Self-Guided Dolomites Hut Hike

Hiking the Alta Via 1

Trip Details

Location Northern Italy
Length 10 days
Grades Strenuous, Strenuous Plus
Accommodations Mountain Hut
Group size 1 - 12+
Dates Jun 23, 2019 - Sep 15, 2019
Land Cost $2,075.00
Single Supp Cost $220.00

Hiking Trip Summary

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.

The Dolomites were once submerged under a coral sea, which led to the gradual formation of layers of sediments: limy mud, sand silt, clay. These elements combined with massive forces of the earth’s sifting crust and resulted in the formation of the Dolomites. Since that time, many, many millions of years ago, the Dolomites have been worn to their present state by glaciation, erosion, frost, wind and rain. More recently in social history, this region saw heavy fighting during World War I and remnants of this are still very apparent. Three languages are spoken in this area: German, Italian and Ladin, an old dialect, which came to the area from northern regions.

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 linear trip is a great hike highlighted by breathtaking views, rustic and lively mountain refuges, a sense of excitement of what lies around the next bend or the next pass and the satisfaction of traveling by foot through this beautiful and remote area.


Show itinerary


Additional Information


This may vary depending on final itinerary:

  • General consulting regarding hiking dates and abilities
  • Travel information on getting to and from the starting point
  • Travel suggestions
  • Maps: Italian Tabacco Maps; the 1:25,000 scale covering the route
  • Detailed trail notes, which include additional information covering various aspects of your trip (i.e. lunches, laundry, water, refuge routines, alternate transportation, etc.)
  • We make and prepay all overnight accommodations, which include breakfast
  • Most dinners
  • We make and prepay all private taxi transfers as detailed in the final itinerary
  • Hotels with private baths. Other overnight accommodations will vary
  • Lots of great hiking


This may vary depending on final itinerary: Air fare, lunches, travel to and from starting point/ending point, transfers or excursions on trains, lifts, buses, taxis, extra charges due to changes in itinerary, items not on set dinner menu, beverages except what is served at breakfast, bottled water, insurance, extra costs, if any, for parking a personal car, items of personal nature (phone calls, shower tokens, laundry, excess baggage charge, medical expenses, evacuation costs, insurance, passport fees, etc.). Allow roughly $200 – $350 in additional costs depending on final itinerary.


This hike is not vehicle supported. You will need to carry a moderate sized pack with only the clothing and accessories you will need for the duration of hike. (See our sample packing list.) With advances in synthetic clothing and other travel gear, it’s possible to keep your pack weight to 15 to 20 lbs. including lunch and water. Any extra luggage or belongings you may have can be left at the hotel or will be transferred as detailed in the final confirmed itinerary.


Hotels: The hotels are warm, welcoming and comfortable. All the rooms have private baths

Rifugios: The rifugios vary greatly depending where they are located, but are usually simple and rustic, yet comfortable. Some accommodate as few as 20 hikers; most serve from 30 – 50. They have bunk rooms with 2 – 8 bunks per room with blankets and pillows. The facilities are shared and there is a hot shower or two available. There are common dining areas, where meals are served. Please note: not all rifugios have private rooms.

Meals: Breakfasts and dinners are served at the hotels or rifugios and lunches are picnic style along the trail.


Travel to Cortina: The Cortina Express Bus and AVTO Bus operate direct buses from Venice to Cortina. Go to the web sites for schedules and more information. The bus takes about 2 – 3 hours. Or you can take a train from Venice to Calalzo Pieve di Cadore and then a bus or taxi to Cortina: travel time is about 3 – 4 1/2 hours depending on the schedule. It is also possible to take a taxi from Venice to Cortina, though not the most economical it is certainly the most convenient.

Travel to Welsberg: You can reach Welsberg/Monguelfo by train from Venice, Milan, Munich or Zurich, where there are major international airports. Venice is normally the best arrival airport. It is roughly 4 – 5 hours by train from Venice to Welsberg/Monguelfo.


Our Self-Guided Dolomites Hut Hike is great for hikers who look forward to wonderful, challenging hikes and like the thought of staying remote but comfortable rifugios. Some nights at the rifugios (though not all) include private rooms. This hike should be on every hiker’s list of musts!


We are a small company. The founders plan the trips, talk to prospective hikers on the phone and guide several of the trips themselves. We want you to take a trip with us that is well suited to you. All this allows for flexibility, value, personal attention and safety. We are very proud of our trips and our high return rate of hikers. Please ask us for a list of past participants as they will give you honest insight to Distant Journeys. We are dedicated to providing personal attention and crafting a quality experience at good value that is just right for you.


If you would like register, would like to receive more information including a detailed itinerary (including elevation gains, loss and distance) and/or request a list of past participants please contact us and specify which trip.

Reserving a Trip

A deposit of $400 along with your completed registration forms will reserve a space on your requested trip. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express card as well as personal checks. To make a deposit, you may either follow one of the “Reserve a Trip” links below, give us a call at 1-888-845-5781, or include your payment information in the area provided when completing your registration forms.

Before registering for this, please read our Terms and Conditions in their entirety and then refer to our Self-Guided Trips page for specific information regarding the process.

The balance is due 60 days prior to departure for most of our trips. When applying less than 60 days prior to departure, full payment is due. For final payments, we accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, as well as personal checks.

As confirmation of receipt of your deposit and registrations, we will send you a comprehensive packet of information pertaining to your trip, an invoice for final payment and additional information including release agreement form, medical information form, travel information, and packing list. Upon receipt of final payment, you will receive trip rendezvous information and a list of accommodations. Returning trip participants will receive a 5% discount on most trips.

Receipt of all forms will finalize your registration.

Reserve Your Spot

Related Trips

Self-Guided Provence Inn-to-Inn
Haute Provence to the Luberon
Self-Guided Tour Du Mont Blanc Hike
One of the world's premier hut-to-hut routes
Self-Guided Tour of Monte Rosa
Hike the Italian Swiss Alps
Self-Guided Across the Berner Oberland Hike
Quintessential Swiss hiking inn-to-inn
Self-Guided Hikes in Switzerland
The best of Swiss day hiking