the "tre cime di lavaredo" hike: itinerary and tips

The Tre Cime di Lavaredo are the most famous and symbolic mountain group in the Dolomites. Photographed, admired and known all over the world for their unique formation and the panorama they offer, they have also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009.     

They are located in the Tre Cime Natural Park, on the border between the territory of the municipality of Auronzo di Cadore, and that of the Sexten Dolomites in the municipality of Dobbiaco.    

The Tre Cime di Lavaredo resemble three fingers of limestone towering towards the sky; their configuration is typical of dolomite, leading to the formation of rugged slopes, made up of towers and vertical walls, with detrital material at the base. The Cima Grande, which is in the centre, is 2999 metres (9839 feet) high and is one of the classic north faces of the Alps (a great mountaineering achievement), the Cima Ovest measures 2973 metres (9753 feet), while the Cima piccola reaches 2857 metres (9373 feet).    

The Tre Cime have been attracting hikers, mountaineers, and climbers for decades, fascinated by their peculiar shape and the play of light they give us from dawn to dusk. 

Tour of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo: the itinerary 

There are many mountaineering routes, of all grades, that have been created over the years to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy the landscape surrounding the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Undoubtedly the most famous trek in the Tre Cime Natural Park, which is also the best way to admire the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, is the ring-route, which runs at the foot of the three famous mountains, passing through meadows and scree with no difficult gradients.     

  • Difficulty: E 
  • Duration: 3 hours and 15 minutes 
  • High difference: 400m (131ft) 
  • Length: 9,5 km (5.9mi) 
  • Signposts: CAI 101, 105, Alta via delle Dolomiti no.4

Hiking with a dog


Auronzo mountain hut: the starting point

The route starts at the Auronzo mountain hut, which can be reached by car via a toll road (the cost for cars is €30, while for motorbikes it is €20). Alternatively, for those who wish to be more sustainable, there are shuttle buses available, departing from Auronzo (Dolomitibus) and Dobbiaco (Sutirolmobil).   The Auronzo mountain hut is located near the Forcella Longères at 2333m (7654 ft) and enjoys a wonderful panorama: Tre Cime di Lavaredo, the Crosa dei Toni, the Cadini di Misurina Group, Monte Cristallo, Lago di Misurina and the Val d'Ansièi. In addition to the Tre Cime tour, the De Luca-Innerkofler via ferrata on Monte Paterno also starts from here. 


The Lavaredo mountain hut and the Lavaredo forcella

From the Auronzo hut, continue along path no. 101, along a level stretch on a wide dirt road and with a view of the Vallon di Lavaredo. After 15 minutes you will reach the little church dedicated to Maria Ausiliatrice, and the stele dedicated to Paul Grohmann, the first climber to ascend the Cima Grande in 1869. Not far from there, you reach the Lavaredo mountain hut (2344m, 7690 ft), built in 1954 by the mountain guide Francesco Corte Calò 'Mazzetta'. This hut is an excellent approach point for most of the ascents to the summits.
From here you will continue to the Forcella Lavaredo (2454m, 8051 ft), which you can reach in about 45 minutes. Once you reach the top, the spectacle of the Tre Cime opens up like a curtain, and a little further on you can see the Locatelli mountain hut (2405m, 7890 ft) in the distance. 


Locatelli mountain hut

Set in the Forcella di Toblin at 2438m (7998 ft), at the foot of the magnificent Sasso di Sesto, the Locatelli hut offers its guests a marvellous view: the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Croda dei Ronsoni, Monte Mattina, Teston Rudo, Sasso di Sesto, Croda Passaporo and Monte Paterno surround the hut. If you wish, from the Locatelli hut you can climb a little higher, towards the Toblin Tower, via the Ferrata delle Scalette


Return to the Auronzo hut

From the Locatelli hut, follow path no. 105, which descends along the northern walls of the peaks to Pian da Rin, where there are some very beautiful alpine lakes. Continue uphill to Col Forcellina, then after the scree, to Forcella Col di Mezzo, where the view opens out over the Dolomites of Sesto and Ampezzo, such as Cadini di Misurina, Sorapiss and Monte Cristallo.
From this last fork, there is a final uphill stretch, finally arriving at the car park.


Useful information on mountain hut

Below is some useful information on the huts we have mentioned; you will find telephone numbers, the months they are open, and some indications for those who would like to spend the night in a hut.

Auronzo mountain hut

  • Opening times: last Saturday in May - mid-October 
  • Telephone: +39 0435 39002 
  • E-mail: 
  • Beds: 98 
  • Emegency places on planks: 16 
  • Makeshift shelter: 4

Lavaredo mountain hut

  • Opening times: mid June - last weekend in September 
  • Telephone: +39 349 6028675 
  • E-mail: 
  • Beds: 24, provided with sheets and duvets 
  • Emergency places on planks: 0 
  • Makeshift shelter: not available

Antonio Locatelli mountain hut

  • Opening times: last Saturday in June - last Sunday in September 
  • Telephone: +39 329 6690335 
  • E-mail: 
  • Beds: 140 (we recommend you book any overnight stays ahead of time) 
  • Emergency places on planks: not available 
  • Makeshift shelter: 6

What to bring: Garmont's advice

The Tre Cime Nature Park is particularly busy during the summer months, so our advice is to plan to go on the hike at the beginning of the summer or in September, perhaps on a weekday, in order to avoid a rush of tourists along the way.  

Although the level of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop hike is considered easy, it is important to remember that we are in an alpine environment, and as such must be respected.
Below is a list of things to have with you during a trekking to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo:  

  • Waterproof jacket. During the summer it is not uncommon to encounter sudden thunderstorms, especially in the Dolomites. Even if the weather conditions look good, it is always a good idea to have a waterproof jacket with you to wear when needed.
  • Suitable footwear. Using trainers or shoes with smooth soles in the Dolomites can be very dangerous. It is therefore essential to wear footwear with a structured sole such as approach shoes or hiking boots. 
  • Water. You should never be without water on a hike, especially in summer and on the Dolomite paths, which are often long and have no water sources.
  • Sunscreen. Essential to avoid burns, especially in the high mountains where there is practically no vegetation.
  • First aid kit. Having the necessary items with you to treat cuts, abrasions or wounds can save your life or that of others, you can read more in our article "First aid kit for trekking and hiking: our tips".
  • GPS device. Although the paths in the Dolomites are well marked, it is always a good idea to carry a GPS device with you so that you do not get lost, especially if you are walking along less-trodden paths.
  • Camera. To immortalise the majesty and beauty of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. 

The circular hike to the Tre Cime is also suitable for our four-legged friends, as it is not too demanding and exposed. We invite you to read our blog article "Hiking with a dog: our tips for being prepared" to be ready and prepared for the adventure together. 




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