Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike: Best Hut-to-Hut Trek in The Dolomites

By Charisa Kailey-Lê

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Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike: Best Hut-to-Hut Trek in The Dolomites
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Go online, find the Dolomites, go to images and there they are. The three colossal rock towers called the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, or the Drei Zinnen. Unmistakable, impressive and therefore the symbol of the Dolomites. A hot spot with only day trippers and Instagram influencers? No! The ideal place for one of the region's most family- and beginner-friendly hut-to-hut tours? Yes! How so? Andiamo, we are hiking the Tre Cime di Lavaredo!

Short day stages, no technical trails and the most legendary huts of the Dolomites. Not as a day hike but as a real hut hike. A hut-to-hut trek around the Tre Cime is not just your first trip through the Dolomites. With so much insane natural splendor, you can immediately call this trek the highlight of your year. Or life!

What and Where Are the Tre Cime di Lavaredo?

If you have the map of Italy in front of you, to the right above Cortina d'Ampezzo you will see Tre Cime di Lavaredo, or the Drei Zinnen. This natural wonder of the Dolomites is in Parco Naturale Tre Cime, which was officially established in 1981 and covers 11,615 hectares. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 2009, the Dolomites are for many the most beautiful mountain area in Europe.

What exactly the Tre Cime are is clear. They are 3 enormous rocks that together form an impressive formation. As mentioned earlier, this is the symbol of the Dolomites and therefore a hotspot for many day trippers.

The 3 rocks each have their own name, namely the Westliche Zinne (Cima Ovest) of 2,973 meters in height (9.753 feet), the Kleine Zinne (Piccola Cima) 2,856 meters (9.753 feet) and the Grosse Zinne (Cima Grande) which reaches 2,999 meters (9.839 feet) in height. These are big boys, so you can imagine that a first look at these is breathtaking.

When you travel to the Dolomites, you naturally visit several highlights of the area. A visit to the Drei Zinnen can easily be combined with, for example, the Short Alta Via 1, the Dolorama Way or the Garda Trek if you want to discover more of northern Italy.

What and Where Are the Tre Cime di Lavaredo?

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A 4-day Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike - Is That for Me?

This hike is suitable for everyone, and we really mean everyone. Whether you want to hike with your family or if you are going on a hut hike for the first time, you can do it!

During the hike you will walk around the Tre Cime in 4 stages. On average you will hike between 6 and 7 kilometers per day (3 to 4 miles). Without a break and at a leisurely pace, a stage takes about 3 to 4 hours. The trails are well marked and you will not encounter any technical difficulties along the way. Of course, you have to be physically fit to start this hike, but apart from that it is the perfect hike for anyone who wants to enjoy the ruggedness of the Dolomites for a couple of days in an approachable way.

A 4-day Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike - Is That for Me?

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 Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike, including interactive Komoot maps. Browse all our options here and turn your dreams into reality.

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike or Rather Something Else in The Dolomites?

The choice is vast in the Dolomites, so we can imagine that it is difficult to choose a hut tour that suits you best. The Tre Cime trek is a good choice when it comes to a first introduction to the Dolomites. Compared to the short Alta Via 1, the Drei Zinnen hike is technically a lot easier.

If you are new to the world of hut to hut hiking but would still like to go on a hike, definitely choose the Drei Zinnen hike. Does it taste like more after you've completed the hike? Then you're ready for your next adventure in the Dolomites, such as the slightly more southerly Alta Via del Granito or the slightly more rugged Palaronda Trek.

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike or Rather Something Else in The Dolomites?

In What Season Do I Do My Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike?

The weather in the mountains is very unpredictable, so when is the best time to set out on a hut tour? A little later than other treks in the Dolomites and Alps, the season for hiking the Tre Cime runs from late June to mid-September. Before and after this period, the rifugios close their doors, as it can snow heavily in the mountains. Spending the night at the huts is not possible out of season.

Although the weather in the mountains can change quickly, a typical day in the Dolomites is marked by bright blue skies and bright sunshine. If you are less fortunate, consider rain showers and afternoon storms that can be accompanied by thunderstorms.

The summer season is a popular time to go hiking, even for Italians. Never go out without a reservation at mountain huts. It is possible, and there is a good chance, that they are fully booked and there is no more room for you and your party. Avoid disappointment and book far in advance. For hut tours in the Dolomites, you'll want to make your plans preferably around Christmas or earlier.

Tre Cimi di Lavaredo Hike: Map or Navigation

There are plenty of maps and guidebooks that can help you make a trip around the Tre Cime. Below is a map with an overview of the route and all stages.

Staying overnight at Rifugios During Your Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike

The Netherlands has the NBKV, Flanders 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 and it has been going by the name Club Alpino Italiano, CAI for short, since 1863.

The CAI is hugely active in signposting and maintaining mountain trails, protecting the Italian Alps and Dolomites, organizing climbing competitions and, of course, managing mountain huts. The CAI has 433 fully equipped mountain huts, 224 bivouacs and 106 smaller huts under its care. Together, these accommodations account for more than 23,500 beds. Hikers are required to spend the night in mountain huts, rifugios in Italian. The advantage of spending the night in huts is that you don't have to bring a tent, cooking gear and food for your multi-day hike. The rifugios vary in size and accommodation options, but they all offer a shower, a good night's sleep including half board with tasty local food. Believe us, the food is really good compared to some neighboring countries.

Did you know that we can book all huts and refuges for the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike for you? Check out all our options here.

Your Ideal Itinerary For a 4-Day Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike

You can make it a day trip but why not spend the night in one of the few beautiful mountain huts you find around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. If you want to make the most out of your time in this special corner of the Dolomites, the following itinerary is the way to go.
Day
1

Parkplatz Fischleinboden - Zsigmondyhütte (Rifugio Comici)

Duration: 03:20 h
Distance: 5.93 km
Ascent: 710 m

Today is the first day of your hike around the Tre Cime. You start at the Fischleinboden parking lot (Parcheggio Val Fiscalina) and then head towards Hotel Dolomitenhof. Follow marker 102 on the wide trail that you will be following for the next few kilometers. After a few kilometers, you will pass the Talschlusshütte. This hut is almost halfway through the first stage, so this is a good time to have a leisurely lunch or enjoy a cup of coffee. After the short break, continue your journey until you encounter marker 103. Keep following 103 until you reach the endpoint of the first day: the Zsigmondyhütte.

Zsigmondyhütte

Info
Zsigmondyhütte
Day
2

Zsigmondyhütte - Rifugio Lavaredo

Duration: 03:25 h
Distance: 6.9 km
Ascent: 510 m
Descent: 370 m

After a good night at the Zsigmondyhütte, you start today with the second stage of the Tre Cime journey. Right by the hut, you take trail 101 and head towards the Oberbachernjoch. The road gradually ascends, and within a distance of 2 kilometers, you climb about 320 meters. You continue your way through an old war path carved into the rocks. If you feel the effort in your legs, this is a good moment for a break, as you have now reached the Büllelejochhütte. After a short break, continue your journey towards trail 104. You'll notice that you start descending, and before you know it, you'll see the green meadows below Monte Cengia. The path continues on well-marked trails, and soon you'll reach the Lavaredo Lakes. Choose trail 101 and turn left to reach today's destination: Rifugio Lavaredo.

Rifugio Lavaredo

Info
Rifugio Lavaredo
Day
3

Rifugio Lavaredo - Drei Zinnen Hütte

Duration: 03:05 h
Distance: 6.8 km
Ascent: 280 m
Descent: 210 m

After a delicious breakfast at Rifugio Lavaredo, the third day of the route can begin. Via trail 101, you continue the route along the Tre Cime. Along the way, you come across the small chapel Madonna della Croda. This is a monument commemorating the first ascent of the Große Zinne. After about 1.5 kilometers, you reach Rifugio Auronzo. For many day-trippers, this is the starting point for their hike to the Tre Cime, so the trails around this hut can be quite busy. Fortunately, you quickly pass through the crowds as your journey continues to Langalm. Take your time once you arrive here, as this spot offers a beautiful view of the Tre Cime. Continue your journey (trail 101), and after about 1 kilometer, you'll notice the path ascending. After a steep climb, you reach the destination of the day: the Tre Cime Hut.

Dreizinnenhütte

Info
Dreizinnenhütte
Day
4

Drei Zinnen Hütte - Parkplatz Fischleinboden

Duration: 03:20 h
Distance: 6.95 km
Descent: 930 m

The last day has arrived. Today's hike begins on trail 102 and descends via a moderately steep path. Along the way, you have a constant view of the Altensteinertal and pass by a beautiful waterfall. At the beginning, the trail is still wide, but you'll notice that it gradually becomes a bit steeper and rockier. After walking along the north wall of the Einserkofel and pine forests, you reach the junction with trail 103. Turn left towards the Talschlusshütte, because if you turn right, you'll end up back at the Zsigmondyhütte. The last part of the hike is familiar, as you also walked along here on the first day. After 4 beautiful stages, you're back at Parkplatz Fischleinboden, and the Tre Cime journey comes to its end.

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How Do I Get to the Starting and Finishing Points?

The starting point of this hut tour is Parkplatz Fischleinboden (Parcheggio Val Fascalina). This is where the first stage on Via Waldheim starts, which will lead you southward to the first accommodation of the trek.

There are several possibilities to spend the night near the starting point. In the immediate vicinity, you will find Moos, Waldheim, and Sexten. Should you have no problem driving a bit, Cortina d'Ampezzo and Dobbiaco (Toblach in German) are also good options.

By car

Parkplatz Fischleinboden is easily accessible by car. Driving south from Munich, follow the A22 to Bressanone-Valpusteria-Brixen-Pustertal. Take the SS49 to the Via Pizach exit where you then continue on the SS52 to the Via Val Fascalina exit. The parking lot can be found opposite Hotel Dolomitenhof.

From Cortina d'Ampezzo it takes about an hour to get to the starting point. Follow the SS51 towards Dobiacco, then take the SS52 towards Via Val Fascalina.

Note that this is not the parking lot where many day trippers park their cars. So do not drive to the parking lot of Rifugio Auronzo, which is mentioned a lot online.

By bus

From Cortina d'Ampezzo it takes about 1.5 hours to get to the starting point by bus. Change once in Dobiacco where you take bus 446 towards S. Candido - Passo Monte Croce. The stop where you get off is Pian di Val Via Fiscalina and stops in front of Hotel Dolomitenhof.

How Do I Get to the Starting and Finishing Points?

Packing List for the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike

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

Safe hiking tips for the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike

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 Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike 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 Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike 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 Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike.

  • 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 Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike. 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

    Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike 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 Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike. 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 Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike.

  • Respect nature

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

How Much For Hiking Around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo?

A hut-to-hut tour doesn't have to be expensive. The rifugios you encounter on the trek are often basic, but offer everything you need to be well rested and recharged the next day.

The average cost is about €120 per day. This includes directions, navigational aids, your accommodation in a rifugio, and half board in the form of breakfast and dinner. In addition to these costs, you will of course need pocket money during the tour. Think about lunch (exclusive), snacks and a well-deserved drink when you arrive at the next hut. We recommend to take into account an amount between €50 and €70 to cover these costs.

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

Where Can I Book the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike?

At Bookatrekking.com you can book the self-guided Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike 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 Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike 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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