Friday, April 1, 2022

Hiking in the Dolomite Mountains of Italy

First, I must say that the Dolomites are among the most beautiful mountains in the world, and any visit near the border with Austria must include several days exploring this remarkable region. If you are reasonably fit, I highly recommend going into the mountain range and hiking; there are numerous trails suitable for a variety of skill levels. You gain an appreciation for the towering peaks that can only be achieved when standing in their midst.


We walked around gleaming Lake Braies.

Our first hike after arriving in Corvara, a village in the Alta Badia region, was at Lake Braies. Known as the “Pearl of the Dolomites,” Lake Braies is one of the deepest lakes in the Bolzan province. It is located in the Fanes-Senes-Braise Nature Park, a heavily visited area for both tourists and locals.
Lovely view as we walked around the lake

A 2.25-mile hiking trail circumvents the popular lake. Although the day we were there was somewhat overcast, we were still able to see mountain reflections (primarily of the Croda del Becco which stands at more than 9,000 feet)  in the emerald green lake. Along the way we observed an ancient church, colorful blooming flowers, and multiple limestone formations.

A strange sight to see!

We were pleasantly surprised to see cows roaming freely in the area, especially as they came down to the lake to drink or rested beside the lake, apparently unfazed by groups of humans wandering around.


Diving up the mountain to the starting point of the hike

The next day we headed out of the Tyrol region for a trek around Cinque Torri. Even though the weather was foggy and windy, we were excited to head higher up the mountains. To get to the trailhead at Rigufio degli Scoiattoli we took a chair lift above 7,000 feet. From there we hiked for 4.5 miles while circling the peaks that make up Cinque Torri.
Larry, Beverly, and Deb

This hike is named for massive rock formations composed of a combination of boulders, towers, and peaks. Located in the Nuvolau mountain group within the northern Dolomite region, the five towers are named (from largest to smallest) Torri Grande, Torri Seconda, Torri Terza, Torri Quarta, and Torri Quinta

Outstanding scenery along the trail

When the fog lifted, the scenery was magnificent. Paths wound through meadows bathed in dark and light shades of green sprinkled with a beautiful assortment of pink and white flowers. Some trails require challenging treks over rocks and boulders, but there are also meadow paths that follow a more level route for those who aren’t so nimble.
A beautiful day for a mountain hike!

During World War I Austro-Hungarian soldiers fought fierce battles among these steep mountain walls. Rugged landscapes and terrible winter weather were a huge hindrance, and more people died from the harsh conditions than died from battles.

Passo Falzarego--does it get any more magnificent than this?

The trail ended at Passo Falzarego, an enormous rock formation that sprawled over a hill making a breathtakingly perfect picture spot. So my friend Deb and I climbed to a small ledge so our guide could snap the photo. It was a fitting way to celebrate this amazing adventure in the Dolomites.

Beverly and Deb pose on the rocks

I’ll cover our hike to Tre Cime di Lavarado in an upcoming post!

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier



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