Everything To Know About The Day Hike To Vajolet Towers In The Heart Of The Rosengarten Nature Park

Out of all areas in the Dolomites, I have a soft spot for the Rosengarten Nature Park. It’s hard not to if you are treated to such wonders as the Vajolet towers.

This hike is perfect for those who want to avoid the crowds, as it is much quieter than the iconic Tre Cime circuit or the loop around Lago di Braies.  

The trailhead is just north of Lago Carezza at Malga Frommer Alm, where the König Laurin chairlift starts.

Note: There is a pathway under the chairlift but that makes for a very long day. It’s not covered in this description but it is an option for those on a budget or planning an overnight hut stay. 

Although trails in the Italian Dolomites are always very well marked I still recommend carrying a map with you. For this particular trail you will need the Tabacco map nr 29.

How To Reach Vajolet Towers In The Italian Dolomites

Distance: 8 km / 5 mi

Walking time: 5-6 h

Elevation gain: 650 m / 2100 ft

Hiking difficulty: challenging

Top of the chairlift König Laurin chairlift and the deck of rifugio Fronza in the Rosengarten Nature Park
Top of the chairlift and the deck of rifugio Fronza

There is a decent size parking lot on the opposite side of the road from Malga Frommer Alm, but make sure to arrive early to get a spot.

I left my campervan parked there for 7 days whilst exploring the Rosengarten on foot and I am happy to say it was still there and intact, when I came back. Maybe the Italian drivers aren’t so bad at parking after all.  

The chairlift costs 14€ return and it is valid for 7 days, in case you plan on spending multiple days within the park and staying in the huts. 

The views right above rifugio Fronza at the start of the hike to Vajolet towers
The views right above rifugio Fronza at the start of the hike to Vajolet towers

Once you’re at the top of the chairlift at rifugio Fronza (also known as the Rosengarten hütte or Kölner hütte), hike behind the refuge and start heading uphill on path nr 550.

Not before long you will reach a fork. If you’re an experienced scrambler and brought proper equipment with you, then you can also reach the Vajolet towers via a left turn following the marked path toward via ferrata Passo Santner. Today however I will cover the easier option.

From the fork take the slight right turn onto hiking path nr 550. It requires no climbing.

Approaching rifugio Vajolet. How to reach vajolet towers in the Dolomites
Approaching rifugio Vajolet

Once you’ve made the right turn, the path steepens until you reach the Pas da le Colonele where you’ll get your first glimpse of the parks highest peak, Monte Catinaccio.

It then quickly descends to path nr 541 and a left at the next junction takes you into the heart of the Rosengarten National Park, eventually reaching rifugio Vajolet.

This hut is a great place for a break before tackling the steep gully up to rifugio Alberto Primero – one of the most photogenic huts in the Dolomites! 

Rifugio Vajolet in the Rosengarten Nature Park
Rifugio Vajolet, right beneath the Vajolet towers. To the left of the towers is where the path to rifugio Alberto Primero leads

The gully starts quickly and continues steeply along path nr 542. Cables are provided to help you on the most difficult of sections. It’s a gruelling ascent but manageable and not very technical.

After around an hour from rifugio Vajolet you’ll be at rifugio Alberto Primero (also known as Gartlhütte), directly underneath the Vajolet towers. I hope you are ready for some incredible views! 

views in the gully leading to rifugio Alberto Primero and the Vajolet towers
views in the gully leading to rifugio Alberto Primero

The best vantage point of the towers is from Passo Laurin, a short 5 minute walk away from the hut. My personal favourite though is the view from Passo Santner, a 20 minute slight uphill walk from the hut (see photo below). 

Another little hut is scheduled to open in the summer season of 2020 right on this pass and it is already marked on the Tabacco map nr 29. I definitely plan on coming back to check it out once it opens!

Vajolet towers and rifugio Alberto Primero as seen from Passo Santner
Vajolet towers and rifugio Alberto Primero from Passo Santner

If you’re not into via ferrata, it’s back the same way you came, but if you can, try and fit one into your itinerary. I also highly recommend staying overnight in any of the huts you’ve passed on your hike today.

They all have different prices and different amenities but all of them give you the chance of being in the right spot at the right time to take some incredible photos.

Cloud inversion on the Santner Pass. Far in the distance the Latemar group peaking from the clouds.
Cloud inversion on the Santner Pass. Far in the distance the Latemar group peaking from the clouds.

If you have any questions about this hike, let me know in the comments below! I answer every time. 

For more hikes, via ferrata and photography articles head over to my Italian Dolomites Guide. 

Shop My HIking Gear Essentials

Black Diamond Z – Pole

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

Osprey Kyte 36 l

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

Hydrapack 3 litre Water Bladder 

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

Icebreaker Merino Wool Socks

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


  1. Hi Marta, I’m planning to do the 4-day Rosengarten traverse you designed. Can I fit in a hike to the Vajolet towers on one of the days since I’ll be very close. Thanks!

    • Hi Katie,

      Thanks for stopping by. Something tells me you haven’t studied the traverse yet, as it does take you through the Vajolet towers 🙂 Let me know if I can help any further!

      • Haha you are right, your article definitely covered it. For some reason I got in my head that the hike would include ascending the actual towers, which is something I’m definitely not equipped to do. 🙂

          • You mentioned here that another rifugio opened in summer 2020, which one is it? So far I’m counting Rif. Passo Santner, Re Alberto, Vajolet and Paul Preuss. Am I missing anything?

          • Hi Katie. It’s rifugio Passo Santner to which I was referring. When I did the hike for the first time it still wasn’t open. Now it already runs during the summer season. This post is up for an update 🙂

  2. Hi Marta – really love your blog. It was a great inspiration back when we traveled the Canadian Rockies. Now we are exploring Dolomiti and I wanted to ask whether any sections of the above hike are very exposed (meaning there is a steep wall down below the path with a risk of falling) because this is something I try to avoid 🙂

    • Hi Agnieszka.Thanks for stopping by and your awesome feedback. I hope I am not too late with my reply. I was off-grid for the past few days. Yes, the section between Rifugio Vajolet and Rifugio Alberto Primero is quite steep with some cables to hold on to and a scree slope. If you are not comfortable with that then maybe you should look for other hikes! 🙂 I hope that helps!

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