The area is fantastic for mountain climbing! We did see quite a few people equipped with helmets and ropes when we went up to the Kölner Hütte in the Rosengarten mountains.
Attention: every responsible person knows that this kind of sport is dangerous, so please use the right equipment and take all available security measures. There were plenty of signs reminding the climbers to be careful!
As I already mentioned in my transportation tip, Welschnofen/Nova Levante is the perfect starting point for all different sorts of hikes! There are easy ones that are even suitable for little kids, but also some rather difficult ones that requires good health and excellent equipment!
Do have a look at the hiking proposals in the link below!
Equipment: Good walking shoes, walking sticks (if available), plenty of water, food (in case there is no hut on the hike), sunscreen, sun glasses and of course a camera!
Compatsch is a popular base from which to do mountain hikes. It is not a particularly "pretty" place - much more a carpark and cable-car station. In the summer, there is a limit of 500 cars per day allowed to park at Compatsch. The alternative way to get here is bus or by cable-car from the town of Siusi.
Compatsch itself has quite a few shops and plenty of opportunity for horse-drawn carriage rides if you're into it.
We took an easy walk to Spitzbuhl as there was a 2 year-old with us. The walk is mostly across pastures and farmland with cows and horses. It is pretty much flat so we didn't even break a sweat.
Throughout the whole walk the dramatic Sciliar plateau dominates the scenery.
Equipment: No heavy walking equipment necessary, even tennis shoes would suffice.
From Castelrotto, take the skilift up to Marinzen. It is a very scenic ride up over farms and pine trees. From Marinzen there is a short 20 minute walk through forest to get to Schafstall where there is a refuge to have lunch at.
Equipment: Good walking shoes. This track is pretty easy for kids as well.
Hiking is a great sport to burn calories, commune with nature, and just see the most of what the Dolomites has to offer.
Equipment: Good boots and rain proofs are essential and always carry warm clothes in case the sun dips in behind that cloud. It's always cooler at high elevation than in the valley. And bring a friend too, it's safer and more fun!
Take the cable-car/ski lift in Pedraces to Utia Lee (1840m). Then it is another rather steep ½ hour to 45 minutes getting to the Rifugio Santa Croce, for good grub. Nearby, there is also a little church set in front of some dramatic mountain views. We then slowly made our way back down to San Cassiano, taking trail number 15.
Equipment: None, except for good walking shoes.
For not-so-active people, do what we did. Take the cable car/ski lift from San Cassiano to Utia Piz Sogera. Then it is about a 15 minute walk uphill to Utia Las Vegas (I kid you not!!). After that you can just take a leisurely walk down through lovely rolling hills (a la Sound of Music) back to San Cassiano. Very, very pleasant indeed.
Equipment: None required except for good walking shoes
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