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The cool thing about Val Gardena is that I’ve been hiking there for twenty years and there are still many unwalked paths and some unexplored peaks I’ve yet to do. If you’re not afraid of heights and you’re looking for the best hikes in Val Gardena, why not go as high as possible to admire Val Gardena and the surrounding mountains where they can be appreciated at their best? The most scenic paths, the hiking routes, my tips, my hand-drawn map and the most spectacular peaks (according to me!) in order of altitude.

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Sassongher (2665 meters a.s.l.)

I shouldn’t really start from this peak because it’s not in Val Gardena, but I enjoyed it so much that I had to share it with you! It looks over Colfosco, in Val Badia. However, you can also reach it from Val Gardena, passing through the Gardena Pass or starting from Vallunga. In both cases, let me tell you, the hike won’t be easy, but it’s worth it!

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If you start from the Gardena Pass, you can arrive there by bus, car, by Dantercepiës cableway, or on foot using the trekking route from Plan, the last village of Val Gardena. The first hut you will find is Jimmi, where you can stop and enjoy a truly delicious meal at any hour of the day.

Then, go down the path that follows the red and yellow cableway Plans-Frara, until the Forcelles hut. After this hut, walk for about 15 minutes and you’ll find a turning on your left to the Puez, that takes you into Edelweiss Valley. Go up into the valley and take the second turning on the right with a sign to Sassongher. This route runs on the border between green meadows and vertical rocks until you arrive at a rocky saddle. From there on, the last part of the trail is quite steep and presents some short climbing passages, before reaching the top of Sassongher.

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If you start from Vallunga, take the route on the right into Val Chedul, in front of Saint Sylvester chapel. You’ll be on the Crespeina Pass in about 1.5 hours, then go straight on until the right turning to Colfosco, that takes you into Edelweiss Valley. Go down into the valley until the left turning to Sassongher.

Col da la Piëres (2751 meters a.s.l.)

Col da la Piëres is part of the Puez-Odle group, but its position on the Stevia Alp allows you to have a fantastic view over the Cir mountains and the Sella group. It’s perfect for a loop trip, because you can reach it from the Stevia hut or from Sieles saddle: choose which one you want to use to go up and which to go down!

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From the Stevia hut, allow yourself 1.5-2 hours to reach the top. If you think the view is stunning from this hut, keep in mind that Col da la Piëres is much better, so… don’t miss it out!

The alternative route starts from the Firenze hut and goes straight on until Sieles saddle. Once here, take the path on your right and you’ll reach the top in less than an hour or so.

Piz Duleda (2908 meters a.s.l.)

I do really have a thing for this peak! Since the first time I went up, this mountain has always had a special place in my heart. Every time I go hiking here, the rocky pinnacles of the Odles and the charming Val di Funes fill my heart with awesome feelings. The cool breeze that blows over the top messes my hair up and makes me wear something heavier while having a snack and admiring the view on the top.

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There are many hikes that you can do to reach this summit, and they are all so stunning. The two main accesses are:

  • from Sieles fork. I mentioned it while talking about Col da la Piëres but, instead of taking the path to the Stevia hut on the right, turn left to the Puez hut. You’ll find baroque-shaped rock formations until you reach the left turning to Piz Duleda. Pay attention if it’s the first time you’re here, because the turning isn’t very easy to see. Pass through a lush green valley, often deserted, until you come to a rocky saddle. From there, you only have the last 30 minutes uphill before reaching the top.
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  • from Nives fork. It’s an easy climbing route that starts just 10 minutes after Roa fork and crosses the path from Sieles I’ve just talked about at the final rocky saddle. The climb isn’t difficult and there are some ropes and a ladder to help you, but the exposition can be a bit scary if you fear heights. To get to Roa fork (and from there to Nives fork), start from the Firenze hut, as in the last routes, but then go left.
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Cima Puez (2913 meters a.s.l.)

Cima Puez is the highest peak of the the Puez group and it offers an incredible 360-degree view. Not many people go up here, so you can easily enjoy the dolomitic whiteness in tranquillity and silence, only broken by a few black squawking crows. Allow one hour to reach it from the Puez hut.

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Just go up the zig zag path that starts from the Puez hut, it passes around the red mountain which looks over the hut, Piz Col (2723 meters a.s.l.), and then turn left to the last part of the route, the steepest. The view from the top is enchanting.

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Sassopiatto Peak (2955 meters a.s.l.)

You can arrive to Sassopiatto peak using the trekking route from the South side or climbing from the North one.

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If you come from the South, get to the Sassopiatto hut and then up to the peak. Allow yourself 1,5-2 hours to arrive. To get to the Sassopiatto hut, you can start from the Sella Pass and take the panoramic route through the Federico Augusto hut and the Pertini hut. Just 15 minutes before getting to the Sassopiatto hut, you will come to a crossroads: if you go onwards, you’ll arrive at the Sassopiatto hut; if you go left, you will immediately find a traditional wooden house where you can taste delicious cheese; finally, the path on the right, with no signs, is a sort of short cut to Sassopiatto peak, so you can take it if you don’t mind missing out on the Sassopiatto hut.

You can also arrive at the Sassopiatto hut from the Col Rodella, the Duron valley, Alpe di Siusi or Monte Pana, if you want more info about these routes please let me know in Comments below.

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If you want to climb up the North side of Sassopiatto, take the Oskar Schuster climbing route. It starts just after the Vicenza hut: you just have to follow the signs into the magnificent mountain gorge at the back of the hut and you’ll come across the first rope after less than 30 minutes. There are not so many ropes, especially in the first part, so you’ll have to do a bit of free climbing. It’s not a difficult climb for one that is used to it, but I’d recommend to bring a harness and a helmet with you. From start to finish, the climb to the peak will take about one hour.

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Piz Miara (2964 meters a.s.l.)

If you look up from Selva di Val Gardena to the Sella group, you can clearly spot a big metallic crucifix just on the top of a right peak. It’s Piz Miara! It’s one of the highest peaks of the Sella group and, according to me, it offers one of the most panoramic views of the whole valley. It’s not as well known as Piz Boé (3152 meters a.s.l.), which is the highest peak of the Sella group and looks over Val di Fassa and the Marmolada glacier. But this fact allows you to be the only one on its top or to be there with only a few people (on the contrary Piz Boé is always very crowded).

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You can reach Piz Miara from:

  • the Pordoi Pass. Get to the pass by car or public transport and go up to the Maria hut by cableway or on foot through Sass Pordoi fork. Then follow the 666 sign to the Boé hut and then to the Pisciadù hut. Just after the Boé hut, you can choose between an ascending path or a flat but more exposed one: no matter which one you choose, they relink further on. Once the paths are rejoined, you will find the left turning to Piz Miara. The route runs between impressive views down to Val Gardena on your right and the candid rocky plateau of Mesules on your left, right up until you reach the peak.
  • the Gardena Pass. Get to the pass by car, public transport, Dantercepies cableway or on foot from Plan, the last village of Val Gardena. Once at the pass, take the steep path to the Pisciadù hut. After about one hour, you will start the Val Setus climb: it’s a simple one, so normally a helmet and a harness are not necessary. It takes more or less half an hour to get to the Pisciadù hut. Now, leaving the hut behind you, you’ll have two paths in front of you: the one on the left is the 666 to the Boé hut, the other on the right is the one to Piz Miara. It goes inside a mysterious rocky valley, until it crosses the path that runs on the edge to Piz Miara. Turn right on this path and follow it until the peak.
  • the Sella Pass. From this pass you can follow two very different ways to get to Piz Miara. If you’re a professional climber, you can try the Mesules, one of the most impressive climbs of the whole valley. I’m not, so I can only talk about the alternative road, that starts from the fifth hairpin curve down to Val di Fassa. You’ll find an indication to the Boé hut on this curve. Park your car and start the route. It will take you into the heart of the Sella group, inside a truly scenic valley called Val Lasties. It’s composed of several lush green highlands and impressive rocky walls until the final rocky saddle, where it really looks like you have just landed on the moon. Take the path to the Pisciadù hut and then the left tuning to Piz Miara. Update: in the Summer 2018, a new easy climbing route opened on the left side of Val Lasties, as a more direct access to Piz Miara. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks fun and I think I’m going to try it as soon as I can. If you’ve already been there, please let me know in Comments below.

Has anyone tried one of these peaks? What about your experience?

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