Trekking through the Cortina Dolomites
132 km and over 6,700 m of height difference: the Cortina Dolomiti Ultra Trekking is a trek of about 7 days with 6 nights in mountain lodges and traditional malga mountain huts. One can discover the most iconic locations of the UNESCO Dolomites in a unique multi-stage trek while enjoying the many local culinary specialities.
The trekking was conceived by Cortina Marketing, the Tourism Board of Cortina d’Ampezzo, together with the local mountain guides Guide Alpine Cortina and enjoys the patronage of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation.
The trek was designed to reveal the enchanted locations of a hidden Cortina and its surroundings, making it possible to experience the Dolomites by hiking from one mountain lodge to the next, walking amongst forests, rivers, malga mountain huts, traditional Ladin villages, lakes and peaks that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List: an experience that will remain in your heart for a lifetime.
Stage 1 – From Cortina d’Ampezzo to Rifugio Son Forca
Start early in the morning from Piazza Angelo Dibona, at the foot of the Cortina bell tower, and follow Via del Castello – which begins at the end of the pedestrian precinct – until you reach the intersection with the road leading to the hamlet Cadin, on the left of the state road. After crossing the state road, go uphill towards Cadin, and after passing the village’s attractive little church, you will reach the last houses of the hamlet Cadin di Sopra, where you take the CAI track n° 410, which leads to Lake Ghedina. From here on, there will be no more possibilities of refreshments for 3-4 hours, and so it is a good idea to take some water with you.
Then take track n° 409 until you reach the Posporcora Pass; then go downhill on track n° 408 until you reach the intersection with track n° 417 to Pian de Ra Spines. Here, carry on until you reach the Sant’Uberto car park, where you take the path leading to the cycle path that brings you to Rifugio Ospitale, a welcoming venue that once hosted the pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela. Then continue for about 7 km, with a total ascent of 700 m, on track n° 203, along the Padeon valley. Spend the night at the mountain lodge Rifugio Son Forca, on mount Cristallo.
Stage 2 – From Rifugio Son Forca to Rifugio Città di Carpi
The second day starts at the mountain lodge Rifugio Son Forca: follow track n° 203 to the Tre Croci Pass. When you are close to the state road on the pass, cross it and follow track n° 215 until you reach the magnificent Lake Sorapis and the mountain lodge Rifugio Vandelli. In this section, there is a short equipped route that is slightly exposed in places, requiring care. When you reach Lake Sorapis, you can choose whether to spend the night at the mountain lodge Rifugio Vandelli or carry on towards Federavecchia on track n° 217, which runs through the enchanting Somadida forest. Once you have reached Federavecchia, cross the road and take track n° 120, following it until you reach the mountain lodge Rifugio Città di Carpi, where you can stay for the second night.
Stage 3 – From Rifugio Città di Carpi to Rifugio Lavaredo
On the third day, start from the mountain lodge Rifugio Città di Carpi, and follow track n° 120 downhill until you reach the enchanting Lake Misurina. Following the shores of the lake towards Tre Cime di Lavaredo and continuing on the road, you reach the intersection with the CAI (Italian Alpine Club) track that leads to the peaks Tre Cime di Lavaredo, passing the mountain lodges Rifugio Auronzo and Rifugio Lavaredo, where you can stay the night if you wish. During this part of the walk, there are several venues at which you can stay: various hotels in Misurina, the mountain lodges Rifugio Lago Antorno, Rifugio Auronzo, Rifugio Lavaredo and Rifugio Locatelli, or Hotel Tre Cime, which requires another 3 hours’ walk.
Stage 4 - From Rifugio Lavaredo to Malga Ra Stua
On the fourth day, after having stayed at the mountain lodge Rifugio Lavaredo, take track n° 102, which brings you to Lake Landro in about 3 hours, and continue along the cycle path towards Cortina. After crossing the Cimabanche Pass, you reach Lake Bianco. To complete the day’s hike, cross the road and take track n° 8, and you will reach Malga Ra Stua, where you can stay for the fourth night, in about 2 hours. By now, you have covered about 80 km of the total distance.
Stage 5 - From Malga Ra Stua to Rifugio Col Gallina
The fifth day of the “Cortina Dolomiti Ultra Trekking” trek takes you to the mountain lodge Rifugio Col Gallina, and it includes a second variant that simplifies and shortens the route a little, and leads to the mountain lodge Rifugio Dibona.
On the fifth day, starting from Malga Ra Stua, take track n° 6 until you reach the Sant’Uberto car park. Take track n° 10 and then n° 401, which crosses the rugged Travenanzes valley. When you have reached the gully Forcella Col dei Bos, go downhill on track n° 402 towards the Falzarego Pass until you reach the mountain lodge Rifugio Col Gallina, where you can stay the night.
Stage 6 - From Rifugio Col Gallina to Rifugio Croda da Lago
On the sixth day, start from Rifugio Col Gallina and take track n° 419 towards Rifugio Averau, walking along the lovely alpine Lake Lìmedes. When you have reached Rifugio Averau, continue along track n° 452 to the Giau Pass. At the pass, cross the road and take track n° 436 until you reach the gully Forcella Ambrizzola. From here, take track n° 434, which brings you to the mountain lodge Rifugio Croda da Lago where you can spend the last night. Alternatively, continue on track n° 432 until you reach Malga Federa mountain hut and stay there for the night. By now, you have walked for a total of 110 km.
Stage 7 - From Rifugio Croda da Lago to the centre of Cortina
The final day of our multi-stage trek starts from Rifugio Croda da Lago, walking downhill on track n° 432 towards Malga Federa. Once you have reached the Malga, take the spectacular new Gores de Federa track that runs through gullies, canyons and past waterfalls, then rejoining track n° 432. Continue on track n° 432 until you meet track n° 406 on the left. Take this path until you reach the intersection with track n° 431, and then go right and continue until you reach Lake d’Ajal.
From the mountain lodge Rifugio Lago d’Ajal, carry on downhill on track n° 430 until you reach Lake Pianozes, and continue walking to the traditional Ladin village of Campo di Sopra. The rough “ex polveriera” track, named after what used to be the gunpowder magazine, takes you to the Revis car park where you catch your first glimpses of Cortina’s bell tower. Once you have reached the centre of Cortina, you will have completed the trek, after a circular route of about 130 km with approximately 6,700 m total ascent, walking amongst Ladin villages, and some of the most beautiful mountains, lakes and rivers in the world.