Trip Report    

Trek Hut to Hut on the Alta Via 1 in Italy's Dolomites

This is a rugged and challenging but incredibly view-rich trek with the opportunity to see 80% of the Dolomite range along the way! Not to mention coffee and strudel mid-way through nearly every day, and warm huts with beer, wine and warm beds every night.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • We had a great stretch of September weather for this trip, mild temps and it only rained for part of two different days with bluebird weather in between.  I'd highly recommend early September for a trek in the Dolomites!

    Trails are very rugged even when rated 'moderate' in the trekking guidebooks, with lots of boulder hopping and descents, ascents and traverses of steep scree slopes.  For this reason, the route is more exhausting than the miles and elevation changes indicate.  You need to be very fit to take on this trek, and sturdy footwear and trekking poles are a must!

    Still, the trail sections that were described in terrifying terms in the Cicerone guidebook were not nearly as terrifying in reality as long as you have good balance and are comfortable with a bit of exposure and steep scree.

I booked this trip with an outfitter Alpenventures Unguided who provides booking services for huts and transportation and provides maps, online navigation aids and other helpful information for a reasonable fee.  (Normally would not have used a booking agent but decided to book this trip when an opening arose a month in advance, and there's no way that I could have done it myself with everything else that was going on at the time.)

We booked an 8.5 day trek going in at Lago de Braies and exiting at La Pissa (skipping the Via Ferrata section to Belluno at the end).  Our days ranged from about 5 miles to a bit over 13 miles, with elevation gains between 1700 and 3500 feet.  We stayed 8 nights in mountain huts that ranged dramatically in the level of amenities (private huts at the northern end with easier road and dayhike access tended to have more amenities).   For example, some had free showers, nicely appointed bunk rooms and a wide array of food and drink choices, while the most spartan hut had a non-functional shower, funny-tasting water and limited food and drink options.  Still, all the huts were comfy and provided a 3-course meal, which was delightful at the end of a long and exhausting day.

And the scenery never disappointed - in some ways even more dramatic than the other treks I've done in the Alps with row upon row of mountains all around.  The best views were on day 3 (Forcella de Lago to Laguzuoi), day 4 (Averau, Cinque Torri, Passo Giau and Croda da Lago) and day 8 (over Forcella del Zita Sud) but all of the days were spectacular.

For more details on the itinerary contact the leader!