Tre Cime Day Hike Guide – discover the Dolomites

Discover the majestic dolomites with the tre cime day hike (drei zinnen)

The Dolomites is of course known for it’s great lakes and mountain ranges. When we booked our hut to hut hike following the Alta Via, I also did some additional research on the Dolomites. The Alta Via was described as a hike covering the Tre Cime area. However, the trail doesn’t touch upon visiting the Tre Cime themselves. I soon figured that the Tre Cime di Lavaredo is one of the prettiest areas and hikes in the Dolomites, so what a shame would it be to not touch upon those?! We decided to head to Italy one day before the original start of our trail, which allowed us to 1. decide to do nothing if the train ride would be too tiring (it was…) or 2. the option we took nevertheless, to add an additional day hike to our trip! No regrets in that. Let’s start with everything you need to know about this hike and let the pictures convince you this Tre Cime day hike should be on your bucket list! 

A day hike exploring the Tre Cime / Drei Zinnen

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Day Hike Summary

How to get there?

The start of the Tre Cime day hike can be found at Rifugio Auronzo. A great place to start from or to stay is in the neighbourhood of Dobbiaco (Toblach) as direct busses go to both the Tre Cime and to the famous Lago di Braies. If you are touring the Dolomites for longer, it’s probably best to rent a car and drive to Rifugio Auronzo. You have to pay 30 euros to park here (which can’t be easily avoided as you have to pay way before your actual arrival at the Rifugio. Another way to head to Tre Cime is by bus, which is what we did. Busses depart from Dobbiaco bus station and train station and you’ll pay 16 euros for a return ticket. Busses leave approximately every hour but outside of peak season they might skip an hour, so make sure to check this beforehand. Well, otherwise just enjoy your well deserved beer at the end of the hike in the Rifugio. You can check the departure times with Google Maps.

Let's start hiking and follow path 101

The best way to hike around the Tre Cime is to hike counter clockwise, which means you’ll have the amazing three peaks on your left hand during your hike. The trail is really well marked, so it is near impossible to get lost. The trail starts of quite flat on a broad and decent path. Soon, you’re already rewarded with great views on Rifugio Aurenzo and you’ll walk past the Cappella degli Alpini, before starting your first climb. You might not yet be rewarded with views on the Tre Cime / Drei Zinnen / Three Peaks, however the mountains surrounding will not disappoint. 

Rifugio Auronzo, Tre Cime, Italy
Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Dolomites, Italy
Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Dolomites, Italy
Start of the Tre Cime day hike - routing
Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Dolomites, Italy
View on Rifugio Auronzo, Tre Cime Day Hike
Mountain views in the Dolomites, Italy
Cappella degli Alpini, Chapel Tre Cime
Mountain views around Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen
Mountain views around Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen
Routing at the Tre Cime Loop - Circuit Day Hike

Rifugio Lavaredo towards Forcella Lavaredo

After not too long, you’ll arrive at the first Rifugio on the way, which is Rifugio Lavaredo. Personally, this coffee spot was slightly to early on the route for us, so we didn’t stop and continued climbing towards Forcella Lavaredo, the most famous viewpoint during this route. I have to admit, the most beautiful views in my opinion on the Tre Cime were indeed from this point. If you’re not that keen on hiking, you could also return after visiting Forcella Lavaredo as some do, however, I would definitely recommend to continue the loop as the views are pretty all around. 

Vies on Rifugio Lavaredo, Tre Cime Day Hike
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike
Mountain Range views from the Tre Cime Day Hike

At Forcella Lavaredo, we decided to quickly walk up a bit more, where others might go down to follow the trail straight away as the pictures below show (follow the backpack with the green rain cover). Doing this, rewarded us with some of my personal favourite pictures shot during the day. We were up all alone, while so many visitors gathered at the original viewpoint.

Climbing to a view point around the Tre Cime
Climbing to a view point around the Tre Cime
Views over the Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo
Views over the Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike
Views over the Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo
Views over the Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike
Hiking the paths during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Circuit hike

En route to Rifugio Locatelli / Dreizinnenhütte

From Forcella Lavaredo you’ll continue following path 101 towards the Dreizinnenhütte. From the viewpoint, you can already spot this beautiful hut. Look at those views! We didn’t expect that much snow (end of July), however at this part of the trail there was some snow left, however it wasn’t too hard to pass while on the other hand it did reward us with quite dramatic views. From the route, you can keep following path 101 towards Rifugio Locatelli to make a pit stop, which I would definitely do as the views are amazing! How often in your life will you have a coffee with such beautiful views. Let’s not focus on the fact is was slightly raining. 😉 

Hiking the paths during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Circuit hike
View on Rifugio Locatelli (Dreizinnenhutte) during the Tre Cime Loop
Hiking the paths during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Circuit hike
Hiking the paths during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Circuit hike
A day hike exploring the Tre Cime / Drei Zinnen
Hiking the paths during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Circuit hike
Hiking the paths during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Circuit hike
Hiking the paths during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Circuit hike
A day hike exploring the Tre Cime / Drei Zinnen
Rifugio Locatelli - Dreizinnenhutte to rest during the hike
Routing during the Circuit Hike around Tre Cime (Di Lavaredo)
Hiking the Tre Cime Loop
Coffee at the Dreizinnenhutte (Rifugio Locatelli)

It might not be on top of your list, but hiking in the Albanian Alps is amazing and you’re sure to run into less tourist than the Dolomites. Combine it with visiting the rest of Albania and an amazing ferry ride over Lake Koman

Read about hiking from Valbona to Theth here.

Visit the WW1 bunkers or continue on path 102 and 105

Unfortunately, we missed the WW1 bunkers. Looking at Instagram pictures, the view from the bunkers is quite cool. However, we saw a path going up where no one was going and which seemed quite dangerous. (We probably would have thought differently after the entire tour.) I wouldn’t be able to explain the exact location, but you should head up behind the Rifugio. We continued following path 102, that starts from behind the Rifugio as well (you’ll see the church). From here you start a decent and some climbing over more rocky parts. I personally didn’t think this was the most interesting part, however it’s great that you will continuously see the majestic Tre Cime. 

Beautiful flower view on the Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen
Beautiful flower view on the Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen
Beautiful flower view on the Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen
Hiking the Tre Cime Loop, Dolomites, Italy
Hiking the paths during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Circuit hike

Soon, you’ll reach a junction from where you have to follow path 105 that will bring you back to Rifugio Auronzo. I loved the fact that there are some streams, which brings a new dimension to the Drei Zinnen. Following path 105, you’ll also pass by Malga Langalm. Malga Langalm is one of the other Rifugios you’ll find along the route, and is a great place to stop and relax in the sun. The rest of the hike isn’t too long anymore, so why not continue to enjoy the views a bit longer. 

Hiking the paths during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Circuit hike
Hiking the paths during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Circuit hike
Hiking the paths during the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Circuit hike

From malga langalm to rifugio auronzo

After a potential stop at Malga Langalm, you can start the last leg of the trail (105) back to Rifugio Auronzo. This will take you approximately 1 hour. The trail and route is easy, as you can at all times follow the signs back to the Rifugio. Slowly, you’ll loose your main view on the Tre Cime and you can once again admire all other beautiful views of the surroundings. 

Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike, Dolomites, Italy
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike, Dolomites, Italy
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike, Dolomites, Italy
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike, Dolomites, Italy
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike, Dolomites, Italy
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike, Dolomites, Italy
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike, Dolomites, Italy
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike, Dolomites, Italy
Tre Cime, Drei Zinnen, Peaks, Circuit Loop Day Hike, Dolomites, Italy

There you are.

And that was it – following this route will bring you back to Rifugio Auronzo where you can enjoy a well deserved beer with a great view and afterwards take the bus or continue by car. We returned to our hotel in Rifugio for a dip in the pool and some additional relaxation in the sauna to prepare for another six days of hiking. 

PIN FOR LATER:

Tre Cime Day Hike - Drei Zinnen - Three Peaks.- Tre Cime di Lavaredo - Hiking the Dolomites

PIN FOR LATER:

Tre Cime Day Hike - Drei Zinnen - Three Peaks.- Tre Cime di Lavaredo - Hiking the Dolomites

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