Last day of our short vacation in Dolomites we have spent in most visited hiking path in this region. Circle around Tre Cime di Lavaredo is easy hike suitable also for not hikers. It takes about 4 to 5 hours, depending on how much time you will spend in huts having good food or just watching the beauty of nature around you.
To reach Drei Zinnen you have to drive up on steep and curvy road. It is regular mountains road with the toll. Here they call it parking fee, which is 25 €. Road starts somewhere in 1 800 m / 5 900 ft and you need to drive up to Auronzo hut (2 320 m / 7 600 ft). It is real driving pleasure.
I do strongly recommend to get there as early as possible. Otherwise you will not be able to enjoy mountains without crowds. During the day, it is place crowded like historical center of any European city.
We have parked our car directly under Tre Cime. From this side, they look like any other mountains. From parking, we walk to Focella col di Mezzo saddle. It is very easy walk which takes about 25 minutes. From here we see to beauty in all directions. On the way to saddle you can enjoy view at Monte Cristallo.
In next 20 minutes, we have reached mountain lakes with Langalm hut. This is first place where you can order soft drinks and enjoy the beauty of the nature. Drei Zinnen finally looks similar as on the most pictures you have seen before. Still it is not the best angle.
Upcoming part of the hike is the hardest one. So far we did not go up or down. After couple of minutes walking you will descent a bit and have to climb all the way up Dre Zinnen hut. Ascent is about 150 m / 500 ft and is steep. You can choose from couple of hiking path. It took us more than an hour to get there.
From the hut, you can watch climbers on Innerkofler De-Luca via ferrata or enjoy Tre Cime. This is probably most famous view. Do not forget to go see valley on the other side with lovely lakes and spectacular mountains.
At this point you are in half of today’s hike. To saddle, which is left from Drei Zinnen you can follow two different paths. One follow regular gravel road, where go most of hikers. Other one is just above road, but is narrow and more interesting. Sometimes it is so narrow, that you cannot pass with hikers going opposite direction. From the saddle, you descent to the last hut – Lavaredo. I guess this part takes about 45 minutes, depending on which path you will take and how many hikers is on the trail.
Last part goes back to the parking, where you left your car. Basically, it is very easy walk on gravel road. It takes about 25 minutes. Be aware that this is part whit most of the visitors. Besides other hikers also view make you stop and enjoy the beauty. In this part I have been bit frustrated from all the people around. Most of us goes to the mountains get away from crowded places, enjoy the silence.
Anyway, Tre Cime di Lavaredo is great place, where you can understand why Dolomites are dream of each hiker. Despite the crowds I am sure I will come back one day. Hopefully, during next visit we will have more time to climb some via ferrata or ascent to some of the peaks. We will see.