We left the best for last after three days in the Dolomites with a walk at Tre Cime. This walk had the right amount of length for those looking for a bit more exploration while not being at all difficult. The views are as stunning as they were in our previous walks at Cinque Torri and route 20 from Lagazuoi to Scotoni. And it wasn’t just because the weather was perfect.
Tre Cime is so called because of its three peaks – rocky towers that rise on a crest that overlooks Lake Misura. In fact, we grabbed a few photos at the lake en route to our walk. There are restaurants around the lake so it’s pretty handy for a meal after the walk as well although we proceeded further south for lunch at Michelin one-starred AGA Ristorante.
Park and Start the Walk at Rifugio Auronzo
Tre Cime is located less than 45 minutes drive from Cortina. You can’t drive up to the towers but the closest point to start the walk would be at the Rifugio Auronzo. We were early and pretty much had our choice of parking at the Rifugio. I can imagine during the peak season, the car park may fill out but there are other start points to the walk which should help dissipate the crowds.
The whole walk, which circumnavigates the site, probably takes around 3-4 hours to cover the 9km allowing ample time to take photos. Notably – I take a lot of photos so I’m sure it can be done faster. As we were afraid of running late for our lunch, we decided to walk as far as we could, which was up to crest of the walk and then turn back. On hind sight, we may have made it all the way around. Although I’ve been told that starting the walk from Rifugio Auronzo gives us the more interesting views, I’ve seen some great photos of the walk from the return leg as well. So all in, it’s probably worthwhile to walk around the whole way.
Not too Difficult
The great thing about this walk is that much of the path is wide and relatively flat. Since many of the hiking routes in the area are essentially the ski trails in the winter, the walks can be steep for some. There wasn’t much of a climb up or down at Tre Cime as the path essentially moves around the three towers. I am sure that there are less visited trails in the area but given our lack of ability, this was a good walk for us.
One surprise was how windy it was at the crest. It was a fairly average mild early autumn day of around 12 degrees celsius but the blast of cold air at the crest knocked out a number of mobile phones (older model iPhones) temporarily. This was probably due to the batteries although luckily the DSLR cameras were fine and my phone was unscathed. We figure that the wind brought temperatures down to freezing at the crest of our walk. So preparation with adequate clothing is probably good to keep in mind when doing the full walk.