Julie Italy 23 Comments

The Tre Cime di Lavaredo is one of the Dolomites’ iconic hikes. Three massive rocky prominences rise up from the rolling scenery of the Dolomites, surrounded by amazing views and, during the summer months, wildflowers.

As far as hiking goes, this is a relatively easy hike. Tre Cime is great for kids, so if you are here on a family vacation and want to add a Dolomite hike to your Italian itinerary, this is a great one to consider.

Hiking the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Loop

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hiking Stats

Distance: 10 km (6 miles)
Elevation Gain: 340 meters
Length of time: 3 to 5 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Map: You can purchase a map of this hike at the tourist offices, souvenir shops, and outdoor suppliers in the Dolomites. For this hike, you need the Tabacco #10. Purchasing the map is not necessary. The hiking trail is well marked and easy to follow. You can also reference the book Shorter Walks in the Dolomites, which we reference below.
When to go: This hike is best during the summer months, when the wildflowers are in bloom. The road to Rifugio Auronzo typically opens in early June.
Bring: Hiking shoes, water, snacks or lunch, a jacket (it is chilly at the higher elevations), and of course, your camera.

Please practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace: plan ahead, stay on the trail, pack out what you bring to the hiking trail, properly dispose of waste, leave areas as you found them, be considerate of other hikers, and do not approach or feed wildlife.

The entire loop is 10 km (6 miles) long and mostly flat. The loop circumnavigates the three colossal pinnacles that gives Tre Cime its name.

We hiked Tre Cime in July on a cloudy and rainy day. Even with less than ideal weather, it was still a gorgeous hike. On sunny days, the views are even better.

The hike begins at Rifugio Auronzo. There are large car parks here but they can fill up during the busier summer months. Try to get here early so you can get a spot. Buses also connect Rifugio Auronzo with Cortina d’Ampezzo and Dobbiaco, for those who are touring Italy without a car.

A wide, relatively flat trail connects Rifugio Auronzo with Rifugio Lavaredo. During this section of the hike, the massive spikes of Tre Cime loom over you and makes Rifugio Lavaredo seem tiny and insignificant.

Rifugio Lavaredo

Rifugio Lavaredo | Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop hike

From Rifugio Lavaredo, a short climb takes you up and over a mild grade. Once at the top, the views change, opening up to a view of the valley in front of Tre Cime, with the mountains of the Dolomites stretching off beyond. In the not too far off distance is Rifugio Locatelli, your next destination.

Tre Cime Hiking Signs

Trail sign | Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop hike


Hiking Tre Cime

Hiking Tre Cime with Kids

Tre Cime Hike Valley

Rifugio Locatelli

Rifugio Locatelli | Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop hike

From Rifugio Locatelli, you will have your best view of the Tre Cime and the valley. Hopefully, you will have better weather than we did.

Tre Cime de Lavaredo Hike


After enjoying the view, take the path downhill and cross the valley in front of the Tre Cime. If you are here during the summer months, this valley is carpeted with wildflowers.

Hiking with Kids Dolomites

Tyler and Kara on the trail | Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop hike


Tre Cime in rain

The hike ends back at the car park at Rifugio Auronzo.

Getting to Rifugio Auronzo

The closest town to Rifugio Auronzo and the start of the hike is Misurina. The final road to main parking lot, SS48bis, can close in the winter months when it becomes covered with snow.

Driving Distances from Nearby Towns:

  • Cortina d’Ampezzo: 23 km, 40 minutes
  • Selva di Cadore:  53 km, 1.5 hours
  • Bolzano:  152 km, 2.5 hours

There is a €30 fee for parking at Rifugio Auronzo. Here is more information about the parking fee for Rifugio Auronzo.

For more information about how to get here using public transport, take a look at this link.

For More Information on Hiking in the Dolomites

Looking for more hikes in the Dolomites? We also hiked the spectular Puez-Odle Altopiano (one of our favorite hikes of all time) and the Lagazuoi Tunnels, a mostly downhill hike with awesome views and the chance to walk through old World War I tunnels.

The book Shorter Walks in the Dolomites by Gillian Price was a huge asset to us planning our time in the Dolomites. This book covers 50 one-day hikes in the Dolomites, complete with maps, directions, photographs, and wonderful descriptions of the hikes. If you are considering hiking the Dolomites, we highly recommend this book.

Where We Stayed in the Dolomites

We stayed at Hotel Garni Ongaro in Selva di Cadore. Selva di Cadore is a quiet, little town located in the mountains, about a half hour away from Cortina D’Ampezzo. It is a somewhat central location for reaching most of the trails we hiked. Plus, we were located away from the main touristy towns; it was wonderful getting away from the masses of tourists in Italy in July. In Hotel Garni Ongaro, we stayed in a quadruple room, perfect for families, with a queen-sized bed for the adults and bunk beds for the kids.

More Information about Italy

Planning a trip to Italy? Read all of our articles in our Italy Travel Guide.

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Comments 23

  1. Avatar for Benjamin


    Planning on going to the Dolomites soon and find your articles very helpful.

    However I would like to do a via ferrata around Tre Cime. Would you say this would have to be booked up front or can I book it when entering the park? What about climbing gear, can it be rented there?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We have not done any via ferratas in the Dolomites but my hunch is that this is something you should book ahead of time. You would have an experienced guide and the equipment that you need. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Liz
    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Liz. We hiked the 101 trail which is the circuit around Tre Cime. Sorry, I don’t know much about the 104 trail. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Piia

    I think your pics are better than pics taken in a sunny weather. Those clouds around Tre Cime make them look mysterious and really beautiful.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  4. Avatar for Juan Carlos
    Juan Carlos


    First of all, thank you for all the information, it is really useful. We’re a couple with a 4 year old that would like to try this route this summer. I don’t know if that would be suitable. We usually go on the weekends for walks in the forest, around 5-6 km each. I got a German book about this route, and advises that at two points there are places you have to use a rope to continue, and I’m not pretty sure my kid will be able to do so. But I cannot find any other place to confirm nor deny this information. Any information would be appreciated.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Juan. I think you can do this with a 4 year old. We never saw a rope on the trail, nor a part of the trail that was so steep that you would need a rope or chain for assistance. For the most part, this was a relatively flat, easy hike, especially considering that you are in the Dolomites. There are a few short climbs and descents but nothing too difficult. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Petra

        We just did this hike with a 6 and a 4 year old. The younger one did amazing! As mentioned, this is a very easy flat hike. You can do via feratta starting at Rif. Locatelli.

        1. Avatar for Julie Post
  5. Avatar for Francis (Philippines)
    Francis (Philippines)


    Bivvy camper here. 🙂 I’m glad I came across your website. It’s neat, plain and simple, yet very informative! I’m going to Lake Braies tomorrow, stay overnight in the tent, then I go straight to Tre Cime the following day and stay for another night. I know it’s not allowed to camp in the wild here in Italy but I’ve been doing this for quite a year now, and I believe nothing is really wrong as long as you keep the place clean (I even do some cleaning when the area is littered). I’m just wondering if you get any tips with regards to safety in Tre Cime like wild animals, landslides, air temperature, wind strength etc. The book “Shorter Walks in the Dolomites, I hope I could find that book here in Italy too.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Francis. Lake Braies sounds so nice! We haven’t been there yet but it’s on our list! As for Tre Cime, there are so many people on the trail that most animals will stay away. Since you have been camping in Italy you probably are much more familiar with the wildlife than we are. If you see anything, it will most likely be chamois, ibex, or deer. The trail does not get close to the three pinnacles of rock so landslides shouldn’t be an issue, depending upon where you choose to make your camp. We were there on a cloudy, almost drizzly day in July and temperatures were in the high 60’s (Fahrenheit). Overnight it gets cooler (60F, 15C). Have a great time! – Julie

  6. Avatar for Jan

    Hi Earth Trekker,

    Great pictures you’ve got there and great website. You got me hooked because you have two kids with you travelling and I am in the same situation although much younger, one is still nearly three years old. I find it difficult to find information about Europe travel or maybe little information on travelling with kids especially hiking info. Your website is one really good source of information.

    We are going to Italy in December and will pass the dolomites on the way to Slovenia. What is your experience in doing hiking in december there or whether we should skip it altogether due to cold weather. We travelled to Western Europe in December and had a great time.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We have not been to Italy or the Dolomites in December. I would imagine that it would by very cold and snow could be on the trails. The area around Cortina d’Ampezzo is popular for skiing, and this is not far from Tre Cime. Skiing may be a better option in December than hiking. Here is a link to weather conditions in the Dolomites year round. Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for Rics

    Hi. Thanks for the information in this page. 🙂
    We are planning to do that hike in October, maybe staying somewhere in Misurina for an early hike the next day.
    Is the trail flat enough for a light child stroller (with a few occasional or frequent folding of the stroller/pram)? Do you think we can do the hike (Auronzo – Lavaredo-Locatelli-Auronzo) if it’s me, my wife, our 5 year old son and a 2 year old daughter? We never hiked with our daughter before. If not, we saw that we can hire a baby carrier in Val Gardena as another option.

    Appreciate your advice.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      The trail out to Locatelli (if you go counterclockwise) is mostly a graded gravel trail. If I recall, there might have been one short, rocky climb where you would have to carry the stroller. Continuing on counterclockwise, from Locatelli back the car park, the trail gets narrower, very similar to a typical hiking trail. This part would be difficult with a stroller. You could just go out and back to Locatelli on the wider trail. You would still get to see Tre Cime from the best viewpoint (at Locatelli in my opinion). This would be very doable with young kids. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Rics
      2. Avatar for Rics

        Hi Julie,

        I’ve read that the toll cost going up to Rifugio Auronzo is about 25Euros. Is this toll one way or return?

        I’ve also read somewhere you can skip the toll if we go earlier than 8AM, are you aware of this? Because some people like to catch the sunrise.


        1. Avatar for Julie Post

          There is a fee for parking at Rifugio Auronzo. SS48 is the access road to Rifugio Auronzo. It is open in the summer but can be closed in the winter due to snow. If I remember correctly, we paid this fee in the parking lot for Rifugio Auronzo. Between 6 am and 3 pm the price is 25 Euros (total). Between 3 pm and 6 am the price is 16 Euros (total). So, if you arrive just before 6 am or just after 3 pm, you will pay less money. Here is more information about the fee and the toll road. Sorry, I forgot about this fee when I wrote this post. I will have to update it now. Thanks for asking! – Julie

  8. Avatar for Divya Mehta
    Divya Mehta

    Thanks for this informative post, we are travelling from india. Have seen this pics and videos about this beautiful hike and since then have plans to hike on trek. Now that we are going , i was not able to get any proper information on how to reach the starting point. Your blogpost saved me and our hope to complete this trek on our own.
    I will be travelling with my husband. Please can you give information regarding , how can we reach the starting point via bus, local travel as we don’t have private vehicle. What is the time frame you suggest to do complete trek.
    Can you suggest any nearby place where we can keep our luggage and go by car/bus to starting point , complete the trek and come back to hotel . This will be great help .

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      The best time to do this hike is during the summer months, June, July, and August. For more information about how to get here using public transport, take a look at this link. Buses do run between Cortina d’Ampezzo and the start of the hike. I am not sure how you can store your luggage, although you may be able to do so in the train station in Cortina d’Ampezzo. You could also drop your luggage off at your hotel before going to Tre Cime. Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for Summer Dimerling
    Summer Dimerling

    Hey there Earth Trekkers!

    First off- love your posts and beautiful pictures! My fiancé and I are planning our honeymoon this September and are hoping to do a day trip from Venice to the Dolomites, particularly doing the tre cime di lavardo hike. I am planning on us renting a car to drive from Venice but was hoping you wouldn’t mind offering a route to get us there. Everything I have been looking up is recommending a train and bus and google maps has not been helpful in showing an easy route. I appreciate your time. Keep up the awesome travels 🙂

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello. Yes, it seems like Google does not like to make a route on that last unnamed road to get to Rifugio Auronzo. From Venice, take SS51 north to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Then take SR48 east for 13 km. It looks like the road comes to a T here. Turn left onto SP49 for 2.6 km, where you will turn right onto the unnamed road (this is what Google maps calls it) until you get to the parking lot for Rifugio Auronzo. It should take about 2.5 hours one way to get from Venice to the hike. Have a great time and a wonderful honeymoon!! Cheers, Julie

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