Tre Cime di Lavaredo, also known as Drei Zinnen, are three impressive mountain peaks and probably the most famous peaks in the Alps. It is such a jaw dropping place and therefore not surprising that they are the symbol of the dolomiti UNESCO world heritage site. This unique place has so much to offer from stunning views over those impressive limestone peaks and reflective lakes to great rifugios and a lot of awesome photo opportunities. It’s the perfect scenery for a day full of hiking. In this blogpost you find more information about the 2 most impressive routes to hike in this breathtaking landscape.
Tre Cime di Lavaredo Loop Hike
To have the full experience of everyting the Tre Cime area has to offer, you can do the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Loop hike. It is a long but easy hike with breath-taking views the entire way. The whole loop is about 10,3 kilometers with an elevation of approximately 400 meters. It’ll take you around 3 to 4 hours to finish the hike. There are a few short and steep inclines but in general it is quite an easy walk. You’ll be rewarded with some of the most beautiful views in the Tre Cime national park. You can do this hike in both directions as it is a loop hike. We recommend you going counter clockwise as it will give you the best views.
About the hike
3 to 4 hours
Easy - Moderate - Difficult - Expert
This trail starts at Rifugio Auronzo. From here, you take the wide gravel (path 101) on the right, facing the three peaks, and keep them on your left side. Keep following this path until you reach Rifugio Lavaredo. Here, you’ll find a junction with different paths coming together. Take the left track to remain on path 101. Pass over the Forcella Lavaredo ridge and continue your way until you arrive at Rifugio Locatelli or the Dreizinnenhütte. Only a few hundred meters away from this rifugio you’ll find the famous Tre Cime caves, which are remains of the Wold War I.
From this rifugio, you take path 102 to start the toughest, but still achievable, part of the hike.
When you reach the next junction, turn left to path 105. Keep on following this track, walking directly under the three peaks of Tre Cime and passing the Forcella la Col di Mezzo. Here the path turns left and leads you back to Rifugio Auronzo.
Cadini di Misurina Hike
There’s another, shorter, hike that will reward you with one of the most beautiful views in the Dolomites. On this hike you won’t have views on the Tre Cime but on another mountain range called Cadini di Misurina. This hike is about 4 kilometers in total with an elevation of around 110 meter. It’ll take you around 1,5 to 2 hours to complete this hike. It is a little more tricky than the loop hike as you’ll go over some slippery gravel roads, along some small ridge lines next to a ravine. Especially to reach the little summit you see in the picture, you’ll have to cross a really small ridge. We do not recommend you going there on foggy or rainy days when the trail is slippery. The ridge goes along a deep ravine and it’s not worth taking the risk to slip and slide all the way down, so please be careful!
About the hike
1,5 to 2 hours
Out & back trail
(walk the same way back)
Easy - Moderate - Difficult - Expert
To start this hike you also start at the Rifugio Auronzo but instead of taking the left path along the Drei Zinnen, you turn your back to Rifugio Auronzo and take a small path (path 117) going over a hill. In this way you walk away from the Drei Zinnen. The start of the walk is easy, but closer to the end there are some narrow and steep parts. The path is indicated with red-white marks, but it is not always very clear. Just keep on walking into the direction of the rigged peaks of Cadini Di Misurina. After a while you’ll see the little summit in the distance and a little ridge line going towards it. It’s not the best hike for people who are afraid of heights but, believe us, the view you’ll get is absolutely epic. And again: don’t go all to way to the summit when it is slippery. You’ll get this view any way, wether you’re standing on the summit.
When to visit Tre Cime di Lavaredo
Looking at the weather conditions the beste time to visit and hike at Tre Cime is from the end of May to October. During the summer months, you’ll get the best weather, but unfortunately also a lot of other hikers, as it is one of the most popular hikes in the Dolomites.
In addition to the weather, you should also keep in mind that most rifugios are only open from mid-June to the end of September. The toll road that leads to Tre Cime is open from end of May until the end of October.
Therefore we recommend you to visit the Tre Cime in June or September as it will be less crowded and rifugios will still be open. Unless you don’t mind the rifugios being closed, you can also go in October if the snow doesn’t come too early. As the hike only gains popularity over the years, we recommend start hiking as early as possible.
How to get there
By car – To get to Rifugio Auronzo, where you start the hikes, you’ll have to take a 7-kilometer long toll road (€30 for cars, €45 for campers). The toll booth is open from 7am to 7pm. From here you drive along a scenic route up to Rifugio Auronzo.
By foot – If you prefer, you can also hike from Lago D’Antorno up to Tre Cime. It’s quite a tough hike and will take you about 1,5hours.
By bus – During the summer months there are different shuttle busses from Cortina, Dobbiaco or Missurina to Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The prices for a round trip vary between €8 and €16, depending on where you take the bus.
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