5 Family-Friendly Hikes in the Dolomites
An Adventure in Northern Italy
Natasha Moon is a blogger and adventurer. She found the outdoors later in life and is raising her daughter Zoey to appreciate being present in nature.
The Dolomites has long been a bucket-list destination for me. Even though I lived and worked in Italy during my early 20s, I never made it to this mountain range. Almost 10 years later, I finally decided to plan a trip back to Italy with my husband and two-year-old daughter. Of all the trails we covered during our trip, here are my five favorite family-friendly hikes in the Dolomites.
Adolf Munkel Trail
The Adolf Munkel Trail is located in one of the most perfect valleys in the Dolomites—Val di Funes in South Tyrol—and takes you to the foot of the Odle (Geisler) peaks. There are a few alpine huts (called rifugi in Italian) along the way to stop and have lunch. I recommend starting early so you have plenty of time to let your family relax and enjoy the views.
Distance: 9 kilometers (5.6 miles)
Elevation gain: 300 meters (984 feet)
Trailhead: Zanser Alm (Malga Zanes)
Parking: 5 euros to park
Tre Cime di Lavaredo
Tre Cime di Lavaredo is an iconic hike in the Dolomites. It’s a relatively easy loop, but offers jaw-dropping views the whole way. Don’t forget your camera! You’ll get to see a beautiful little chapel along the trail with a spectacular mountain backdrop, views of the Cinque Torri (a grouping of five dolomite towers) in the distance, and, obviously, views of the Tre Cime, three distinctive peaks.
Distance: 10 kilometers (6.2 miles)
Elevation gain: 340 meters (1115 feet)
Trailhead: Rifugio Auronzo
Parking: 30 euro to park at the rifugio, or take a shuttle from Lake Misurina or Lake Alberto for four euro per person.
Seceda (from Rifugio Firenze)
The Alpe di Seceda is one of the most unique and beautiful natural features I saw on our trip to the Dolomites. We took the Col Raiser Gondola, but you can also take trail number one from the bottom of the gondola to make this hike longer. You’ll get stunning views of the Odle (Geisler) peaks and the Sella and Catinaccio mountains along the way. From the Seceda ridge, you’ll see the dagger-like Fermeda peaks and Gran Odla.
Distance: 8 kilometers (5 miles) with gondola, 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) without
Elevation gain: 400 meters (1,312 feet) with gondola, 1,000 meters (3,250 feet) without
Trailhead: Col Raiser Gondola, Val Gardena
Parking: Col Raiser Gondola, Val Gardena
The Cinque Torri, meaning five towers, is a cluster of five big rocks that resemble towers. The route starts at Passo Giau and offers great views along the way. Once you get to Cinque Torri, stop at Rifugio Scoiattoli for lunch. You can then hike around the five towers. This area is considered an open-air museum because it was heavily used during World War I, so if you like history you’ll definitely enjoy this hike.
Distance: 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles)
Elevation gain: 102 meters (337 feet)
Trailhead: Passo Giau
Parking: Free parking
Lago di Sorapis
While the trail to Lago di Sorapis isn’t technical, use extra caution if you’re bringing kids. The last few sections of the hike are steep and exposed, so bring plenty of water and sun protection. With this information in mind, the hike is pretty straightforward, doable with kids, and will take you to a turquoise alpine lake with Punta Sorapiss peak towering above. It’s a stunning place and attracts a number of people, so try to get to the trailhead early to beat the crowds and get a parking spot.
Distance: 13.5 kilometers (8.4 miles)
Elevation gain: 130 meters (426 feet)
Trailhead: Passo Tre Croci
Parking: Roadside at the trailhead