Let’s go, it’s time to hike the Alta Via 1, day 3! After breakfast in Ücia does Muntagnoles, it was time to get ready and start the 3rd day of our multi-day hike along the Alta Via 1 in the Dolomites. It was quite a crazy realization, that after this day, we would be halfway already. We’d seen so many amazing views and spots already, but were excited for more. We knew today wouldn’t be the hardest day as well, as it was the expectation and set timing for the hike was 4:30 hours, which meant this would, together with day 2, be both the shortest as well as the easiest day (in terms of ascent). What we didn’t know before though, is that the ‘highlight’ of the route is quite an intense descent. To be honest, the first time we saw the descent we were quite scared, but in the end, it was very doable. The path is well maintained and the path zigzags down. Let’s go and learn all about the route of the Alta Via 1, day 3.
1 || Head to Rifugio Fanes and follow path number 11 towards Lago di Limo and Gran Fanes
2 || Follow path 20B towards Forcella del Lago
3 || Descend towards Lago Lagazuoi over Path 20B
4 || Follow path 20B towards Rifugio Scotoni
When we left early in the morning, it was still quite foggy. This was quite a cool change from the sunny days we had experienced so far as it also allows you to experience the surroundings differently. From Ücia does Muntagnoles we started our hike towards the larger Rifugio Fanes, where you take path nr. 11 to start a small climb towards a stunning environment with many small streams, but first, you’ll pass by Lago di Limo.
Path 11 guides you past Gran Fanes and at the next junction, you have to choose to follow path 20B. This path will be the main climb of the day up to Forcella del Lago, also referred to as the Lagazuoi Lake Saddle. Mind you, this one isn’t always easy and actually, part of the road was close to missing, which meant there was some climbing on knees and hands to be done. Closer to the top of the Forcella del Lago, snow showed up and in the last 10 minutes, we had to conquer the snow. Apart from those two obstacles, the path was more than fine, but you have to be prepared to get exhausted by climbing up.
What do you need to bring on a hut-to-hut hike of multiple days? Check out my packing list and why I did or did not pack certain items to prepare for your trip!
You’ll find it here.
When we made it to the top of the Forcella del Lago we first were relieved. Until .. we saw the descend we had to do in order to reach the Lago Lagazuoi, from where we could continue to Rifugio Scotoni – our endpoint of the Alta Via 1, Day 3. We didn’t see any pictures of this descent before online and had no idea what was coming our way. Well, I can tell you know, it wasn’t as bad as it looked and even with a friend being afraid of heights, we made it. The road zigzags down, which means it is not that steep. You shouldn’t look down too much, but when you are careful and fully focused on the path, you’ll be good. The descent took us about an hour and after this hour, we reached the pretty Lake Lagazuoi.
With the tour we booked (idtravel did book our Rifugios, so we didn’t have to stress about that), we stayed the night in Rifugio Scotoni. Another option is to continue directly to Lagazuoi – but don’t underestimate the climb you still have to do (we did underestimate it the next day, as described in the Alta Via 1, Day 4 overview). Something to realize is, is that the route to Rifugio Scotoni is quite a descent, which doesn’t matter in itself, but the realization this isn’t part of the official route and you have to ascent it all the next day is not that nice. Nevertheless, Scotoni is a good place to stay and one of the not that many rifugios in the area. So, from Lake Lagazuoi, take route 20(B) down to Rifugio Scotoni and enjoy a well-deserved beer, with a view, on your arrival.