The loop hike around Tre Cime di Laveredo is one of the most popular day hikes in the Dolomites and no Dolomites itinerary is really complete without seeing the iconic three peaks. In this post I put together all the important information you need to know about the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike such as how to get there, what are the key metrics of the hike, where are the main checkpoints during the hike and a few tips about where to stay nearby.
Disclosure: *This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*
Key metrics of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike
Starting point: Rifugio Auronzo
Ending point: Rifugio Auronzo
Distance: 10.6 km (6.5 miles)
Elevation gain: 430 m (1,400 feet)
Duration: 4-5 hours
Overview and map of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike
The loop hike around Tre Cime di Lavaredo is one of the must do hikes when visiting the Dolomites. The entire loop is around 10 km and since it’s a fairly easy hike, it’s accessible to almost everyone (we even saw families with strollers). Usually it takes around 4-5 hours to complete the loop, we personally did it in 3.5 hours with a few quick photo stops (half an hour break at Dreizinnenhütte is not included).
I’ve read on many websites that the hike is mostly flat but this is not entirely true. The first 1.5-2 km (0.9-1.2 miles) is mostly flat, but the rest of the hike includes lots of ups and downs like you can see on the below map. The total elevation gain is around 430m (1,410 feet) during the whole hike so it’s totally manageable even for beginners.
The starting point of the Tre Cime di Laveredo hike is Rifugio Auronzo and since this is a loop hike, you will get back to this exact same spot at the end of the hike. You will come across three other guesthouses during the hike which can be used as checkpoints and you can also grab a quick lunch or a few drinks at any of them.
The hike can be completed both directions but it’s better to do it counter clockwise as this way you will be facing the three peaks the entire time (not a bad view, trust me!). Below I will share you a step-by-step by on how to complete the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike with a few useful tips and information about the trails.
Step-by-step guide to completing the loop hike around Tre Cime di Laveredo
1. Getting to Rifugio Auronzo
The starting and ending point of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo 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
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! I would only recommend this option if you are an experienced hiker since after reaching Rifugio Auronzo, you need to complete the 10.6 km (6.5 miles) loop hike around Tre Cime and then you will still need to hike all the way down to the parking lot in Lake Antorno again.
Option 2: 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.
Option 3: 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.
2. Hiking from Rifugio Auronzo to Rifugio Lavaredo
1.7 km (1 mile), 30 minutes
As I mentioned before, it’s best to do the hike counter clockwise, so after getting to Rifugio Auronzo you will need to take path nr. 101 on the right (eastern) side. The trail is wide and relatively flat, so this is the easiest part of the whole Tre Cime di Laveredo hike (enjoy it while it lasts, haha).
During the hike you will get to enjoy the panoramic view over the valley and the surrounding mountains on your right side while you will see Tre Cime on your left side. Shortly you will pass by a little chapel and not long after that you will arrive to Rifugio Lavaredo. This part of the hike is around 1.7 km (1 mile) long with almost no elevation gain so it can be completed in like 30 minutes.
3. Hiking from Rifugio Lavaredo to Forcella Lavaredo
0.6 km (0.4 mile), 15 minutes
From Rifugio Lavaredo the road splits into two different paths. Both paths will lead you to the same spot but while the upper path leads you directly to one of the most scenic viewpoints on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike, the lower path continues a bit further in the valley before turning uphill to the viewpoint.
If you are not in a hurry and don’t mind hiking a little bit more, I would recommend choosing the lower path because the views are simply amazing and it’s also a great spot for photography. We also found a tiny lake with cows grazing on the side, it was such a peaceful scenery.
As I mentioned before, both the upper and the lower part will lead you to a scenic viewpoint but in order to reach that, you will need to climb a little bit uphill. The viewpoint is called Forcella Lavaredo and this is the highest point on the entire Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike from where you can get a jaw-dropping view over the valley and the mountains. You can already see Dreizinnenhütte in the far distance from the viewpoint which will be your next stop on the hike.
4. Hiking from Forcella Lavaredo to Dreizinnenhütte
2.2 km (1.4 mile), 45 minutes
After soaking in the views at Forcella Lavaredo, it’s time to head to one of the most iconic guesthouses in the Dolomites called Dreizinnenhütte (or otherwise known as Rifugio A. Locatelli). As I mentioned before, you can already see Dreizinnenhütte in the far distance from Forcella Lavaredo so you can’t miss the road.
There are two paths leading up to Dreizinnenhütte, running parallel to each other. The lower path is wider and more comfortable so it’s a better choice for beginner hikers. The upper path on the other hand is a little bit more challenging but it’s considerably quieter than the lower one. It’s totally up to you which one you choose! In about 45 minutes you will arrive to Dreizinnenhütte. The last part of the hike is quite steep so watch your steps and be careful!
Although you can get food and drinks at each guesthouse, it’s best to take a little break at Dreizinnenhütte as this is almost in the middle of the hike and you can get a jaw-dropping view over the Tre Cime di Lavaredo as well. The hütte serves traditional mountain food and if the weather permits, you can sit outside on the benches, eating your delicious soup, dumpling or apple pie while watching the three peaks in the distance.
If you have a little extra time, it’s worth to explore the nearby area as well. You can find a few WW1 bunkers and tunnels, amazing caves and even two lakes within a short distance from Dreizinnenhütte. There are two via ferrata routes starting here as well so if you’re keen on adding more adventure to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike, you can opt for one of the routes too.
You can also stay at Dreizinnenhütte overnight if you want to spend more time in the area or if you would like to see the golden hour at sunset or sunrise in the mountains. They offer dormitory style rooms or beds in smaller rooms and you can also opt for breakfast or half board. For more information and to make a reservation you can visit their website here.
5. Hiking from Dreizinnenhütte to Malga Langalm
3.6 km (2.2 miles), 1.5 hour
From Dreizinnenhütte you need to follow path nr. 102 which leads you down to the valley. It’s quite steep so take it slow and watch your steps! The hardest part of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike starts after arriving to the valley as you will need to hike up on a very steep and long road.
This part feels like eternity but once you arrive to the top you will already see Malga Langalm in the distance. You need to continue on trail nr. 105 and after criss-crossing on the creek you will soon reach the guesthouse. Unfortunately it’s not possible to stay there overnight but it has a great restaurant so if you haven’t eaten at Dreizinnenhütte it’s a great place to have a quick meal.
6. Hiking from Malga Langalm to Rifugio Auronzo
2.6 km (1.6 mile), 45 minutes
The last part of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike is quite easy, there is only a small incline towards Forcella Col di Mezzo but after you tackled that it’s a relatively flat hike back to the parking lot. It takes around 45 minutes to get back to Rifugio Auronzo from Malga Langalm and you can enjoy a stunning view of the Cadini di Misurina peaks in the distance.
How to find the Instafamous viewpoint near Tre Cime di Lavaredo
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. Many people think that it’s somewhere along the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike but actually the viewpoint is a part of another hike, often referred as the Cadini di Misurina 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. They have the same starting point from Rifugio Auronzo so it makes sense to do both in one day (you’ve already paid the 30 EUR toll fee after all) but if you want to do the Cadini di Misurina hike, you will have to hike in the opposite direction of Tre Cime.
It takes around 35-45 minutes to get to the viewpoint, depending on your fitness level. It’s only a 2 km (1.2 mile) hike from Rifugio Auronzo but it’s a bit steep with 112 metres (370 feet) elevation gain and it’s important to know that this hike is not suitable for people with fear of heights. If you want to know how to get to the viewpoint pictured below, read my step-by-step guide about the Cadini di Misurina hike!
Where to stay near Tre Cime di Lavaredo
If you want to stay near Tre Cime di Lavaredo, 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 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 the loop hike around Tre Cime di Lavaredo is one of the best hikes in the entire area. Since it’s totally suitable for beginners as well, it’s worth to include it in your Dolomites itinerary even if you’re not a big hiker. I hope you liked this step-by-step guide about the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike and you will be able to witness the majestic three peaks with your own eyes as well while visiting the Dolomites.
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 hiking trails in the Dolomites? Let me know in the comments!
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