Epic Guide To Dolomiti Brenta Traverse 3-5-Day Backpacking Trip Across The Adamello Brenta Nature Park In The Italian Dolomites

Today I will transport you to one of my favorite corners of the Dolomites. A corner I knew very little about until I spent a week skiing amongst the dramatic Brenta Group in a little town called Madonna di Campiglio. From that time I promised myself to come back in the summer and cross this range on foot.

A few months after the ski trip, whilst on a conference in Trento, a mere 70 kilometers from Madonna Di Campiglio,  I picked up a map of the Brenta Group and with a sharpie in my hand I outlined a 5-day long Dolomiti Brenta Traverse that included 8 via ferratas! This article will help you to follow in my footsteps.

Dolomiti Brenta Traverse  – know before you go

Dolomiti Brenta Traverse - 5 Day Backpacking Itinerary

When is it possible to do the Dolomiti Brenta Traverse?

Considering you will need a help of a cableway at the start and the end of this trip, the time window for tackling the Dolomiti Brenta Traverse is relatively short.

It stretches between the end of June when the paths are mostly clear of snow, and the third week of September when once again the snow starts to fall at higher altitudes and mountain huts close to tourism traffic for the season. 

What gear will I need to tackle the Dolomiti Brenta Traverse?

This traverse includes multiple via ferratas. You will definitely need to pack full ferrata gear and know how to use it.

I wrote a complete packing guide for hut-to-hut treks as well as a beginner’s guide to via ferrata climbing in the Italian Dolomites. Make sure to check out those articles before planning your Dolomiti Brenta Traverse.

TIP: You can rent the via ferrata gear in one of the sports equipment rental shops in Madonna di Campiglio.

Where does the Dolomiti Brenta Traverse start and end?

Madonna di Campiglio is a small ski resort located in the heart of the Brenta Dolomites and surrounded by the Adamello Brenta Nature Park in the Trentino region of Italy.  In the summer the whole area transforms into a hikers’ paradise. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

To start this 5-day Dolomiti Brenta traverse you will need to take the Groste Cableway located at the northern end of the town in Campo Carlo Magno.

The gondola costs 23 Euro return and you can find its opening times here. The gondola will whisk you up to Passo Grostè to an altitude of 2435 m a.s.l. (7990 feet), where you will begin your trek. Buy a round-trip ticket on the first day. It is valid for 7 days, but don’t lose the gondola ticket!

TIP: The trek starts and ends in the same location which means you don’t have to worry about relocating your car or working out the public transport in between trailheads. 

Getting to the trailhead of the Dolomiti Brenta Traverse

Madonna di Campiglio is well connected by public transport with the nearby cities of Trento and Verona. Shuttles also run to Madonna from Venice and Milan (Bergamo) airports. 

If you are traveling by car, then there is a big paid parking lot next to the gondola station where you can leave your car overnight. I parked my campervan there for the entire trip and I am happy to report everything was the way I left it upon my return. Sometimes it’s worth paying for having peace of mind.  

Accommodation in Madonna Di Campiglio

I highly recommend staying in Madonna di Campiglio the night before and after your trek. Since it’s a resort there are plenty of accommodation options fitting any budget and below I am enlisting some of my suggestions.

If you follow my guide and find it useful I would appreciate it if you use the links when booking your hotel (even if you don’t opt for the ones I recommend). For each booking, I get paid a small commission at no additional cost to you! 

The Map Of The Dolomiti Brenta Traverse

I thought it might be a good idea to show you a rough outline of the route. The map you can find below is interactive which means you can click on it and see the hikes, via ferratas and huts which are all part of the itinerary. 

Whilst pretty accurate please bear in mind this is not a topography map and it should not be used to navigate in the mountains. For this, I highly recommend purchasing the Tabacco map no. 053 and familiarizing yourself with the route. 

Dolomiti Brenta Traverse: Day-By-Day Trip Breakdown

Day 1: Passo Grosté to rifugio Tuckett along Via Ferrata Sentiero Alfredo Benini

  • Distance: 9.5 km / 5.9 mi
  • Walking time: 3-4 h
  • Elevation gain: 580 m / 1900 ft
  • Elevation loss: 740 m / 2430 ft
  • Path numbers: 305, 315, 303
  • Via Ferrata section: beginner

Via Ferrata Sentiero Alfredo Benini is the perfect warm-up day. If you’ve never done a via ferrata in your life this is a great route to practice clipping in and navigating through the cables. 

Once you reach Passo del Grosté you will have to start heading south along path no. 305 following the waymarks painted on rocks.

For the first 30-40 minutes it’s a gentle incline until you reach limestone slabs followed by a memorial plaque a further 20 minutes away. Put on your via ferrata gear and let the fun begin! 

The ferrata runs along the east side of Cima Groste then drops down gently to Bocchete dei Camiosci and continues up below Cima Falkner to its highest point marked with a memorial plaque. From there it’s an exposed but well-protected down-climb. 

The path eventually turns West and traverses underneath Cima Sella then descends to Vedretta di Vallesinella Superiore. Even though I did this excursion at the end of August we encountered a lot of remaining snow on this section.

Thankfully the path is well marked and we didn’t have any trouble navigating it. In adverse conditions, however, a GPS will come in useful.

Right ahead you will see a distinct pinnacle. It’s called Castelletto Superiore (see photos above).  After you reach a fork and a sign for Rifugio Tuckett, where you will be spending the first night, take path no. 315.

It descends all the way down to the hut and for the most part, it’s a sharp descent with some cable-protected sections so keep that ferrata gear on. 

Ca. 10 minutes before reaching the hut you will get to another fork. Path no. 303 will take you straight to the hut. You will be able to see the refuge from a long before though. 

Night 1: Rifugio Tuckett

Rifugio Tuckett Dolomiti Brenta 1

This cozy mountain hut, run by an Italian family offers 115 beds to backcountry hikers. The hut belongs to the SAT club (La Società degli Alpinisti Tridentini) meaning if you are an alpine club member you receive a 50% discount on accommodation. 

You can find all prices and contact info on the official website of Rifugio Tuckett. 

I have a whole article about what to expect when staying in an Italian mountain refuge. It will answer all questions you may have regarding this topic. 

Day 2: Rifugio Tuckett to rifugio Alimonta along via ferrata Sentiero SOSAT

  • Distance: 10.5 km / 6.5 mi
  • Walking time: 3.5 – 4 h
  • Elevation gain: 560 m / 1840 ft
  • Elevation loss: 260 m / 850 ft
  • Path numbers: 303, 305B, 323
  • Via Ferrata section: intermediate

Start the day by retracing your steps from the previous day along path no. 303. Around 10 minutes into the hike you will reach a fork. This time you need to take path no. 305B pointing toward via Ferrata SOSAT. 

After crossing a glacier moraine you will reach the first ladders. For the next hour, you will be circling around the western face of Punte Di Campiglio. For the most part, it’s just a hike with occasional cable protection until you reach the Ferrata SOSAT. 

The Ferrata starts with a narrow gully with fantastic views towards Cima Tosa. At 3173 m a.s.l (10410 feet) it is the highest peak in the range.

There are quite a few ladders and stemples, including a 20-meter high vertical ladder, but the whole route is very well protected and you can stay clipped in for the entire time.

For the most part, you will be down-climbing this via Ferrata, rather than going up. The whole route is marked with red paint marks and both ends are noted with a plaque. 

After climbing up the long vertical ladder you will follow a narrow ledge for about 20 minutes-25 minutes followed by a wider path and finally a fork.

Follow signs for Rifugio Alimonta continuing up on path no. 323. Further 30 minutes along the route you will face a mountain that reminds me of deer hooves. From here the refuge is only 5 minutes away. 

It may seem like a short day, but don’t worry the next 3 days will be a lot more demanding so it’s good to take it easy at the start. 

Night 2: Rifugio Alimonta

Rifugio Alimonta Dolomiti Brenta 1

Rifugio Alimonta was my favorite hut on the traverse and I was glad I stayed here for two nights (the 2nd and the 4th night of the traverse). 

It’s located in a stunning setting at an altitude of 2580 m a.s.l. (8464 feet). Unfortunately, their website is extremely outdated, but a phone number and email are provided.

If you are booking within the summer season it’s better to call directly. Outside the official season, you can send an email. 

Make sure to try their homemade cakes baked by the hut owner. They were delicious and very different from the cakes you normally get served at other mountain huts (usually limited to Apfelstrudel, Linzertorte, or Sachertorte). 

It’s also a great hut for showering! One token gets you 30 liters of hot water. I really had to try hard to use it all! In the end, we ended up splitting the shower between the two of us. 

Day 3: Rifugio Alimonta to rifugio Agostini along via ferratas delle Bocchette Centrali and Sentiero Attrezzato Brentari

  • Distance: 16 km / 10 mi
  • Walking Time: 5-6 h
  • Elevation gain: 710 m / 2330 ft
  • Elevation loss: 905 m / 2970 ft
  • Path numbers: 323, 305, 358
  • Via Ferrata section: intermediate

The weather looked promising as we were leaving the refuge but as soon as we reached the first pass the clouds rolled in and for the next two hours we hiked in the clouds

Even though we didn’t get the views I have hoped for, the mist created an unearthly atmosphere and made for some great photos. 

Day 3 is really exciting but challenging so make sure to get a really good rest the night before. The first objective is via Ferrata Delle Bochette Centrali, one of my favorite intermediate via ferratas in the Dolomites

After leaving the Alimonta hut head for the Vedretta di Sfulmini glacier (or what’s left of it) on path no. 323.

A well-trodden path goes mostly around the remaining ice. We didn’t need any additional equipment to cross it. In around 20 minutes after leaving the refuge, you will reach the Bocca dei Armi pass where the Ferrata starts. 

Starting with a series of ladders, followed by a course of ledges the route will carry you into the incredible landscape of the Dolomiti Brenta with beautiful rock formations. Via ferrata delle Bochette Centrali bears no. 305 and as per usual the whole traverse is signaled with painted red marks. 

In approximately 3 hours you will reach Rifugio Pedrotti, a great place to stop for a break and grab lunch before you continue with the second part of the day. 

From Rifugio Pedrotii to Rifugio Agostini, your accommodation for the night, you have to follow path no. 358. For the first 45 minutes of the hike, you will have Cima Tosa directly in front of you. 

Around one hour after leaving Rifugio Pedrotti you will reach the Sella di Tossa pass. From here follow a series of well-protected ledges then descend down the stemples and ladders onto the Vedretta Di Ambiez glacier.

Once again this is not the Mount Everest type of glacier for which you need special equipment to cross. A good pair of hiking boots and hiking poles for stability will do. There is no crevasse danger.

From here it’s another 30 minutes down to the refuge following glacier moraines. Pay attention to the red marks! Just as we descended we got caught in a big rainstorm. With the visibility down we had trouble following the signs. My GPS definitely came in handy at the time. 

Night 3: Rifugio Agostini

Riifugio Agostini Dolomiti Brenta 2

Another cozy hut along the traverse! It was also very quiet in comparison to the other two! Due to its location in the southern part of the Brenta Dolomites and with great access to many climbing routes, it is favored amongst climbers. 

Rifugio Agostini’s website is available in English and you can place your booking request through their contact page. During the opening season, I would recommend calling directly. 

The hut belongs to the SAT club and offers discounts on accommodation to the alpine club members. 

Day 4: Rifugio Agostini to Rifugio Alimonta along Via Ferratas Castiglioni, Sentiero Attrezzato Dell Ideale, Sentiero Alp. Martinazzi

  • Distance: 16.5 km / 10.5 mi
  • Walking time: 5-7 h
  • Elevation gain: 1300 m / 4260 ft
  • Elevation loss: 1120 m / 3670 ft
  • Path numbers: 321, 304, 327, 323
  • Via Ferrata section: intermediate

Rifugio Agostini is the southernmost point of this traverse. For the next couple of days, you will be slowly making your way back North to Passo Grosté where this trip began. 

Another awesome day awaits this time with not 2 but 3 via ferratas to tackle. Don’t worry though 2 out of the 3 iron paths are very short and by combining all three you will spend a lot less time attached to a cable, compared to the previous day and more time just hiking. 

From Rifugio Agostini, you have to take path no. 321 in the direction of Rifugio XII Apostoli. The first via Ferrata for the day is called Ettore Castiglioni.

Even though technically it was quite easy, there are a lot of vertical ladders on this route so I hope you don’t suffer from vertigo.

Dolomiti Brenta Traverse Day 4 6

If you are lucky with the weather, be prepared to get distracted by the awesome views! The highest point on this Ferrata is the Bochetta dei Due Denti pass (2859 m a .s.l. or 9380 feet). It took me approx. 1,5 hours to reach it from leaving the Agostini hut. 

The descent from the pass involves a short cable-protected section (after that you can take off your via Ferrata kit) and then a downhill hike on scree and rocky slopes all the way to the XII Apostoli hut.

On good weather days, the hut is visible from the pass so you know exactly where you are heading. Otherwise, just follow the red paint marks.

Take a break at the hut before continuing on path no. 304 in the direction of rifugio Brentei and via ferrata Sentiero Attrezzato dell Ideale – the second iron path of the day.

For the first 40-50 minutes you will be ascending gently to Bocca dei Camosci Pass. Once you reach it, it’s time to kit up again. 

From the pass, it’s a 10-minute descent on a well-protected cable route to the Vedretta Dei Camosci glacier. Keep your gear on, because the next Ferrata is close by.

A short and uncomplicated glacier crossing going north, underneath the western face of Cima Tossa, will take you to path no. 327. and the third and last via ferrata for the day – Sentiero Attrezatto D. Martinazzi.

Similar to the previous one the Ferrata part lasts only a few minutes and takes you down a few ledges. We spotted a big herd of Chamois on the ridgeline of Cima Francinglo. It’s not uncommon to see them in these mountains so keep your eyes peeled! 

Keep following path no. 327 all the way to rifugio Brentei. You should reach the hut in around 2,5 hours after leaving XII Apostli hut.

This is a good spot for a second break before the last push-up on path no. 323 to rifugio Agostini. The difference in elevation between the two huts is around 400 meters (1300 feet) and it will take another hour to reach your final destination. 

You might recognize that you have done a short section of this path on the second day of this traverse. 

Night 4: Rifugio Alimonta

Rifugio Alimonta Dolomiti Brenta 1

This is the same refuge you will have stayed at on day 2. There are three reasons I have decided to stay in this hut twice.

The first one it’s because I knew the last day of the traverse will be the most scenic and at the same time demanding so I wanted to be as close as possible to the start of the last via Ferrata.

The other two reasons were the awesome shower and of course the homemade cakes! I even ordered a couple of pieces to take away with me and had them as a snack on the last day! 

TIP: If you can’t get a spot in Rifugio Alimonta, stay in Rifugio Brentei instead.

Day 5: Rifugio Alimonta to Passo Grosté along via ferrata Bocchette Alte

  • Distance: 14 km / 8.7 mi
  • Walking time: 6-7 h
  • Elevation gain: 790 m / 2600 ft
  • Elevation loss: 1000 m / 3280 ft
  • Path numbers: 323, 305, 303, 316
  • Via Ferrata section: advanced

The last day did not disappoint in the views department! We were lucky to wake up to clear blue skies. To make the most of it we skipped breakfast at the refuge.

Instead, I stocked up on the cake the night before (you can’t beat having cake for breakfast), and left right after sunrise to catch the good light. 

It turned out to be the perfect decision. By late morning we were in the cloud and I felt sorry for the people who were passing us, going in the opposite direction. I knew they won’t witness what we did just a few hours before. Remember early bird catches the worm!

Via Ferrata Bocchette Alte is a high alpine traverse, but if you completed all the other iron paths along this backpacking trip, you won’t have any troubles with this one. Only tackle it when the conditions are right though because even the simplest of routes can turn deadly in adverse weather. 

The path starts behind the refuge and follows track no 323. After the first few minutes, however, it breaks away and turns onto path no. 305. The climbing along cables and ladders starts very early with some great views towards Cima Dei Armi right behind you. 

My favorite sections of the route were the Bocchetta Bassa dei Massodi pass, around 1 hour into the Ferrata, and the long ladder leading to Bocchetta Della Valazza with dramatic views of one of the spires of Cima Brenta right ahead.

We reached the second pass around 2 hours after leaving the refuge. From the Bochetta Della Valazza pass, it is another hour traversing along the ledges of the western face of Cima Brenta. On a good weather day, you can look down towards Lake Molveno, close to 2000 vertical meters below! 

The last 45 minutes of the Ferrata consist of a sharp descent to Bocca del Tuckett. From there as you enter the Sentiero Attrezzato Della Sega Alta (O.Orsi) you will face the most tricky part of the traverse – a descent down Vedretta di Tuckett – a year-round snowfield.

Take extra care when going down and make sure to place your steps securely. Whilst it’s not a sharp descent you want to avoid sliding down as much as possible. This is the only time I wished I had crampons but my hiking poles definitely helped with keeping my balance. 

40 minutes after leaving Bocca del Tuckett you should arrive at Rifugio Tuckett, where you had spent your first night! Don’t drink that victory beer yet though! 

From rifugio Tuckett take path no. 316 to Passo Grosté, where you started the traverse! Aptly named Rifugio Stoppani is a great location to stop, celebrate and reflect back on the awesome adventure you just had, before you take the gondola back down to Madonna di Campiglio!

Stoppani hut can be reached within 60-90 minutes after leaving Rifugio Tuckett. Luckily it’s a gentle ascent. My knees were killing me from already descending 1000 meters that day. The pain was quickly forgotten though and looking back at it today I would do this traverse again in a heartbeat! 

How to shorten the Dolomiti Brenta Traverse?

This is probably the most common question I receive from my readers who decide to tackle this route. If you don’t have 5 days, below are some ideas on how to shorten your trip.

TIP: If you would like to adjust this itinerary to your personal needs then use my trip planning services. We can schedule an online meeting and talk about personalizing the trip.

4-day option: Connect the first and second days

If you are a strong hiker you can skip the first night in Rifugio Tuckett and head straight for the Alimonta hut, where you can spend the first night. This will amount to 20 km (12.4 miles) of distance on the first day. The total elevation gain will be 1120 meters and elevation loss will amount to 1000 meters.

4-day option 2: Early exit to Pinzolo

After reaching the XII Apostli hut head on path no 307 which descends to the small town of Pinzolo. You can either hike all the way down which will take around 2,5 – 3 hours.

If you are not a fan of hiking down then descend along path 307 and then 357 to the top of the Doss del Sabion chairlift. Take the chairlift down to the Prà Rodont gondola top station then the gondola down to Pinzolo. This will Once you reach the town you can catch a local bus back to Madonna di Campiglio.

3-day option: Skip days 3 and 4

On the third day instead of venturing onto Via Ferrata Bochette Centrali, tackle the Via Ferrata Bochette Alta instead. It will take you back to Passo Groste.

Shop my hut-to-hut backpacking gear

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Sleeping Bag Liner

Sleeping bag liners are required for hut stays. Duvets and blankets aren’t washed after each guest who stays at the hut. Liners ensure that you don’t come in direct contact with the sheets and subsequently, it is more hygienic. Some huts rent or sell them, but it’s better to bring your own.

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Patagonia Insulated Jacket

Even in the middle of the summer season evenings can be quite cold. If you don’t plan on venturing out of the hut in the evenings, you can skip this layer. I personally always bring one with me as I like to take sunset photos outside.

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Merino Wool T-Shirts

Having a couple of Merino Wool T-shirts which you can alternate and then wash at the hut each day will be more than enough to keep body odors at bay. I am personally a big fan of the Icebreaker brand, however these days plenty of other brands have Merino products in their inventory.

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Peak Design Camera Clip

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Marta
Marta

Hi! I am the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me hiking somewhere in the mountains.

59 Comments

  1. Marta, Thank you for all the time you have put into making these guides 🙂 I was just wondering what time of year you did this hut-to-hut trek and if you think doing it in the last possible time of year (3rd week of September) would be pushing it too late?

    • Hi Rhea. Thanks for stopping by. I did it at the end of August. As long as the huts are open it is possible to do those treks. Last year I did the Monte Popera Circuit at the end of September and we had very warm days and blue skies every single day.

      It is of course possible to get snow at high elevations even in the middle of the summer because of high temperature fluctuations between day and night, but those kind of snowfalls don’t stick around and the snow usually melts by late afternoon. I hope that helps.

  2. Hi Marta,
    I did the Rosengarten and Tre Cime hikes last summer and now I’m hooked! Planning on doing the Brenta this summer. I’m just not sure about the last day (VF Bocchette Alte). If I don’t feel I can tackle it(considering how I did on the previous VF) or if the weather is not conducive, is there another exit strategy from Rifugio Alimonta? Maybe re-trace day 1&2? You mention an earlier exit on day 4, but I would like to compete the 3 VF of day 4, they seem like fun and less challenging. I appreciate your insight, thank you!

    • Hi Simone. I am so glad to hear that you are hooked and that you are coming back for more. Bochette Centrale isn’t as scary or that much for difficult than the rest of the ferratas. It is just long with many cable sections. Yes you can exit from Alimonta down to Madonna Di Campiglio via a different route. You will find the route on the Dolomiti Brenta map. I hope that helps!

  3. Dear Marta,

    Thanks for the great instructions! I’m planning on doing the trek at the beginning of July. And I feel very well informed after reading your blog 🙂

    Couple of questions:
    – Are the distances of Day 1, 3 and 4 correct? When I enter them in outdoor active the distances are as followed: 6,4, 7,5 and 11 km’s (instead of 9,5, 16 and 16,5 km’s). I have the feeling I’m missing something however the elevation gain is the same…
    – Do you know how to find out wether you need crampons? If you need them I’m happy to take them but if it’s not necessary it safes me some space and weight 🙂

    • Hi Nienke. Thanks for visiting. The distances are based on my personal data which I gathered using my GPS. Garmin states on their website that there might be 5% inaccuracy. I do not know where outdoor active takes their data from, but considering how many posts they have on their sites I hardly doubt they are based on their personal experiences.
      As for crampons I did this trek at the end of August and could have used the crampons on the very last day so I’d say it won’t hurt to take them especially since you are going at the beginning of July. I hope that helps!

  4. Hello Marta, thank you so much for the information in your blogs and the beautiful photos you have shared with us!
    We are planning on doing the Brenta trek in about a month’s time (relatively last-minute, we know…) and have a few questions to ask the expert! Firstly, would it be possible to do the trek in 7 days and without any via ferratas? If so, how would that look? Secondly, what do you think our chances are of being successful in booking accommodation in the rifugios so last-minute?

    Sincerely,
    Ieva

    • Hi Leva. Thanks for stopping by. You could possibly bypass the via ferratas but it would be a completely different trek. To plan that you would need a map of the Brenta Dolomites. If you need help planning out a trek I do offer this kind of help. Here is the link to my travel planning services. As for reservations. Brenta Dolomites aren’t as busy as the main Dolomites so if you aren’t going in a group your chance of booking a hut are high.

  5. Thank you so much for a wonderful site, very helpful.
    After vi noticed your site last year, me and my boyfriend went hiking for the first time in the Dolomites last summer, and vi absolutely loved it!
    I was wondering how this route is compared to the Alta via 4 (as we did last year).
    Are the Via ferrattas more technical and exposed? (its the vertigo that is a bit troubling for me)
    Thank you so much in advance!

    • Hi Julie. Thanks for coming back to my site. I am so glad you loved AV4. Now how does it compare? there is definitely a lot more scrambling in the Brenta Dolomites as you have 8 different ferratas across 5 days, but they are all a lot of fun. The most difficult one comes on the last day, but there is a possibility to walk out via a different route and skip it altogether. The views are amazing throughout with lots of spires. If you are looking for something less intense try The Rosengarten Traverse or the Pale di San Martino. Both can easily be extended to 5 days.

  6. Marta what a wonderful site thanks for doing this, so very helpful. A friend and I were looking for a 3-4 night trek. Though the tre cime seems really cool, it looks like the Rosengarten and Brenta would be a little less traffic. If choosing between Rosengarten or Brenta what would you recommend? This would be our first time in the Dolomiti and first time doing VF’s. We do have a lot of hiking experience, scrambling skills, and crampon and ice axe knowledge, but definitely aren’t rock climbers or true mountaineers. If you recommend Brenta, is there a way to shorten the trek above by one night? Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Hi Bill. thanks for visiting and for your lovely feedback. If you are looking for less traffic then the Brenta traverse will be more suitable for you. Yes, you can walk out to Pinzolo from Rifugio XII Apostoli on day 4 to shorten the itinerary. Then from Pinzolo, you take a bus back to Madonna di Campiglio. Let me know if you have more questions!

  7. Hi Marta!

    Thank you so much for all your amazing guides. They have all been a true inspiration and led to a few hut-to-hut trecks in the Dolomites already!

    Quick question: Did you ever do any of the multi-day hikes only by yourself? It seems a bit irresponsible at first to do routes with ferratas all alone but I have to admit I’m considering it anyways. I know it’s ultimately everyone’s own responsibility, but just wanted to hear your opinion on and experiences with this matter.

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Markus! Thanks for your great feedback. As for your question, I only did solo day hikes, but when doing multiday hikes I always did them with a friend.
      I did meet solo hikers in huts though and they usually just team up with someone else along the route, so maybe that would be an option for you? Also carrying some kind of satellite device like the Garmin Inreach Mini would be a good idea. There are spots in the Brenta Dolomites without cell phone coverage. I hope that helps!

      • Hello Marta (and Jasper)

        First off, thank you for your excellent, well thought out and presented website, Great job. I am traveling to this area with my brother and sister just after mid June and we had planned on hiking this route. We have a couple of questions. First off do you think it will be open this early, or is it annually specific as to the amount of snow that has fallen that year or is there a definite opening date? This is relevant both in terms of whether the route is actually passable and also if the rifugios are open. Do you have any advice on this? Also with this route specifically and the greater Dolomites in general, is it necessary to pre book your rifugios, particularly at this time of year? (Had a bit of a language laugh trying to book one there a few years back, I was trying to ask if it was necessary to have “schlafen bagens” ((sleeping bags)) the poor woman had’nt a clue what I was on about. ) Anyway, it would be great if you could help out. Also if you think that this route is out of the question, could you recommend something similar for this time of year.

        Many thanks.

        Jethro

        • Hi guys! Thanks for visiting my site. Rifugio Brenta and Alimonta the first two on the itinerary open on June 17th. If you travel earlier you won’t be able to stay in the huts.
          For the last day Via Ferrata Bochette Alta, I would pack an Ice Axe and crampons because the snow field might be still deep. I still had lots of snow there in August! You can skip the last part by exiting Madonna Di Campiglio earlier. As with prebooking rifugios, I definitely would if your travel time falls over the weekend. Agostini is much quieter but Brenta and Alimonta were busy. You can easily call and make reservations in English. I always did. These days English will get you further than German. Particularly in the Italian Parts of the Dolomites. You can also look at my AV4 guide, Tre Cime Traverse, or Rosengarten Traverse if you are looking for alternatives.

          • Marta, this information is very helpful and we can now continue our trip as planned. Also, obviously we know that many things can be subject to change in mountain environments. I may be back with another question or two between now and then. Thanks again, appreciated.

  8. Hi Marta
    Thank you so much for your article (and the others you have written) – these are super helpful! My friends and I are keen to complete the route you have listed above (if we can get and spaces in the huts that is), are you able to give a rough estimate of costs for the above? Also, what gear do you recommend we purchase (I can see you are wearing helmets in some photos and snow grips), other than the typical hiking gear?
    Many thanks in advance

    • Hi Madison, Thanks for visiting. The rough cost for a hut stay is minimum of 60 euros/per night, but if you also decide to eat lunches or have drinks in each hut then add another 20-30 euros per night. As for your second question, I have a whole detailed post about what to pack on hut-to-hut hikes including what ferrata gear I use. Do check it out. If you plan on doing this traverse in July – mid-August then I would also recommend packing a pair of crampons (black diamond has good ones) and possibly an ice axe for the last bit of the via ferrata Bochette Alta. There is a snowfield that you have to go down on. I didn’t have either with me and it was totally fine but I did this traverse towards the end of August when the snow level was minimal. You might also want to check out my beginner’s guide to ferrata climbing in the Dolomites. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  9. Hello Marta,

    I will be traveling with my family to the Brenta group this August and looking for a 2 night, 3 day hut hike. Something that doesn’t include cables, ladders or serious exposure. Could be a loop, end to end or out & back. We are experienced backpackers and do challenging non technical hikes throughout the Sierras but want to keep it simple but stunning. Maybe in the range of 20-30km. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks, John

    • Hi John. Thanks for visiting. Do you already have a map of the Brenta Dolomites? Are you looking to do 20-30 kilometers a day or across the 3-day trip? What is the elevation gain that you normally do per day?
      Last but not least due to the high volume of custom itinerary requests I am starting to offer a service to help create itineraries for my readers. If that’s something you are interested in, please send me a private e-mail through my contact page!

  10. Hello! This blog is very helpful, thank you so much for creating it. My two friends and I are doing this trip this year. I was wondering does this route access the lago di sapris please? If so, at what point and how much extra time would it add to the journeys?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Ellie! Thanks for visiting. No, the Brenta Dolomites are nowhere near Lago Di Sorapiss. If you would like to have the lake included in your hut-to-hut trip then I recommend checking out the Alta Via 4. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  11. Hi Marta, After a wonderful trip to Iceland this summer, mostly driving with only one hike which was awesome, my son and I pictured a trip this coming summer where we could ‘just’ hike ;). Since he is an athletic teen and I’m an adventurous 57 yr old whose past 5 years included two cancers (good to go now, however, do have some energy limits) I hope to find a VF route that is exciting for my son while manageable for me. This route looks like it may possibly be just the right mix however we have friends who did Via Alta 4 this summer whereby they shifted route after a couple/few days due to fear at when the hit a section with loose rocks also noting there were sections where they felt a Via Feratta, which was not present, would’ve made them feel more secure. I believe, overall, my son and I are more adventerous and would be alright. I was initally drawn to Via Alta 1 but he and I both truly enjoy the lesser explored places and in reading your awe inspiring blog about Brenta Traverse I am drawn to being there. The only Via Feratta type work he or I have done was on a fantastic ropes like adventure in Quebec and a wee little bit on a route in lovely Solvenia’s Alps. When we hike in general we each have some comfort in scrambling (my comfort is greater going up than down but if clipped in I’d feel more confident). If possible, a suggestion for another 4-5 day route which would, perhaps, warm us up to this route – perhaps something more ‘classic’ Dolomites as a means for VF practice – I’d be super grateful. Also, the times in your blog – I don’t know if I should double the time or up them by 50% as given my age I am starting to recognize that the writer is generally in great shape and in their 30’s. ;).
    Thanks for listening and considering….
    Warmly,
    Sheri

    • Hi Sheri! thanks for visiting. Adamello Brenta traverse is perhaps not the best idea if you are under the impression that AV4 is difficult. AV4 is easier than Brenta traverse. Brenta was probably the most fun I have ever done but don’t underestimate the 8 via ferratas you have to go across in 5 days 🙂 Whilst being clipped in always adds a lot of confidence, there are always some sections when there are no cables yet it is still quite steep.

      Av4 is a better choice for practive. What I would actually recommend is starting with Tre Cime NP traverse (you can find it on my site) including the alternative start along via ferrata Strada Degli Alpini, then finishing in rifugio Fonda Savio and via ferrata Merlone. This is an awesome route with some via ferratas that can be done as extensions which means you can first leave most of your stuff in the hut before going out again and climbing a via ferrata without a heavy pack.

      You can make it easily into 5 day route. Simply from Fonda Savio combine the route with AV4 and continue to Vandelli on day 4 then San Marco on day 5 and exit on day 5 to the valley.

      As for times. I usually write walking times in brackets so 6-8 hours. If it says that, then you can assume it took me 6 to hike it 🙂 Breaks are never included.

      Let me know if that helps and if you have more questions!

  12. Hello Marta. Do You think, that it would be possible to do a 1 day trip on via ferrata from Passo Groste to Rif. Alimonta without stopping at Rif. Tucket?

    • Hi Michał! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it is possible to do it for someone fit. It is a full day excursion, but if you are fit you could do it with no problem. The final decision however belongs to you, as you know your abilities best. let me know if I can help further!

  13. Hi Marta, very nice blog you made! 🙂

    We want to do this hike as you have inspired us! Could you maybe tell us if we can rent the feratta gear in Madonna di Campiglio? Or a village nearby?

    Thank you!!

    • Hi Giel. Yes you can rent gear in Madonna. Search for places that are called nollegio (rental places). The set up is usually around 20-25 euro a day. Make sure to get your own gloves though. Renting them might be a bit gross and I find gloves are essential on VF routes. Tip: gardening gloves work pretty well too 🙂

  14. Hello Marta, thank you for the very helpful information and photos!
    Do you have a suggestion for a 1-2 night trek in the region that doesn’t require tracking on advanced via Ferrata trails?
    Thanks,
    Katie

  15. Hi Marta, Your Via Ferrata pages are really useful and great photos! I’ll be following this Brenta route or something very similar (and probably some of your other recommendations) as it looks great, so just a note to say thanks for providing this!

  16. Hi Marta,

    Your guides are a life saver. I am super interested in doing this traverse this week and have it mostly planned, but Alimonta just got back to me and said they open the day after I would need to be there. Do you have any thoughts on how to do the route without stopping at Alimonta the second night? I could bring food and a sleeping bag if I needed to bivy.

    Really excited to spend time in the Dolomites : )

    • Hi Sarah. Sorry but those huts remain closed for a reason. This traverse might not be passable at this time of the year due to snow. There are many gullies to cross where the sun doesn’t melt the snow even well into July and if you are going this early I would suggest bringing an ice axe and crampons with you (and mountaineering experience). Rifugio Ai Brentei is the closest to Alimonta. It would make day 2 shorter but day 4 longer by around 1 hour. Maybe that one already opens.

  17. Hi Marta,

    Such a nice and inspiring blog you’ve made!
    My sister and I have planned exactly the same trip as you’ve done. We’re both in good shape (early thirties) but we’ve no experience with via ferrata.
    What are your thoughts on that? We have hiked before in The Dolomites though, so we are kinda aware of what it’s like over there…
    Thanks in advance! Thijs

    • Hi Thijs. Thanks for your great feedback. I wish I could give you a straight answer but I can’t because I have no idea who you are, what your mountain experience is and whether you have ever scrambled or used via ferrata gear or not. I can only tell you what I did when I first got into doing via ferratas. I chose day routes to ease into it. If it was me I wouldn’t have gone for a multiday route, but chose some easy day routes first to practice using the via ferrata gear and safety. That’s just me, what you will do is entirely up to you.

      • Hi Marta
        Thanks for your reply:) Do you know if there is a shop where we can rent via ferrata gear in Madonna di Campiglio? Do you have any recommendations on where to rent our gear?

        Tanks again,
        Thijs

        • Hi Thijs. Yes, you can rent gear in Madonna. Search for places that are called nollegio (rental places). The set-up is usually around 20-25 euros a day. Make sure to get your own gloves though. Renting them might be a bit gross and I find gloves are essential on VF routes. Tip: gardening gloves work pretty well too. I have my own via Ferrata gear, never rented one, but my friends did.

  18. Hi Marta!
    Firstly I just want to say that your guide is amazing! My husband and I are planning a trip to the Dolomites and we’re using your guide as our main reference – thank you! We’re hoping to tackle this 5-day trek and was wondering if you recorded/wouldn’t mind sharing your gpx file with us? We bought a mini2 🙂 Otherwise no worries, we will try and set our own course. Thanks in advance! -Kim

      • Hi Marta,

        Like many others, I want to thank you for the time and effort you put into your articles. They are extremely well written and beyond helpful, particular for foreign travelers like my wife and I.

        We are traveling to the Dolomites in August 24, and based on your recommendation have decided to do this hike. Are you able to please share the .GPX file with us? It would make planning and navigation much easier. I have sent you an email just in case you haven’t received it. Thanks again.

    • Hi Bart. I loved both. Brenta is definitely a bit more off the beaten path, and AV4 crossed through more of the classics across the Dolomites. Also, Brenta is harder but more exciting with plenty of Via Ferrata choices. Personally, Brenta takes the spot for me 🙂

  19. Hello! Is it possible to make this a 3 night trek by arriving at rifugio Alimonta on the first night? We are fast/strong hikers.

      • Thanks so much! I’ve decided to go that route. I’m having a bit of trouble booming trains to and from my destinations. any suggestions? mainly i need one from Venice to the start of Tre Cime hut2hut, from the end of Tre Cime hut2hut to Verona, from Verona to beginning of Brenta hut2hut, and then the alternate end of my Brenta hut2hut back to Verona 😭 you see where my stress is coming from.

        • Hi Matt. I can imagine the stress. From Venice you can travel by shuttle bus to Cortina D’Ampezzo then by local buses to Sesto to start the hike. Once you finish the hike in Misurina, catch a bus to Cortina and then look at flixbus from Cortina to Trento. From Trento you should be able to travel by local buses to Madonna Di Campiglio, then after finishing the Brenta trek, travel back to Trento and from Trento by train to Verona. You will mostly have to travel by buses not trains. The summer bus schedules might not be available yet, but you can either use Sued Tirol Mobil website or simply google maps to map out the bus routes. I hope that helps a little!

  20. Me again! lol, was wondering if any of the 3 hut to hut huts had electricity. If not i will just bring a bagillion batteries for it would reduce a lot of weight if i didn’t have to for all my equipment!

      • Hi! Thank you so much for helping me plan my trip. After thinking it through and planning a bit, i have come to the conclusion I can only do two of them and have chosen Brenta and Tre Cime. Do you have any suggestions that include more advanced and intermediate via ferratas that could possibly extend the Brenta trip by a day or two? Or have an alternative to somehow shortening the Rosengarten trip?

        • I really just want to see the Vajolet Towers and explore around there a bit if I could somehow do Brenta and then make it over by the Towers. I am just new to all this Dolomite stuff and somewhat pressed for time and am all over the place. Your blog has helped so much, pretty much using it as a base template!

        • Hi Matt in this case maybe consider Dolomiti Brenta and Alta Via 4? Alta Via 4 is very similar to Tre Cime traverse I have described on my site, it just continues for another 2-3 days. Have a look at it. Basically from Fonda Savio hut you can just keep going to Lake Sorapiss and then through via ferrata Alfonso Vandelli and via Ferrata Antealo. Both super fun!
          You can do Vajolet towers as a day trip, The fastest way to approach them is through via ferrata Passo Santner which I have a separate article on in the via ferrata category on my site. Check it out!

          • What would you suggest if I had to extend only the Dolomiti Brenta? My buddy and I are doing Tre Cime and then going to Sardinia to visit his family (have to on those dates for his personal reasons so it kinda splits the trip. main reason why Rosengarten had to get cut out.) for a few days and then heading back to do Brenta!

          • gotcha. Yes there is a way to extend Brenta Traverse. You can extend it by a day by starting in a different spot. Instead of taking the gondola from Campo Carlo Magno as I suggest in my post you can hike up path 334 then 336 then across via ferrata Gustavo Vidi and spend the first night in rifugio Stoppani. Then from Stoppani continue as per post. You could also start in Folgarida and hike from there on paths 329 then 336 and spend the first night in Bivacco Bonvecchio (food and sleeping bags required as it is only a bivouac) then continue the next day across from Bivacco Bonvecchio to rifugio Stoppani across via ferrata Gustavo Vidi. This is the northern part of the Brenta Dolomites. I have not done this part myself but I am just looking at the map in front of me. You could also stay a couple of nights in rifugio Agostini and do hiking day trips from there. I would highly recommend that you order the Brenta Dolomites Tabacco map no. 53 to visualise the route I am talking about. Let me know if I can help further!

  21. Hi! I was wondering what order you would do these in if say you combined 3 of the treks you went on. This one, Schlern-Rosengarten, and Tre Cime. I love how you had them all laid out plus I like the mix of some semi-challenging via Ferratas in there. Thought doing 3 all back to back to back would be fun

    • Hi Matt! Thanks for stopping by. That will be quite an exciting challenge. I did AV1, AV2 and AV4 back to back in 2019 and it took me 6 weeks. As for your question. It depends where you are coming from. I’d say Tre Cime traverse will be the easiest then Rosengarten then Brenta is the hardest. If it was up to me I would have gone in that direction. You could fly to innsbruck then get a train to Sesto. After you finish you could travel by local bus to the start of the Rosengarten Traverse, then again bus to Madonna and then from Madonna travel to Bergamo and fly out of there. Unless you are driving of course.

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