Hiking and outdoor adventures in the Dolomites
Journeys | 30.09.2020
If you love snow-capped mountains, blue lakes, and breathtaking views, you should go hiking in the Dolomites in northeastern Italy. This limestone mountain range is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains several regional parks, such as the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park.

However, there are thousands of miles of hiking trails in the Dolomites, so where do you begin? Below is a brief selection of the most popular and scenic hikes. Note that a rifugio is a guesthouse or hotel along one of the remote hiking paths, so many of the place names will begin Rifugio.

Pack lightly for your hiking adventure in the Dolomites
The hikes I've selected are not too demanding. You won't be rock climbing or even scrambling. However, they are challenging enough that you should dress appropriately for the weather conditions and the route. That means sturdy hiking shoes, waterproof outer layers, and a backpack that you can keep extra layers in for when you ascend to the peaks.

Also, you must be in good health for the longer trails. The shorter trails are suitable for anyone, even little kids. But if you're taking your baby along, you must use a comfortable baby carrier to ensure Baby's safety. And it's always a good idea to pack lightly on your hiking adventures.
The key to packing lightly is to ensure that you take along everything you need but leave behind anything you don't. To achieve this, I brainstorm and make a list of everything I might need. Then I cross out anything I can survive without for the duration of the hike.

Don't leave behind vital medication, a first aid kit, food, water, and waterproof layers for higher altitudes. If any member of your family has allergies, an EpiPen is essential. Pack heavier items into your backpack first and arrange them so it's balanced. Anything you might need in a hurry, like that EpiPen, put into side pockets or pack on top of everything else.
The Three peaks
The Tre Crime di Lavaredo is the most iconic mountain chain in the Dolomites. The Three Peaks, on the border between the provinces of South Tyrol and Belluno, are stunning, but it is the long-distance views from this area that are truly breathtaking.

The 6-mile Tre Crime di Lavaredo Loop Trail begins at Rifugio Auronzo. This is the most popular trail in the Dolomites, so it begins with a broad, gravel road leading toward Rifugio Auronzo, which is only a mile away.
Watch out for the picturesque Cappella degli Alpini chapel halfway along the first stretch. After Rifugio Auronzo, the trail steepens for around 1/2-mile from Rifugio Auronzo to Rifugio Lavaredo, which provides the most spectacular views in the Dolomites.

If it's only the view you're interested in, after you've enjoyed the scenery, you can turn back around and retrace your initial 1½-mile journey. But if you enjoy hiking and exploring lesser trodden paths, continue on to Rifugio Locatelli and then Malga Langalm before looping back to the starting point.
Pick your guide around the Dolomites in our guides catalog
The Adolf Munkel trail
This is the best loop trail in the Dolomites for families with young children and passes through the Nature Park Puez-Odle. Although it's 5½-miles long, the whole route is easy. This is a trail where you'll feel comfortable carrying your baby.

With all the German names along the trail, you know you're firmly inside South Tyrol. The trailhead is in Zanser Alm in Villnöß. From there, the trail ascends beside a stream and provides stunning views of the Geisler Group peaks. You'll soon enter a tranquil Alpine pasture before you reach Gschnagenhardt Alm, a resting point at an elevation of 6,581 feet.
After Gschnagenhardt Alm, you'll trek through a forest to Dusler Alm. From there, the trail descends back to your starting point. Allow about 3½ hours for the hike or longer if you plan to stop and eat at Gschnagenhardt Alm.

While you're in the area, don't miss the picturesque church of St. Magdalena. It's one of the most photographed buildings in the Dolomites for a reason!
The Seceda hikes
This is an easy 5½-miles trek through the Puez-Odle Nature Park. Before you can begin, you must ascend to the Seceda Mountain Summit Station using the cableway from Sankt Ulrich in Val Gardena. From the station, you can enjoy beautiful views of Gran Olda and the blade-like Fermeda peaks.

The 5½-miles loop trail takes you from Seceda to Regensburger Hütte and back again. But if you have young kids and want a shorter trek, head for Malga Pieralongia Alm instead. From Seceda Station, take Trail #1 then Trail #2B to follow this 2½-miles loop trail.
Malga Pieralongia Alm is one of the most picturesque rifugios in the Dolomites. Alongside the restaurant and children's playground, there are also farm animals for the kids to pet. If you return past the Rifugio Troier (which also has a playground and farm animals), you can benefit from some incredible panoramic views.
Lago di Braies
This is an amazing Alpine lake that is popular with hikers and boaters alike. You can choose to hire a rowboat or follow the easy 3-miles trail around the shore. Locals call this lake "The Pearl of the Dolomites". It is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe.
There are several picturesque beaches along the shore and areas where you can enjoy a picnic. Although boating on the lake is popular, swimming is forbidden (not that this deters everyone). Note that if you are walking and pushing young kids in a stroller, the path headed anti-clockwise (right) is smooth, but the clockwise path is steep and rocky. So, you would be better off going anti-clockwise and then returning back along the same path.
Take a look at our guides catalog to pick your hike in the Dolomites
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