Piz Boè – A Hike To The Most Accessible 3000 Meter Summit In The Italian Dolomites

Standing on mountain summits during sunrises and sunsets are some of my favorite life experiences.

Sadly to get there for this time means either hiking at unsociable hours or bivouacking in sub-zero temperatures and as I get older both of these options seem less appealing with each year passing. 

When I found out about the Capanna Fassa refuge located right on the summit of Piz Boè – the highest peak in the Sella Group in the Italian  Dolomites I knew I had to stay there overnight. 

Staying in a cozy hut, without having to drag a few kilos of gear to the top and sipping wine on the terrace with 360-degree views of the Dolomites is hard to say no to. Millions of stars above your head for a fraction of the price of any hotel in the valleys below. 

Hiking To The Summit Of Piz Boè in the Italian Dolomites

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Where is the Piz Boè Located?

Rifugio Capanna Fassa on the summit of Piz Boé at sunrise
Rifugio Capanna Fassa at sunrise

At 3152 meters Piz Boè is the highest mountain of the Sella group. The Sella massif is a plateau-shaped massif surrounded by 4 famous Dolomiti valleys: Val Gardena, Val Di Fassa, Val Badia, and Val Fodom.

The Sella massif is mostly known amongst ski enthusiasts. During the wintertime, it’s possible to ski around it using the chain of lifts forming what’s known as Sella Ronda.

There are at least half a dozen different routes to the summit of Piz Boè and you can study them all with the help of the Tabacco Map no. 05.  Today however I will cover the quickest and the easiest route to the summit which starts at the top of the Pordoi Cable Car station.

Accommodation in  Val Di Fassa

A hiker on the snowy summit of Piz Boé in the Italian Dolomites at dusk.
Me posing on the summit of Piz Boé as dusk approaches

The Fassa valley is one of the most famous Dolomiti summer destinations offering access to countless trails and via ferratas in the nearby Rosengarten Nature Park, Marmolada, Sassolungo, and Sella groups.

Canazei and Campitello di Fassa are two popular towns amongst tourists visiting the area and if you would like to be close to the action, I would highly recommend booking at least a couple of nights around here.

Below you can find some of my hotel recommendations for the area. If you would like to support my site please use the links below to book your stay (even if you choose different hotels than the ones recommended by me).


Garni Aritz 


Hotel Antares 

Best time of the year to hike to the summit of Piz Boé

The first light on Sassolungo and Sassopiato with the snowcapped Austrian alps stretching in the distance
The first light on Sassolungo and Sassopiato with the snowcapped Austrian alps stretching in the distance

Because of the high altitude, the hiking window for the Piz Boè summit is even shorter than the regular hiking season in the Dolomites, which usually lasts from mid-June until mid-October.

If you are planning to hike to the summit of Piz Boè you will need to plan your trip between the end of June and the end of September. I hiked it in mid-September and as you can see from the pictures the top was already covered in a fresh blanket of snow, at times knee-deep.

If you go within a two-week period on either side of these months you risk running into icy and possibly dangerous conditions. If there is one thing I have learned from the many years I spent in the mountains is to never underestimate the power of nature.

The view from Piz Boé towards Mount Civetta
The first light on the easter slopes of the Piz Boé summit. Snowcapped Austrian alps can be seen in the distance

Shop My Favourite Hiking Gear

Black Diamond Z – Pole

At only 150 grams per pole these light, yet incredibly durable and sturdy carbon hiking poles are my constant companion on trails. 

Osprey Kyte 36 l

Great for day hikes and big enough for overnight hut excursions. Osprey backpacks have been with me from the humble beginnings of this website. 

Hydrapack 3 liter Water Bladder 

Staying hydrated during hikes is very important! I always hike with the Hydrapack water bladder in my backpack for easy access to water! 

Icebreaker Merino Wool Socks

An absolute must-have on a hiking holiday. They are breathable and comfy, but most importantly don’t pick up the smell even after a few days of wearing

Getting to the trailhead

The top of the Pordoi Cable Car station in the Italian Dolomites. Passo Pordoi can be seen below.
The top of the Pordoi Cable Car station. Passo Pordoi can be seen below.

The quickest way to reach the summit is by starting your hike at the top of the Sass Pordoi Cable car station.

The Cable car leaves from Passo Pordoi, one of the most scenic driveable mountain passes in the Dolomites. There is a big parking lot near the cable car station where you can park your car free of charge. Bear in mind when traveling during peak season (August) to arrive early as the area does get very busy.

You can find the current opening times and prices for the Sass Pordoi cable car on the official tourism website of Val di Fassa.

Piz Boé summit route description

A hiker descending from the summit of Piz Boé mountain. Marmolada - Dolomite's highest peak and its glaciers can be seen in the background.
My friend Jimmy descended from the summit. Marmolada – Dolomite’s highest mountain is straight ahead in the distance

Even though at times demanding the route is quite straightforward. In favorable weather conditions, the summit and the Capanna Fassa refuge can be seen from the top of the cable car station.

Starting at Sas de Pordoi (2936 m.a.s.l) the route first follows path no. 627A and drops down a hundred meters in elevation to rifugio Forcella del Pordoi, built right on the saddle.

From the saddle continue on path 627 for the next 15 minutes before reaching a fork and starting the ascent on path no. 638 all the way to the summit following the standard red and white marks painted on rocks.

the sign for rifugio Boé and Rifugio Capanna Fassa
Me standing in the clouds near the summit of Piz Boé

The are a few cable-protected sections on the steepest parts of the path, but not challenging enough to class them as via ferrata.

If you are fit you can reach the summit within 1 hour of leaving the cable car, but there is no need to rush! Make sure to allocate at least 90 minutes to two hours to be able to take loads of photos on the ascent.

The descent is either the same way as the ascent or alternatively, you can hike down on path 638 to rifugio Boè located 300 vertical meters below the summit then take path 627 back to the cable car.

A Tabacco Map 05 will help you visualize the route.

Sunrise the next morning
First light on the top of the Pordoi Cable Car station

Rifugio Capanna Piz Fassa: brief info

The terrace of rifugio Capanna Fassa covered in a thin layer of Ice from the freezing temperature the night before. The view from the terrace onto Sassolungo and Sassopiato
The terrace of rifugio Capanna Fassa is covered in a thin layer of Ice. The view from the terrace onto Sassolungo and Sassopiato

The Capanna Fassa hut is quite unique thanks to the location it was built on. The only higher refuge in the Dolomites is the Capanna Punta Penia on the Dolomite’s highest peak – Marmolada, but the latter lacks in facilities and charm when compared to the first one.

The construction of the Capanna Fassa hut began in 1963 but it wasn’t until 1980 that it was expanded and became what it is today.

Nowadays it offers a total of 22 beds and it stays open from the end of June until the last week of September.

The pathway in the snow leading to rifugio Capanna Fassa
The hiking signs for rifugio Capanna Fassa and Pordoi Cable Car with Marmolada as the backdrop

How to make a reservation at the rifugio Capanna Fassa

A hiker on the snowy summit of Piz Boé in the Italian Dolomites.
Sunset and a cloud inversion below the summit at sunset

Reservations can be made year-round by either sending an email or telephoning. There is usually at least one staff member who speaks English and can assist international tourists.

It costs only 30 Euro for an overnight stay with breakfast or 50 Euro for half board. If you would like to know more about the ins and outs of staying in a hut in the Dolomites, including the meaning of half board, visit the link to my other article.

My friend Jimmy taking photos on the summit. with Seceda ridgeline in the background
Sunrise from the summit of Piz Boé

Even though you can reach the summit of Piz Boè and get back down within 2-3 hours, personally I couldn’t recommend enough staying overnight at the Capanna Fassa hut. I captured some of my best pictures of the Dolomites during my stay there. 

For more inspiration for planning your active holidays in the Dolomites visit my guide, where you can find over 60 articles on photography, hiking, via ferrata, and road trip itineraries. It will be your best resource, I promise! 


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.


    • Hi Leonardo. Thanks for stopping by. No, the lift is already closed and it will reopen for the winter season in December. At the moment the hike to Piz Boe is not possible because there is already snow up there. The refuge is already closed too. I hope that helps!

  1. Hi Marta

    It sounds like there is not a lot of elevation gain on this hike since the cable car gets you a good portion of the distance even though you initially drop 100 m. If I am figuring it correct it sounds like about 170 m of gain. Am I understanding that correctly? In your article you said, “a few cable protected sections on the steepest parts of the path,” Are those fairly exposed and not very wide paths where someone with a fear of heights would struggle? Thanks so much and I love your articles they are so helpful. Best Regards, Jerry

    • Hi Jerry. Thanks for visiting. Once you take the cable car to Sass Pordoi and start hiking you first drop the elevation (around 100 meters) to rifugio Forcella Pordoi which lies at ca. 2850 meters a.s.l. Piz Boe reaches 3150 which means you will need to gain 300 meters of elevation. As for your other question, the exposure on the cabled sections can be intimidating to those with a fear of heights. What you can do is to bring via ferrata gear with you to secure youself to the cables. It can’t hurt. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions.

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