Dolorama Weg: The Hut-To-Hut Trek for Beginners in the Dolomites

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Dolorama Weg: The Hut-To-Hut Trek for Beginners in the Dolomites
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Never done a hut tour before and not sure where to start? Then consider the Dolorama Weg, an exciting hut-to-hut trek in Italian South Tyrol suitable for any hiker. Far away from civilization, you will find large alpine meadows, well-marked forest and hiking trails and beautiful views. Put on your shoes, because we're taking you to the Dolorama Weg!

Hiking while surrounded by impressive panoramas and mountain formations is exactly what is planned when you embark on the Dolorama Trail. In the shadow of Dolomite classics like the Alta Via 1 and the Alta Via 2 you will find a hut-to-hut trek that retains its captivating charm while offering an easier adventure. Andiamo!

What and where is the Dolorama Weg?

That Italy has much to offer in terms of hut-to-hut hiking is no secret. Hikers know the hiking paradise in the Dolomites well. Besides the wildly popular Alta Via 1 and Alta Via 2, there is of course more to experience in northern Italy. The Dolorama Weg is a hike that winds through the panoramic landscape of the Dolomites, taking you past spectacular views and multiple mountain formations.

The Dolorama Trail is a 61-kilometer (37.9 miles) hike with an altitude difference of 2.356 meters (7.729 feet). The hike is divided into 4 stages and you will walk an average of 6 hours per day. Some days you will be on the road longer than others. Along the way are many resting and viewing points to enjoy the scenery, so you have plenty of time to take in the panoramic views. This also explains the name of the hike: Dolomites + panorama = Dolorama!

The hike starts at the Rodenecker-Lüsner Alm and continues via the Peitlerkofel, which lies at the foot of the Geisler Group, over the Raciesa, and finally ends in Lajen. During this hike, you walk along a well-marked path on comfortable forest and hiking trails. Unlike, for example, a technical hike like the Palaronda Trek, this is a hike suitable for hikers of different levels.

If you compare the route with other hikes in the Dolomites, you will see that part of it overlaps with one of the stages of the Alta Via 2. In fact, both hikes have a stop at Rifugio Genova, or the Schlüterhütte. Although the Alta Via 2 is a hiking trail for experienced trekkers and is known for Via Ferratas, don't worry; you won't encounter them during this part of the hike.

We don't need to tell you how special the Dolomites are. This unique area in Northern Italy has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 2009 and took on its impressive form over 200 million years ago.

What and where is the Dolorama Weg?

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Is the Dolorama Weg Suitable for Me??

The Dolorama Route is a beautiful hut-to-hut hike designed for anyone who has never tried a hut-to-hut hike before and would like to give it a shot. The standard version is approximately 60 kilometers long and is divided into 4 stages, with daily walks ranging from 5 to 7 hours.

Most of the trails are not too technically challenging, making them suitable for hikers with a good level of fitness. However, it's important to remember that this is a mountain hike. Overall, the difficulty level is considered moderately strenuous. The uphill and downhill sections can be tough on your legs, and the weight of your backpack doesn't make it any easier. So, the hike can definitely be challenging.

After completing day 1 of the route, you can check off the longest day right away. This hike lasts 8 hours and covers approximately 21 kilometers. Compared to the other days, this is the most demanding day. You can choose to split this day into 2 stages, extending the total duration of the hike to 5 days instead of 4. This is ideal as it makes the journey even more relaxed. During this extended version, you'll have an additional overnight stay at Kreuzwiesenhütte, providing a more leisurely experience of the Dolorama Route.

The route has various entry and exit points along the way that are easily accessible by public transport or cable cars. These points include Würzjoch, Zanseralm, and the mountain station of the Raschötz cable car.

Is the Dolorama Weg Suitable for Me??

Dolorama Weg or Another Hike in the Dolomites?

There are plenty of choices in the Dolomites, so we can understand that it can be difficult to pick a hut-to-hut hike that suits you best. The Dolorama Trail is a great choice for a first introduction to the Dolomites. In comparison to the shorter Alta Via 1, the Dolorama Weg is technically much easier.

If you're new to the world of hut-to-hut hikes but still eager to hit the trails, then the Dolorama Route is definitely the way to go. If you find yourself craving more after completing the journey, you'll be ready for your next adventure in the Dolomites, such as the slightly more southern Alta Via del Granito or the somewhat more rugged Palaronda Trek.

Did you know that we can book all huts and refuges for the Dolorama Weg for you? Check out all our options here.

What Is the Best Season for the Dolorama Trail?

Mountain weather can be quite unpredictable, so when is the best time to embark on a hut-to-hut hike? In line with other hikes in the Dolomites and the Alps, the season for the Dolorama Route typically runs from mid-June to mid-September. Before and after this period, the rifugios (mountain huts) close their doors, as the mountains can experience heavy snowfall. Staying overnight at the huts is not possible outside the season.

Although mountain weather can change rapidly, a typical day in the Dolomites is characterized by clear blue skies and bright sunshine. If you're less fortunate, expect occasional rain showers and afternoon storms, often accompanied by thunderstorms.

The summer season is a popular time to hit the trails, even for Italians. Never set out to the mountain huts without a reservation. It's highly likely that they can be fully booked, and there might be no room for you and your group. To avoid disappointment, make your reservations well in advance. For hut-to-hut hikes in the Dolomites, it's best to start planning your trip as early as Christmas.

What Is the Best Season for the Dolorama Trail?

Dolorama Weg Map and Navigation

There are plenty of maps and travel guides that can assist you in completing the Dolorama Route or any other trek in the Italian Dolomites. Below, you'll find a map providing an overview of the route and all the stages of the various variations.

Staying in Rifugios During the Dolorama Weg Trek

Netherlands has the NBKV, Flanders has the BKF, Austria and Germany have the Alpenverein, South Africa has the Mountain Club of South Africa, and the United Kingdom has the British Mountaineering Council, and the list goes on. Italy also has its own association, which has been known as the Club Alpino Italiano (CAI) since 1863.

The CAI is highly active in trail marking and maintenance in the mountains, protecting the Italian Alps and Dolomites, organizing climbing competitions, and, of course, managing mountain huts. The CAI oversees 433 fully-equipped mountain huts, 224 bivouacs, and 106 smaller huts, totaling more than 23,500 beds. Hikers are required to stay overnight in mountain huts, called rifugios in Italian. The advantage of staying in these huts is that you don't need to carry a tent, cooking equipment, and food for your multi-day hike. The rifugios vary in size and accommodations, but they all offer a shower, a comfortable night's sleep, and half-board with delicious local dishes. Trust us, the food is really good compared to some neighboring countries.

Staying in Rifugios During the Dolorama Weg Trek

Dolorama Weg Itinerary

The 4-day Dolorama Weg is a 4-day trek with three overnight stays in mountain huts. In the program below, you can read about what to expect. You can also choose to divide the first into 2 stages, making the total duration of the hike 5 days instead of 4. This is ideal as it makes the journey even more relaxed. During this extended version, you will have an additional overnight stay at Kreuzwiesenhütte. Find here the more leisurely version of the Dolorama Route.

Day
1

Rodeneck - Maurerberghütte ‘Rifugio Monte Muro’

Duration: 07:15 h
Distance: 21.7 km
Ascent: 870 m
Descent: 460 m

The first stage of the hike starts at the Zumis parking lot. You can take the bus from Rodeneck, or park your car at the paid parking lot near the starting point.

Through the Schöpfungsweg you walk to the Roner Alm. Once here, follow path no. 2 in a southeasterly direction until you reach the Rastner- or Starkenfeldhütte. This is a good time to take your first break since you have completed the first 6 kilometers. After the Starkenfeldhütte, continue your way to the Steiner Alm, a short hike of about 1.5 kilometers. Continue your hike toward Campill and take a moment here to take in the panorama of both the Austrian and South Tyrolean Alps. Continue walking for 3 kilometers and approach the chapel of the Jakobsstöckl. After another 3 kilometers you will reach the Glittner See, or Lago di Rina. The next part of the hike takes you to the Furc de Lijun pass. From here you can count down, because if you follow trail 1, it's only 2.5 kilometers to the Maurerberghütte (2,157m).

Rifugio Monte Muro (Maurerberghütte)

Info
Rifugio Monte Muro (Maurerberghütte)
Day
2

Maurerberghütte ‘Rifugio Monte Muro’ - Schlütterhütte ‘Rifugio Genova’

Duration: 04:40 h
Distance: 14.4 km
Ascent: 660 m
Descent: 450 m

At the Maurerberghütte today begins the third leg of your hike adventure. Today's hike starts on trail 1 and takes you south to the Würzjoch, the moment you hike into the UNESCO World Heritage Dolomites! This hike is about 3.5 kilometers. Here you continue your way on trail 8A, which, by the way, quickly turns into 8B. During this hike you will walk along the Peitlerkofel at the foot of the Geisler group: that means beautiful views!

After 4.5 kilometers you'll arrive at Göma-Joch at an altitude of 2,100 meters. Follow trail 35 to the west, passing the Heiligkreuzkofel massif along the way. After a 5.5-kilometer hike, you'll reach today's destination: the Schlütterhütte or, in Italian, Rifugio Genova (2,300m).

Rifugio Genova

Info
Rifugio Genova
Day
3

Schlütterhütte ‘Rifugio Genova’ - Raschötzhütte ‘Rifugio Resciesa’

Duration: 05:40 h
Distance: 15.9 km
Ascent: 500 m
Descent: 640 m

After a good night at Rifugio Genova, today it's time for the fourth stage of the hike. The stage will take you through Puez-Geisler Nature Park. Follow trail 33 to Gampen Alm and walk about 1 kilometer downhill. From Gampen Alm switch to trail 35 and continue walking downhill until you reach the Adolf-Monkel-Weg. At the Broglesbach (Rio di Brogles), follow path 28 for a short distance, where you will soon encounter the Brogleshütte. You are now at the Brogles Alm. Here you continue the hike again on path 35. Fun fact: here you walk a part on the Dolomites World Heritage Geotrail. Walk up to Forcella di Valluzza (Flitzer Scharte) and continue your hike on trail 32. You have started the last kilometers of the day. Another 3 kilometers and you will be at the final destination of the stage: the Raschötzhütte, or, Rifugio Resciesa (2,170m).

Resciesa hut (Raschötz Hütte)

Info
Resciesa hut (Raschötz Hütte)
Day
4

Raschötzhütte ‘Rifugio Resciesa’ - Lajen

Duration: 03:15 h
Distance: 9.8 km
Ascent: 20 m
Descent: 1090 m

The last hiking day has arrived. Today you can go down in two ways: on foot or by mountain train towards Ortisei. From the mountain hut follow path 35 and walk via the Kreuzweg to the Heiligkreuz Chapel and then on to the Tschatterlin-Sattel. This is a hike of about 2 kilometers. You notice that by now the tree line has been reached and you walk more and more on forest paths. You keep following path 35 and after about half an hour you will see the Ramitzler Schwaige. Via farm tracks you then walk on to the Unterpulghütte. Keep following path 35 and after about 4.5 kilometers the final destination Lajen comes into sight.

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

How Do I Get to the Starting and Ending Points?

The Dolorama Trail is a hike with different starting and ending points. Your journey begins in Rodeneck (Rodengo) and then continues to the official starting point at the Zumis parking lot. After a 4-day hike, you will end up in Lajen, also known as Laion in Italian.

The Zumis parking lot is the perfect starting point for the hike, as its ideal location provides easy access to numerous hiking trails in the area.

For accommodation, it's best to stay in Mühlbach or Rodeneck, but Bressanone is also a good option, as it's only a half-hour drive from the starting point.

By car:

Right at the starting point in Zumis, there is a large parking lot available for a fee. The cost is €6.00 per day. Prefer not to pay and don't mind taking a bus ride? In the Vill district of Rodeneck, there is a free public parking lot, and from Rodeneck, you can easily take the bus to Zumis.

From Innsbruck, it takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to travel to Rodeneck. From Bressanone (Brixen), it's about a 30-minute drive.

By bus or train:

Rodeneck is easily accessible by public transportation. The journey from Innsbruck takes about 2 hours, and from Bressanone, it's approximately 50 minutes by bus and train. Just a 20-minute bus ride from Rodeneck will take you to the Zumis parking lot. If you have the 'Almencard Plus,' you can use public transportation for free, so this journey won't cost you anything.

Departure:

After completing the full route, your hike ends in Lajen (Laion). From this point, there are various ways to travel back to Rodeneck. On average, it takes 1.5 to 2 hours to return to Rodeneck.

From Lajen, you can take a bus to Bressanone, which is a direct connection that will get you to the station in about 40 minutes. Then, the bus will take you from Bressanone to Mühlbach in approximately 25 minutes. The final leg of your journey will be by bus from Mühlbach to Rodeneck, which takes about 10 minutes.

Packing List for the Dolorama Weg

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

How much does the Dolorama Weg cost?

A hut-to-hut trek doesn't have to be expensive. The rifugios you'll encounter during the journey are often simple but provide everything you need to rest and recharge for the next day. The average cost is approximately €100 per day. This includes route guidance, navigation assistance, your accommodation in a rifugio, and half-board, consisting of breakfast and dinner. In addition to these costs, you'll, of course, need to spend money during the tour. Consider expenses for lunch (not included), snacks, and a well-deserved drink when you arrive at the next hut. We recommend budgeting between €50 and €70 to cover these expenses.

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 Dolorama Weg, including interactive Komoot maps. Browse all our options here and turn your dreams into reality.

Safe hiking tips for the Dolorama Weg

When you go on walking holidays it is wise to be aware of a few points. Even if this is not your first time, you should never underestimate the mountains. Good tour planning and compliance with the regulations on the mountains will significantly increase safety. To ensure that your hiking holiday is a safe and enjoyable experience, here below you can find a list of 8 recommendations for safe hiking in the mountains:
  • Know your limits

    Hiking the Dolorama Weg is the perfect outlet to escape from daily life. It is an endurance sport along with a beautiful nature experience with a positive effect on body and mind —as long as one is in good shape and has a realistic picture of one's possibilities and limits—. Never overestimate yourself or underestimate the route. Don't overdo it! Always choose the slower variant and take more time for your plans. Hiking under time pressure is not fun and at too fast a pace it can be dangerous. Be wise!

  • Plan carefully

    Good planning is half the work! Hiking maps, literature, the Internet and expert advice are invaluable when planning the route in the Dolorama Weg and enable you to determine the length, altitude difference, difficulty and conditions of the hike. When planning group treks, the itinerary should always be planned for the weakest member of the group! The weather in the mountains can change incredibly quickly and rain, wind and cold all increase the risk factor. For this reason, always check the weather forecast beforehand and contact our trekking experts to find your way around before you start.

  • Be fully equipped

    Equipment is everything. In the most extreme case, it makes the difference between life and death, and in any case, it definitely makes the difference between having fun and having a bad time. Food and water, sunscreen and waterproof and warm clothes must always be in your backpack, as well as a first aid kit and a mobile phone with a full battery (in case there is an emergency). However, packing light makes walking easier, so don't take too much extra luggage with you. Your equipment should always be suitable for the terrain you'll be hiking on in the Dolorama Weg.

  • Wear suitable footwear

    Good walking shoes protect your feet and provide a better fit. Shoes with a good fit, with non-slip soles, water-resistant and lightweight are a must for additional walking pleasure during the Dolorama Weg. Trail running shoes are great for a weekend in the mountains, but on longer hikes or more technical trails, you'll want at least A/B hiking boots. That means it is recommended wearing high mountain shoes that are water-repellent with extra ankle support to prevent sprains.

  • Stay on marked trails

    Dolorama Weg has endless marked hiking trails, which are controlled and maintained and should not be deviated from. It may be tempting, but it's not a good idea to take shortcuts or alternative routes through unmarked terrain. It increases the risk of disorientation and you're more likely to get lost and have accidents or fall in the mountains. Even steep slopes of packed old snow are often underestimated and dangerous. Are you in doubt? Better don't do it. For easy navigation we work with our trusted partner Komoot, whose interactive maps, also available offline, provide you with the necessary digital means to get from A to B. As a backup, make sure to bring a hiking guide or a paper map with you. FYI, 75% of stumbles occur due to carelessness on marked paths or roads, not in open terrain!

  • Take regular breaks

    Remember you're on a hiking holiday. Timely and regular breaks not only provide welcome relaxation but also make it possible to enjoy the Dolorama Weg. The body needs a regular food and drink intake to maintain performance and concentration. Our advice is that if you have little time, it's better to follow the short itinerary than to speed up the long one.

  • Stay reachable

    If you are hiking solo or in small groups it is advisable to inform people back home about your plans, what route you are taking and when you plan to return. Even small incidents can lead to unpleasant emergencies so make sure you are available at all times. Bring a charged phone containing at least the phone numbers of immediate family members, your accommodations en route and the emergency phone numbers operating in the Dolorama Weg.

  • Respect nature

    Leave no rubbish behind, prevent noise, stay on the marked trails, do not disturb wildlife or grazing animals, and respect protected areas.

Where Can I Book the Dolorama Weg?

At Bookatrekking.com you can book the self-guided Dolorama Weg 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 Dolorama Weg not your cup of tea and are you looking for other epic adventures? Check out one of our following blog posts:

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