Backpacking In The Italian Dolomites: A 4 Day Hut To Hut Excursion Across Tre Cime National Park

The Dolomiti park I get asked most frequently about is Tre Cime. People flock from all corners of the globe to see the 3 grand monoliths – the most famous feature of the park.

What most don’t realize however is that although the Three Peaks are spectacular, there are other mountains in the park such as Croda Dei Toni, Tre Scarperi, or Cadini di Misurina (just to name a few), that in my eyes are even more dramatic. 

This 4-day / 3-night north-to-south traverse of Tre Cime National Park will not only give you the opportunity to see them all but also tackle several fantastic via ferratas along the way.

If this wasn’t enough, you will also get the opportunity to stay in 3 out of 15 of the most photogenic mountain huts in the Italian Dolomites

Rifugio Locatelli, Monte Paterno and the Three Peaks lighting up red at sunset after a late summer snowfall.
Rifugio Locatelli, Monte Paterno, and the Three Peaks at sunset after a late summer snowfall.

An interactive map of the Tre Cime multiday traverse

Although this map is pretty accurate and will help you visualize and plan your route, it should not be used to navigate in the mountains.

The Sesto region of the Dolomites (which contains Tre Cime Nature Park) is detailed in Tabacco Map No. 10. I strongly suggest you purchase it and highlight the route on the map following the suggestions from my article. 

The route is achievable between mid-June and the last week of September. Don’t forget that being in the mountains means you can expect snowfall even in the height of summer. I took some of the pictures in this post in August! 

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Day 1: Val Fiscalina to Rifugio Pian di Cengia

Distance: 8.5 km / 5.3 mi

Walking time: 3-4 h

Elevation gain: ca. 1000 m / 3280 ft

Trail difficulty: moderate

The path through Fiscalina Valley between Hotel Dolomitenhof and Talschluss hut
The path through Fiscalina Valley between Hotel Dolomitenhof and Talschluss hut

As the first days go it doesn’t get much easier than this, only a mere 1100m of elevation gain! I hope you get my sarcasm. The route starts at hotel Dolomitenhof, the furthest south you can get into the Fiscalina valley by car or by bus. 

The biggest towns nearby are either Sesto (Sexten) (an 8-minute drive away) or San Candido (a 15-minute drive away). If you want to make an early start, however, I recommend splurging on the fancy hotel Dolomitenhof before 3 less luxurious nights in the high alpine huts.

There is an ample parking lot next to the hotel where you can park your car overnight. The cost is 8 Euro/day and you will need cash to pay for it. Sorry, no campervans! This traverse does not end in the same spot where it begins, but you can use public transport to get back to the start.

Personally, I always prefer to do the relocation before I begin the hike. If you are coming with a car then park it at Lago Antorno, where this backpacking trip ends then catch the bus to Sesto to begin the hike. That way your car will be waiting for you when you finish the traverse. 

A hiker walking through Fiscalina valley towards Croda Dei Toni and Zsigmondy hut in the Italian Dolomites
Me hiking through Fiscalina valley towards Croda Dei Toni and Zsigmondy hut

The path starts as an easy stroll through the valley. Head south on path no. 102 from hotel Dolomitenhof. It’s a wide-access road that hugs the side of many large fields.   

After around twenty minutes of continually touching the old river bed (and thankfully not being on the access road any longer), the route gets to the Talschlusshuette, the first refuge along the way. 

The route then swings past the hut and turns right onto path no. 103. You may have noticed some switchbacks on the mountain in front of you, that’s where you’re heading. These grueling switchbacks, which have intermittent protection from the sun, help you gain most of the elevation of the day.

Thankfully though, the views back north into the valley become increasingly better so if you need an excuse to take a rest, a photography break will make for one.

Eventually, you’ll round a corner and see, for the first time, the unobstructed view of Croda Dei Toni (Zwölferkofel in German).

Zwölf in German means 12 so as you can probably guess by now, the mountain is called Zwölferkofel because it has 12 separate peaks, much like the Dreizinnen (Tre Cime) which has 3 distinct peaks (Drei in German means three). German and Italian are the official languages of the Dolomites and you will often see signs in both languages. 

After around 2 – 3 hours you will gain over 700m and be on the doorstep of Rifugio Zsigmondy (Comici Hütte)

Backpacking across the Tre Cime National Park in the Italian Dolomites with Croda Dei Toni at sunrise.
Croda Dei Toni (Zwölferkofel) at sunrise

This is a great stop to grab a coffee and cake and enjoy it on the terrace of the hut with unobstructed views of the Zwölferkofel.

After the break continues uphill on path no. 101 for approx. another hour until you reach Rifugio Pian di Cengia (Büllelejochhütte). Your first night accommodation on this epic traverse. 

Day 1: Alternative route: Via ferrata Strada Degli Alpini

Distance: 12 km / 7.5 mi*

Walking time: 5-6 h*

Via ferrata type: beginner

Elevation gain: 900 m / 2950 ft*

Elevation loss: 300 m / 984 ft*

  • *All counted from the upper chairlift terminal
A hike traversing along the via ferrata Strada Degli Alpini in the Tre Cime NP in the Italian Dolomites with Croda dei Toni in the background
Via Ferrata Strada Degli Alpini can be used as an alternative approach to rifugio Zsigmundy

A high alpine route that runs parallel to the one described above is the beginner via ferrata Strada Degli Alpini. The link takes you to my other article describing the route in reverse. 

This is an alternate approach with even more scenic views and not to mention a great warm-up to the upcoming via ferratas. 

It starts at the top of the Croda Rossa Chairlift near rifugios Rudi and Prati di Croda Rossa.  Head away from the two huts on path no. 100 until you reach the Valon di Sentinella before a steep push on a scree slope to Forcella Undici on path no. 124. The route then undulates on path no 101, mostly downhill until you reach the protected section of the via ferrata. 

The cable section is straightforward and the main highlight is the Ledge of Salvation. The route then bends westward passing Lago d’Ghiaacciato and the scree slope directly beneath Zwölferkofel before dropping slightly to Rifugio Zsigmondy, where it joins the route described above. From here you can continue to rifugio Pian Di Cengia.

It’s best to refer to the Tabacco Map nr 010 to visualize it. 

Day 1: Extension to Mitti di Mezzo

Distance: 2 km / 1.2 mi

Walking time: 1 h

Elevation gain: ca. 150 m / 500 ft

Trail difficulty: moderate

Mitti Di Mezzo summit in the Tre Cime National Park at sunrise
Mitti Di Mezzo summit at sunrise

If you’ve set off early and have a bit of spare time in the afternoon, behind rifugio Pian di Cengia starts the route to the summit of Mitti di Mezzo.

It doesn’t take long, but on a decent day, you can spend ages at the top looking down into the Fiscalina Valley you’ve just hiked up or into the Sassovecchio Valley which branches of it. 

If you decide to look at eye level instead you’ll have Tre Cime to the South West, Tre Scarperi to the North West, Zwölferkofel to the South, and Croda Rossa to the East. 

The best part is, I have never seen another person (who wasn’t in my hiking group) at this viewpoint! We had the whole place to ourselves!

Night 1: Rifugio Pian di cengia (Büllelejochhütte)

Pian di Cengia hut at sunrise with Croda Dei Toni in the background
Pian di Cengia hut at sunrise with Croda Dei Toni in the background

This is a beautifully situated albeit very small refuge with super friendly staff and cozy atmosphere. On their website, you can find prices and other info. To make a reservation, send your inquiries to

If it’s full then rifugio Zsigmundy makes a great alternative. You can make inquiries through their booking page. 

Day 2: Rifugio Pian di Cengia to Rifugio Locatelli along via ferrata Innerkofler

Distance: 3.5 km / 2.17 mi

Walking time: 2-3 h

Via ferrata type: beginner

Elevation gain: ca. 370 m / 1213 ft

Elevation loss: ca. 470 m / 1542 ft

The remains of the World War I trenches in the Tre Cime National Park
The remains of the World War I trenches in the Tre Cime National Park

After leaving rifugio Pian di Cengia the hike continues northwestward on path no. 101 towards Forcella Pian di Cengia. Here the route splits and you will be faced with two choices.

The first one is to continue on path 101 all the way to rifugio Locatelli. The refuge is only 1-hour walk away from the Pian di Cengia hut. Choose this option if you are feeling tired from the previous day or don’t want to do two via ferratas in one day. 

The second one, which I personally recommend is taking the high alpine route that runs parallel to path no.101 and tackling the via ferrata Innerkofler with the summit extension to Monte Paterno. This option will take 2-3 hours depending on your fitness level. 

Via ferrata Innerkofler, also known as via ferrata De Luca, is drenched in WW1 history. From Forcella Pian Di Cengia you will need to head towards Forcella dei Laghi then Forcella Camoscio. If you were wondering the meaning of the word Forcella it is the saddle. 

A hiker on the summit of Monte Paterno with Tre Cime in the background
Me on the summit of Monte Paterno with Tre Cime in the background

After scaling a few protected ledges, the route to the top of Monte Paterno becomes available. It’s a wide summit that is attained by a few switchbacks on a well-trodden scree path. 

The views at the top are terrible and not worth visiting. Just kidding! I sometimes run out of adjectives to describe the beauty of the Dolomites! 

After checking out the summit you will have to descend back down to Forcella Camiosco and then follow the signs for rifugio Locatelli. You will also cross a couple of hundred meters of tunnel network created by the soldiers during World War I. It’s a surreal place! 

I have a separate article describing via ferrata Innerkofler starting at rifugio Locatelli and ending at Forcella Lavaredo, but since you will be coming from a different direction I highly recommend that you look for the route on the Tabacco Map nr 010. 

Entension Day 2: Via Ferrata Torre di Toblin

Distance: 2 km / 1.2 mi

Walking time: 1.5 – 2 h

Elevation gain/loss: ca. 200 m / 650 ft

Via ferrata type: intermediate

Torre Di Toblin (The Tower of Toblin)
Me climbing a ladder to the summit of Torre di Toblin

In the afternoon, once you’ve seen all the sights in the immediate vicinity of the Locatelli hut, your next challenge is via ferrata Torre di Toblin.

It’s not an easy climb but with some steady feet and a lack of fear of heights, it’s attainable even for those who are just beginning their adventure with Italian via ferratas.

I think the main thing people have trouble with on this route is exposure. In one particular section, you have to climb a ladder on a rocky cleft, with a decent fall below you (see the photo above of me clinging to that ladder).

Climbing a secure ladder is easy under normal circumstances but when it’s cold, windy and icy dangling above a 100m drop becomes somewhat mentally tougher. 

The true route goes clockwise around Torre di Toblin and ascends its northern side. Although it’s certainly possible, please do not try to descend down this way, it’ll just cause unnecessary traffic jams.

The descent on Torre di Toblin’s eastern face is much easier climbing and of a far shallower grade. It’s generally accepted that this route can also be done as the ascent and descent as there are multiple safe places to pass groups going in the other direction (unlike the north face).

I’ve been to the summit a few times, I even bivouacked up there once! The view is outstanding! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. For more please visit my in-depth article about the via ferrata Torre di Toblin available in the via ferrata section of my Italian Dolomites Guide. 

Night 2: Rifugio Locatelli (Dreizinnenhütte)

Rifugio Locatelli and cloud covered Monte Paterno in the late afternoon sun at the end of August
Rifugio Locatelli and cloud-covered Monte Paterno in the late afternoon sun at the end of August

This is the toughest rifugio to get reservations at. It’s a big but very sought-after hut so make a reservation here first and then plan the trip accordingly. If it’s full, then there’s a good argument to stay 2 nights at Rifugio Pian di Cengia and do your exploring from there.

The website of rifugio Locatelli is very basic, but they do have an English section!  Their contact emails are / It strictly states that if you do not include your name, full postal address, telephone number, and email address you will not get a response. 

The hut is Club Alpino Italiano affiliated so anybody with a membership (or a reciprocal climbing membership in their country of origin) will receive discounts. 

The terrace of rifugio Locatelli has a view of the northern faces of Tre Cime. Their stark flat slabs raise more than 600m above! You can often spot climbers scaling the faces of these monoliths.

Near the hut, you can find interesting rock formations, flowers, and pools of water that make for excellent photography foregrounds. The famous WW1 cave, which I’ve highlighted on the map, is also a ten-minute stroll away on the slopes of Sasso di Sesto. 

If you’ve never stayed in an Italian refuge before you might find my article on what to expect when staying in a hut in the Dolomites very useful. I touch up on topics such as reservations, food, opening times, and prices as well as alpine club memberships. 

Day 3: Rifugio Locatelli to Rifugio Fonda Savio

Distance: 12.5 km / 7.8 mi

Walking time: 4h 30min

Via ferrata type: beginner

Elevation gain: 685 m / 2250 ft

Elevation loss: 720 m / 2360 ft

Leaving the Locatelli hut
The instafamous viewpoint of Cadini di Misurina in the Tre Cime NP
Along the via ferrata Sentiero Bonacossa
Along the via ferrata Sentiero Bonacossa

When leaving rifugio Locatelli on the third day of the traverse you will once again be faced with a choice. 

You can either circle the Three Peaks clockwise crossing the famous Forcella Lavaredo – one of the most iconic views in the Dolomites or go around the Tre Cime counterclockwise following the Alta Via 4 route for the day. Distance wise both ways are roughly the same and will lead you to the same spot – rifugio Auronzo. 

The route then heads south on Sentierro Bonacossa (path 117).  

For the most part, Sentiero Bonacossa is a hike with a short downhill cable-protected section in the middle.

It has a Fletcher/Smith climbing rating of 1A, the technically simplest, most unexposed route. I would still however recommend putting on your via ferrata equipment. In the mountains always follow the rule – better to be safe than sorry! 

The frustrating part is that when you do go down the cabled section into the Val De Le Cianpedele, you lose a lot of elevation only to gain it all again on the last push to rifugio Fonda Savio.

Night 3: Rifugio Fonda Savio

Me hanging out by the rifugio Fonda Savio.
Rifugio Fonda Savio. Photo taken enroute to the start of the via ferrata Merlone

Apart from the location, my fondness of this hut is due to the hut Frau who runs it – Marianna. She’s a no-nonsense, strict but fair, amicable, woman, who is the epitome of mountain culture. You go to bed early at night, you wake up early and you work hard during the day. 

On their website, which thankfully has an English section, you can find prices and gastronomy info. The contact email for reservations is 

This is another hut belonging to the Italian Alpine Club, so if you own an alpine club membership do remember to bring it with you! 

Day 4: Via Ferrata Merlone

Distance: 3 km / 1.85 mi

Walking time: 3-4 h

Elevation gain/loss: ca 400 m / 1310 ft

via ferrata type: intermediate

Via ferrata Merlone
Me posing on the wall
Rifugio Fonda Savio from high above
On the summit of Cima Cadin with my friend Magda

This is really rewarding via ferrata! Although it’s very exposed, the actual route doesn’t contain any technically demanding climbing. For the most part, it’s a series of steep ladders going straight up the western faces of Cima Del Cadin. 

The views of the Fonda Savio hut are especially grand in the approach to the ferrata.

The approach is short, at first it gains a little elevation directly south of the hut then drops into, and crosses, the Ciadin Del Nevaio. This was probably once a vast glacier but now all that remains is a small and easy-to-navigate snowpack. 

Climbing via ferrata Merlone is fun and exciting and if you’re really moving quickly you can be at the top in less than 2 hours after starting. It’s really satisfying sitting on the summit after spending a considerable chunk of yesterday admiring this range.

The route down is the same as the ascent. Once you get back to the refuge, where potentially you could have left some stuff to lighten your load, you can enjoy a nice lunch before completing the last leg of this traverse. 

Day 4: Rifugio Fonda Savio to Lago Antorno

Distance: 3 km / 1.85 mi

Walking time: 1.5 h

Elevation loss: ca. 600 m / 1970 ft

Trail difficulty: moderate

Lago D'Antorno at sunset - the last stop on the Tre Cime National Park traverse
Lago D’Antorno at sunset – the last stop on the Tre Cime National Park traverse

This is the final section of the traverse and after what you’ve been through for the past 4 days, it’s a welcome downhill hike on path no. 115 all way to the road.

The car park where the path finishes is almost equidistant between Lago d’Antorno and Lago d’Misurina. I suggest going first to Lago d’Antorno and taking a look at Tre Cime reflecting in its calm waters.

Afterward, you can head down to the much larger, and busier, Lago Misurina where regular buses run to Cortina D’Ampezzo or northward back to Toblach then San Candido and Sesto

Alternatively, you can stay in one of the hotels in Misurina. This would be the luxury you deserve after completing this traverse. 

Accommodation options in Misurina

How to shorten or extend this excursion?

The route can be shortened to two nights by taking path no. 102 north from Rifugio Locatelli through Sassovecchio valley or on path no. 105 out of the Campo di Dentro valley.

If you would like to add another day to this traverse I recommend staying the first night in rifugio Carducci and adding the via ferrata Severino Casara around Zwölferkofel to the itinerary. 

If you have any questions about this route, and you can’t find the answers in the article, then please let me know in the comment section below! 

Also if this is going to be part of a larger trip, then please feel free to 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,

    I am enjoying reading your material so much! So helpful and detailed, thank you!
    Friends and I are doing this in July, staying in, Zsigmondy, Locatelli and Fondo Savio and then a few nights in Cortina D’ampezzo to do day walks.
    We won’t have a car and are thinking of starting in Cortina D’ampezzo and then bussing to the start of the track the morning of the walk, does that sound feasible?

    I’m also having trouble arranging transport to and from Cortina D’ampezzo – we will be travelling from Munich to Cortina, and then from Cortina to Passau at the end, any suggestions for how to do that?

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Madeline. Thanks for visiting. If you are traveling from Munich then the easiest would be to catch a train from Munich through Austria to San Candido in Val Pusteria. That will put you in much closer proximity to the start of this traverse. Then you finish it in Cortina. From Cortina, there are daily buses that go to Dobiacco and then again a train back to Germany. I hope that makes sense. let me know if you have more questions! Bus schedules are probably still not up yet because it is still winter season. You will have to look at the connections closer to the dates. Also check out my FAQ’s in the Italian Dolomites Guide page and look for transport.

  2. Hi Marta, Such an inspiring website you have. We are a family who wants to take our 8 and 11 years old children on a 4 days hut to hut hike in july. Is this one too advanced for kids? If so can you recommend any other routes? Thank you, Stine

    • Hi Stine. Thanks for visiting and for your lovely compliment about my site. Unfortunately, I can’t give you a straight answer to that because I don’t know your kids or their capabilities. What I can tell you though is that I have seen plenty of young children on via ferratas, even a family with 3 kids on Dolomiti Brenta Traverse which is the hardest traverse I have done so far. Ultimately though you know your kids, whether they are scared of heights etc. Let me know if you have more questions.

      • Thank you for your quick answer. It makes sense. They are fit, but can be a bit scared of heights if the path is very narrow.
        Do they need the full ferrata equipment for this route?

        • No if you only walk day 1,2 and 3 then exit after rifugio Auronzo down to Misurina. If you still hiked between rifugio Auronzo and Fonda Savio then yes you would need VF equipment. You would also need it for the extensions when at Locatelli which I talk about in the post.

  3. Hi Marta,
    As others have stated here, this is an amazing and very thorough blog. Thank you for taking the time to do this!

    I have a specific predicament that I’d like to get your advice on. We were planing on following this plan exactly, but when booking the huts we ran into some issues with some of them being full. Right now we have:

    Start at Hotel Dolomitenhof
    Hut Night #1: Rifugio zgigmundy
    Hut Night #2:
    Hut Night #3: Rifugio Fonda Savio
    End at Lake Antorno

    Any advice on where to stay for the second night because Locatelli was full! Thanks so much for your expertise!

    Heather Muir

    • Hi Heather. Thanks for your great feedback. You could either try rifugio Lavaredo or rifugio Auronzo. I am not a big fan of Auronzo because it is right next to the parking lot for the Tre Cime circuit hence the area is super busy, but if Lavaredo is fully booked then I would just go for Auronzo. The evenings are mornings are quiet around there.
      Locatelli is a tough one to get a reservation at.

  4. Hi Marta. Thank you so much for your detailed itinerary that I plan on doing end of June.
    I’m used to long distance hiking but not to via ferratas.
    And looking at the itinerary I have the feeling that the days will be short : for example for days 2 and 3, only 4h walks approximately. So if we leave at 7-8am, we will arrive at the next stop around noon (1-2pm with lunch breaks etc I guess).
    Is it really different from a hike to add via ferrata in the itinerary? Will it be “exhausting” and fully sufficient to have a 4h walk ? Once at the hut are there other hiking path in the surroundings (apart from the extension you proposed) ?
    I really want to do this tour, but I am shared between the fact that it seems “too short” for me (and have nothing in the afternoon), but I don’t want to extend it too much since I’m not familiar with via ferratas…

    Thanks !! 🙂

    • Hi Camille. Thanks for stipping by and for your great feedback. Via ferratas do slow one down a lot because of all the clipping and unclipping one must do on the trail. Some are harder than others but all in all, I would say the time ration via ferrata vs hike would be 2 to 1.
      You also have to take the afternoon storms into consideration. They are extremely common in the summer season and being stuck attached to a metal cable when you have lightining all around is, as you can probably guess, not an ideal scenario.
      As for your question: will it be “exhausting” and fully sufficient to have a 4h walk. It is for me. I tend to hike max 4-6 hours. Anymore above that and I stop enjoying the hike. Of course everyone is different, so I reckon it’s a question only you can answer yourself.
      If you are looking for a bigger challenge then I recommend a following itinerary: Day 1 via ferrata Strada Degli Alpini (the alternative start I suggest in the post) to Rifugio Carduci. Day 2 Via ferrata Severino Casara around Croda Dei Toni to rifugio Pian di Cengia or Locatelli. Day 3 Via ferratas Torre Di Toblin and Innerkofler. Day 4 Hiking from Pian di Cengia or Locatelli (depending where you stayed the night before) to Fonda Savio + Via ferrata Merlone weather permiting. Let me know if that helos. Do get the map for the Sesto Dolomites which I link to in the post. It will help you visualize the route.

      • Hi Marta,
        Thanks you very much for your quick and complete answer!
        I think I will stick to your original tour with all the variations. Since I’m not used to Via Ferrata it will allow me to avoid them (if, we never know, I’m not a fan), and also to adapt the journey depending on the weather, you’re right it’s a key point to take into consideration!!
        Regarding availabilities in the rifugios I will sleep at Zsigmondy Hütte (Pian di Cengia already full), then Locatelli (this one I’m not sure it is available, otherwise I will adapt the travel to sleep in Auronzo or Lavarezzo Rifugio) then Fonda Savio.
        I will write a feedback after my trip!

        • Hi Camille. Fingers crossed that you like the ferratas and if not then you can just explore the whole day along the nearby trails. Plenty of them around Tre Cime Park. Locatelli is notoriously difficult to get a reservation at so fingers crossed you do squeeze in. Many of my readers already report that it is fully booked for the summer. I am looking forward to hearing your feedback.

          Happy hiking

  5. Hi there, thank you so much for this very helpful article! We were planning on parking our rental car at Lago Antorno and using public transportation to get to the Croda Rossa chairlift. Do you know if this is possible, and how long it would take?

    Thank you again so much for this post, it is incredible!! 🙂

    • Hi Tai. Yes this is possible. You can catch a bus to Dobiacco then another one to Fischleintal and get of at the bus stop for the Croda Rossa chairlift. You can check the Sued Tirol Mobil app for the connections (the bus schedules won’t probably be accessible until May or June so don’t check it yet). As for bus stop names you can find them on google maps, just zoom in on the location. It will probably take around 90 minutes in total because you will definitely need to change the bus once or twice. Let me know if you need any more help!

  6. Hello,
    Me again (see comment below). Could I just reserve a spot at Rifugio Auronzo instead of Fonda Savio? Would it be too much of a long day if we left rifugio Auronzo to do via ferrata Merlone?
    Thanks again for your time,


    • Hi Claudine. Thanks for visiting and for all your comments. I am sorry I didn’t respond sooner. I normally respond within max 48 hours, but I was on the road for the past 10 days. I am happy you managed to book Pian Di Ciengia and LOcatelli. As for Fonda Savio, I would still check back with them in a few weeks to see if maybe they had any cancellations. Rifugio Auronzo is the next alternative, to be honest. I personally walked from Locatelli all the way to Fonda Savio in a day then in the afternoon did the Via Ferrata Merlone and then hiked down to the parking lot.
      Pian Di Ciengia and Locatelli are very close by but there are so many different summits you can do around Locatelli, that even if you stay in Auronzo for one night, ylu can first do an extension like VF Torre di Toblin or Innerkofler then head to Auronzo. When staying in Pian Di Cengia you could also do via ferrata Severino Casara. This one is still on my list, but it looks amazing. Don’t worry you won’t run out of things to do even if you stay in 3 huts which are close to one another. Let me know if you have more questions!

  7. Hi Marta, thank you for sharing all of this information! For the alternative route on day 1, could we still access the trailhead from the Pian di Val Fiscalina bus stop or is there a different stop you’d recommend?

    • Hi Zahin. Thanks for visiting. You can hike directly from the parking lot near Hotel Dolomitenhof, however, it will be a heck of a day. Instead, I would recommend that you get off at the Kabinenbahn Rotwand Cabinovia Croda Rossa bus stop and take the Croda Rossa gondola then start the hike from Rotwandwiese. Let me know if I can help further!

  8. Hello Marta,

    I have to say your website is extremely informative, thank you so much. My husband and I will be doing this route end of June. We’ve managed to book the first two nights in rifugio pian di Cienga and locatelli, but Fonda Savio is fully booked. What would you recommend as an alternative itinerary? Maybe there is another rifugio near that wouldn’t change the itinerary too much? Please, I need your help 🙏🏻.
    Thank you

    • Should I reserve at rifugio Auronzo for my third night? Although I’m afraid day 3 from rifugio Locatelli to Auronzo might be a bit boring and day 4 from Auronzo to via Ferrata Merlone too hard?

  9. Hi Marta,

    Thank you so much for all of this wonderful, helpful information, my partner and I are planning to do this route in the summer!

    We will have a rental car and we are hoping to leave it at the end of the route in Misurina. Do you have any recommendations as to where exactly to leave it?

    We were also wondering how to get from Misorina to Val Fiscalina once we have dropped off the car – if by bus, do we have to book this in advance? Apologies if this is an obvious question, we are struggling to find some of this information as we are coming over from New Zealand.

    Thanks again for all the work that you put into this website,


    • Hi Sophie. It would be good if you left it at a parking lot for the rifugio Fonda Savio trail. The parking is called Parcheggio Libero Cadini. From there you walk down to Misruina, catch a bus to Dobiacco and from Dobiacco you catch a bus to Val Fiscalina. Those are public buses, you pay as you go, and you don’t prebook them. I have more information about the buses on my Tre Cime circuit post which starts at rifugio Auronzo. As for buses to Val Fiscalina you will read about them on my Croda Fiscalina circuit post. Let me know if you have more questions.

      • Thanks Marta, that sounds great.

        Another question, we have managed to book, Zsigmundy for the first night and then Fonda Savio for the third night. We have tried Locatelli however have not heard back yet. Is there another hut that you would recommend for the second night?

        Thanks again, really appreciate it.


  10. Hi there, my daughter (22) and I are looking to do a 3 night hut to hut hike at the end of June. We are fit and active, but not as doerienced climvers. We have been recommended to stay a night at the rifugio pian di cengia and perhaps finish up with a luxury night at the Berg hotel. I’m not sure how to build an itinerary around those suggestions! Any ideas or if do you think there are better options to base our trip around?

    • Hi Kate. Thanks for visiting my site. If by saying that you are not experienced climbers you are referring to via ferrata sections, then I can tell you that via ferrata is not climbing. It is scrambling along cable protected sections being attached to the cables by a lanyard. I recommend that you follow this route and bring VF gear with you for added fun. On the first day you can reach rifugio Pian di Ciengia on a regular route through Val Fiscalina then the next day move onto rifugio Locatelli and do either via ferrata Innerkofler or Torre di Toblin as a side trip (the first one mentioned is easier). The next day you can either exit through Val Campo Di Dentro or Val Sassovecchio to make it back to the Berg Hotel for a nice and well deserved relaxed evening. Let me know if that helps and if you have any more questions.

  11. Hi Marta!
    Awesome advice! I was looking into doing this at the beginning of April – is that possible or is it too snowy still?

    • Hi Isabella. Thanks for visiting. I am afraid the window for this traverse is from the end of June until the third week of September. The huts are closed otherwise and yes in April there will be loads of snow.

  12. Hi Marta!

    I’ve looked through your whole website. Your posts are amazing and detailed. Thank you! My wife and I have 12 days in the Dolomites and are considering this Tre Cime Traverse for part of it. We like being away from crowds, but might like to avoid the via ferrata though due to lack of experience. Would it be possible to make this a loop, starting in Val Fiscalina, going up to Dreizinnenhütte, looping around to Rifugio Auronzo, and back down? I think that avoids the via ferratas, but I am not sure if the trip would still be as epic as yours 🙂 Any thoughts?

    Thanks for your time!

    • Hi Nicholas. Thanks for stopping by. If you look at the map of the traverse and read through the article you will find info about shortening this traverse. In short yes you can turn it into a loop or do it as two separate day hikes, the first one being Croda Fiscalina Circuit through Val Fiscalina and the second Tre Cime Circuit. You can find both hike descriptions in the day hikes category of my Italian Dolomites guide. If you want to do it with an overnight hut stay and finish at the same location then just connect the two day hikes as they inteconnect at rifugio locatelli. the whole route will form a figure 8 and can be done over 2 days/1 night. I hope that helps! let me know if you have more questions.

  13. Hi Marta!
    Thanks so much for this article! I’ve read all your posts on multiday hikes now! I’m going with my boyfriend in September and I am torn between this hike or 4 days of the alta via 1 (doing the first part). I really can’t decide!!! Which would you recommend?
    (I’m very outdoorsy and like heights/climbing but my boyfriend not so much, although I’m sure he could do a via ferrata)
    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Pippa! Thanks for visiting. Tre Cime is awesome because most via ferratas are done as extensions so if your boyfriend isn’t up for them you can do them on your own. I do however recommend by starting with the via ferrata Strada Degli Alpini. It will be a great introduction to a VF world for him and it’s an easy one too. Just make sure to bring the gear. Rosengarten traverse is another awesome one if you can’t decide. AV1 is fantastic but more of a beginner multiday traverse. I hope that helps!

  14. Marta Hello again! i’m about 8 days away from doing the Tre Cime route you have on here. I’ve checked around on all the websites but can’t find much info. Do you happen to remember which of the huttes had electricity? I just have a bunch of batteries for my cameras and drones. thanks for all your help!

    • Hi Matt! Thanks for visiting. All huts do, but you need to make sure to charge your things as soon as you get to the hut because the plug sockets often tend to be occupied in the evenings and the electricity is often turned off at night. Ask the staff as soon as you arrive about the policies. If you happen to stay in rifugio Pian di Ciengia then it’s a very small refuge and they do have electricity but it can be very limited. I don’t remember unfortunately if it was or not, but that might be the only one where charging might be more challenging, otherwise, you will have no problem recharging your things. The only thing I would ask you is to be aware of other guests and not to occupy plug sockets for too long, cause obviously everyone wants to use them 🙂 I hope that helps!

      • thanks so much! in cortina right now and was wondering if you had any suggestions for bus’ to sesto or as close to hotel dolomitenhof as possible. can’t seem to find any and the names are similar but show up not close at all. please let me know if you can help!

        • Hi Matt. Please check the Sued Tirol Mobil website (suedtirolmobil(dot)info/en) Put Cortina D’Ampezzo as the start and Moso (Sesto), Pian di Val Fiscalina. You will have to change the bus a couple of times and the travel time is around 1 hour 40 minutes. Look like the first bus leaves at 8:05 AM. Good luck! I hope that helps!

  15. Hi Marta,
    Great blog and very helpful tips. I’m planning to do a 4 days solo hike in the dolomites in mid October. I have never done this type of hiking before. Any suggestions or tips?

    • Hi Mohamed. My website is full of suggestions and tips. You’ve got to help me out here and ask me more detailed questions 🙂 I would recommend that you go earlier because in mid-October all the huts tend to be closed. Rosengarten group has huts which stay open from the beginning to mid-October. Bear in mind that wild camping isn’t allowed in the Dolomites.

  16. Hello,

    I will be getting on the trail around 3pm and I was wondering if it would be possible to have enough time to take the alternate route on the first day. What is the least amount of time do you think someone could complete the Via Ferrata. I would like to do it but if I do not have enough time I will take the normal shorter route.

    • Hi Maxwell. Starting a trail at 3PM in the Dolomites during the summer season is a bold move. Do bear in mind that afternoon thunderstorms are super common and being attached to a metal cable wire during a thunderstorm, isn’t exactly the safest passage:) I would only undertake the route (whether normal or through via ferrata) if you have a great forecast ahead.
      The fastest you could do via ferrata Strada Degli Alpini to the Zsigmundy hut is probably around 3.5-4 hours, providing you took the gondola up. If you were going up to Pian Di Ciengia then add another 45 mins. This does not include breaks.

  17. Hi Marta! I was wondering if you had any recommendations or if you thought there was a way to skip over staying at the Rifugio Pian di Cengia? We have made all our reservations per your wonderful guide but cannot get the dates we need for that Rifugio. Thanks so much for you help and this AMAZING travel guide.


    • Hi Allison. Consider either staying at the Zsigmundy Comici hut or doing a little detour and staying in rifugio Carducci. If you do the latter you can add a via ferrata around Zwölferkofel to your day! Let me know if that helps! happy hiking! Marta

  18. Thanks for these comprehensive guides! Would it be possible to skip Locatelli and go from Rif. Pian Di Cengio to Rif. Fonda Savio?

    • Hi Christina. Yes, it’s definitely possible to do in a day. Rifugios Pian Di Cengia and Locatelli are only one hour walk from one another. If you don’t plan on any extensions and are fit, then I would say yes you can do it.

  19. Me again! I just found your other post about hiring all the gear, sorry I got ahead of myself!
    Obviously we would need to return the gear to where we got it from so would have to backtrack… where would you suggest is the best town to hire the gear for this traverse? Failing that, is this route possible to be just trekked (avoiding ferratas all together)?
    Many thanks!

    • Hey Tara. You could travel to Cortina first then spend the day there before you Alta Via 4. Rent the gear in Cortina. although bear in mind that renting the gear for 6 days might amount to the same price as buying the whole set for yourself. It is ca. 25 euro/day. Cortina is well connected by public buses with other towns in the Dolomites. Once you finish in Pieve Di Cadore you won’t be very far from Cortina to drop the gear off. I am afraid you can’t skip the ferratas if you want to do this route. AV1 doesn’t have any via ferratas along the way. Maybe you should look into it instead? I also have a guide for it on my website.

  20. Great post Marta, thank you!
    We are coming to the Dolomites this summer and would love to do this traverse. We have no via ferrata experience nor do we have any gear. Do you know if we are able to hire ferrata gear before starting the trek?
    Thanks again! 🙂

    • Hi Tara. Please have a look at my beginner’s guide to via ferrata climbing in the Dolomites which will answer all of your questions. You can find it in the via ferrat guide section on this blog. Once you comb through it let me know if you have any further questions!

  21. Hi Marta, awesome work with this website BTW ! I really love this 4 day hike. Looking to do it with my Girlfriend first week of September 2022. I assume you just have to pack the bare minimum for the excursion ?! As carrying everything is a must… Also for another 2 extra nights as continuation, what do you reccomend ?

    • Hi Alin! Thanks for stopping by and your compliment! I really appreciate it. I do link to a complete packing guide for the hut in this article so please do have a look. In the other article you will also find a downloadable checklist for packing. You don’t need to pack food or snacks. Just change of clothes, via ferrata gear and a few little bits and bobs. Anyways do check out the article.
      As for your other question you can continue from rifugio fonda Savio to Vandelli and then from Vandelli to San Marco. You can find this section in my AV4 guide which I also link to from this article.
      Let me know if that helps and if you have more questions!

  22. Dear Marta,
    Great tips, info and amazing pictures! I am very excited to go to the dolomites this summer and planning our trip. Depending on availabiligy in the huts, can we just as easily do the trip the other way around?
    Thanks for your advice!
    Regards, Sara

    • Hi Sara, sure you can, but I always recommend hiking North to South rather than in the opposite direction. The reason being is the sun exposure. Hiking South to North is a lot more tiring due to higher sun exposure. Northern Slopes stay in shade for a lot longer in the morning. I hope that helps! Good luck with planning our trip!

  23. Hi Marta,
    Your blog is great, lots of inspiring info! Would it be possible to extend this traverse by adding 1 or 2 days, other than the suggestion made above (doing the Via Ferrata Severino Casara)?

    • Hi Jasper! Thanks for your great feedback! It absolutely is. You can start with Via ferrata Strada Degli Alpini on day 1, stay at rifugio Carduccio, then on day two do via ferrata Secerino Casara around Croda Dei Toni (still on my list, I haven’t done that one myself, but it looks great), then you can stay the second night at the Bullelejochhuette, the next day tick of both via ferrata Innerkofler and Torre Di Toblin and stay at Locatelli or rifugio Lavaredo. Day 4 would take you to rifugio Fonda Savio where you could do via ferrata Merlone and on day 5 you could hike all the way to rifugio Vandelli located at Lago di Sorapiss. This stage is described in my Alta Via 4 guide (day 3). If you want you can even hike further than rifugio Vandelli and connect the Tre Cime Traverse with Alta Via 4! Let me know if you have more questions!

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