The hike around Tre Cime Di Lavaredo – The Three Peaks – is one of the most beautiful hikes in the Dolomites and you can easily walk it on your own. The hike is in fact just a day hike, but we have planned something else: to spend the night in front of the peaks in the Refugio Locatelli hut, or Dreizinnenhütte as it is called in German. The Dolomites are part of Tyrol, a region divided between Italy and Austria. Therefore, the names of all locations are displayed in both Italian and German, which makes you pretty confused as a visitor.
This trip was part of our 6 days road trip through the Dolomites and you can read about it here
We follow the hairpin bends up on the mountain, leave the car in the parking lot and begin our hike around the peaks. There are too many people on the trail already, but fortunately the crowd soon begins to thin out. It is clear that people are on their way home and we are walking against the stream. We pass the hiking hut Refugio Lavaredo on our way and soon reach Forcella di Lavaredo, a ridge overlooking The Three Peaks from the side. The view is absolutely incredible!
The trail will take you past Refugio Lavaredo, where you can also stay. However, the view from this point is not nearly as beautiful as from Refugio Locatelli.
Forcella di Lavaredo
Refugio Locatelli in the distance
Sunset at Tre Cime Di Lavaredo
From the Forcella ridge the trail goes downwards and Refugio Locatelli soon appears in the distance. As we approach the hut, the view becomes more and more beautiful until we finally see the peaks front-on. A divine sight!
The main reason why I wanted to spend the night at Refugio Locatelli was to experience the sunrise and the sunset. Here you have the incredible view right outside your door. I dreamt of experiencing the magic moment when the golden light hits the peaks. And I got exactly what I came for.
Sunrise at Forcella Di Lavaredo
Early the next morning, I roll out of my bed to go back to Forcella Lavaredo in the morning light. After a hearty breakfast in the hut restaurant, we start the trip back to the parking lot. The path descends first through a green meadow with curious alpine cows. And then steeply up again through the rocky moon-like landscape.
Forcella Di Lavaredo
The sound of the alps is the constant ringing of cow bells
How to get to Tre Cime Di Lavaredo in the Dolomites
The closest airports are in Innsbruck, Austria or in Milan and Venice in Italy. Read more about finding the cheapest flight to the Dolomites right here
The hike around the peaks starts at the carpark of Refugio Auronzo (see location on Google Maps) The road to the parking lot is a toll road and costs 30 EUR. The hike is 10 km long and takes approx. 4 hours. From the parking lot, there is a 30-minute walk to Forcella Di Lavaredo and then it is 20 minutes to Refugio Locatelli, which overlooks the peaks from the front. The rest of the route around the peaks and back to the parking lot takes about 2 hours.
The route is easy to walk, especially on the first stretch between Refugio Auronzo and Refugio Locatelli, where the path is wide and relatively flat. After Refugio Locatelli the path becomes narrower and more hilly and rocky. If you have difficulty walking or have young children, it is possible to simply walk to Refugio Locatelli and then return the same way.
Map of the hiking route around Tre Cime Di Lavaredo
Stay at Tre Cime Di Lavaredo in the Dolomites
There are 3 cabins near the peaks, but I would definitely recommend you to stay at Refugio Locatelli as it is located right in front of the peaks. You have the most incredible view just outside your door. The cabin itself is nothing special, but the view makes it a great experience.
The cabin is open from late June to the end of September. You can book your accommodation by sending an email to the Refugios Locatelli through their website right here. For 56 EUR per person you can stay in the dormitory, and both breakfast and a three-course dinner are included in the price. Remember cash and be aware that your booking will automatically be cancelled if you are not at the cabin by 6 PM on your date of arrival.
If there is no room at Refugio Locatelli I would choose Refugio Lavaredo, which is a 20 minutes walk from the peaks. As a last option, I would choose Refugio Auronzo, which lies right at the parking lot at the start of the route.
It may be tempting to take a tent with you to save some money, but it is not officially legal to camp in the Dolomites.
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