When searching for photos of the Dolomites on Instagram, one particular viewpoint often comes up where people are standing on top of a rock with an insane view over a mountain range covered with sharp pinnacles. This viewpoint is part of the Cadini di Misurina hike and in this article I will share a step-by-step guide on how to find this Insta famous viewpoint in the Dolomites!
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Overview of the Cadini di Misurina Hike
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)
Duration: 35-45 minutes
Difficulty: easy, but not suitable for people with fear of heights
Map for the Cadini di Misurina hike
How to Reach the Famous Viewpoint on the Cadini di Misurina Hike
Getting to Rifugio Auronzo
The starting point of the Cadini di Misurina hike is Rifugio Auronzo, just like for the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike. Hiking to Cadini di Misurina is one of the lesser known hikes in the Dolomites and not many people know about it, therefore it’s less crowded than the Tre Cime di Lavaredo trail.
It’s best to do both hikes on the same day and since the Cadini di Misurina hike is the lesser known one, I recommend doing the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike first. I know you will be probably tired after completing the 10 km (6.2 miles) loop hike around Tre Cime but trust me, doing the Cadini di Misurina hike will grant you some unforgettable views and no Dolomites road trip is really complete without seeing it with your own eyes!
In order to get to Rifugio Auronzo you have three options: 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!
Hiking from Lake Antorno to Rifugio Auronzo
If you have a very strict budget, hiking up to Rifugio Auronzo from Lake Antorno is your best option as it’s completely free. There is a car park near Lake Antorno where you can leave your car and after that you need to hike around 1.5 hours to reach Rifugio Auronzo.
Be prepared for a very steep hike as you need to tackle more than 500 metres (1,640 feet) elevation gain! Since you are supposed to do the 10 km (6.2 miles) loop hike around Tre Cime and the 2 km (1.2 miles) long Cadini di Misurina hike after that, I won’t recommend this option. Especially since you will need calculate with getting back to Rifugio Auronzo from the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint and then you will need to hike all the way down to Lake Antorno as well!
Taking a bus to Rifugio Auronzo
In order to save some money, you can choose to take a public bus up to Rifugio Auronzo. The easiest option is to take bus line nr. 444 from either Dobbiaco or Misurina which goes directly to Rifugio Auronzo.
Buses run frequently in the hiking season, typically from mid-May until late September. Services usually start around 9am and end around 5.30pm, a ticket costs 3 EUR (3.5 USD) for one way.
Driving up to Rifugio Auronzo
The easiest option to getting to Rifugio Auronzo is to drive up with your own car. Unfortunately there is only one road leading up to Rifugio Auronzo and since it’s a private road, you will need to pay 30 EUR (35 USD) to use it with a normal car. The toll fee is 45 EUR (53 USD) for a camper van and if you want to stay overnight, you will need to pay an addition fee of 15 EUR (18 USD).
Make sure to have cash with you as they don’t accept credit cards for the toll fee and try to go early in the morning because later on when the parking lot is full they can close the road and you have no other option to get up there. You can find huge parking lots around Rifugio Auronzo so if you’re already up there, you will not have any problem with finding a parking spot.
Starting the Cadini di Misurina hike
After you arrived to Rifugio Auronzo, you will see most people following trail nr. 101 which goes on the right side of Rifugio Auronzo. This is the start of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop hike which goes all around Tre Cime (the three peaks).
If you check the picture with the mountain above (that’s the Tre Cime), you can see Rifugio Auronzo in the middle and the trail going on the right side along the mountain. This is NOT the way you need to go! While most people are hiking around Tre Cime, you will need to walk AWAY from Tre Cime in the opposite direction to be able to find the Cadini di Misurina hike and the viewpoint.
From Rifugio Auronzo you will already see the peaks of Cadini di Misurina covered with sharp pinnacles, so this is the direction you need to go. There is a trail (nr. 117) going in that direction, it’s a 9.2 km (5.7 miles) long trail ending at Rifugio Col de Varda. Don’t worry, you don’t need to walk that much! Basically you will have to follow that trail until you reach the instafamous viewpoint, it’s only 2 km (1.2 miles) from Rifugio Auronzo and it takes around 35-45 minutes to get there depending on your fitness level.
So, first you will need find trail nr. 117 after the parking lot ends, it’s a small rocky pathway leading you to a small hill towards Cadini di Misurina. There is a sign for the trail somewhere after the parking lot ends but we didn’t manage to find it. That being said, even without seeing the sign you can’t really miss the trail! If the parking lot is behind you and you can see the sharp pinnacles behind the hill in front of you, you are on the right way!
Getting to the Insta famous viewpoint
There are a few red and white trail markers along the road guiding you to the right direction but the hike is very straight forward even without seeing those. Once you get to the top of the hill, the trail continues to go up a bit and then it goes along the ridgeline.
Now, it’s possible to go this way as well but it’s very scary as there is a sheer drop right next to the trail so I wouldn’t recommend it. We went there because we didn’t know that there is another way (only found it on the way back) and it was quite uncomfortable.
Instead of following the official trail along the ridgeline, find the small path on your right side that goes a little bit down and loops around the mountain. 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 (if you follow the official trail along the ridgeline).
It’s important to know is that there are railings along the trail (you can see it on the photo below) and in order to climb up to the viewpoint, you need to slip under the railings. I didn’t know this before I went there (somehow no one ever mentioned it) and I was a bit hesitant first but since the ground was dry I decided to go for it. It was not hard to get there and the path is quite wide, but it’s definitely not for everyone.
Please only climb to the viewpoint on your own risk and don’t even think about doing it if the trail is muddy or wet! It’s really no joke, if you slip and fall from there you can hurt yourself pretty badly and you can even die. So please please be super careful!
Oh and one last thing: you can see me wearing a skirt on the below photo. I hope it goes without saying but wearing proper hiking shoes and pants are must when hiking in the Dolomites! I was wearing the same but I always carry 1 or 2 instagrammable skirts in my backpack so whenever I see a good photo opportunity, I just throw them on my hiking outfit.
After you soaked in all the view and shot lots of photos (no one will blame you when they see this view!) it’s time to head 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.
Where to Stay near Cadini di Misurina
If you want to stay near Cadini di Misurina, 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 this is the starting point of both the Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop hike and the Cadini di Misurina hike, it’s quite popular so you will need to reserve your spot well in advance.
In case you would rather stay at a nearby town, the closest one is Misurina from where you can reach Rifugio Auronzo within 20-25 minutes by car. Since it is a small town, there are not many options to choose from. Cortina d’Ampezzo is the most popular town among travelers staying in the Dolomites and since it’s only 40 minutes from Rifugio Auronzo, it can also be a great option.
You can use the below map to check the nearby hotels by modifying your preferred dates or you can check out my hotel recommendations below.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN MISURINA
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN CORTINA D’AMPEZZO
The Dolomites are one of the best places to visit in Italy and finding the famous Instagram viewpoint will grant you one of the best views in the entire area. Getting to the viewpoint might sound a little bit complicated but in reality it’s quite easy if you know what you’re looking for and where you have to go. And well, that’s what this article is for!
I hope you liked this step-by-step guide about the Cadini di Misurina hike and you will be able to find the viewpoint too! If you’re more of a visual person, you can check the Dolomites highlight on my Instagram where I explained the trail on video as well.
If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email, I always love helping you out! Do you know some other great viewpoints in the Dolomites? Let me know in the comments!
The Perfect Dolomites Road Trip Itinerary
How to Hike Tre Cime di Lavaredo
13 Best Hikes in the Dolomites
Want to read more about the Dolomites?
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