When searching for photos of the Dolomites on Instagram, one particular viewpoint often comes up where people are standing on top of a rocky outcrop with an insane view over a mountain range covered with sharp pinnacles.
This viewpoint is part of the Cadini di Misurina hike and although it’s a lesser-known hike, it’s incredibly rewarding.
In this post, I’ll share a step-by-step guide on how to get to the famous Cadini di Misurina viewpoint, what to expect on the hike, and some other great tips on visiting the area. Let’s get into it!
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Table of Contents
Key Metrics of the Cadini di Misurina Hike
Starting point: Rifugio Auronzo
Ending point: Cadini di Misurina viewpoint
Distance: 2 km (1.2 miles)
Elevation gain: 112 m (370 feet)
Lowest elevation: 2,254 m
Highest elevation: 2,350 m
Duration: 30-45 minutes
Difficulty: Easy, although people with a fear of heights might find it challenging
Overview of the Cadini di Misurina Hike
The Cadini di Misurina hike is a short and easy hike that starts at the Rifugio Auronzo and ends at the famous Cadini di Misurina viewpoint.
The hike is only 2 km (1.2 miles) long but packs a lot of punch with incredible views the entire way. The second half of the hike is a little more challenging as you have to navigate your way on narrow pathways with a steep drop-off on one side, but the views are more than worth it.
The hike should take you 30-45 minutes to complete in one way and it is doable for people with an average fitness level.
That being said, the hike does involve some sections with a steep drop-off and if you’re scared of heights, this hike might not be for you. However, there is an alternate path that skips the more challenging section and still takes you to the same viewpoint. I’ll share more on this later!
Once you reach the top, you’ll be greeted with one of the most incredible views in the Dolomites. This is definitely a hike not to be missed if you’re visiting the Dolomites!
Getting to the Cadini di Misurina Trailhead (Rifugio Auronzo)
The starting and ending point of the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint hike is Rifugio Auronzo.
You have three options to get to Rifugio Auronzo: you can either hike up from Lake Antorno (which is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Dolomites), take a public bus, or drive up.
I will share everything you need to know about these three options below so you can choose the one that’s best for you!
Option 1: Hiking from Lake Antorno to Rifugio Auronzo
Starting point: Lake Antorno
Ending point: Rifugio Auronzo
Distance: 4 km (2.5 miles)
Elevation gain: 461 m (1,512 ft)
Lowest elevation: 1,872 m (6,142 ft)
Highest elevation: 2,333 m (7,654 ft)
Duration: 1.5-2 hours
The first option is to hike from Lake Antorno all the way to Rifugio Auronzo. I would only recommend this option if you’re an experienced hiker as the hike has a significant elevation gain of 461 m (1,512 ft) over 4 km (2.5 miles).
The trailhead for this hike is located roughly a 5-minute walk from Lake Antorno. You just have to follow the road leading up to Tre Cime di Lavaredo and right after you pass the toll gate, you’ll find the signs for trail nr. 101.
It takes around 1.5-2 hours to reach Rifugio Auronzo so make sure to start early if you want to do this hike on top of the Cadini di Misurina hike (and potentially after the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike as well).
Option 2: Taking a bus to Rifugio Auronzo
The second option is to take the bus from Dobbiaco to Rifugio Auronzo. If you don’t have your own car, this is the option I would recommend as it’s much easier and faster.
At the Dobbiaco bus station, you have to look for bus nr. 444 that goes directly to Rifugio Auronzo. The bus has 6 stops along the way, including Dürrensee, Lake Misurina, and Lake Antorno, so you can get on at any of these stops if it suits you better.
For example, if you’re staying in Cortina d’Ampezzo, first you have to get to Dürrensee (bus nr. 445 from Cortina) and then take bus nr. 444 from there to Rifugio Auronzo.
The bus ride from Dobbiaco takes around 45 minutes and the prices go as follows:
- One-way ticket: €10 for adults, €5 for children (free under the age of 14 when accompanied by adults), €5 for dogs
- Round trip ticket: €16 for adults, €9 for children (free under the age of 14 when accompanied by adults), €9 for dogs
If you don’t pre-buy your tickets, the only other option is to buy them at the bus station in Dobbiaco. However, there are no guarantees that any will be available.
Buses normally run from early June to early October, between 7.30 am and 6 pm. However, it can change depending on the year so make sure to check the schedule in advance.
Option 3: Driving to Rifugio Auronzo
The third and final option is to drive to Rifugio Auronzo. This is the most convenient option if you have your own car as the road literally takes you all the way to the doorstep of the hut.
I would strongly recommend renting a car when visiting the Dolomites anyways as it gives you a lot more flexibility and there are just so many incredible places to explore.
Driving time to Rifugio Auronzo goes as follows:
- from Lake Antorno: 13 minutes, 5.5 km (3.4 miles)
- from Lake Misurina: 17 minutes, 7.5 km (4.6 miles)
- from Dobbiaco: 40 minutes, 27 km (16.8 miles)
- from Cortina d’Ampezzo: 40 minutes, 22 km (13.8 miles)
Right after passing Lake Antorno, you’ll come across a toll gate where you have to pay the usage fee for the road. They accept both cash and credit card, and these are the current prices:
- Cars: €30
- Motorcycles: €20
- Campervans: €45
The road is usually open from early June to late October, depending on the weather. During peak season, the toll booth is open 0-24. Other than that, the gate is automated so you can get a ticket by pressing the button by the gate and you can pay when you get back.
It’s important to arrive early because the toll road may be closed without warning if the parking lot at Rifugio Auronzo is full, which happens quite often during peak season.
Step-by-Step Guide to Finding the Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint
Starting the Cadini di Misurina hike
Since Rifugio Auronzo is the starting point for the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike as well, it’s easy to miss the Cadini di Misurina trailhead if you just follow the crowds.
You’ll find a long, well-marked trail on the right-hand side of the hut that loops around the Tre Cime. This is trail nr. 101 and it is NOT the trail you’re looking for.
To find the correct path, walk past Rifugio Auronzo where you’ll find a sign on the right side of the road. There is a tiny trail leading down to the valley marked as trail nr. 117, this is the one you want to take.
In case you’re parking in the lower parking lot or by the side of the road in the lower section, you don’t need to walk up to Rifugio Auronzo to start the hike. You can access the 117 trail right from the parking lot/road by heading down to the valley on your right.
The whole trail is 9.2 km (5.7 miles) long and ends at Rifugio Col de Varda. Don’t worry though, you don’t need to walk that much!
From Rifugio Auronzo you will already see the peaks of Cadini di Misurina covered with sharp pinnacles to the south, so this is the direction you need to go.
It’s important to note that while most people will hike in the direction of the Tre Cime, you’ll have to walk AWAY from the Tre Cime in the opposite direction.
Hiking to the iconic Cadini di Misurina viewpoint
The hike starts with a small downhill section right before turning uphill again. The uphill part is quite steep so if you have hiking poles, this is their time to shine.
There are a few red and white trail markers along the road guiding you in the right direction but the hike is very straightforward even without seeing those.
Right before reaching the top of the hill, you will see the trail splitting into two different paths.
If you follow the path on the left side, you’ll have to hike a bit further uphill then the trail will continue looping around the ridgeline on the southern side of the hill.
This trail is undoubtedly more scenic but it’s also more challenging as you’ll hike on a narrow path with a steep drop-off on one side. We took this trail the first time we did the Cadini di Misurina hike because we didn’t know there is another way (we only found it on the way back) and let me tell you, it was anything but comfortable.
If you have fear of heights or if the trail is slippery, I advise you to take the path on the right side instead. It contours around the northern side of the hill instead of going over the top so you can skip the scariest part of the hike.
It’s a small rocky trail and it will become even narrower along the way so be careful! It can only fit one person and it goes right next to the cliffs but if you watch your steps it will be fine.
Soon enough you will get a glimpse of the viewpoint in the distance. Just follow the pathway in that direction and you will find yourself back on hiking trail nr. 117. The last section is a bit scary thanks to the sheer drops right next to it but believe me, this is nothing compared to the other trail.
Regardless of which trail you take, both of them will end at the same viewpoint and it shouldn’t take more than 30-45 minutes to get there from Rifugio Auronzo (depending on your pace).
Climbing up to the viewpoint
The Cadini di Misurina viewpoint is basically a small ridge sloping upwards and overlooking the sharp pinnacles of the Cadini group. Once you’ve seen a photo of it, it’s impossible to miss it in real life!
In order to climb up to the ridge, you will have to abandon the official hiking trail and climb up on the narrow pathway leading up to it. This part is kind of sketchy as it’s a steep slope with a lot of loose gravel but the path is wide enough for one person so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Please only climb up if you’re feeling comfortable and confident enough as one misstep could easily result in a serious injury or even worse. In case the trail is too slippery or if you’re not feeling comfortable, I advise you to enjoy the views from below.
Once you’re up on the ridge, the views open up in all directions and you can see the whole Cadini di Misurina range right in front of you. It’s a glorious view and definitely one of the best in the Dolomites!
How to photograph the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint
This hike is usually a lot less crowded than the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike, however, chances are you will come across a few other people on the trail, especially in the late afternoon/before sunset.
Since the viewpoint is really small and the trail leading up to it is only wide enough for one person, people normally line up along the main trail and wait for their turn to climb up to the viewpoint.
Please be patient and take your turn, there is no need to push and shove – safety is the most important thing after all!
When it’s your turn, your photographer can also walk up to the viewpoint with you to take your photos. However, I think you can get better compositions if you climb up alone and your photographer stays along the main trail.
Even better, if you have a good zoom lens your photographer can walk back a little bit on the main trail and zoom in more – this way the mountain range will look a lot bigger in the photos thanks to the compression.
You don’t need a telephoto lens to capture the spot as your photographer can’t walk back that much without losing the good angle and the composition. For reference, the below photos were taken on 75 mm on a full-frame Sony A7IV.
Also, if you have a drone, you can get some really unique perspectives of the viewpoint! But please only send up your drone when it’s your turn so you don’t bother other people who are enjoying the views.
The views are incredible any time of the day but the ultimate best time to photograph the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint is late afternoon, around 1-2 hours before sunset.
Due to the nearby mountains, the sun will disappear around 1 hour before the official sunset time so make sure you arrive early enough to catch the light on the viewpoint.
Getting back to Rifugio Auronzo
Once you’re done enjoying the views (and taking photos), it’s time to hike back to Rifugio Auronzo. You can simply take the same trail back and within 35-40 minutes you will find yourself back in the parking lot.
On the way back, you will be facing Tre Cime di Lavaredo the entire time so make sure to take a few quick snapshots of the iconic mountain range.
If you timed your hike well and decided to visit Cadini di Misurina 1-2 hours before sunset, you will be able to enjoy the most beautiful sunset views from Rifugio Auronzo.
Map for the Cadini di Misurina hike
Below you can find a customized map that includes the most important checkpoints during the Cadini di Misurina hike, as well as some important locations such as parking spots and mountain huts.
If you open up this post on your phone and you click on the bracket in the upper right corner of the map, it will open up in your Google Maps app so you can always have it with you.
Where to Stay Near Cadini di Misurina
If you’re planning to hike to Cadini di Misurina for sunset or sunrise and you want to stay as close as possible, the most convenient option is to stay at Rifugio Auronzo.
The guesthouse has 25 rooms, each with 2 to 6 beds so it can accommodate 104 people in total.
Since the Tre Cime hike is one of the most popular hikes in the Dolomites, it’s best to book your spot well in advance to ensure you have a bed for the night.
The guesthouse also has a restaurant where you can enjoy some traditional Ladin dishes after your hike. Alternatively, you can opt for a half board as well which is the best option unless you want to bring your own food.
If you would rather stay in a town, one of the most convenient options would be Dobbiaco. It’s a 40-minute drive from Tre Cime and it’s also connected to the three peaks via a direct bus route.
Dobbiaco is a great base to explore the area and it has a lot of nice hotels, restaurants, and cafes. It’s also close to Lago di Braies, one of the most famous lakes in the Dolomites.
Best places to stay in Dobbiaco
If you’re looking for the most unique accommodation in Dobbiaco, look no further than Skyview Chalets. This beautiful property is located right next to Toblacher See and provides an insane view of the lake and the mountains, as well as a restaurant, a bar, and a garden.
MID-RANGE – Hotel Rosengarten
Just 700 m from the center of Dobbiaco, Hotel Rosengarten features a traditional restaurant and views of the Dolomites. All rooms at the Rosengarten have wooden furnishings and a private bathroom. Some rooms feature a four-poster bed and a balcony with mountain views.
BUDGET – Guesthouse Rosengarten
Guesthouse Rosengarten is a great budget option in Dobbiaco. The property features mountain views, free WiFi, and free private parking, and guests can choose between a double or a family room. Ski and bicycle rental is also available.
Cortina d’Ampezzo is another great option as it’s also just a 40-minute drive from Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
Surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Dolomites, Cortina d’Ampezzo is one of the most popular mountain towns in Italy. It’s one of the best places to stay in the Dolomites if you want to explore the area and it has a lot of nice hotels, restaurants, cafes, and high-end shops.
If you’re looking for a more upscale experience, Cortina is definitely the place to be!
Best places to stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo
LUXURY – Grand Hotel Savoia Cortina d’Ampezzo
Grand Hotel Savoia is in the centre of Cortina d’Ampezzo, surrounded by the Dolomites. It offers free internet access and beautiful mountain views. Hotel Savoia is an elegant and fully renovated historic building.
MID-RANGE – HOTEL de LEN
Located in the heart of Cortina d’Ampezzo, this 4-star hotel offers tastefully decorated guest rooms with TV and free WiFi access. HOTEL de LEN also has a sauna, a hot tub, and a solarium on-site, and breakfast is also included in the room rate.
BUDGET – Hotel Meuble Oasi
If you’re looking for a great budget option to stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo, look no further than Hotel Meuble Oasi. The accommodation features a garden and free WiFi throughout the property as well as free private parking.
What to Pack for the Cadini di Misurina Hike
Although the Cadini di Misurina hike is relatively short and easy, there are a few things you should bring with you to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
- Hiking shoes: The Cadini di Misurina trail can be a bit tricky at some parts so having a good pair of hiking shoes is a must. If you want to climb up to the viewpoint, forget about sneakers. I currently use the Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boots and love them so far!
- Hiking poles: The hike includes lots of uphill and downhill sections which can be tough on your knees. If you have hiking poles, make sure to bring them with you as they will make the hike a lot easier.
- Reusable water bottle: Make sure to bring at least 1 liter of water with you as there are no mountain huts along the way to refill your bottle. If you want to do both the Tre Cime and Cadini di Misurina hikes, bring even more!
- Snacks: Even though the hike is short, you will definitely need some snacks to keep your energy levels up. I recommend bringing some trail mix, nuts, or fruit.
- Sunscreen and sunglasses: The sun can be quite strong in the Dolomites, especially at high altitudes. Make sure to put on sunscreen before you start hiking and don’t forget to bring your sunglasses.
- Rain jacket: The weather can change quickly in the mountains so it’s always a good idea to bring a rain jacket, even if the forecast is good.
- Camera and drone: The views from the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint are absolutely stunning so make sure to bring your camera to capture the beauty of the Dolomites! If you have a drone, this is the perfect place to take it for a spin. You can read all about our photography gear here.
Other Things to Do Near Cadini di Misurina
Tre Cime di Lavaredo
The Tre Cime di Lavaredo is one of the most popular hikes in the Dolomites and it’s definitely worth doing if you’re in the area.
This 10 km (6.5 miles) loop hike also starts at Rifugio Auronzo and since you’ve already paid the toll fee for driving up here, it makes sense to do both hikes on the same day. In this case, I recommend doing the Tre Cime hike first and Cadini di Misurina afterward.
The hike is relatively easy and it takes you all the way around the iconic three peaks. If you want to know more about the hike, read my step-by-step guide to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike.
Bordered by a larch forest, Lago Antorno provides an unforgettable view of the Tre Cime and Cadini di Misurina.
As the toll road starts from here, it’s the perfect place to catch your breath before starting the Cadini di Misurina hike. There is a short walk around the lake which takes 20 minutes if you want to do some warm-up!
In case you’re staying elsewhere, it’s worth stopping by Cortina d’Ampezzo at least for a few hours. The town is surrounded by mountains on all sides so it provides amazing views from every angle.
The center of the town is really compact and it can be easily explored on foot. There are lots of amazing restaurants and cafes to grab a bite and you’ll also find lots of boutiques and luxury shops in case you want to do some shopping.
You can also take a cable car ride up to Rifugio Faloria for some more stunning views of the Dolomites!
Lago di Misurina
Another great option near Tre Cime is to visit Lago di Misurina, which is only a 15-minute drive from the three peaks. The lake is absolutely beautiful and it’s the perfect place to relax after a day of hiking.
There are also a few restaurants and cafes dotted around the lake, so it’s a great place to grab a bite or have a coffee with a view.
Lago di Sorapis
This beautiful turquoise lake is one of the most popular hikes in the area and it’s just a short drive from Tre Cime. The hike to the lake is quite challenging but it’s definitely worth it for the views.
It’s a 12 km long out-and-back hike that takes around 3.5-5 hours to complete. The first part of the hike is relatively easy but it gets pretty steep and technical towards the end. However, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the lake once you reach the top!
Lago di Landro
Otherwise known as Dürrensee, Lago di Landro is one of the largest lakes in the Dolomites. From the shore, you can take in views of both the Cristallo Group and the Ampezzo Dolomites.
It’s a great choice for a quick stop to stretch your legs when driving from Dobbiaco to Tre Cime (or vice versa). There is also a lovely restaurant with a view of the lake if you want to grab lunch/dinner.
Planning a trip to the Dolomites?
Then you might want to take a look at all our other travel guides about the Dolomites. I promise, they are just as awesome as this article was!
- Where to Stay in the Dolomites: Best Areas & Hotels
- The Perfect Dolomites Road Trip Itinerary for 5 Days
- 11 Most Beautiful Lakes in the Dolomites You Can’t Miss
- 13 Best Hikes in the Dolomites You Don’t Want to Miss
- Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike: All You Need to Know Before Visiting
- Cadini di Misurina Hike: How to Find the Famous Viewpoint in the Dolomites
- Hotel Review: Chalet Al Foss Alp Resort, Italy
- Hotel Review: La Maiena Meran Resort, Italy