Key information: Brenta Dolomites
- The Dolomites attract extravagances - spectacular, marvellous, outlandish - and have long been one of the world's most loved walking areas.
- Huge, wildly eroded limestone cliffs and spires soar above meadows, forests and lakes. Walk through varied and always dramatic scenery. Revel in beautiful and rich plant and animal life. Contemplate the horrors of the high altitude World War I battlefields, then stay in comfortable and gemutlich refuges. The area is deservedly a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The Brenta Dolomites are a separate group to the west, set apart from the main Dolomites. The two best-known walks are the North-South traverse, and the East-West crossing through the narrow Bocca di Brenta (detailed description of the walks are in preparation).
- Sections may trouble people who have difficulties with heights.
- Walkopedia rating93
- Natural interest17
- Human interest3
- Negative points0
- Total rating93
- Length: Variable: up to 4 days
- Maximum Altitude: 2,552m
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
The Dolomites are, in Walkopedia's opinion, Europe 's most thrilling mountains, arguably it's most beautiful and certainly it's most outlandish. The area is riddled with outstanding walks.
Everyone has seen pictures of the Dolomites, but the reality will always exceed your expectations. The vast limestone towers that soar, thousands of feet above the surrounding scree and high meadows, with beautiful, often virgin, mixed forest on the lower slopes, evoke the grandest serene majesty. They are not as high as the tallest Alps, but outdo all but the greatest the Mattterhorn, the Eiger and the like for sheer drama.
The Brenta Dolomites are a magnificent group, justly famous in their own right, separated from the main Dolomite groups by the Trento-Bolzano valley.
The variety of walks is endless, both in length and in scenery and interest, ranging from long distance paths to a sumptuous selection of day walks.
The two best-known walks are the North-South traverse, and the East-West crossing through the narrow Bocca di Brenta (detailed description of the walks are in preparation). These are described in Cicerone's Walking in The Dolomites.
There are many faboulous day walks. The most complete and perfect is what Cicerone (in Shorter Walks in The Dolomites) calls the Rif. Tuckett and ai Brenta Tour, 5-6 hours of surprisingly comfortably high level walking in the Brenta's best secenery. With excellent maps and generally well-marched paths, you can create your own menu.
Madonna di Campiglio to the west is a good base for walking, and the start-point of the East-West crossing.
Other accounts: share your experiences
Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.
Walking in the Dolomites- Cicerone – Gillian Price. (Multi-day walks)
Shorter Walks in the Dolomites- Cicerone – Gillian Price. (Day walks)
Italy – Lonely Planet
Italy Insight Guide – Insight Guides
The Rough Guide to Italy – Rob Andrews, Ros Belford, Jules Brown, and Jonathan Buckley
Good quality maps are usually available locally.
Best times to walk/weather
Best times to walk
Late June to September for the high routes (the high refuges are closed before and after then), with a longer season for walks that are lower or shorter. Check precise opening/closing dates of refuges.
Generally fine in season, but come prepared for unpredictable mountain weather and cold nights when high. It can snow even in high summer. Beware of afternoon thunderstorms in high summer. Keep away from peaks, ridges and "ferrata" equipment if they get near.
The nearest major airports are at Venice, Verona and Innsbruck. Train and bus access is available (see guidebooks), although most people will approach by car. If on long trails, you can get taxis back to your car from various roadheads.
Car hire is easy and the roads good and well signed.
Those on organised expeditions are likely to be transported from/to arranged start/departure points.
See Walk Summary above, and the guidebooks for a multitude of ideas and detailed route information.
Possible problems, health, other warnings
· Altitude: Likely to affect you a bit: expect to puff and perhaps develop a mild headache. Take the first day gently.
· Mountain weather: snow, rain, severe cold and wind are possible at any time of year. Beware afternoon thunderstorms. Come prepared.
· Heat and strong sun. Carry enough water and protect yourself.
· Heights: can be dangerous; not for those who have difficulties with heights. (This applies especially to the via ferrata sections of some Dolomite walks and other vie ferrate in the Dolomites.)
· Harmful animals: including snakes, and ticks in some areas. Take all appropriate precautions.
· This is remote country: Carry sufficient food and other supplies. Help may be hard to get if things go wrong.
See also the websites in our useful links page for more detailed, and up-to-date, information.
Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk. Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Make sure you have appropriate insurance.
Guided or independent?
You can do this walk independently, which most people do, but come fully prepared.
Some people form or join organised/supported expeditions. Travelling here with a knowledgeable guide has its advantages. Expedition organisers include:
- Wilderness Travel – www.wildernestravel.com
- Sherpa Expeditions – www.sherpa-walking-holidays.co.uk
- Alternative Travel Group – www.atg-oxford.com
- Inntravel – www.inntravel.com
- Exodus – www.exodus.co.uk
- Great Walks of the World - www.greatwalks.net
- Garda Trekking offer a 5 days guided trip, lodge to lodge/ hut to hut, crossing the Brenta Dolomites
Endless and excellent options.
The high Dolomites are packed with fairly regular refuges of varying degrees of sophistication (a few are of hotel standard) which all provide beds and blankets, food (including lunch) and drink. They are a glorious amenity, meaning you can walk long distances with a relatively light pack. Bring light sleep sheets. Book ahead and remember to cancel if your plans change. Many guidebooks have detailed information on relevant refuges.
An excellent option as for day walkers to is stay in the profusion of comfortable hotels/inns. The obvious base is Madonna di Campiglio.
Other information and tips
Useful websites and information
There are many websites with relevant information. Here are some that we think are useful or have been recommended to us.
· www.summitpost.org -excellent general information
Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
COMMUNITY COMMENTS AND PHOTOS
Posted on: 07/12/2013
Just discovered this website, what a fantastic resource . Time to plan some more walks!
share your experiences
Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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