Italian Dolomites Hut-to-Hut Trek

Vacation Trip
DATE: Sep 02, 2017 Saturday
END DATE: Sep 14, 2017 Thursday

Trip/Event Location: Boston MA

Trip Leader(s)

Campton, NH United States

Meeting Time: 4:20 PM

Max # People: 12

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: Yes, but only to cover shared expenses, and I too am paying

Difficulty Level:

Moderate to Strenuous

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Region: International

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Be Prepared: Please be prepared to be self-sufficient. Have your own provisions such as first aid kit, food, water, extra clothing for unplanned weather, etc. Have your EMERGENCY CONTACT SHEET completed and in your backpack; it may save your life, and help reach someone who greatly cares!
Pace: There may be activities when the group is either slower or faster than your current ability. Please know that because this is a group activity, it's hard to accommodate everyone's pace perfectly. Our desire is not to leave anyone, however there have been times when it is in the best interest of all to split up. Please do your part by knowing your own abilities, communicating with the organizer head of time if you would like to start early and have us catch up or fine with finishing on your own.

The Alta Via 1 is a walking trail through the Italian Dolomites, for 75 miles from Dobbiaco in the North to Belluno in the South. The highest point reached by the standard route is 9,029ft and the height gain on the route is around 21,833ft. It will take us 8 days to complete the trek. Life on the AV1 quickly falls into a relaxing pattern. The huts are welcoming and the food excellent.

From soaring rock towers to grassy alpine meadows the Italian Dolomites offers some of the most dramatic, exciting and challenging hiking areas in the Alps. Strikingly different from the French or Swiss Alps, the limestone Dolomites rise dramatically from narrow valleys to form impressive spires, canyons, sheer rock walls rising 3,000′ and huge limestone plateaus. Beginning in the Italian Sud Tirol, the hike leads south along the high route, Alta Via 1, through the Pragser, Tofana, and Civetta mountain groups. The impressiveness of the scenery and the variety of terrain on this route is matched only by the warmth and hospitality offered by the mountain huts. The unusual contrasts in landscapes, changing colors and textures of the mountains and curious mix of Italian and Austrian influences means fantastic hiking, stunning scenery and plenty of pasta. This YouTube video will give you flavor of the trek. 

Jon and I have decided to do the entire Alta Via 1 trek for our vacation flying over Saturday, September 2nd on a ‘red-eye’ flight from Boston and flying back Thursday, September 14th. We’ve been working with Alpine Exploratory to contact all of the hotels and huts we would need to stay in. You have the option to stay in Venice for a couple of days after the trek and we can share with you the hotel we are staying in if you’d like to hang out with us. [The Thursday return is based upon spending an additional two nights in Venice.]

THIS IS A MODERATE TO STRENUOUS TREK. Because this is a moderate to strenuous hike, we will not accept everyone who signs up. We’ll be asking you a series of questions as to your hiking experience and fitness level. For example, if you’ve recently climbed a peak like with Mt. Washington that requires climbing up 4,000 feet in one day, you would probably qualify. If not, we would need a history of mountains you’ve climbed in 2016 that makes you think you qualify.

Here is the trekking itinerary:

Arrive in Dobbiaco

Stage 1: Bus to Lago di Braies. Walk to Rifugio Sennes, (6 miles), 925m ascent, 270m descent

Stage 2: Walk to Rifugio Fanes, (6 miles), 530m ascent, 580m descent

Stage 3: Walk to Rifugio Lagazuoi, (7 miles), 1215m ascent, 565m descent

Stage 4: Walk to Rifugio Nuvolau, (9 miles), 870m ascent, 1050m descent

Stage 5: Walk to Rifugio Citta' di Fiume, (9.5 miles), 490m ascent, 1130m descent

Stage 6: Walk to Rifugio Vazzoler, (11 miles), 750m ascent, 950m descent

Stage 7: Walk to Rifugio Sommariva al Pramperet, (12.5 miles), 1110m ascent, 965m descent

Stage 8: Walk to La Stanga. Bus to Belluno, (11 miles), 815m ascent, 2230m descent

Depart from Belluno

This is a self-guided trip but they book all the transportation to and from the trek, hotels/huts along the way, and provide us with maps/route maps [and assistance if we run into any issues during the trek]. Jon and I have trekked the Tour Du Mont Blanc, Alta Via II and Haute Route so we are quite familiar with trekking in Europe. That said, we don’t consider ourselves experts, especially since we’ve never trekked the Alta Via I before so incidents may happen such as missing a bus/train, making a wrong turn on the trek itself and encountering bad weather.  

Since we are not returning to the start, we will be using our backpack to carry everything. No luggage transfers…we carry everything in our pack. We did this for previous treks and did not have any problems. Basically we wore the same clothes often but made sure we had a set of clothes for travelling/relaxing at the hut. It made travelling so much easier in the airports and travelling to/from the trek. The packs should weigh between 20-25 pounds.     

Price per person: $890 Euro (based on double occupancy) Exchange rate as of 12/20/16 makes the price at $925. For a single supplement it’s an additional $60 Euro.

What’s included:

  • 9 nights’ accommodations at two small hotels and 7 mountain huts
  • Meals included are all breakfasts plus evening meals as all the mountain huts

Travel to Dobbiaco and from Belluno is not included in the price – it’s up to us to make the arrangements that suit us best. Our arrival and departure will be from the Venice airport. For lunches there is lots of opportunity to stock up on ingredients along the route. We will often find huts and cafés during the walking, useful for lunch stops.

The mountain huts provide showers and beer/wine for purchase. You’ll be sharing a room with another person in the hotels. While 4 of these huts have to be in dormitories with bunk beds, at the other 3 huts we have the chance to book smaller rooms and the outfitter is often successful on 2, 3 of these. We could get lucky and have private rooms with only two people. We could end up being a large group and the huts normally only have a couple of private rooms but they will try their best to get them when they can. 

Then the trek itself with huts/hotels, dinner and breakfast will run about $925. In addition, we’ll need extra money for lunches, travel to and from starting point/ending point, beverages [wine/beer], shower tokens, laundry, etc. so allow roughly $200-$350 for these costs. Then if you add the airfare, we are looking around $1,780 per person. I’m not including spending a couple of nights with meals in Venice should you choose to do this.  

We would need $200 deposit at the end of February if you wish to join us. Please note that this is NON-REFUNDABLE! I’ll provide the outfitter with all the names but you’ll be booking with them separately as to making payments. The balance would be due nine weeks prior to our departure. If you are single and would like to partner with someone contact another member who signed up and let us know. 

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

I was checking on flights and I was looking for one where we would arrive in Venice in the morning so we would then be able to get a bus to bring us to Dobbiaco. I found a round trip flight on British Airways from Boston to Venice for $505 leaving at 7:20pm and arriving in Venice at 12:05pm. If you are leaving from another airport, you have to be sure you arrive at the Venice Marco Polo airport by noon. We’ll have to find a convenient location in the airport to meet you.  

Trip Leader


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Campton, NH

United States

members signed up for this event


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Manchester, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

Spencer, MA

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

San Francisco, CA

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

NYC/Hudson Valley, NY

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

Upton, MA

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

Burlington , VT

United States
Discuss This Trip/Event
Gandalf Posted Feb 23, 2017 at 6:40 PM

After you fill out the booking form, you'll get a follow email that includes a Code with a Link to pay your deposit by credit card. Don't forget this step because this how you pay! I received Key Trip & Travel Notes after I filled out the booking form and I'm assuming everyone will as well. If not, let me know and I'll share it with everyone.

Richardg Posted Feb 12, 2017 at 2:11 PM

Not sure how I always manage to always post twice...

Richardg Posted Feb 12, 2017 at 2:10 PM

Guys, I'm available to share the hotel rooms (for anyone that does NOT get up 4 am to putter)! Looking forward to Sept 2! Rich

Richardg Posted Feb 12, 2017 at 2:08 PM

Guys, I'm available to share the hotel rooms (for anyone that does NOT get up 4 am to putter)! Looking forward to Sept 2! Rich

Gandalf Posted Feb 12, 2017 at 1:53 PM

Otherwise, expect to stay in bunk rooms in the huts unless we get lucky…the earlier we book the better chance we have of getting private rooms…which is why I we have a target deadline of the end of February to send in the deposits. Please note, that if private rooms do open up in the bunk rooms, Jon and I have first priority, as trip leaders. We’ll let you guys ‘duke it out’ as to whom gets them if any more open up.

Gandalf Posted Feb 12, 2017 at 1:52 PM

The single supplement of 60 euro is only for the hotel rooms, per night for the hotel room at the beginning, Dobbiaco and at the end, Belluno. Bob, Rich, and Rob, please let me know if you still want a single supplement for the hotel rooms for a total of 120 euro. Pete and Luciano, let me if you what a shared room or a single room for the hotel rooms and pay the 120 euro extra.

Gandalf Posted Feb 12, 2017 at 1:48 PM

Got some clarification. "We'll always try our best to get private rooms in the huts that have them but it really just comes down to luck. If you could make it clear that private rooms would be a nice bonus rather than the expectation that would be really appreciated to avoid disappointment. We don't charge extra for private rooms as the price difference isn't so great."

Gandalf Posted Feb 11, 2017 at 12:37 PM

Contact other participants and let me know who you plan to share a room with the entire journey by the end of the month. I need to let the outfitter know this so he is aware when you sign up at his website by the end of the month. Bob, I know you will be paying extra for a single room supplement for the entire journey...I believe it's an extra 60 euro for this option.

Gandalf Posted Feb 11, 2017 at 12:32 PM

Outfitter is only booking accommodations starting for the first night in Dobbiaco, all mountain huts and then the last night in Belluno. Otherwise, you are on your own to make any other additional accommodations. For the two nights we are spending in Venice, Jon & I will be at the Best are welcome to stay there with us by booking your accommodations or find another location...we can still sightsee in Venice together.

Gandalf Posted Feb 11, 2017 at 12:23 PM

Dates and itinerary: 9/2 Fly out of Boston for overnight flight 9/3 Arrive in Venice and take bus to Dobbiaco 9/4 Start trek, Stage 1 9/5 Stage 2 9/6 Stage 3 9/7 Stage 4 9/8 Stage 5 9/9 Stage 6 9/10 Stage 7 9/11 Stage 8 reach Belluno 9/12 Depart for home or join us for overnight in Venice 9/13 Day and overnight in Venice 9/14 Jon and I take flight back to Boston

Scorpione Posted Jan 1, 2017 at 11:46 AM

Avoiding ferrate seems appropriate as they "require" harness and helmet for safety. Yes they are exhilarating. Choice of roommates: not a problem for me Will submit a gay B&B in Venice for reference. American friends liked it. Pleased I was not frowned upon as an MS among (so far ) VS and S. (Sounds like the diamond scale). E - I translations offered free of charge. And Happy New Year to All. Luciano

Gandalf Posted Dec 31, 2016 at 7:12 AM

Especially of note in the Dolomites, an area famous for its via ferrata, there are no via ferrata sections on our AV1; we take the variant to La Stanga which avoids a via ferrata on the Schiara. There are however some sections where the path crosses rocky and steep ground, plus sections with metal cables as handrails over normal Alpine walking terrain.

go4itPete Posted Dec 30, 2016 at 7:55 AM

on my first comment: There is an Alta Via1 in the Aosta area of Northern Italy as well, but we are planning to walk the Alta Via1 in the Cortina area. Our start and destination points make that clear. I wrote Aosta area in previous comment. Either one would be spectacular. Last year we did stay at Refugio Nuvolau for 3 nights. Nearby there are 2 'Klettersteige' 'via ferrata'. Are we planning on climbing on any 'via ferrata' on our trip? Pete

Gandalf Posted Dec 30, 2016 at 7:24 AM

High season would be the summer months, prior to Labor Day, but there is not any harm at looking at flights sooner rather than later. Everyone is welcome to watch airfares and share with everyone else what they are finding. Jon and I historically have been booking our flights in early March.

Gandalf Posted Dec 29, 2016 at 6:33 PM

Jon and I are excited you will be joining us for the Dolomites trek…we are taking a chance opening up to the GO membership but so far we are happy with who will be joining us…you will be making the deposit with the outfitter directly online after the end of February once I’ve provided them with all the names and who you want the roommate to be. I'll provide you the details at the end of February.

Gandalf Posted Dec 24, 2016 at 11:21 AM

We are now starting the trek in Dobbiaco September 4th [it takes 2 days to get to the start between flights and bus transportation], reach Belluno at the end on September 11th, and return to Venice on September 12th.

Gandalf Posted Dec 22, 2016 at 7:47 AM

We would actually start the trek on September 6th [it takes 2 days to get to the start between flights and bus transportation], reach Belluno on September 13th, and return to Venice on September 14th.

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