Shorter Walks in the Dolomites
50 varied day walks in the mountains
Guidebook to day walks in the Italian Dolomites. The 50 graded walks range from short leisurely strolls to full-day high mountain expeditions, each designed to fit into a single day. The Dolomites are an ideal walking destination from June to September, and can easily be reached from Verona, Treviso, Venice and Innsbruck airports.
SeasonsJune to October is ideal for walking. Snow can remain at the highest altitude well into July. Huts open late June to late September
CentresCortina, Sesto, Dobbiaco, Misurina, Forno di Zoldo, San Cassiano, Corvara, Canazei, Arabba, San Martino di Castrozza, Funes, Selva di Val Gardena, Ortisei, Fiè, Madonna di Campiglio
Difficultysomething for everyone - all walks graded from easy to strenuous; day walks (or two days with a night in a hut); some involve exposed sections with cable
Must SeeTre Cime di Lavaredo, marmots and ibex, wildflowers, Lagazuoi, dinosaur footprints on the Pelmo, Rifugio Nuvolau, Rifugio Palmieri, the Civetta, Pale di San Martino Altopiano, First World War sites, Piz Boè circuit on the Sella massif, Sentiero delle Odle
The Dolomites of northeastern Italy are blessed with vast forests, high-altitude rocky landscapes and seas of beautiful wildflowers, making them ideal for walking in summer.
Shorter Walks in the Dolomites by Gillian Price has something for everyone here, from high mountain walks with strenuous climbs for experienced walkers, to leisurely family strolls through the valleys. Each walk described in this guidebook can be completed in a single day.
The extensive network of trains and buses across the Dolomites is refreshingly inexpensive, easy to use and unfailingly reliable. All but two of the 50 walks start and finish at a point accessible by local transport.
Visit the Dolomites between June and October for walking, unless you’re equipped with showshoes or skis. From early summer many low-altitude walks are feasible, but it’s worth waiting until July for high-altitude routes to be free of late-lying snow.
- 50 day walks, graded for difficulty
- the range is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site
- all the background and planning information you need, including an Italian–German–English glossary
Plants and flowers
When to go
Food and drink
What to take
Dos and don’ts
Using this guide
Walk 1 Lago di Braies
Walk 2 Rifugio Biella and Croda del Becco
Walk 3 Picco di Vallandro and Monte Specie
Walk 4 Alpe di Sennes Circuit
Walk 5 Landro to Cortina on the Old Railway Line
Walk 6 Torre dei Scarperi Circuit
Walk 7 Croda Rossa di Sesto Traverse
Walk 8 The Val Fiscalina Tour
Walk 9 The Tre Cime di Lavaredo Loop
Walk 10 Through the Cadini di Misurina
Walk 11 Monte Piana
Walk 12 Val Popena Alta
Walk 13 Rifugio Vandelli Traverse
Walk 14 Val d’Oten and the Antelao
Walk 15 Rifugio Padova to Rifugio Tita Barba
Walk 16 The Pramper Circuit
Walk 17 The Civetta’s Northwestern Flank
Walk 18 The Pelmo Tour
Walk 19 Round the Croda da Lago
Walk 20 The Cinque Torri
Walk 21 Up the Nuvolau
Walk 22 Skirting the Tofana di Rozes
Walk 23 The Lagazuoi Tunnels
Walk 24 The Kaiserjäger Route
Walk 25 Round the Settsass
Walk 26 Col di Lana
Walk 27 Santa Croce Sanctuary
Walk 28 Sass de Putia
Walk 29 Sentiero delle Odle
Walk 30 The Rasciesa Ridge
Walk 31 Across the Puez-Odle Altopiano
Walk 32 The Bullaccia
Walk 33 Castel Presule
Walk 34 Alpe di Siusi and Rifugio Bolzano
Walk 35 Val Ciamin
Walk 36 The Inner Catinaccio
Walk 37 Sentiero del Masaré
Walk 38 The Latemar Labyrinth and Lago di Carezza
Walk 39 Circumnavigating the Sassopiatto-Sassolungo
Walk 40 Piz Boè and the Sella
Walk 41 Viel del Pan
Walk 42 The Sass d’Adam Crest
Walk 43 The Marmolada and Punta Serauta
Walk 44 Rifugio Falier in Valle Ombretta
Walk 45 Rifugio Mulaz
Walk 46 On the Pale di San Martino Altopiano
Walk 47 Val Canali and Rifugio Treviso
Walk 48 Monte Pavione
Walk 49 The Brenta Dolomites Tour
Walk 50 Val d’Ambiez
Appendix A Italian–German–English glossary
Appendix B Accommodation
Appendix C Further reading
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Visitors to the Dolomites in summer 2019 need to be aware of possible problems regarding paths. The best advice is to check locally with Tourist Offices and refuges, be versatile and don't take any risks.
Storm Damage in the Dolomites:
Six months ago, in October 2018, the Italian Dolomites were hit by a devastating hurricane - Tempesta Vaia. Winds up to 200km/hr caused widespread damage to villages, houses and roads, and there were several deaths. Millions and millions of trees were toppled. Forestry workers and sawmills are struggling to deal with the massive amount of timber that needs removing and storing.
Naturally, hundreds of kilometres of paths in the Dolomites have been affected by landslides, rockfalls and fallen trees. Despite the snowy winter season plenty has already been done to improve the situation - the authorities as well as volunteers have been hard at work clearing timber, rerouting, and affixing new signs where possible. (Though priority has obviously been given to essential services for villages). The Italian Alpine Club, CAI, as well as SAT, the Trento branch, are involved.
Things are definitely looking up - and even Rifugio Venezia on the Pelmo will hopefully open for the summer season despite having had its roof torn off, the top floor with beds and mattresses ruined by rain and snow, and its jeep access track blocked by rockfalls and landslips. Another refuge with supply problems is Rifugio Pordenone in the Dolomiti Friulane. Thankfully the building was not damaged but its access road all but washed away. But they plan on 'business as usual' this year too.
The following web site lists all the paths by number in the Belluno province (central-southern Dolomites) with notes about what's open and possible problems. It's updated regularly. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1L4qPpNhGaGyyMUkKfqRaeeNV0K2TN3mboDPM_R_OHic/edit#gid=1788649809 'Non percorribile' means 'not walkable' ie closed.
As regards the Trentino area (south-western Dolomites), see this web site: https://sentieri.sat.tn.it/wp/?p=2444. Moreover as of May 20 an App will be downloadable on www.visittrentino.info with up-to-date path info for the Trentino.
There's been an increase in cases of TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) across Europe, Italy included. Walkers should be aware that they may pick up ticks while walking through grass and woodland up to approx 1500 metres altitude. Not all ticks carry the disease but better safe than sorry. Simple precautions and plenty of useful information is available on the website: https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/tick-borne-encephalitis. Vaccination is also an option.
Readers should remember to check opening times for lifts, refugios and mountain bus services, as these tend to only begin summer operation from late June, through to September.
Walk 18 Pelmo: the paths have been cleared and the Pelmo variant is thankfully feasible once again.
Walk 18 Pelmo: Torrential rain has caused scree flows which have submerged paths on the eastern flanks of the Pelmo. The path between Forcella Val d'Arcia and Rifugio Venezia is temporarily closed.
p41 Tabacco maps can now be purchased through the Tabacco website and a handy App for digital maps downloaded from www.tabaccomapp.it .
Unfortunately there's a blip in the reprinted edition and the first paragraph on page 106 should have been removed. The new text at the end of page 105 should have replaced this.
Walk 29 – facilities list
Locanda Sass Rigais has changed to Berggasthof Sass Rigais with a new phone number and a new website:
Tel: 0472 679286 , www.dolomiten-villnoess.com
Walk 42 – facilities list
Rifugio Buffare has a new telephone number and email:
339 5951401, email@example.com
Rifugio Ciampac details no longer work and correct details can’t be found.
The phone number of Rifugio Genova has changed to 0472 670072, mobile 347 266 7694.
p105 After the ledge (2243m) you enter the Ciadin del Loudo. Due to rockfalls, path n.223 has been closed, so instead keep straight ahead (n.216) to Forcella Marcoira (2307m) for vast views. After a plunge W (watch your step!) you join n.213 and go N for a more straightforward descent through woodland down to Passo Tre Croci. This cuts about 30min off the original timing.
With thanks to Gilly Cameron Cooper and his brilliant blog at WalkingPlus
February 2015 (April 2015 new edition)p8 mapThe spur road just east of Bolzano, and the spur running SE down to Carbonin, showing as motorways (double line) should not be motorways (so should be a single line).p88The website for very last hut (Rifugio A Locatelli) should be: www.dreizinnenhuette.comp109The telephone number for Capanna degli Alpini is incorrect. It should be 0425 31103.
Without the guides we would simply have not been able to do some of the most tremendous walks in Europe.
Many thanks and well done. I can't believe how much work you must put into these guides and I just want to say how much we have appreciated it. Without the guides we would simply have not been able to do some of the most tremendous walks in Europe.
Absolutely spot on
Your short walks book was absolutely spot on for the walking we did - and we will get back to the Dolomites.
Thank you for the tremendous amount of work that I can see you put into the short walks book – incredible achievement and very informative.
Rob, via email to Gillian Price
Your “shorter walks” book is a really great idea!!
Your “shorter walks” book is a really great idea!!
Rob, by email
Gillian Price is a true gem amongst guide book writers!
We were on our first real hiking holiday and used Gillian Price's Dolomites guides. We'd selected walks based on her descriptions, which were so inspiring it was difficult to choose! Instead, we selected by a process of elimination, based on difficulty and length, rather than attractiveness. Most guide books are a rather dreary recipe of start here, turn left at creek, go up hill 200m, walk along spine. Gillian Price completely understands that the best walks are a story with a rhythm and narrative: a beginning, a middle, a climax, and an end, and her writing reflects this. She conveys the mood and tone of a walk, not just its facts. As a plant enthusiast, I appreciated her highlighting special vegetation or flowering alpines. Two years later, we returned to the Dolomites and did multi-day treks there, and her descriptions were once again a true reflection of every one of them. Gillian Price is a true gem amongst guide book writers!
Your wonderful guides have been a pleasure to read, and have been particularly helpful, thank you!
Dear Ms Price,
For the last 20 years, my wife and I have relied heavily on Cicerone guidebooks. Your wonderful guides for Amalfi, Dolomites, and Gran Paradiso have been a pleasure to read, and have been particularly helpful, thank you!
Dan & Cheryl
In anticipation of a hiking trip in the Dolomites, I purchased your short and day walk guidebooks and have immersed myself in them. Congratulations on two excellent publications.
Jeffrey, by email
My wife and I have just returned from a week of hiking in the Dolomites in October, guided by your “Shorter Walks in The Dolomites.” We thoroughly enjoyed our trip, and came to trust your advice down to the minutest detail. Thank you.
Bob, by email
Thank you for your excellent walking books. I'm incredibly impressed that you researched all your books on public transport and have provided books that are geared towards that... very helpful.
Julia, by email
This is our third year in these amazing mountains, and your book has proved invaluable. We really appreciate the clear mapping, the photos, details of the rifugios and the nature of the paths.
We have 29 walks to go and are looking forward to every one of them in the years to come.
Thank you for a book that has inspired us to discover this extraordinary place.
John and Jane (from flat East Anglia, UK) by email September 2016
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Gillian Price has trekked throughout Asia and the Himalayas, but now lives in Venice and is exploring the mountains and flatter bits of Italy. Starting in the Italian Dolomites, Gillian has written outstanding Cicerone guides to walking all over Italy as well as Corsica and Corfu. An adamant promoter of public transport to minimise environmental impact, Gillian belongs to Mountain Wilderness and is an active member of the Venice branch of CAI, the Italian Alpine Club.View Articles and Books by Gillian Price