Below you can find the map of Alta Via 1 with all mountain huts, day routes, and extensions marked on it. Click on the button in the top left corner of the map to see the different layers and names of the places.
Whilst pretty accurate this map should not be used when navigating through the mountains! For that, you will require a proper topography map.
For crossing Alta Via 1 you need to purchase the TABACCO MAPS numbers: 031 (Dolomiti Di Braies), 03 (Dolomiti Ampezzane), and 025 (Dolomiti Di Zoldo) either online or in any sport, souvenir, or cigarette shop in the local towns. Even some Rifugios sell them!
Day 6: Rifugio Citta Di Fiume to Rifugio Coldai
- Distance: 15.4 km / 9.6 mi
- Walking time 4h 30min
- Elevation gain: 900 m / 2953 ft
- Elevation loss: 700 m / 2297 ft
Path Numbers Variant 1: 472, 568, 561, 556
This is the original route taking you down to Passo Staulanza then following a paved road to Malga Vescova before breaking off onto a hiking path.
The downside of this option is that you will spend half of the day walking on the side of the road and sharing your space with car traffic. Take this route if you are looking to have an easier day.
Path Numbers Variant 2: 472, 474, 564, 556
The option I chose starts the same way as the previous one but after getting to Passo Staulanza it continues on path no.472 through a forest circling the west face of Mount Pelmo.
There is a short extension marked on the map to check out the dinosaur prints (it’s also well-marked along the trail). Eventually, you will turn onto path 474 and start your at times sharp descent to Rifugio Palafavera.
From here the route follows an old dirt road (564) before breaking away onto a steep zigzag path leading to Rifugio Coldai with amazing views of Mount Pelmo right behind you.
The advantage of this variant is the possibility of restocking your snack supply at the little shop at the Palafavera campground. However, this is a longer route out of the two variants with more elevation gain and loss.
Night 6: Rifugio Coldai
Rifugio Coldai has one of the best-built locations of all the huts you will come across on Alta Via 1. It’s 15 minutes walk away from the beautiful Lake Coldai.
It has panoramic views of the Dolomiti Bellunesi right from its terrace and you can capture a beautiful sunset light on Mt. Pelmo only 50 meters away from the hut! Do you need any more reasons to stay here?
Extension: via ferrata Degli Alleghesi
Stay two nights at Rifugio Coldai and tackle the exhilarating via ferrata Degli Alleghesi to the summit of Monte Coldai. The whole trip takes 8 hours and will satisfy those who search for a little bit more adrenaline.
Day 7: Rifugio Coldai to Rifugio Vazzoler
- Distance: 11km / 6.84 mi
- Walking time: 3h 30m
- Elevation gain: 440 m / 1444 ft
- Elevation loss: 850 m / 2789 ft
- Path number: 560
A relatively short day distance-wise, but it won’t fall short in the views department! You will spend your day circling around the mighty Mount Civetta and its impressive north face. This was another one of my favorite days on Alta Via 1.
The day starts with a quick jolt to Forcella Coldai then a short descent to the lake of the same name. It was still half frozen when we reached it on day 7 of our hike at the end of June. We also encountered a lot of snow in places (refer to photos below).
Once you reach Rifugio Tissi (a great alternative for a stay if Coldai is booked out), you will have reached the highest point of day 7. It means after that it’s relatively smooth sailing downhill all the way to Rifugio Vazzoler.
Night 7: Rifugio Vazzoler
Rifugio Vazzoler was the quietest refuge we have stayed at on the whole traverse. It has a nice garden area sheltered by trees with impressive rock towers, belonging to the Civetta massif, peaking above.
Day 8: Rifugio Vazzoler to Rifugio Carestiato
- Distance: 11.5 km / 7.14 mi
- Walking time: 3h 40min
- Elevation gain: 680 m / 2231 ft
- Elevation loss: 570 m / 1870 ft
- Path numbers: 555, 554
Today you leave behind Mount Civetta and cross into the wild landscapes of the Moiazza range. This was an unknown territory for me.
I have never made it this far south when spending the previous season in the Dolomites so my excitement level was high and let me tell you, I was not disappointed!
Similarly to the previous day, Day 8 isn’t too demanding when it comes down to distance or elevation. It means you can take it slow and enjoy the hike underneath the soaring rock towers. Those who would like to cut a day from Alta Via 1 could combine days 7 and 8 into one.
You will start noticing that fewer and fewer tourists make it this far along the route, but to me with each day passing and the lessening of the traffic, the more special it became.
Night 8: Rifugio Carestiato
Rifugio Carestiato, your accommodation on day 8, has great facilities and even offers coin-operated laundry!
A luxury we didn’t expect to have until the end of the trip! Try and ask for a room in a separate section from the main building. It’s a lot quieter and that means more uninterrupted sleep!
Day 9: Rifugio Carestiatio to Rifugio Pramperet
- Distance: 15km / 9.3 mi
- Walking time: 4h
- Elevation gain: 720 m / 2362 ft
- Elevation loss: 680 m / 2231 ft
- Path numbers: 549, 543
The path from Rifugio Carestiato starts gently down a gravel road toward Passo Duran. You should reach it within 30 minutes. There are two privately owned huts on the pass.
For approximately the next two kilometers you will follow the paved road until you reach a rest area with tables and benches where the first signs for Rifugio Pramperet appear.
Soon you will begin your ascent to the first of the two saddles you will cross today: Forcella Dagarei. After the saddle, the path undulates crossing several scree fields.
The signs for rifugio Pramperet, as well as the blue triangles marking Alta Via 1, are plentiful along the way.
Around halfway into day 9, you will reach Malga Moschesin where you can stop for a snack (Malga is out of operation). From here it’s another 40 minutes to the second saddle: Forcella Moschesin and a further 50 minutes to Rifugio Pramperet.
Night 9: Rifugio Pramperet
We were a bit unlucky with our stay at the Pramperet Refuge. At the time they were waiting for delivery supply and our dinner consisted of whatever was leftover in the storage which meant A LOT of polenta on our plate.
I went to bed rather hungry that night. I can’t say anything bad about the staff of the refuge though. They were some of the friendliest people we met on the route!
Day 10: Rifugio Pramperet to Rifugio Pian de Fontana
- Distance: 7.3 km / 4.5 mi
- Walking time: 2 h 30 min
- Elevation gain: 540 m / 1772 ft
- Elevation loss: 745 m / 2444 ft
- Path number: 514
Along with day 3 and day 7 of Alta Via 1, day 10 was another one of my favorites. We intentionally skipped breakfast at rifugio Pramperet and ordered a couple of sandwiches to go. We also settled our bill the night before, woke up at 5 AM, and with our bags already packed we set off shortly after just when it started to get light.
The reason we did that is that we decided to walk all the way to La Pissa in 10 days. This was quite a demanding day for us with over 26 kilometers (16 miles) and 2000 meters (6500 feet) of elevation loss.
If you are not in a rush I highly recommend staying in the Pian de Fontana refuge first because this part of Alta Via 1 deserves to be taken slowly.
Thanks to the amazing light conditions the views between Rifugio Pramperet and Rifugio Pian de Fontana whilst crossing the rugged Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park were jaw-dropping.
There is a very short and narrow scrambling section on the last push to Forcella de Zita Sud. Don’t miss the 10-minute detour to the nearby Summit of Cima di Zita sud for even more extensive views.
To me, the most demanding part of the hike was the descent to the Pian de Fontana refuge. It’s a real knee buster, so steep in places that it justifies the warning sign at the start of the descent asking hikers to take extra care!
Night 10: Rifugio Pian de Fontana
We made it to the Pian de Fontana refuge around 8 AM just in time for breakfast! It’s a lovely little place consisting of a few old shepherd huts converted into a mountain refuge with very rustic decor.
Make sure to write down the bus schedule for La Pissa to time your next day accordingly!
Day 11: Rifugio Pian de Fontana to La Pissa
- Distance: 19 km / 11.8 mi
- Walking time: 4h 30min
- Elevation gain: 300 m / 984 ft
- Elevation loss: 1400 m / 4593 ft
- Path numbers: 514, 518, 503
If you decide to overnight at Rifugio Pian de Fontana your last day won’t be as demanding as it was for us.
The day starts with a drop through a forest to a stream followed by an hour-long (and ca 300 meters in elevation gain) jaunt to Forcella Varetta. From the saddle, you will traverse along a trail below Cime de La Scala, with Monte Schiara rising to your right.
Once you reach a junction the path splits with clear signs for Rifugio Bianchet, the direction you will be following for the next hour.
This is the last refuge on Alta Via 1. My dad and I stopped here for a longer break and a celebratory beer knowing that in a couple of hours, we will reach the end of the route!
From Rifugio Blanchet you will follow a gravel road leading through the forest, with a few clearings in between, all the way to the bus stop! As we walked further and continued dropping the elevation the temperature kept rising. We finished the hike at around 2 PM on June 27th in 40-degree (Celcius) heat! Talk about commitment!
A list of all mountain huts along Alta Via 1
If you are planning to hike Alta Via 1 this list of most mountain huts along the route will come in really handy.
If this will be your first time staying in an Italian refuge make sure to check out my other article about everything you need to know before staying in a mountain hut in the Dolomites. It includes information about alpine club memberships, how to make reservations, the meaning of ‘half-board’, and much more.
The huts in bold underlined letters are the ones I have stayed at myself when hiking Alta via 1.
|Mountain hut||Phone Number||CAI Member||Showers||Credit/Debit CardsAccepted|
|Rifugio Biellafirstname.lastname@example.org||+39 0436 866 991||Yes||No||No|
|Rifugio Sennesemail@example.com||+39 0474 646 355||No||Yes|
|Rifugio Fannesfirstname.lastname@example.org||+39 0474 501 097||No||Yes||No|
|Rifugio Lavarellaemail@example.com||+39 0474 501 094||No||Yes|
|Rifugio Lagazuoi||Reservation system||+39 0436 867 303||No||Yes||Yes|
|Rifugio Averau||Reservation system||+39 0436 4660||No||Yes||Yes|
|Rifugio Nuvolaufirstname.lastname@example.org||+39 0436 867 938||Yes||No||No|
|Rifugio Citta di Fiumeemail@example.com||+39 320 037 7432||Yes||No||Yes|
|Rifugio Coldaifirstname.lastname@example.org||+39 0437 789 160||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rifugio Tissiemail@example.com||+39 0437 721 644||Yes|
|Rifugio Vazzolerfirstname.lastname@example.org||+39 0437 660 008||Yes||No|
|Rifugio Carestiatioemail@example.com||+39 0437 629 49||Yes||Yes|
|Rifugio Pramperetfirstname.lastname@example.org||+39 0437 195 6153||Yes||Yes||No|
|Rifugio Pian de Fontanaemail@example.com||+39 335 609 6819||Yes||No|
Possible early escape routes on Alta Via 1
Not everyone is up for trekking the whole distance of Alta Via 1. I get it. 11 days of dragging your backpack over mountain passes day after day is quite a challenge for the body. The good news is you don’t have to do the whole route if you don’t want to or simply don’t have time.
You can join or leave at any of the points enlisted below! All locations are served by the local Dolomiti bus running throughout the summer season and you can ask for the schedule at the last refuge where you will be staying or check on google maps.
Hitchhiking also seems to work quite well in the Dolomites and I did catch a ride with strangers on a few occasions.
For your convenience I have linked to accommodation options in each town should you need a rest before continuing your journey.
Day 3: Passo Falzarego
After completing the route on day 3 you can catch the gondola down to Passo Falzarego and get the Dolomiti bus to Cortina D’Ampezzo.
Day 4: Passo Giau
Instead of staying overnight at Rifugio Averau you can continue for another 1,5 hours to Passo Giau and catch the local bus to Cortina D’Ampezzo.
Day 5: Passo Staulanza
After getting to Rifugio Citta di Fiume on day 5 you can walk a further 1h 15 mins to Passo Staulanza from where you can catch the bus to Selva Di Cadore or Forno di Zoldo.
Day 7: Alleghe
Stay the 6th night at Rifugio Coldai (it would be a shame to miss out on those views) then retrace part of the route from the previous day and hike to the top of the Col Dei Baldi gondola. This will take ca 1h30min. The gondola will take you down to the beautiful town of Alleghe.
Day 7 or 8: Listolade
After an optional night at Rifugio Vazzoler take gravel road no.555 towards Rifugio Capanna Trieste then to Listolade. From Listolade catch a local bus to Agordo. This route takes approximately 2,5 hours.
Day 8 or 9: Agordo
Stay the night at Rifugio Carestatio (optional) then follow path no.548 from the hut all the way to Agordo (2,5 hours).
Day 9 (option 2): Forno Di Zoldo
Once reaching the old military barracks at Forcella Moschesin take path no.540 to descent through the Balanzola valley to Forno di Zoldo (2,5 hours)
Shop my hut-to-hut backpacking gear
Osprey 30+ Liter Backpack
30-40 liter backpack should be more than enough to pack everything you need for a hut-to-hut trip in the Dolomites with plenty of room for water and snacks. If you can’t fit in, it means you are overpacking. I am a huge fan of Osprey backpacks and they have plenty of options in this storage volume range to choose from.
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.
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.
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.
Merino Wool Socks
I always carry 2 pairs of socks in my backpack and one on me during multiday backpacking trails. Merino wool fibers and their unique properties are resistant to odors. Merino wool socks also prevent getting blisters as opposed to cotton socks.
Peak Design Camera Clip
A must-have for any mountain photography enthusiast who is tired of carrying a camera around their neck. The peak design capture clip allows you to attach your camera to a backpack strap. That way you don’t have to take your backpack off and take your camera out every time you want to take a photo. You will always have it handy.
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Other backpacking trip ideas in the Italian Dolomites
- 3-5-day Rosengarten Traverse
- 3-4- day Tre Cime National Park Traverse
- 2-4-day Pale Di San Martino Traverse
- 3-5-day Adamello Brenta Dolomites Traverse
- Alta Via 4 (6 days)
- Alta Via 2 (14 days)
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