Croda da Lago Circuit
Key information: Croda da Lago Circuit
- This is a tiring but almost perfect day walk around the spiny crest of the Croda da Lago massif.
- Climb through beautiful open forest to a meltingly pretty lake, then cross high passes with magnificent views, descending back to the treeline down a wild, broken valley, beneath the stupendous cliffs of the Croda da Lago throughout.
- Walkopedia rating88
- Natural interest16
- Human interest6
- Negative points0
- Total rating88
- Length: 13km
- Maximum Altitude: 2,462m
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
The long, spectacular spine of the Croda da Lago in the central Dolomites can be circuited in this approaching-perfect day walk.
The first hour or so is in beautiful open mixed forest below Passo Giau, reaching a giddy clifftop with magnificent views across the Cortina valley and up to the La Tofana and Nuvolau features.
The trail then winds below the cliffs, through a beautiful rough meadow, then above the ravishing Lago Federa with its tree-capped boulder islands, which when we were there in mid June still reflected, in its placid waters, big snow piles in the gulleys at the cliff bases.
From the superbly sited Rifugio Palmeri (views across high pasture to the spire of Beco de Mezodi and back over the lakes, and perhaps the best hot chocolate ever?), the trail winds steadily and delightfully to the high Forcella Ambrizzola pass.
It now turns north, tracking the Crodas western flank to the high point at Forcella Rossa di Firmin, with its wonderous views over to the Pelmo, arguably the Dolomites most splendid massif, then descending a wild, wild, rocky valley back to the treeline.
This walk is well described in Cicerones Shorter Walks in the Dolomites. A longer version of this walk could be made from Passo Giau, or it could be linked with walking on to the Citta di Fiume refuge under the Pelmo.
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