In this final episode of Hiking in Dolomites we did another quite popular trail – Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop. It is an 11 kilometers hiking trail that goes around the famous three rocks following the rocky mountain paths. It is an easy level hike that everybody can do. Even though it is situated quite high up in the mountains, it has only several uphills and downhills but they are not very steep, most of the time it goes along the side of the hills and mountain plains. It is a wonderful trail to do if you are not feeling like doing any challenging routes but still want to enjoy the splendid views of the Dolomites rocks and valleys. Due to variety of landscapes it has plenty possibilities for any photographer. Meeting sunrise or sunset here would be a great experience too.
In our last episode we left you at the town Brunico where we spent several days in the campsite. We were a bit stuck there because of the terrible weather we had with a lot of rain and clouds and so we had no chance but to wait for it to get better.
One day finally the sun came out and we decided that we can move to the lake Misurina to the other campsite which was situated quite close to the Tre Cime. And so we did first taking the train from Brunico to Dobbiaco and then a bus to the lake Misurina, camping a Alla Baita. The bus cost us 4 euros per one person from Dobbiaco to Misurina and then another 4 euros to get from Misurina to the Tre Cime. In total making up 8 euros one way and with a return ticket 16 euros per one person. This kind of bus wasn’t included into any pass card that you have for the public transportation, for example our Vinshgau card that gave us a possibility to use any public transport during a week. But this one was extra. The same way by bus you can get to Tre Cime from Cortina d’Ampezzo town. Also of course oyu can go by car and it will cost you 30 euros to park at the foot of Tre Cime per day.
So we got to the lake Misurina and stayed in camping Alla Baita the day before the hike planning to start it early the next morning. From the moment we came we felt that the air was quite a bit cooler compared to the place we were before but it was no surprise as we climbed higher up in the mountains for quite a bit.
We had a small walk exploring the surroundings of the place and got out to the side of the Misurina Lake at the sunset. It was a beautiful sight to see the sun setting in the massive rocks and turning everything in the wonderful pinky shades. The lake itself wasn’t too small and had plenty of bird life on it. But the view around it were the best of course with an impressive mountain backdrop. So we spent some time there till the dusk and when we felt our hands and legs started freezing we knew it is time to get back to the campground. There we asked for the blankets at the reception as we already felt we are going to need them throughout the night and left to our tent hoping to get a good sleep.
Camping Alla Baita was representing a bit of uneven mountain plain with a bit of grass with quite a lot of space for camper vans and backpackers with the tents in the middle. There was nothing special about it itself and we thought that the places around were playing the most important part here.
That night was probably one of the coldest ones we have ever passed in the tent. We were enrolling ourselves in the sleeping bags and under two blankets and only this way we could survive it. As we mentioned earlier we didn’t have a proper camping gear for such freezing temperature and our summer sleeping bags felt like the thin bedsheets in these conditions as well as the isolation of our sleeping pads wasn´t enough. But fortunately we took extra mats at the reception and it saved the situation.
But the morning we waked up there was really beautiful. When we got out of the tent the first thing we saw were the huge massive rocks covered with a little bit of snow as if it was an icing sugar on a cookie. The soft morning light and low clouds created the magical scenery. At such moments you forget about all the struggles or inconveniences and just want to gaze in awe at such beauty.
So we hoped on the bus and in 20 minutes were at the parking at the foot of Tre Cime. We planned to do this hike in around 3 to 5 hours knowing that we want to shoot a lot there. And so we got out on the trail and started to move in a counterclock-wise direction around the Three Rocks.
It was one of the most high mountain trails of all we have done in the region constantly being higher than 2000m. And we felt it right away when the freezing wind started blowing at us and we had to leave all the warm clothes as well as the hats on us. It was just the start of September but some Arctic airflow came here and seemed to be established for a while. At least there was no rain expected for that day but overall the sunny weather.
From the very beginning we felt amazed by the breathtaking views over the surrounding valleys and mountains. Due to us being quite high up we could enjoy the bird-eye views all the way through. It seemed that we could touch the clouds – they were passing quite low above our heads and around us and it was one of the best feelings. The mountain rocks around were having all sorts of whimsical forms and were opening the doors for your imagination. Most of them were looking like an entrance or a gate to some fairytale castles where the dragons or other fairytale characters could live. In one word, it was an amazing point of view.
Meanwhile we have been doing the first part of the trail, which appeared to be quite easy, and had no uphills at all. There were quite a bit of people hiking with us and at some points it was getting crowded. They were speaking all kinds of different languages and so it was obvious that we are at a popular tourist destination.
Around us we saw a lot of cows pasturing right at the side of the hill that surprised us quite a lot that even at Tre Cime they find a place to pasture them. At that time the shepherds and their dogs were moving them from place to place and it was a bit hard to get through. But as most of the gravel route was actually quite wide we supposed they can move here by cars as well.
From the trail we could see not only the closest rocks but also the far away valleys with little villages, lakes and rivers and from above it looked really spectacular. Most of the trail was going right on the side of the rock, very close to it, with lots of rock falls coming down from it.
Fortunately, there was no snow on the trail about which we were concerned only a bit of wetness and we guessed that the sun has melted all the snow from night before.
So we passed by the little chapel “Cappella degli Alpini”, then by the rifugio Lavaredo and started to climb our first uphill to the viewpoint Forcella Lavaredo. It was going in a zig zagging style so wasn’t too challenging and we conquered it quite quickly.
From the viewpoint of Forcella Lavaredo we could see the side of the Three Rocks and from this point on were turning to the classical view of them that everybody is used to on photos. Before this moment, the Three Rocks weren’t actually this obvious because of so many other rocks around.
So from there we had to descend quite a bit hiking along the Monte Paterno and getting close to the other shelter or mountain hut “Malga Langalm”. The small and huge rocks were all around us and it felt like we were walking the rocky land. There we met a little bit of snow on the trail but the amount of it was minor and among it were growing beautiful purple flower bells that was truly beautiful. The snow laying on the mountain rocks was emphasizing their forms and lines and served as a beautiful decoration to them and thus they looked even more grandiose to us.
We could spot several mountain climbers on the way that were climbing the neighboring rocks and we remembered how we thought about Dolomites as a paradise for any mountain climber. And every day we spent here we became more and more convinced of this.
Then after walking for some time on a more or less flat ground we made the middle of the planned distance and turned to the most breathtaking views of the Three Rocks. We were standing at the highest point at 2500m getting the best views of the rocks. We learnt that the rocks themselves were over 3000m high and no wonder why their tops were always in the clouds. They were looking very grandiose and seemed like they were towering and reigning over everything around.
From that point on we were descending down for a while enjoying the magnificent views of the valley down below and layers and layers of mountains of all the possible shapes and forms. Some of the scenes were completely out of this world and seemed to be brought from space and other faraway planets.
We have seen on the maps and from the trail marks that there are plenty of other trails to choose from in the area including the Alta Via number 4. We think that most of them were a bit more challenging and mountainous type of paths so it is better to go well prepared.
So when we came down we had our lunch on one of the green mountain plains before starting to go uphill again. It wasn’t too long nor too steep and we did it quite fast. The rest of the trail was going more or less flat and similar to the first part.
The weather was partly cloudy all the way through but in the end we could even see the Three Rocks all clear in all their majesty. It was an amazing scenery. We were even able to spot several marmots on our way back and it was the cutest thing ever.
The Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop turned out to be quite an easy trail to do with little elevation gain. It felt very chill out and relaxing together with splendid views it makes up for an amazing easy day hike. It took us around 5 hours to complete because we were stopping a lot and taking lots of pictures. The trail was a bit crowded though and even in September there were quite a lot of people. But this is the reality of all the popular places.
After Hiking in Dolomites we had a long journey back home to Spanish Pyrenees awaiting us as we planned to move for around two weeks along the Mediterranean seacoast crossing Italy and France.
Stay tuned for our separate post about Dolomites where we are going to share all our impressions and tips when travelling here. So make sure not to miss the next post. See you there!