An Epic 4 Day Traverse Across The Rosengarten Nature Park In The Italian Dolomites

The Schlern-Rosengarten Nature Park, Gruppo di Catinaccio in Italian, located between three valleys: Eggen, Tierser, and Fassa is one of my favorite areas in the Dolomites.

It sees much less footfall than other parks, but it definitely doesn’t lack in the splendid views department. 

I spent two weeks exploring the trails and via ferratas of the Rosengarten going from South to North and then back again staying at all the different backcountry huts. 

The traverse I’ve outlined below is the result of my research and has been optimized for your benefit. It spans 4 days and includes some of my favorite beginner and intermediate via ferratas.

Vajolet Towers - the highlight of the multiday backpacking route through the Rosengarten group in the Italian Dolomites
One of the highlights – The Vajolet Towers

The backstory of the Rosengarten Nature Park

A mythical King in South Tyrol by the name of Laurin, who was a rather keen horticulturalists, admired and loved roses to death. He had an expansive rose garden that stretched out almost 17,000 acres.

Unfortunately, it was the Kings rose garden that caused his demise. After kidnapping another king’s daughter (as one does) he put on his invisibility belt (as one does) and ran away through his rose garden. The soldiers, hot on his tail, managed to track him by the footprints he left on the way.

When he was caught and banished from the realm, he put a curse on the rose garden making it disappear day and night. Luckily for us, this curse does not apply to the transition periods of sunrise and sunset and when the sky lights up, red, orange, and pink, it’s the roses trying to come back down to where they once nestled.

After a long time passed the mythical king’s rose garden became known in German as the Rosengarten even though the roses don’t grow there anymore. 

Support my website!

Hi Reader! If you found any of my articles about the Dolomites useful please consider using the affiliate links below (at no extra cost to you) when booking your holiday, or click on the green floating ‘support me’ button in the bottom left corner of this page.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below!

Interactive map of the trek across the Rosengarten group

This map will help you visualize my plan and follow along with the daily descriptions below.

Disclaimer: Whilst this map is fairly accurate and allows you to properly visualize the route. It should not be used for navigating whilst in the mountains. For this, you should buy Tabacco map number 029.

Getting to the trailhead – the Paolina hut

The trail between Rifugio Paulina and Rifugio Roda da Vael with the Latemar group in the background
The trail between Rifugio Paulina and Rifugio Roda da Vael with the Latemar group in the background

If you’re doing this trail from south to north then you need to start at the bottom of the Paolina Chairlift in Karersee (or Carezza al Lago in Italian). It’s a cute town that has plenty of accommodation options.

The chairlift runs from the end of May to the middle of October, starts at either 08:00 or 08:30 each day, and costs 11 Euros one way. You can check the lift info here.

Alternatively, there is a hiking route that begins near Carezza lake. It’s on path number 6a then 552, encompasses 400m of elevation gain, and should take around 60 – 90 minutes, depending on how heavy your backpack is.

I have also written an article about everything you need to pack for a hut-to-hut trip in the Dolomites. If you’ve never stayed in a backcountry hut before, my blog post about what to expect when staying in an Italian refuge, explains it all. 

The reason this route is better south to north is that some parts of it include scrambling along via ferratas and it’s usually better (and safer) climbing up than down. Though going from north to south is also possible, it will certainly require more caution on your side.  

Day 1: Via Ferrata Roda de Vaél and Via Ferrata Masaré

Distance: 7km

Walking time: 5-7h

Elevation gain: ca. 900 m

Elevation loss: ca. 900 m

Hiking difficulty: moderate

Via ferrata section: intermediate

Via ferrata Masare and Roda De Vael
Via ferrata Masare and Roda De Vael
Via ferrata Masare and Roda De Vael
Via ferrata Masare and Roda De Vael

Both of these via ferratas can be done as a loop from the Paolina Hut where you’ll be spending the first night. Once you get to the hut, it will probably be too early to check-in.

You can store some of your stuff at the hut leaving only enough supplies in your backpack for a day excursion. Head out to complete these ferratas before returning to the hut in the afternoon. 

Individually they are marked as 2B (lower – intermediate) and 1A (Beginner) routes so as long as you’re sure-footed and have the right equipment, you should give them a try.

Follow path 539 then 549 eastward toward Rifugio Roda da Vaél (named the same as the Via Ferrata). It’s a flat jaunt and a great warm-up. It takes around 30 minutes to reach the start. 

Once you get to the hut, which by the way makes a great alternative to stay in if Paolina’s hut is full, turn left and look at the ridgeline high above you. This is where the via ferratas run, first to the unnamed peak on the left, then to the summit of Roda da Vaél.

At the highest point, you’ll be able to see far northward into the Rosengarten Nature Park where you’ll be spending the next 3 days. Exciting huh?

I’ve written a more in-depth breakdown of the combination of both via ferrata routes in a separate article. 

The loop takes around 5-7 hours so providing you get an early lift, once you’re back at the Paolina hut you’ll have plenty of time to relax and regain your strength for the following day. 

Rifugio Paolina Information

Opening dates, prices, accommodation options, and a booking portal for the Paolina Hut can be found here. It’s a well-situated hut but because of the chairlift access, does become quite busy with people dining there for lunch. 

Make sure to book as far as you can in advance, especially when traveling during July and August. 

Day 2: Rifugio Paolina to Rifugio Passo Principe

Distance: 9 km

Walking time: 6-8h

Elevation gain: ca. 950 m

Elevation loss: ca. 500 m

Hiking difficulty: moderate

Via ferrata section: beginner

The approach to Via Ferrata Passo Santner in the Rosengarten group
The approach to Via Ferrata Passo Santner

This is an exciting day so pray for good weather conditions!

In general, the mornings in the Dolomites tend to be really sunny with bluebird skies, so leave straight after breakfast and pack everything up the night before. 

Head northward away from the refuge on path number 552 which naturally turns into no. 549. This part of the trail is easy, undulating gently along the western slopes of the Rosengarten Massif. Once you reach the Kölner (Rosengarten) Hut at the top of the King Laurin chairlift, swing a right and follow signs for Via Ferrata Passo Santner.

TIP: If you need to shorten this multiday traverse, consider starting it from the top of the König Laurin chairlift and skipping the first 2 via ferratas. It will cut one day out of this itinerary. Refer to the Tabacco map for this. 

A brief overview of the Passo Santner ferrata is that it’s short, roughly 2 – 2.5 hours, and has a decent approach, but when the climbing starts, it’s really rewarding. The spires and rock formations on the western slopes of the Rosengarten group pose enough of a challenge to be demanding but ladders and pegs make sure it’s never too strenuous.

The endpoint of the via ferrata is Rifugio Passo Santner pictured below. 

Rifugio Passo Santner on the Santner Pass in the Rosengarten group
Rifugio Passo Santner on the Santner Pass

Although the sight of the picturesque hut is incredible, it does come second to the view into the Gartl Valley and of the prominent Vajolet Towers (pictured below). On days with good visibility try to find climbers making their way up the towers.

Below the towers, you’ll also be able to spot Gártlhuette (Rifugio Re Alberto) which is roughly 20 minutes away and makes for a great spot for lunch. It’s much larger than rifugio Passo Santner.

Before reaching the hut though you can admire the reflections of the Vajolet Towers in the small pond (as the season progresses the pond slowly disappears) or walk up to Passo Laurin, named after the Dwarf King with the magic invisibility belt (did I forget to mention they were Dwarves?).

Both are less than 5 minutes away from the Re Alberto hut.

The Gartlvalley, Vajolet Towers and rifugio Re Alberto Primero from Passo Santner in the Italian Dolomites
The Gartlvalley, Vajolet Towers and rifugio Re Alberto Primero from Passo Santner

To continue the route then heads steeply downhill, still on path 542, where a series of cables have been provided for those of you who aren’t sure-footed.  After another 45 minutes (roughly 5 hours after starting at Paolina hut including time for lunch) you’ll be at Rifugio Vajolet.

Another mountain refuge I’ve stayed in whilst spending a week going hut to hut in this park. In fact, the only hut I haven’t visited on this traverse was Rifugio Passo Santner because it was under renovation. As if I didn’t already have a thousand reasons to go back! 

Most of my readers inquire about 3 to 4-day traverses, but I would like to say that if you have the luxury of time, try and stay in as many huts as possible.

Let’s continue with the route. From rifugio Vajolet follow the signs for rifugio Passo Principe (route no. 584). Another 60-90 minutes later you will be at my favorite hut in the whole park! 

The approach to Passo Principe from Vajolet hut
The approach to Passo Principe from Vajolet hut
The approach to Passo Principe from Vajolet hut
The Vajolet Hut

Passo Principe is my top choice for several reasons. Firstly it’s built into the side of a cliff, secondly, its owner is a convivial guy who brings the place alive, thirdly they have a border collie hut dog called Chiaco (I am dog obsessed) and finally it’s where via ferrata Catinaccio d’Antermoia starts. Oh and they bake their own fresh bread every morning! 

If that doesn’t convince you to stay here then I don’t know what will! 

It’s going to be a long day for you, between 6-8 hours so spend the evening relaxing, playing cards, and eating goulash with dumplings. Try and save as much energy as possible for tomorrow.  

Rifugio Passo Principe Information

Rifugio Passo Principe in the Rosengarten Nature Park in the Italian Dolomites at sunset
Rifugio Passo Principe at sunset

Because the hut is small, it’s generally considered the toughest to get reservations at. Try and book this one first and fit the rest of the trip around it. 

Unfortunately, their website (link takes you to their photo gallery), is only in Italian and German but to make a reservation you need to send your inquiry to Sergio & Daniele Rosi (The Hut Owners) who can be reached at They both speak English. 

In your inquiry include your name, the dates you’d like to stay, and the number of people in your group. 

Day 3: Rifugio Passo Principe to Rifugio Alpe di Tires

Distance: 7 km

Walking time: 6-8h

Elevation gain: ca. 800 m

Elevation loss: ca. 1150 m

Hiking difficulty: moderate

Via ferrata section: beginner

The view of the Vajolet Towers at sunrise from the summit of Monte Catinaccio in the Rosengarten Nature Park.
The view of the Vajolet Towers at sunrise from the summit of Monte Catinaccio

After waking up to the smell of fresh bread and good strong Italian coffee, there is one more thing that will keep you on your toes for the rest of the day – a good via ferrata!  Luckily, you will have immediate access right at the hut’s doorstep.

Today’s via ferrata is Catinaccio d’Antermoia. Since it’s a loop there is no need to carry all your equipment with you. If you ask nicely, you should be allowed to leave some of your stuff at the Principe hut for a few hours lightening your load, before continuing to the next hut. 

I did this climb a couple of times in order to get the right photography conditions, even missing my goulash and dumpling dinner! Thankfully my friend saved it for me for when I arrived back.  

The Via Ferrata d’Antermoia is a beginner route that should take around 3 – 4 hours in total to complete. Its highest point is the summit of Monte Catinaccio, the tallest peak in the Rosengarten Group.

From here everything in the immediate vicinity is below you. It’s almost weird looking down on the Vajolet Towers after straining your neck and looking up at them from Rifugio Re Alberto.  

When you get back to the hut, grab anything you left behind and wave goodbye to Chiaco. I really hope he is still alive, he was old when I first met him in 2018. 

Day 3 of the Rosengarten multiday traverse. Heading towards Passo Molignon and rifugio Alpe Di Tires
Day 3 of the Rosengarten multiday traverse. Heading towards Passo Molignon and rifugio Alpe Di Tires
Day 3 of the Rosengarten multiday traverse. Heading towards Passo Molignon and rifugio Alpe Di Tires
Day 3 of the Rosengarten multiday traverse. Heading towards Passo Molignon and rifugio Alpe Di Tires

You will now be heading to rifugio Alpe di Tires. Continue northward on path 11a following the signs for Passo Molignon. 

Initially, the path drops into a wide bow only annoyingly regaining all your elevation on the other side where path 11a turns into 3a. This part of the route should take no longer than 2 hours. 

Once you’ve made it to the top of Passo Molignon, you’ve done the vast majority of the effort for the day. The last final push is a little traverse, then a short downhill spurt, where a few protective cables have been installed (rather unnecessarily) before arriving at the most luxurious refuge in the Rosengarten group – Rifugio Alpe di Tires.

Rifugio Alpe Di Tires information

Rifugio Alpi di Tires. The last hut on the multiday traverse through the Rosengarten Nature park in the Dolomites.
Rifugio Alpi di Tires

Since this hut was renovated in 2016, it has become one of my favorites with a very Scandinavian interior feel, a wide open space café, and lots of light-coloured wood.

The food is to die for and the beds are very comfortable. Something I have learned not to take for granted now. 

This hut does cost slightly more than the others but it’s definitely worth it. On their website, you can do everything from browsing the menu to reading about the history of the hut. 

Day 4: Via Ferrata Sentiero Massimiliano

Distance: 4km (not including an exit strategy)

Walking time: 3-4 hours (not including an exit strategy)

Elevation gain: ca. 400 m

Elevation loss: ca. 400 m

Hiking difficulty: easy

Via ferrata section: intermediate

Via Ferrata Sentiero Massimiliano - part of the Rosengarten Multiday Traverse
The initial gully on Via Ferrata Sentiero Massimiliano

The via ferrata Sentiero Massimiliano starts next to the Alpe di Tires refuge. Although I do class it as an intermediate-level ferrata, it’s only because of a very short section that may be challenging to a total beginner. If you have no problems with balance and heights though, then give it a go. 

The route heads up a narrow gully (it was filled with snow ice when I did it, see the photo above) and then traverses the Terrarossa ridgeline between the Dente Grande di Terrarossa and Terrarossa Peak.

It’s a rewarding ferrata that’s easy to follow and a great way to spend the morning. The whole route, which returns to the hut, takes around 3 – 4 hours. Again take only what’s necessary for the ferrata because you will be returning to the hut.

Day 4: Exit Possibilities

There are now 4 possibilities to end this traverse. Personally, I think the first two heading north on to the Alpi di Suisi, Europe’s highest alpine meadow and one of the most iconic photography locations in the Dolomites, are the best choice. 

Especially if you plan on exploring other parks such as the famous Puez Ödle Nature Park. 

The Alpi di Suisi meadows  in the Italian Dolomites covered in snow in early November
The Alpi di Suisi meadows covered in snow in early November

Option 1 – Siusi (seis Am Schlern)

Once you’ve done the via ferrata, head eastward from the hut on path number 2, after hopping over the Forcella Denti di Terrarossa, you’ll drop into the meadows. It takes around 2 hours to get to Compatsch, where you can take the Seiser Alm gondola (11.50 Euros) down to Siusi.

Alternatively, if it’s after 5 pm and you have a friend with a car, you can be picked up. The road up to Compatsch is closed to public traffic between 9 am and 5 pm and the fine for driving on the road outside of these times is around 100 Euros. There is also a regularly running bus down to Siusi.

Option 1a – Ortisei

If you carry on all the way across the meadows pass the Siusi gondola, you can get the St Ulrich Seiser Alm gondola down to Ortisei (The upper terminal is roughly 3-4 hours hiking from Rifugio Alpe di Tires).

The gondola costs 13.90 Euros (one way) and closes at 6 pm for most of the summer and autumn. This route is completed by first following exit strategy 1 then continuing over the meadows. Ortisei is a great town to stop if you plan on hiking to the Seceda Ridgeline or completing via ferrata Sass Rigais. 

Option 2 – Campitello di Fassa

Another potential end to this traverse is heading east on the access road (path 532) all the way to Campitello di Fassa, one of my favorite little mountain towns in the Dolomites. It should take around 3 hours and doesn’t include any gondolas.

Campitello Di Fassa is the closest town to Karersee where you started this traverse. They are connected by a local public bus. In case you left your car parked at the gondola station on day 1 and need to get back to it, go for this exit option. 

Option 3 – 1 day Extension

If you haven’t had enough of the Rosengarten Park and are confident you can tackle an advanced via ferrata, you can turn around head back up to Passo Molignon, and then complete the Via Ferrata Laurenzi.

This follows the Molignon ridgeline up to the summit of Molignon di Dentro before dropping into the Valon di Antermoia. Refer to the map for this one. You can spend another night at Rifugio d’Antermoia before descending to numerous towns in the Fassa valley, including the aforementioned Campitello di Fassa. 

What to do if you have a group of climbers and non-climbers

The beauty of this multiday traverse is that it can be tailored to meet individual groups’ and parties’ needs. On the first day when the climbers are doing Via Ferrata Roda da Vaél and Via Ferrata Masaré, the nonclimbers can do a day trip to Passo Delle Coronelle.

On the second day, the group splits up but agrees to meet for lunch at either Rifugio Vajolet or Rifugio Re Alberto. The climbers take the route suggested above (Via Ferrata Passo Santner) and the nonclimbers hike around to Rifugio Roda da Vaèl, over the Passo delle Cigolade to Rifugio Vajolet or Re Alberto. You can see the photos from this hike below. 

Logistically the hut where it makes the most sense to meet is Rifugio Vajolet but it deprives the nonclimbers a chance to see the Vajolet Towers from their most picturesque side.  

The group then continues together, the climbers doing the Via Ferrata extensions and the nonclimbers admiring the views or getting a head start. 

the route between rifugio Roda De Vael and Rifugio Vajolet over Passo delle Cigolade
the route between rifugio Roda De Vael and Rifugio Vajolet over Passo delle Cigolade

If anyone has any questions, that aren’t answered in the post, then please drop them in the comments below. I always take the time to write in-depth answers. 

If you need any other guidance on your Dolomiti trip, check out the rest of my Italian Dolomites Guide.


Hi! I am the photographer and creator of 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.


  1. Hi Marta,

    Your website has been so helpful! My wife and I are planning a hut to hut trip in early June. I know most refugios open mid June but unfortunately we’re working with what we can do. Our plan is to arrive in Bolzano on an overnight train early on 6/1, check our luggage right at the train station and hike from 6/1 to 6/3. We’d head back to Bolzano on 6/3 in the afternoon sometime to stay the night before we catch a train on 6/4 to Milan.

    I have confirmed the following refugios listed below are open during the dates we will be there, but am trying to determine the best way to hike. At a high level I was thinking we’d catch a bus/taxi to Carezza and take the Paolina chair to the trail head and hike to Rifugio Passo Principe to stay the night on 6/1. On 6/2 we’d hike to Rifugio Alpe di Tires (Tierser-Alpl-Hütte) with a stop at Lago di Antermoia (is it possible/realistic to do this). Then on 6/3 hike from Rifugio Alpe di Tires to Compaccio via one of the chair options such as Seis Seiser Alm. We are open to Via Ferrata if we can rent equipment relatively easily in Bolzano before heading to Carezza but for the sake of plan let’s assume we don’t.

    1. Rifugio Fronza Alle Coronelle (Kölner Hütte)
    2. Rifugio Stella Alpina Spiz Piaz (Edelweiss Hut Spiz Piaz)
    3. Rifugio Passo Principe
    4. Rifugio Alpe di Tires (Tierser-Alpl-Hütte)
    5. Rifugio Sasso Piatto

    I would love to get your opinion on this plan! Thank you so much in advance for your time and help 🙂


    • Hi Lane. Thanks for visiting and for your great feedback. It’s bold of you to arrive on an overnight train and head straight on a multiday hike.
      Hiking from the top of Paolina chairlift to rifugio Passo Principe in a day is very doable. The same goes for Passo Principe to Tierser Alp via Lago Antermoia so sounds like you already have it figured out.
      You could also hike from Passo Principe to Sassopiatto via Tierser Alp and then exit the next day on Passo Sella. These two options make the most sense.

      I hope that helps!

      • Thank you Marta! In regards to Via Ferrata vs none, do both routes offer ways to complete them if we don’t have via ferrata equipment? (In all likelihood I think we will Via Ferrata to get the full experience but just want to double check.

        • Hi Lane. The via ferratas would be extensions so yes you can hike from Paolina to Passo Principe and then Passo Principe to Tierser Alp via Lake Antermoia without via ferrata equipment. If you did have the equipment with you then from Passo Principe you could do via ferrata Catinaccio and aftet the descent continue to rifugio Tierser Alp. You won’t have enough time to do via ferrata Roda De Vael or via ferrata Sentiero Massimiliano. If you wanted to do the later then I would recommend taking the shorter route from Passo Principe to Tierser Alp.

  2. Hi Marta, I am already planning to do the AV2 in mid- August and I would like to do this one also. Is there a way I can connect the two, part-way through the AV2? Or would you just recommend coming back to do this? I know some friends of mine want to climb near the VF Roda in Sept. , so maybe that makes sense later?

    thank you!

    • Hi Sue, Thanks for stopping by. Yes, you could veer off from rifugio Boè and hike down through Val Lasties down to restaurant Pian Schiavaneis. Then from here take a bus to Passo Sallo and continue hiking to rifugio Sasso Piatto then from Sasso Piatto to Alpe Di Tires -> rifugio Passo Principe -> Rifugio Alberto Primero – then rifugio Roda De Vael via rifugio Vajolet. You wouldn’t be able to do via ferrata Passo Santner, but everything else. I hope that makes sense. Let me know if I can help further!

  3. HI Marta. Your website has proved invaluable in planning what will be my first trip to the Dolomites. It was recommended by a friend who did exactly this itinerary and loved it. I can see that some of the comments suggest that it can take a long time to complete the via ferratas and treks listed here, and as we haven’t done this type of trekking or via ferratas before (and like taking lots of photos) I wonder if we might find it too much. If we wanted to add an extra day so that we had a bit more time essentially to cover the same distances and via ferratas where would you recommend that we stay? Thank you!

    • Hi Kelly. Thanks for your great feedback. I did this traverse personally with two other friends, one of whom has never done a via Ferrata before and it was rather relaxed. However, hiking in the mountains does require good fitness. I am not sure what you mean by saying that you haven’t done this type of trekking before. If you just want to do three relaxed days then I recommend you start with Via ferrata Passo Santner and stay the first night at rifugio Santner or Gartlhuette. On the second-day hike to Passo Principe, leave unnecessary stuff in the hut passo Principe hut and venture onto via ferrata Catinaccio, then on the third-day hike from Principe to Alpe Di Tires and in the afternoon do Via Ferrata Sentiero Massimiliano. Those three can’t be missed! I really hope this helps! Let me know if you have more questions.

      • Thank you so much! If the days are relaxed then it should be ok I think. I have trekked just not do via ferrata so thought I might take a long time. Unfortunately Passo Principe is shut when we will be visiting the dolomites. I see you’ve suggested an alternative below. I’m just a bit confused if this adds an extra day?

        • Hi Kelly. Yes, that was a mistake which I fixed already. It did indeed add a day. Now it is back to 4 days 🙂 let me know if you have more questions!

  4. Hello Marta,

    Your Blog is absolutely amazing, thank you so much for taking the time. We are a couple who would like to do your suggested 4 day traverse in the Rosengarten end of June 2023. Unfortunately I just wrote to Rifugio Passo principe and they are closed until July for renovations. Would you have another rifugio near by (maybe Rifugio Bergamo) that would make sense with this particular itinerary? Thank you for your time

    • Hi Claudine! Thanks for visiting and sorry to hear Passo Principe is closed. What I recommend is after doing the Via ferrata Catinaccio and descending on the other side instead of returning to Passo Principe would be to stay in rifugio Antermoia.
      So here would be the plan:
      Day 1 rifugio Paolina to rifugio Santner, Alberto Primero or Vajolet. (Skipping via ferrata Roda De Vael and instead doing VF Passo Santner instead)
      Day 2. Rifugio Santner, Alberto Primero or Vajolet to Rifugio Antermoia over VF Catinaccio
      Day 3. Rifugio Antermoia to Rifugio Alpe Di Tires (You can do that by hiking or by doing the via ferrata Laurenzi which I did not include in my post as I haven’t done it yet. It’s an advanced via ferrata). Via ferrata Sentiero Massimiliano or…
      Day 4. if you haven’t done it the previous day then Via ferrata Sentiero Massimiliano + Exit.

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have more questions.

      • Hi Marta. Can I just check if you mean go from Rifugio Paolina to Rifugio Antermoia in one day (all on day 2?) or over 2 days. You say Day 2 twice in your post. Have you added an extra day? Many thanks!

  5. I believe that the distances you list for each section refer to the distances for the via ferratas, but could you confirm? Is there a resource you know of to best find the hiking distances directly between huts? We will have a child in our group who may not be interested in doing the via ferratas and from what I see in the comments above, the distances between the huts are short (but with opportunities for possible side hikes/excursions/alternate routes), but I am trying to determine if the km/mileage is within reasonable distance for our group. Thanks!

    • Hi Kate, thanks for stopping by. The distance is actually a total but don’t look at the kilometers, look at the actual walking time. The reason being is that on via ferratas you can expect to do max 1 km in 1 hour, so that’s a slow going. For example on the day when you stay in rifugio Passo Principe and decide to do via ferrata Catinaccio you will have 3-4 hours via ferrata + 2-3 hours of hiking from rifugio Passo Principe to rifugio Alpi Di Tires. A total circa 6-8 hours. Those are walking times and don’t include breaks. I usually get feedback from my readers that it takes them longer because of all the breaks. The distances between the huts are actually quiet small and most via ferratas optional so the whole route is definitely feasible for a kid, who won’t be joining on ferratas.
      Yor question made me realize that I need to update this post to make the walking times clearer. Thank you! let me know if I can help any further.

  6. Hi Marta,
    I can’t thank you enough for your amazing articles and guides about the Dolomites. It really feels like a puzzle that you must solve before you rest easy and you have made this so much easier for us. I’ve read a lot of the comments here already to not duplicate my question. I’ve put together an itinerary and I would love to run it by you for your opinion and its feasibility. We would like to bypass any via ferratas as we don’t have the equipment for it.
    We will be staying Bolzano on Sept 30th and looking to take a bus to Carezza in the morning of Oct 1st.

    Day 1- Take Paolina Chair lift 13 euros up. Start hiking towards R. Roda di Vael, continuing the trail all the way to Santnerpasshutte Rifugio Passo Santner where we will be spending the night. Is this hike too long/much for a day? How long would you estimate for it to take?

    Day 2-Start hiking from Rifugio Passo Santner to R.Alpes di Tires to stay the night. (No Via Ferrata, btw any special way to follow the trails so we don’t have to cross a Via Ferrata to get to our destination?!)

    Day 3- Last day- Exit #1 strategy- hiking to Alpes Di Siusi then taking the Gondola down to Siusi or Ortisei.
    I will look at the Bus scheduling app that you recommended as well.
    If you have any other ideas to make sure we squeeze in everything out of this trip I’m all ears!
    Thank you so much again. I can’t wait to explore everything else on your website.

    • Hi Parisa. Thanks for stopping by and for your great feedback. It is totally doable to hike from Paolina chairlift to Passo Santner passed the Vajolet hut. You should estimate around 5-6 hours for it. You can take a rest at the Vajolet hut which you will be passing. The second day will be comparable and doesn’t include any via ferratas. You do have to bear in mind though the section between Vajolet hut and rifugio Alberto Primero does have some chains installed as it is quite steep. You will be going this part both ways. Up on day 1 and down on day 2 as Rifugio Alberto Primero and Rifugio Passo Santner are a side trip. No via ferratas on that day, unless you choose to do them as extensions.
      I am sure you will have an amazing time. Let me know how it goes!

      • Thanks so much Marta for your quick reply. That’s great. I couldn’t find any way to avoid going up Passo Santer both ways up and down.
        Is there a way to go from the chair lift the other direction to get to R.Passo Santer? From what I looked at it includes a Ferrata passing which is why I crossed it off. But if there is another way I’d love to hear your thoughts on it and estimate hiking time from the other direction.
        Much much thanks again.
        Parisa from Vancouver

        • Hi Parisa. I am afraid there is just either the via ferrata Santner or the route from the Vajolet hut up to rifugio Alberto Primero and then to Passo Santner. Once you are there you will understand why. The sheer walls block access from almost every direction.

  7. Hello
    Thank you for all this info it’s so helpful!
    My friend and I are going to the dolomites in September and are planning to do either this hut to hut trip or the tri crime one. We are both complete beginners doing via ferratas but are both fit and have got a head for heights. We are planning to rent equipment and try by ourselves. Would you recommend one of them over the other for beginners?

    • Hi Emma. Both Routes are great for beginners and it’s a tough question. Via ferrata Strada Degli Alpini is amazing views-wise, but I am not a big fan of the crowds around rifugio Locatelli in the Tre Cime NP hence I think Rosengarten would be my preferred choice. Let me know if you have any more questions.

    • Hi Louise! Thanks for stopping by. I myself have done this traverse at the start of October so yes. Just make sure that the huts are still open. Some stay open until mid October other close at the start (For example Alberto Primero was already closed) I hope that helps!

  8. Hello Marta-

    What a help you have been! Some final questions and we are ready to go. Note that we are 3 fit hiking adults with no special equipment.

    Day 1 – Paolina chairlift to Refugio Vajolet (no via ferrata/special equipment other than trekking poles ) – hiking from Paolina lift to R. Roda di Vael and then on to R. Vajolet where we will leave our stuff and then hike to Passo Santer to get incredible views of Vajolet towers.

    —how long should we estimate to get to R. Vajolet from the Paolina chairlift with no stops?
    —are there any non-ferrata side excursions on way to R.Vajolet we should consider?

    Day 2 – R. Vajolet to R.Alpes di Tires for the night (no via ferrata or special equipmest other than trekking poles) –

    —this seems like a short hike day without side excursions?Are there any non via ferrata side excursions or routes which may give us more time on the trail before we reach Alpes di Tires? Such as Lake Antormeria? Others?

    —alternatively should we head for Alpes di Tire, leave our stuff and do excursions near Alpes di Ttires?

    — what is the estimated non via ferrata time to Alpes di Tires from R.Vajolet without stops?

    Day 3- descent from Alpes di Tires to return to Bolzano where we have left our luggage.

    –You outline 4 exit possibilities from Alpes di Tires in your Rosengarten 4-day traverse. Which non-via ferrata option do you consider the most scenic? If we are pressed for time which non-via ferrata option would you recomment as the quickest descent? We will be taking public transport back to Bolzano.

    You are the best! Thank you so much for your suggestions.


    • Hi Margaret. Yey! Your trip is getting closer. How exciting!
      As for your questions:
      1: Rifugio Paolina to rifugio Vajolet over Roda De Vael should take around 3 hours. Just walking time. Add another 1-2 hours for stops, rest breaks etc.
      2. The thing about the Dolomites is that the hiking trail network is so extensive that there are always extensions possible. I would say just stick to hiking to Vajolet as you still will have a tiring ascent ahead of you to Passo Santner.
      3. Yes you can hike to Lake Antermoia and then circle around to Alpe Di Tires, but this won’t significantly extend your trip, it will just rerouting. Once at Alpe Di Tires you can hike around. If you will have a map with you, you will see some options.
      4. I think hiking across the Alpi Di Siusi will be the scenic one. You can then catch the gondola down to Ortisei. My second favourite would be to go across to rifugio Sassopiato and exit on Passo Sella (part of the Sassolungo Circuit). This however is significantly longer. If pressed for time the fastest is to go to Compatsch and take the gondola down to Siusi.

      I hope that helps and you will have plenty of great time. Let me know how it goes. If you would like to support my work please go to about me page and click on the support my work button! Happy hiking!

  9. Great guide! I am just starting to research the Dolomites. We have 2 kids who would be 11 and 15 next summer. Are the via ferratas doable for kids? And it looks like you can opt out of them (they seem to be excursions from the hut sites, for the most part)? We have done hut to hut hiking in Iceland before and really enjoyed it. The via ferratas would be great to try, but am not sure if they would be too challenging for kids that age (one is an experienced rock climber, the other is not).

    • Hi Kate! Thanks for visiting. I have seen plenty of families doing via ferratas with their kids in the Dolomites. Some looked really young (8-9 years old). Most of the time they were roped up to an adult. Whether your kids will be up for it or not I cannot tell you, because I don’t know them 🙂 Sounds like the one who is a rock climber will have no problem with those though.

      Rosengarten is a great pick because as you wrote most of them are hut excursions. If you don’t want to do any via ferratas look into AV1. You can just do a part of it. At the end of the post I have early escape routes. Make sure to check it out and let me know if you have more questions!

      • Excellent, thank you for the reply! I was interested in this because it seems less well traveled, and the via ferratas being optional and not part of the trail is even better for us (one child is less adventurous than the other!)

        • No worries. Also, check out my Pale Di San Martino traverse. It is quieter than Rosengarten. Rosengarten is quiet during autumn, but not so much in the summer. Instagram created a bit of a hype around the Vajolet towers nowadays. Let me know if I can help any further!.

  10. Hello – Thank you for your wonderful website. We are 3 fit adults who are looking for a 2 hut night/3 day hiking experience in the Scilian/Schlern and Cantinaccio/Rosengarten area of the Dolomites. We plan to stay in Bolzano and will need public transport from and back to Bolzano for our hike’s start and end point. Our luggage will stay in Bolzano and we must be back there no later than Saturday night. We have reserved a spot at Alpes di Tires refuge for one night on Friday, September 9. We would appreciate any suggestions you might have for an additional night at another hut from which we could hike to Alpe di Tires. Alternatively if we stay at Alpe di Tiers on Thursday night, September the 8 rather than September 9, any suggestion for a hike from Alpe di Tires to a second hut for the night. We need to exit our traverse on Saturday for a return on public transport to Bolzano. We are non climbers and are interested in routes which can bypass via ferratas. Thanks, Margaret

    • Hi Margaret. Thanks for stopping by. I recommend that you stay the first night at Alpe Di Tires and access it from Siusi or Ortisei. For the second night, you can hike to rifugio Vajolet and stay a night there or rifugio Preuss which is right next to it. Once at Vajolet hut you can leave your bags and hike up to rifugio Alberto Primero and to Passo Santner to get the views of the Vajolet towers.
      On Day 3 you can hike to rifugio Roda De Vael from where you go further 30 mins to the top of the Paolina chairlift. Take the chairlift down and exit the route there, then travel back to Bolzano. Let me know if that helps and if you have any more questions!

      • Thanks so much for your prompt response. Unfortunately we cannot switch our reservation at Alpe di Tires to Thursday so would there be any problems reversing your suggested route? We would start out from Bolzano to get to R. Vajolet or Pruess if availabe for Thursday night and then hike to Alpe di Tires on Friday, stay the night and then back down to get to Bolzano by Saturday evening? Thanks, Margaret

        • Hi Margaret. No, not at all. I traversed Rosengarten both ways and both ways are totally fine. I hope you can squeeze in the hike to Rifugio Alberto Primero and Santner Pass to get the full view of Vajolet towers. Let me know if I can help any further!

          • Hi Marta – We are back again and would appreciate some further advice. We have reserved at R. Vajolet on Thursday September 8 and R. Alpes di Tires on Friday September 9. Quick recap – we are leaving luggage in Bolzano and need to use public transport from Bolzano to begin and exit our hike on Saturday back to Bolzano. We are 3 fit adults who are used to hiking but are non-climbers and wish to avoid via ferratas. What starting point/route would you recommend for the first day to R. Vajolet? We have read a lot about the traverse across the Alpe di Siusi meadows up to The R. Bolzano as being especially nice. Is it possible to incoporate this hike on the way to R. Vajolet? Or on the return to Bolzano from R. Alpe di Tires on Saturday. Also open to other suggestions you might have? Is it easy to purchase trail maps in Bolzano before our hike?

            Thank you,


          • Hi Margaret. I would recommend that you start by taking the Paolina chairlift then hiking to rifugio Road De Vael and then follow the path to rifugio Vajolet.

            Once you reach rifugio Vajolet you can drop off some of your stuff and continue on a hike up to Rifugio Alberto Primero and then Passo Santner to get the incredible view of the Vajolet Towers.

            If you would like to incorporate Alpi Di Siusi you can simply hike from Alpi Di Tires to rifugio Bolzano (5.5 km – 1.5 hours) and from Bolzano to Ortisei through Alpi Di Siusi. Hiking through Alpi Di Siusi isn’t as exciting as many people think though, because you are mostly walking through paved road. The view is great though, because it is one of the classic views of the Dolomites.

            As for the maps. Sometimes huts sell them, but when in Bolzano just pop into any sports shop (for example Sportler) and pick one up. Tabacco maps are the most commonly used. Let me know if I can help any further

  11. Hi Marta,
    How doable are these routes solo? I am hoping to make a last minute trip mid July but will be alone. Thinking of doing a 3 day. Also what airport is best to fly into for the dolomites? Innsbruck?
    Really liking this route so hopefully I can find some hut availability.

    • Hi Alice! Thanks for visiting. It depends on your own abilities. I don’t have any problem venturing out on my own and have met many people who did it too. Over the years I have gained a lot of experience in the mountains. The routes are always marked very well and there is no necessity to carry too much equipment because of the hut stays. As for your second question it is answered in my FAQ’s on the Italian Dolomite’s guide page. Good luck with your planning! Let me know if you have more questions!.

  12. Hi Marta, I just got back from the Dolomites and wanted to leave my feedback for this amazing traverse thanks to all of your help! First, I’d like to caution everyone who’s new to the Italian Alps/Dolomites that the difficulty of the hikes may be higher than you think, hence you might need more time than the estimate. Plus the scenery is so gorgeous that you’ll stop many times to take pictures and breaks. Our itinerary was the following:
    Day 1. King Laurin cable car to VF Santner, sleep at rif. Passo Principe. In reality, it took us almost 6hrs to complete the VF and get down to the other side of the pass. We ended up sleeping at rif. Vajolet.
    Day 2. Short trek to Passo Principe, where we did VF Antermoia. Great VF and really fun, but again it took us 5hrs instead of 3. Since we already paid deposit at Alpe di Tires we wanted to go there but got caught in a thunderstorm, made it to the rifugio in 3hrs instead of 2. Arrived at 9pm.
    Day 3. Much easier trek through the valley to rif. Sassopiatto then to Passo Sella to exit. Caught the bus to Ortisei.
    For the next couple of days we just did day trips to Alpe di Siusi and Seceda from Ortisei.
    All in all it was an amazing trip. Still, some of the stress of having to make it to a certain rifugio by nightfall could have been avoided if we had accurately estimated the hike duration. I’d say to any new traveler to the area to keep your plans as flexible as possible (by going earlier in the season so if you have to sleep in an alternative rifugio like we did, they wouldn’t be fully booked), and not to fill your days with just hikes, i.e. if this trail calls for 3hrs, plan additional 2hrs for breaks, photos, etc. Oh and get hiking poles if you don’t want to be sliding down rocky screes on the descent.
    I thoroughly enjoyed Rosengarten, it’s definitely much less visited than Alpe di Siusi and Seceda, we mostly ran into locals who lived within driving distance. And rif. Passo Principe is adorable, the owner Sergio was so warm and nice, even phoned Alpe di Tires to tell them to expect our late arrival.
    Thank you Marta again for this guide! We couldn’t have had our trip without it. 🙂

    • Hi Katie. Thanks a lot for your feedback I am sure it will become useful to others. Perhaps I should disclose it more clearly but the times given on my site are always moving times, not the total times one needs to complete these routes. Even for me, there is always a difference between moving time and elapsed time when I look at my watch. It’s usually around 45 mins to an hour difference which is the time I spent taking the photographs. The hiking poles suggestion is definitely a good one. I usually include links in my guides for those. I never leave without my hiking poles.
      I am so glad to hear you enjoy Rosengarten. It’s still one of my favourite areas in the Dolomites and I hope to return soon as I still want to do a few more hikes and ferratas there.
      Passo Principe is also in the top 5 of the huts I have stayed at and definitely the most memorable. The owner is full of life. He used to have a dog there, a border collie. There is/was a huge picture of him and his dog hanging on one of the walls. The dog was still there but it was already old. I would be surprised if it was still around? I hope you return to the Dolomites again one day and try another hut to hut hike! All the best!

      • I have never found the need for hiking poles until the Dolomites! I would definitely get them next time. I don’t recall seeing a picture of the border collie in Passo Principe but the owner did have him as the background pic on his phone. 🙂
        I’m already missing the region and planning my next trip! I know the Sennes-Braies area on the East is famous for Tre Cime etc, what’s another park you like?

        • Hi Katie, The picture was huge, it took most of them wall and it used to hang on the opposite wall to the entrance. It would have been impossible to miss, which means it must have been taken down. The doggo was already very old when we were there and that was 2018! I would be surprised if it was still alive. It was definitely the owners loyal friend and he cared for him dearly. Yes I never leave without my hiking poles! As for your last question. Sennes-Braies is known for Lago Di Braies mostly. The first 3 legs of Alta Via 1 also pass through Fannes-Sennes-Braies Park. Tre Cime is its own park. I do have a traverse for the Tre Cime NP which I would highly recommend as it has amazing via ferratas incorporated. If you are after a bigger challenge then take a look at my guide to Alta Via 4. Another place I really love is the Pale di San Martino (I also have a 3-4 day guide for it) and last but not least and probably my favourite traverse which includes lots of via ferratas is Dolomit Brenta, a rather unknown area of the Dolomites amongst the international tourists! You will also find a guide for it in my hut to hut category. I hope that helps!

  13. Hi Marta! I’ve been reading on your website literally all day!! Love everything and the pictures in particular. Would be amazing if there was any way to ‘tip’ you for your tips hehe.
    After reading this post my fiancé and I have decided to follow this trek in two weeks for our civil wedding honeymoon, haha. We went to the dolomites three years ago and did 7 hikes of the Alta Via 1 as day hikes and totally fell in love with the place.

    I just have one question about this trek- I contacted Rifugio Paolina and they’re fully booked. The owners recommended we stay in either the Rotwand or the Rosengartenhütte. Would you recommend any of those?

    Hugs and thanks!!! 🙂

    • Hi Sofia. Yes I stayed in the Rotwand huette and it’s a nice one. Good alternative to Paolina. Rosengarten is good too if you want to start your crossing with via ferrata Passo Santner, however you can reach it through a gondola so not sure if that would appeal to you.

    • Hi Marta, its me again. I figured out the way to book a night at Rifugio Paolina- so that’s out of the question. Now, the Rifugio at Passo di Tires is fully booked- would you recomend another Rifugio nearby so that we end up our traverse the next day in Campitello di Fassa?

      Thanks so much again <3

  14. Hi Marta,
    Thank you for sharing this information! It has been incredibly helpful as my partner and I plan our trip to the Dolomites in early June (this week!). It sounds like most of the rifugios are already open. We are just planning on hiking (we won’t have via ferrata gear) and would like to spend two nights and three days hiking. We won’t have a car. Does the following itinerary sound reasonable?
    Day 1: Take a bus or taxi from Bolzano to Carezza and take the chairlift to Paolina Hut; hike to Rifugio Passo Principe and spend the night there
    Day 2: Hike from Rifugio Passo Principe to Rifugio Sasso Piatto and spend the night there
    Day 3: Continue circling Sassolungo and hike out on Passo Sella; take the bus back to Bolzano

    We are also considering hiking from Rifugio Passo Principe to Vigo di Fassa to spend night 2 there, but aren’t sure if that would be doable in one day.

    We’d like to have the best views! Would you suggest any changes? Thanks again!

    • Hi Juliana! Sounds like you have it figured out. Yes, the 3-day hiking itinerary you have outlined is totally feasible. Passo Sella is well connected with both Val Di Fassa and Val Gardena. Sued Tirol Mobil will help you figure out bus connections. Hiking out to Vigo Di Fassa would be feasible to if you want from Passo Principe to Rifugio Antermoia and then down. Both options will be quite scenic. My choice would be option no. 1. Hope that helps! Have lots of fun hiking!

  15. Thank you so much for your amazingly detailed posts. Your site is definitely the most helpful thing we have found in planning a dolomites trip. I have one question I would like to ask.
    Due to time constraints of trying to fit a lot of things in 2 weeks, we are planning on doing this traverse in 3 days. We were thinking of still starting with a night at Paolina hut and just cutting out the first day of Via ferratas, so leaving Paolina Hut as our day 1 (your day 2), and keeping the rest the same. Will we get the great views of Vajolet Towers this way keeping your exact itinerary minus day 1? Or was your picture from of them from one of the first VF routes we are skipping? If so, would it make more sense for us to aim for Alberto Primero? We will be there around Sept 5 or 6. Thanks again!

    • Hi Paula. Thanks for your great feedback. Here is my suggestion if you want to make the traverse shorter.
      Start with the via ferrata Passo Santner (top of the Koenig Laurin chairlift), get to Vajolet Towers, see the view and then hike down and stay the first night at either rifugio Vajolet or Passo Principe. This would take ca. 4-5 hours. Day two Via ferrata Catinaccio (3 h) and hike to rifugio Alpi Di Tires (2h) Day 3 Via Ferrata Sentiero Massimiliano (3h) and hike out to Compatsch and gondola down to Siusi or hike across Alpi di Siusi and tahe the gondola to Val Gardena (ca.2 h) Let me know if that helps!

  16. Hi Marta,
    (Sorry for not writing beneath my original thread, for some reason the site wouldn’t let me reply to your last comment). Your suggestions for extensions are great around Antermoia, the lake looks lovely!
    For our last day ending in Passo Sella, I’d love to continue to see Seceda with the suggested overnight stay in Rif Firenze. But trying to catch the bus to S. Cristina to take the Col Raiser cablecar up before they close seems a bit pressed for time, right? Alternatively, Val di Funes looks like a great area on the other side of Seceda. Is there a way for us to start at Seceda from the Val Gardena side, stay the night at Firenze then hike to the Adolf Munkel trail or Rifugio Genova, and exit somewhere that is accessible by bus? Thank you! <3

    • Hi Katie. If you leave the refuge by 8 am you should make it to Passo Sella by 2 pm which would give you enough time to catch the shuttle. The last gondola runs at 4:30 PM. When you are at the top of the Col Raiser I would first recommend dropping off your bags in Firenze (30 min walk from the top of gondola) and then hiking up to Seceda either for sunset or early in the morning the next day.

      However, If you prefer not to rush then you can just stay the night at rifugio Vicenza or in a hotel on Passo Sella and then catch a ride and the Col Raiser gondola the next day. You can also take the Furnes Seceda cable car from Ortisei which is a bit further from Passo Sella but the cable will take you directly to the Seceda and the ridgeline view, from where you can descend to rifugio Firenze. I actually think this would be a better option.
      As for your other question. Yes, You can easily hike from rifugio Firenze to Rifugio Genova then follow the Adolf Munkel Trail the next day and exit in Zanser Alm from where you can catch a bus to Bressanone for example.
      From Rifugio Firenze you follow paths 2 and 3 to rifugio Genova over Forcella della Roa. It takes around 4 hours. You can view this trail on Tabacco map 05. I hope that helps! 🙂

      • Thank you so much Marta! We decided not to rush after Sassolungo, so we are catching the bus from Passo Sella to Selva and spending a night there before doing Seceda the next day. We do want to catch the sunrise at Seceda so we booked Rif. Firenze for the night, probably get up for the sunrise, come back to the rifugio for breakfast, then leave for Zanser Alm. So it’s 4hrs from Rif. Firenze to Genova, then perhaps another 2-3hrs to Zanser Alm, right? We are thinking of going to Bressanone, any recommendations for winery or farm tours? We’d love to try fresh produce in the area. 🙂

        • Hi Katie. Great news and yes rifugio Firenze is great for catching a sunrise at Seceda. I did the same thing a couple of times. To walk down from rifugio Genova to Zanser Alm takes max 1,5 hour. If you are quick you can do it in one hour. It’s a downhill walk. As for your last question, I am sorry but I am afraid this is beyond my expertise. I did a wine tour near Rovereto and Trento, this is a very famous region for wines. If you are interested in wines I would suggest heading over there. From Bressanone you could catch a train to Rovereto or Trento. Both are actually very beautiful and historic cities.

          • Hi Marta, thanks for the suggestion! Trento does seem to be a cute town to check out. I’m super excited to have regional cuisine and hope we can easily get fresh milk/cheese without having to do a farm stay. 🙂

  17. Hi,

    Your website has been so helpful to me while planning my trip to the Dolomites.
    I am really interested in doing this multi day hike through Rosengarten National Park, but I do have some questions for you in terms of logistics.

    First, I we are not to do any Via Ferrata, do you think the distance between the huts are too short? Would you suggest any alternatives?
    Second, can we only rent via ferrata equipment in towns near the starting point of the hike, or can we rent gear in the rifugio?
    Third, if I wish to leave our rental car at our arrrival point (instead of our departure point) what do you suggest? Before starting the hike, we would like to park my car at the hike arrival point and catch a bus to Carezza which would be the starting point of our hike. In the same topic, what is the South Tyrol transport app to plan bus trips and see available routes?

    Thank you so much in advance for your help!

    • Hi Veronique. Thanks for stopping by. I will try to answer your questions as best as I can
      1) Yes if you skipped the ferratas the distances would be very short. In that case I would suggest that you do a different route. For example from Paolina hut hike in a day to rifugio Vajolet (plus add an excursion up to rifugio Alberto Primero to see the Vajolet towers) or hike straight to rifugio passo Principe. Then from Passo Principe hike to rifugio Sassopiato and from there continue circling Sassolungo and exit on Passo Sella. That gives you 3 days/2nights. That’s just one of the possibilities, but to be fair they are really endless as there are so many huts in the Dolomites you can plan a lot of different routes!
      2) I have not come across a refuge that rents the VF gear. You would need to get it from the rental shops down in the valleys
      3) Sorry this was way too confusing for me to understand what you are trying to do. Could you clarify?
      4) Sued Tirol Mobil is a website or an app where you can look up bus connections for the local public buses in the region.

      I hope that helps!

      • Thank you so much for your fast response!
        In terms of the walking distance/elevation, which map do you suggest using to plan our hike in Rosengarten?
        Lastly, if i exit on Passo Sella is it easy to take a bus back to our car that have stayed at the starting point in Karersee?

        Again thank you, this is much helpful

        • Hi Veronique. I recommend that you get the Tabacco map no 029 for Rosengarten and then 05 Val Gardena. From Passo Sella you can easily catch a bus to Canazei or Campitello in Val Di Fassa. I recommend that you leave your car there and take the bus from there to Karersee on day 1, so on the last day after you are tired and just want to rest you don’t have to worry about taking a bus for 2 or more hours. Sued Tirol Mobil is a good site to check for bus connections. I hope that helps!

  18. Hi Marta, fantastic content! I’m going to echo the first poster’s comment on how much of a help your blog has been to my planning. My friend and I are decent hikers but do not have climbing experience. We would love to try the via ferratas in this traverse but don’t really want to buy and carry them in our luggage. Do you think there are rental options from Bolzano or Kararsee?
    Also, how about the matter of water in the dolomites? I have filtration units that I can bring to fill from streams, are they readily found?
    Thank you! <3

    • Hi Katie! Thanks so much for your feedback! It always makes my day hearing that my website helped someone with planning their trip. As for your question, yes there are places where you can rent via ferrata gear. I would aim at Canazei or Campitello di Fassa. Look for places that are named Noleggio, those are gear-rental places. I know there is definitely one in Campitello di Fassa. I also have an article about everything to know about via ferrata climbing which you should check out (category: via ferrata in the Italian Dolomites Guide). Regarding the water, you can fill it up in the huts. I never carried any water filtration system with me when in the Dolomites and I have done many multiday hikes. The streams are actually very scarce in the Dolomites and the landscape of the Rosengarten Nature Park is very barren with very little vegetation, but lots of amazing spires and mountains to summit. If you want to know more about the ins and outs of staying in mountain huts in the Dolomites I also have an article about that. You can find it in the hut to hut category in the Italian Dolomites guide. Let me know if you have more questions!

      • Thanks Marta for the feedback! Glad to know that I don’t have to pack a water filter, making my bag lighter! In terms of logistics, we would like to avoid renting a car unless absolutely necessary. We’ll start in Bolzano and head to Carezza to start the Rosengarten traverse you suggested here. We’re hoping to take exit strategy 1 to also see Alpe di Siusi, which would put us back to Ortisei. Is it overly complicated to get back to Carezza if we need to return rental gear etc? Or perhaps we can do exit strategy 2 that would put us closer to the starting point. We’ve emailed Rifugio Passo Principe for availability and they said the via ferratas are not doable due to lingering snow (the week of June 13th). Is that typical?

        • Hi Katie, yes hut to hut hiking can be done in mid June at the absolute earliest. I have done Alta Via 1 from mid June until the end of June. You should look at the photos to see how much snow there still was in some places, especially Northern Slopes. Via ferrata Catinnacio goes to 3000-meter summit where snow lingers usually until July. To put it shortly yes it is very typical. Southern slopes are fine at this time of the year but you would really have to study to map to see what via ferrata routes run on the Southern slopes. As for your exit strategy since you are renting the gear somewhere in Campitello Di Fassa then I reckon it would be easier for you to hike out directly to Campitello or you could hike from Rifugio Alpe Di Tires to Rifugio Sassopiato (via Alpi Di Siusi) then from Sassopiato to Passo Sella and then catch transport to Carezza. Sued Tirol transport app should help you with figuring out connections but do expect that even though the distance may seem short because of the super windy roads the buses travel really slowly. Let me know if I can help any further!

          • Hi Marta, I’ve done a bit more research and I think I’m going to tweak this traverse a little bit, cutting out the first day on your guide and extending it to include the Sassolungo hike. Happy to hear your thoughts on whether you think this is a reasonable plan!
            Day 1: Start at Nova Levante to catch the chairlift Laurin to Rifugio Fronza, take the Santner pass to see Vajolet towers, sleep at rif. Passo Principe. Is there a non-via ferrata option to the Santner section? How long do you think this day is if done this way?
            Day 2: same as you described, but if we don’t do the VF, the walk to alpe di tires seems rather short (2hrs), are there other walks around, or we could simply relax for the day. 🙂
            Day 3: I’m going to take your suggestion to go towards Rif. Sassopiatto, from there taking route 527 to hike around Sassolungo, passing by Rif. Vicenza and Comici, ending in Passo Sella. This might take 5-6hrs or more?
            From Passo Sella we’ll catch the bus to Selva/Ortisei. I’m also interested in doing the Seceda hike. Are there other day trips you love in the area? We’re bit pressed for time so don’t think we’ll make the effort to see the 3 cime area (Cortina, Dobbiaco etc) as public transit back and forth is time consuming.
            Thank you!!!

          • Hi Katie. Your plan does sound reasonable. Here are a few suggestions.
            1) If you want to reach the Vajolet towers from Rifugio Fronza go to my post about Vajolet towers hike which you can find in the day hike sections of my Italian Dolomites guide. You could also stay the first night in rifugio Alberto Primero right underneath the Vajolet towers. It’s a sight to behold on a sunset/sunrise.
            2)If you do stay the first night in Passo Principe then yes the day might seem a bit short, but there are always possibilities for extensions! The paths are endless. For example you could take a longer route from Passo principe to Alpe Di Tires via rifugio Antermoia and check out Lake Antermoia. Path no from Passo Principe is 584, then from Antermoia it would be 580 > 578 > 555 > 532 > 4
            3) yes the last day would be around 5-6 hours if you went for the exit on Passo Cella.

            as for your last question, Seceda is a really easy day and you can literally just take the cable car to the top and make the day as long or as short as you want. Another really nice hike in the area is Vallunga. You can either just take a walk through the valley and back or make it a long day and hike from Vallunga to rifugio Puez and back to Valluna or exit via Val Chedul making it a loop. I hope that helps!

  19. Hi! If I were to double up on a night at one of the huts your recommended which one would you do that at. I love to hike 🙂

    • Hi Tatiana! Thanks for stopping by. I could recommend that after rifugio Alpe Di Tires you hike for another day to rifugio Sasso Piatto or rifugio Vicenza, and then exit the next day on Passo Sella, where you can catch the bus to Canazei or Campitello di Fassa. If you stayed the night in rifugio Vicenza then you could exit to Passo Sella by doing the via ferrata Oskar Schuster which is amazing! I have a description of this ferrata on my website! Let me know if that helps and if you have more questions!

  20. Your website has been without a doubt the most helpful resource I have found so far for planning my trip to Italy in June! You replied to my comment on another post, which led me to explore the Rosengarten area. Huge thanks for your help already. If you have any more time, would love further guidance!

    My partner and I are hoping to find a way to do a 3/4 day hike/trek/via ferrata traverse June 4-7. As of right now, with the help of this post, we were hoping to do this route (possibly cutting out the first day as you described). Would this be possible in early June from your understanding? Are there other areas/routes we should consider instead? Would also be willing to compensate you for your time and effort if you were interested in answering some more questions and helping with some planning, if that’s something you do!


    • Hi Haley! Thank you loads for your great feedback. It always makes my day! June 4-7 is still quite early for multi-day hut to hut hikes, but Rosengarten huts do open the earliest out of all of the regions, so with luck, you might be able to pull this off. As for the snow, it’s difficult to say. This year there has definitely been a lot less snow than in previous ones, so by the start of June, it all might be gone, providing it won’t snow again. I think the best approach is to hope for the best but prepare for the worst, meaning be ready to turn around if something isn’t passable. Another traverse with great via ferratas is Tre Cime Traverse which you can also find on my website, but in the Tre Cime NP the huts don’t open until the third week of June. I am heading to the Dolomites in a month’s time, for the first time during springtime, and if possible I would like to hike to Lake Antermoia in the Rosengarten group, so I will be able to give you a first-hand report on the snow cover. If you want to help me out, then please use the affiliate links provided on my site when booking hotels or your rental car for the trip. Let me know what other questions you have!

  21. Hi Marta, Wow! What a great post about this trek. Your photos are incredible. My husband and I are looking to spend a little time in the Dolomites doing a hut-to-hut adventure later this year. Based on your photos this looks like there is some rock climbing involved. We did the TMB a few years ago. Would you say this trek is a bit more technical than that? Thanks again for such a great breakdown.

    • Hi Erin. Thanks for stopping by and your lovely comment. I have not personally done TMB, but have friend who did and as far as I am a am aware there is only one via ferrata section which can be bypassed. To do the Rosengarten Traverse the way I am describing in the post you would need a full via ferrata set (helmet, harness and a lanyard). Whilst elevation and distance wise the days are shorter than TMB, they will be more technical. I would highly recommend that you have a look at my Tre Cime Traverse which is slightly easier than Rosengarten but just as amazing in the views department. Pale Di San Martino Traverse will be easier too. You can find both posts under this category on my site:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *