Croda da Lago Circuit

  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy

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 rating

  • Walkopedia rating88
  • Beauty33
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest6
  • Charisma33
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating88

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 13km
  • 5hrs
  • Maximum Altitude: 2,462m
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
© William Mackesy


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.

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.


We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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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.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

© William Mackesy

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.

© William Mackesy...

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