Alta Via di Capra: Hiking Cinque Torri & Croda da Lago

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Alta Via di Capra: Hiking Cinque Torri & Croda da Lago
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Alta Via di Capra! Yes, this is the hut-to-hut trek you didn't know yet. You should know that Capra is a Goat and, well yes, Alta Via, we know that from Alta Via 1, Alta Via 2, Alta Via del Granito and all those other fantastic names that always look a little less sexy in German (Höhenweg). So, the Alta Via di Capra. A 4-day hut-to-hut trek that not only puts the focus on the mountain goat and the chamois but also highlights the Cinque Torri and the Croda da Lago in the Dolomites. Avanti, andiamo!

The Cinque Torri and (in part) the Croda da Lago are some of the absolute highlights on the Alta Via 1, a route that is rising above (pun) itself in terms of popularity. At Bookatrekking.com, we know better than anyone else that the Alta Via 1 sells out well before the start of the season, sometimes even already around the turn of the year. The Alta Via di Capra is a nice alternative for when you've fished next to the boat. That said, it is also a trip well worth the name we gave it!

Alta Via di Capra 6340

What and Where Is the Alta Via di Capra?

The Alta Via di Capra is a 4-day or 3-day (for the real goats) hut-to-hut that starts and ends in Cortina d'Ampezzo, one of the bases for all that Dolomites breathe and live. Cortina is also a hub for the famous Alta Via 1 and Tre Cime di Lavaredo, also known as the Drei Zinnen. Whereas for the Alta Via 1 you still have to take an early bus to Dobiacco (Toblach), for the Alta Via di Capra you can start hiking from the sidewalk of your hotel and return to that same hotel after 3 or 2 nights. Winning.

On the Alta Via di Capra, you start your trek on the slopes of Parco Naturale Regionale delle Dolomiti d'Ampezzo, in the shadow of the world-famous Lagazuoi. You will then cross the Falzarego Pass and hike past the Cinque Torri, one of the most extraordinary rock formations of the Dolomites. A visit to Rifugio Nuvolau completes this part of the hut tour. But there is more. Croda da Lago, just a day hike for many tourists, is part of the Alta Via di Capra. With Lago Federa and Rifugio Palmieri the perfect cherry on the cake to a short, vigorous trek in the Dolomites.

What and Where Is the Alta Via di Capra?

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The Cinque Torri Along the Alta Via di Capra

The Tre Cime or the Cinque Torri. Which image is more popular? The competition is on. Fact is, the Cinque Torri is one of the symbols of the Dolomites. Cinque Torri translates quite easily to Five Towers and is indeed a formation with five "towers." Each of the main towers has a name. The largest and most prominent tower is called Torre Grande. The remaining towers are called Torre Seconda, Torre Latina, Quarta Torre and Quinta Inglese. Torre Grande and Torre Seconda both have numerous climbing routes.

This makes the Cinque Torri a popular spot for rock climbers. But the place is just as popular with hikers, cyclists and even history buffs. More than 100 years ago, during World War I, this area was the battleground between the Italians and the Austro-Hungarians. Bunkers and trenches were built between the towers of the Cinque Torri, and after the war, when the area was abandoned, these emplacements remained. Recently, the trenches and bunkers have been restored and the Cinque Torri is now like an open-air museum including wax statues of soldiers and artillery cannons. You'll find some of the most extraordinary rifugios in the Dolomites, namely Nuvolau, Averau and Scoiattoli. Depending on availability, spend the night in one of these mountain huts.

At Bookatrekking.com, we not only book your huts, we also send you on your way with a comprehensive hiking guide with the most important information for your Alta Via di Capra, including interactive Komoot maps. Browse all our options here and turn your dreams into reality.

Hiking Croda da Lago During The Alta Via di Capra

In terms of size, Croda da Lago is not the most impressive mountain range in the Dolomites. In terms of beauty, however, it definitely competes for prizes. Like Cinque Torri, Croda da Lago is popular with day-trippers. Fantastic, of course, but when you see them sipping their coffee at Rifugio Palmieri, you're glad you get to stay over and wake up there.

Lago Federa, Lake Federa, is a stone's throw from Palmieri and it is this lake that makes everyone pause for a moment. In the early evening here you have one of the most magnificent views of the Dolomites. And exactly that view the day hikers don't get. Long live the benefits of hiking from hut to hut!

Hiking Croda da Lago During The Alta Via di Capra

Is The Alta Via di Capra For Me?

After many years of experience on the Alta Via 1, Alta Via 2 and other tours in the Dolomites, we at Bookatrekking.com were looking for a hike that would satisfy the great interest in hut tours in the Dolomites and that would be suitable for most hikers who book their hikes at Bookatrekking.com. With a start and finish in beautiful Cortina d'Ampezzo, day stages that are in proportion to each other in terms of difficulty and do not use the most technical trails, we have found the answer in this adventure. Therefore, we have proudly featured our own mountain goat in the logo.

The Alta Via di Capra is slightly easier in balance than the short Alta Via 1 but also slightly more difficult than the family version of the Alta Via 1. A good introduction to hut-to-hut hiking in the Dolomites but not just any old one. Can you do it? If this is your first trek, you'll have to put in some effort here and there but there are certainly more difficult options out there.

The Alta Via di Capra or Another Trek in The Dolomites?

Is the Alta Via 1 fully booked or a little too much to handle? Then the Alta Via di Capra is for you. Don't fancy the long distances and technical passages of the Alta Via 2? Check. Are the Drei Zinnen beautiful but a little too easy? Bring it on. Is the Alta Via del Granito a little too southern? Cortina d'Ampezzo is a 3-hour drive from Innsbruck. Is the Palaronda Trek too exciting? Is the Garda Trek not exciting enough? The Dolorama Road a little too long in terms of daily distances? We could go on and on, but provided you are not traveling with young children, everyone can get a good go on the Alta Via di Capra. And if the elevation gain on the first stage is too much? Then take the cable car!

In Which Season Do I Hike the Alta Via di Capra?

When is the best time to hike the Alta Via di Capra? This is the same for almost any hut-to-hut hike in the Dolomites or the Alps. Between mid-June and mid-September, the trails are usually passable and the huts are open. After this, the huts close their doors to prepare for winter, as it can snow heavily at altitude.

Mountain weather is always very unpredictable, and can change quickly. However, a typical day looks good with clear blue skies and bright sunshine. However, this does not mean that the next day it may not rain incessantly or you may be hit by a thunderstorm. So always make sure you are prepared for all situations.

In general, the summer season is a popular time to go out in the Dolomites, even for the Italians themselves. Therefore, never set out without a reservation at the mountain huts, and especially not around the stages of the Alta Via 1 and thus the Alta Via di Capra. Due to the popularity of these tours, chances are that they are fully booked and there is no more room for you and your company. Avoid disappointment and book your spot far in advance. For hut tours in the Dolomites, we recommend making your plans around Christmas or earlier.

In Which Season Do I Hike the Alta Via di Capra?

Alta Via di Capra Map and Navigation

There are plenty of maps and guidebooks that can help you on a hike in the Italian Dolomites. Because the Alta Via di Capra runs directly through the region of the Alta Via 1, maps for this hike can get you well on your way. For the entire Alta Via di Capra route, we have compiled an overview of the full route and all stages below.

Staying in Rifugios During The Alta Via di Capra

Every country has its own hiking association dedicated to the welfare of the trails, mountain huts and surrounding nature. For example, the Netherlands has the NBKV, Flanders has the BKF, Austria and Germany have their Alpenvereinen, and, even, South Africa has the Mountain Club of South Africa. For Italy, since 1863, this has been the Club Alpino Italiano, also known as CAI, for short.

The CAI is enormously active not only in signposting mountain trails and protecting the Italian Alps and Dolomites, but also in organizing climbing competitions and, of course, managing and maintaining mountain huts. The CAI has 433 fully equipped mountain huts, 224 bivouacs and 106 smaller huts under its care. Together, these accommodations number more than 23,500 beds.

Hikers are required to spend the night in these types of mountain huts, and this certainly brings advantages during your Alta Via di Capra trek. Namely, you don't have to bring a tent, cooking gear or food to the rifugios, mountain huts in Italian. The rifugios vary in size and accommodation options, but they all offer a shower, a good night's sleep, and delicious food on a half-board basis. Trust us, the food is truly outstanding compared to some of the neighbouring countries.

Did you know that we can book all huts and refuges for the Alta Via di Capra for you? Check out all our options here.

Day
1

Cortina d’Ampezzo - Rifugio Dibona

Duration: 04:40 h
Distance: 11.1 km
Ascent: 1080 m
Descent: 249 m
Today you will leave Cortina d'Ampezzo, and start this trek at the cable car, Tofana. The first part of today you'll hike mostly under the cable car. You continue on a stretch of asphalt, leading you to Lago Ghedina, a beautiful mountain lake. After about 5 kilometers you pass Vista Lago, a breathtaking lake with a soothing atmosphere. You continue your way under the cable car and pass Rifugio Pomedes. From here it's another kilometer to arrive at Rifugio Dibona, your overnight spot for tonight. From Rifugio Dibona you have beautiful views over the valley of Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Rifugio Dibona

Info
Rifugio Dibona
Day
2

Rifugio Dibona - Rifugio Cinque Torri

Duration: 02:30 h
Distance: 4.68 km
Ascent: 390 m
Descent: 300 m
Today is scheduled for a relatively short hiking day, which ensures that you can take good time along the way to enjoy all the beauty you encounter. After leaving Rifugio Dibona you will immediately start the descent, then cross the main road SR48. From here you then begin to slowly climb again, and again today you walk a short distance under the cable car. Before you reach Rifugio Cinque Torri, you will take a small detour to get a fantastic view of the mountain range of the same name.

Rifugio Cinque Torri

Info
Rifugio Cinque Torri
Day
3

Rifugio Cinque Torri - Rifugio Croda da Lago

Duration: 05:40 h
Distance: 11.9 km
Ascent: 560 m
Descent: 640 m
Upon waking up, you already have beautiful views of Cinque Torri. These beautiful views will only get better today. In fact, after about a kilometer of walking you have a fantastic panoramic view of Tofana di Rozes e Castelletto. No matter which way you look here, it is breathtaking. A little further on you pass Forcella Nuvolau, and Rifugio Averau. From here you have wonderful views to the Marmolada, another mountain range. A little further on you have new panoramic views, this time of Ra Gusela, Passo Giau and the surrounding mountains. You continue your way through Passo Giau, one of the highlights you must have been to when in the Dolomites. You pass Forcella Zonia and Forcella Col Piombin. Further on you have beautiful views of Lago di Baste e Monte Mondeval, Crado da Lago, and Lago Federa. At the latter you will find Rifugio Croda da Lago, where you will spend the night.

Rifugio Croda da Lago

Info
Rifugio Croda da Lago
Day
4

Rifugio Croda da Lago - Cortina d’Ampezzo

Duration: 04:00 h
Distance: 9.32 km
Ascent: 110 m
Descent: 940 m
Leaving Rifugio Croda da Lago, you can enjoy the beautiful Lago Federa one last time, shooting your last beautiful pictures here. Further on you will have beautiful panoramic views of Lago d'Ajal and at Campo di Sotto you will leave the mountains, from here you can easily hike back to Cortina d'Ampezzo. You pass Campo di Sopra, a small suburb of Cortina d'Ampezzo.
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How Do I Get to the Start and End Points?

The Alta Via di Capra begins and ends in Cortina d'Ampezzo. Therefore, should you have booked accommodation in Cortina d'Ampezzo prior to the trek, you can start the hike from here. It is best to keep Impianto di risalita Tofana - Cortina in mind as a starting point for the start of the hike, this is the cable car in Cortina d'Ampezzo from where the Alta Via di Capra thus begins.

By plane:

If you choose to travel to Italy by plane, the easiest way is to fly into Venice, Treviso or Innsbruck. By public transportation, it takes you about 2.5 hours to travel to Cortina d'Ampezzo from Venice. From Treviso, it takes you about 3.5 hours to travel to Cortina d'Ampezzo. From Innsbruck, it also takes you about 3.5 hours to travel to Cortina d'Ampezzo.

By car:

If you have booked an overnight stay in Cortina d'Ampezzo, you can ask the accommodation about parking spaces they offer. Often you can leave the car for a few days for a fee. You can also find several parking lots in Cortina d'Ampezzo where you can leave your car.

How Do I Get to the Start and End Points?

Packing List for the Alta Via di Capra

It doesn't matter where you are going trekking or for how long: Carrying the right equipment with you is paramount. For a hiking trip in the mountains, you will need, first and foremost, a good backpack. Its size will depend on how many days you will be spending in the mountains, the season, and the clothes you will be taking with you. We have prepared a packing list with some essential clothing that you should include and some extras that you may find useful:
  • Essentials

  • Extras

Where Can I Book the Alta Via di Capra?

At Bookatrekking.com you can book the self-guided Alta Via di Capra and many other treks. We take care of all the details for you, including arranging accommodations and providing you with relevant information well in advance of your trek. Find our offers here. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to browse and compare different trekking options and find the perfect fit for your interests, abilities, and budget.

If you have any questions about a specific trek or need help choosing the right one for you, our team of trekking experts is here to assist you. Simply reach out to us and we will be happy to provide you with personalized recommendations and advice to help you plan the trekking adventure of a lifetime.

Is the Alta Via di Capra not your cup of tea and are you looking for other epic adventures? Check out one of our following blog posts:

Not sure yet or want to discuss your plans for the Alta Via di Capra with one of our trekking experts? Get in touch today and turn your dreams into memories!

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