Tre Cime di Lavaredo

Hiking to the Landmark of the Dolomites

Tre Cime di Lavaredo are indisputably among the very best that the Dolomites offer. This part of Italy presents an unparalleled opportunity for delightful mountain hikes, leaving you in awe of the sheer, majestic cliffs. Embarking on the joyful Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike is straightforward and accessible. This article describes the must-see sights of Tre Cime di Lavaredo. 

Three sheer peaks in the heart of the Dolomites are called the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. It also has a German name: Drei Zinnen. They brilliantly display the ruggedness of this mountain range. You can hike up to them and enjoy an idyllic overnight stay in a mountain hut. In this article, I will also mention other excursions that you can do in the area.

I ventured to Tre Cime at the beginning of spring. But, Winter, however, was not ready to relinquish his hold, so I was greeted by plenty of snow. This made my visit exceptionally remarkable.

Where Does the Name Tre Cime di Lavaredo Comes From?

As is often the case, mountain enthusiasts have given these mountains a name. These are logical, right? Nearly all places in the Dolomites have multiple names. This stems from the rich history of the Dolomites.

Until the year 1918, the Dolomites belonged to Austria. After that, it became part of Italy and was given the name Tre Cime di Lavaredo, which means the same thing. In this region, all places are signposted in both German and Italian, which can be somewhat confusing. In this article, I am using the name Tre Cime di LavaredoTre Cime di Lavaredo 

Location of Tre Cime di Lavaredo

The triple peak is situated on the border of the Italian regions of Trentino, South Tyrol, and Veneto. The summits are nestled within the Sextener Dolomites, sandwiched between the municipalities of Toblach and Auronzo di Cadore. Rest assured, a road has been constructed that takes you almost right up to the foot of the mountains.

Parking at Tre Cime

Getting to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo is a breeze. You can park your (rental) car at the Rifugio Auronzo. Be aware, however, that this is a relatively expensive toll road, costing over 30 euros. A tollbooth where you can make payment is conveniently located at the entrance. A mere 15-minute drive along a winding mountain road will then get you to the car park.

The car park often fills up, so make sure you get there in time. I arrived before 9 a.m. and had no trouble parking. The majority of people turn up around 10 a.m., so if you're earlier, the hiking routes will also be quieter.

Hike to Tre Cime di Lavaredo

The mesmerizing hike to Tre Cime di Lavaredo. ©Corno van den Berg

From the car park, a relatively flat path leads to the mountains. Within just a few minutes, Tre Cime di Lavaredo will reveal themselves before you. Take the time for this, as it's truly a unique landscape by European standards.

You certainly need some luck with the weather. There's often a lot of cloud cover. Or rather high-hanging fog, as these remarkably steep peaks are over 2,900 meters high. But it's beautiful to see how the wind breaks through the cloud deck and the mountain peaks emerge time and time again.

Should you choose to stay in the mountain hut, you stand a great chance of witnessing the sunset. And naturally, the sunrise too. Make sure to arrange your accommodation ahead of time, as spaces are extremely limited. And highly sought after, as you can well imagine.

Without a Car to the Three Peaks

If you're eager to save on high toll fees, there's an alternative hike available. You can park your car at the free parking space Parcheggio Libero Cadini. From the parking, it's a modest two-hour walk to Parcheggio Auronzo. Some of it is uphill and can be strenuous. Moreover, you would then be at the Three Peaks, along with most other hikers. I purchased a toll ticket, as I had the ambition to do a lot of hiking around Tre Cime di Lavaredo. 

Cima Ovest

The most western peak is called Cima Ovest. The German name is Westliche Zinne. It's the middle one in terms of size. And yes, it's situated on the west side. Make no mistake. This mountain stands at a height of 2,973 meters and is very impressive.

Cima Grande

The Cima Grande (Große Zinne) is also known as Big Peak. This is the largest of the three peaks, and that's apparent. This mountain boasts a towering height of 2,999 metres.

Cima Piccola

Cima Piccola, otherwise known as Kleine Zinne, is positioned in the east. This is the smallest of the three mountain peaks. Yet, it remains a favourite among many visitors. This peak stands tall at a height of 2,856 metres.

Hochpustertal at Tre Cime di Lavaredo. ©Südtirol Marketing

Accommodation at Tre Cime di Lavaredo

If you're keen to see the famous rocks early in the morning, it's best to stay nearby. This is also recommended if you want to visit the site in the afternoon with beautiful light - perfect for taking photos and videos. There are various hotels and mountain huts to choose from. The Drei Zinnen Hut is even world-renowned. But be warned, this is a popular accommodation, so make sure to book in advance.

Is this Mountain Range Part of the Alps?

These three unprecedentedly steep mountains are sometimes also used to promote the Alps. Because yes, the Dolomites officially belong to the Alps. Although they are indeed different.

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