Tre Cime di Lavarado was our final hike in the Sexten Dolomites of northeastern Italy, one of the best-known mountain groups in the Alps. Although there are many trails throughout the mountains, Tre Cime is one of the must-do hikes for capable explorers.
After warming up with shorter hikes around Lake
Braies and Cinque Torri (both very scenic), we finished our time in this
beautiful mountain range on a trail that circumnavigates the Three Peaks that
symbolize L’Alta Pusteria Valley. Known as Cima Grande, Cima Occidentale, and
Cime Piccola, these colossal mountains provide ample panoramic views on the iconic
Our driver met us very early in the morning at Hotel La Perla, where we spent five nights. Located in Corvara in the Alta Badia region this cute town lies in the shadow of the Dolomites.
Colorful flowers contrasted with the stark winding roads as we drove through the foothills of the mountains, paths punctuated with tiny villages along the way. White clouds and blue sky provided amazing background for the jagged limestone mountains.
Jagged peaks in the mountain range
After an hour and a half drive we arrived at Refuge Auronzo, the starting point for our hike. A wide, relatively flat trail connects Rifugio Auronzo with Rifugio Lavaredo. Within an hour of walking, the valley in front of Tre Cime opened up, and the north side of the Three Peaks came into view. What a sight to see all three majestic mountains side by side, an imposing UNESCO World Heritage Site. With their sharp-cornered ridges and dramatic peaks, the Dolomites are unlike any other mountain range we have seen.
A perfect place for lunch
We stopped to eat our packed lunch at a hut that was dwarfed beneath the imposing peaks. A short walk from there took us to a spot that proved perfect for capturing the scenery.
At this point, Larry decided to
hike back to the starting point with Gerhard, our driver and guide. Beverly and
our friend Deb continued on the hike around Tre Cime with our other guide.
First look at Tre Cime
The three of us walked down into the valley and followed a narrow trail that provided excellent views of the three peaks and more.
Some hiking challenges
Our trekking poles came in handy as we navigated rocks and other challenges on the trail. As is often the case, it’s hard to really describe the immensity and ruggedness of the terrain.
Pink, purple, and blue flowers dotted the late
summer landscape and softened the bare peaks that stretched towards the clouds.
We even saw cows grazing on green grass that magnified the beauty of the land.
We felt truly blessed for the opportunity be outside soaking in the God-made beauty
of this route.
A surprising sight at Tre Cime Limestone skirts the peaks
As if that wasn’t enough awesomeness, our guide led
us off the path to a stunning lake, a hidden gem that he knew about from years
of hiking this popular path. The day was absolutely perfect for photos with the
sun in an excellent position to provide clear reflections in the water. We
stopped for a brief snack and short rest while admiring the view.
A perfect day for our hike!
It was an unforgettable adventure that we’ll always remember when we think of the Italian Dolomites.
Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier