Lago di Sorapis or Lake Sorapis is a magnificent mountain lake at an altitude of 1925 meters above sea level. It’s a beautiful turquoise lake surrounded by sharp limestone peaks. The only way to get to Lago di Sorapis is to hike (and probably by helicopter as there is a helicopter platform). The hiking trail is about 7 km one way (so 14 km in total) and it’ll take you around 1,5 to 2 hours to reach the lake.
If you’re still doubting if you should do this tough hike only to see the lake, we can assure you: the hike is as impressive as the lake itself. You can make it a loop hike or you can hike back the same way as you got there. It’s quite a hard rocky hike with a few narrow ledges, metal stairways and some slippery parts with cables to hold on yourself, but perfectly achievable if you’re not afraid of heights. Besides that, you’ll get those insane Dolomites views the whole way up.
To start the hike you park your car at Passo Tre Croci. From this point you take a gravel pine tree-lined path behind a barrier. From here, the path to the lake is generally quite clear. There are a few intersections where you just have to keep following trail no. 215 to Rifugio Vandelli. The first part of the hike is really easy. After walking a while between the trees you see more and more mountain peaks appearing between the treetops.
At a certain point you come across a dried up river bed, here you have to stay left and cross the river bed instead of going right and climb up along the river of white stones. This is the only point of the trail where we got wrong, just because we kept on following the crowd instead of looking for the trail.
After a while the forest path changes into a mountain path along the mountain side. This is where you start getting insane views over the Dolomites area but it also gets more tricky. The further you go the more the path turns into a narrow ledge with a few small wooden bridges, cables to hold on to, rocks to climb over and metal stairways. Finally you turn right around the corner of the mountain. From here it is straight on through the trees, over the roots and more rocks until you see Lago di Sorapis appear between the bushes. Sit back and take your time to enjoy this beautiful piece and walk to the other side of the lake to get another point of view.
We we went back the same way we came, but you can also make it a loop hike and continue your path along one of the most rugged and vertiginous mountain passes in the area. We haven’t done this trail yet but we’ve heard it’s quite hard with some tricky sections and requires scrambling on feet and hands in some places.
When to visit Lago di Sorapis?
It can get busy along the way and especially at the lake so we recommend you to start your hike early in the morning and avoid weekends. This way you’ll avoid crowds and parking problems.
The Lago di Sorapis hike is a summer hike and can be done from the end of May to October. In summer you get the best weather but it can also get very crowded. Towards the end of summer, there is a chance that the water will be very low. So when weather permits, we recommend you going there late spring or early summer when it’s less crowded.
– Wear proper shoes as you’ll have to clamber over slippery rocks.
– There are no facilities along the way so bring enough food and water with you.
– Sun protection is a must on sunny days as you’ll have to walk a while without shelter.
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