a total ascent of 425 meters. It takes about 2.5 to five hours to complete and is rated as moderate in difficulty. The hike is located near Cortina d’Ampezzo.

This is a loop hike that takes you around the trio of huge rock pillars. What’s more, you can only see the nigh-iconic north faces from this specific hiking trail. Visit in the summer and you’ll also enjoy seeing a landscape carpeted with wildflowers. This trail also offers numerous detours to alpine lakes and additional viewpoints.

12. The Adolf Munkel Weg To Geisler Alm Hike

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The Adolf Munkel Weg Trail is a point-to-point hiking trail in Val di Funes that runs right along the base of the awesome Odle-Geisler mountain group. The hike is actually almost 10 kilometers with a total ascent of 440 meters and is officially rated as moderate in difficulty. Give yourself between four and six hours for this one so you can take a break at the huts.  

To make the trek more manageable, some hikers have shortened it and actually turned it into a loop hike. They start and end the hike from one parking lot. While you will be privy to some incredible views of the mountains and can visit a couple of rifugios, some veteran visitors claim the major drawing point here is just enjoying lunch at a mountain hut.

13. The Lago Di Sorapis Hike

Also known as the Lake Sorapis hike, you will discover the trailhead just a short drive away from Cortina d’Ampezzo. However, if you plan to hike it in the summer, be prepared to deal with crowds. While most hikers go out and back on the popular main trail, you can actually make this a much quieter loop trail hike–Lago di Sorapis and Forcella Marcuoira–if you wish.  Thus, depending on your choice, the distance fluctuates between 11.6 to 12.7 kilometers and the total ascent of will be between 460 meters to 775 meters. Thus, the hike can be between moderate and strenuous and require between three to seven hours to complete.

14. The Lago Federa And Croda Dal Lago Circuit Hike

The Croda da Lago Circuit hike is possibly one of the most underrated and interesting hikes in all of the Dolomites. This loop trail in Cortina d’Ampezzo leads you around the Croda da Lago mountains, has a total distance of 12.8 kilometers and a total ascent of 900 meters. Pencil in between 4.5 and six hours for this moderate to strenuous trek.

The trail takes you through verdant woods and on your way to the alpine lake, Lago Federa, you will also enjoy both panoramic and close-up views of Croda da Lago. This hike is essentially a much less crowded hike that offers stunning views. During the summer months, the Dolomites can be a busy place to visit, but this trail is an exception.   

15. The Puez-Odle Altopiano Hike

This point-to-point hike has a total distance of 17 kilometers along some of the Dolomites’ highest mountain peaks. Your journey begins with a comfy cable car ride that takes you up into the mountains, shaving off a good portion of your climb. This hike in Val Gardena includes a total descent of 1,500 meters and 850 meters of climbing.  

Count on spending between six to nine hours on this one. It is rated as strenuous but some say that both the amount of climbing and the length of the trek are “just enough” to make the adventure welcomingly challenging. Additionally, the jaw-dropping panoramic views while you hike in these high peaks are an ample reward for the effort. Some hikers say this is not only one of the best day hikes in the Dolomites but in the entire country. 

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