This is a fairly easy day over the meadows of Pralongia, the hills that separate Corvara and San Cassiano. Mellow trails, great views, and lots of restaurants to stop at along the way.
Distance 13 km
Highest point2,136 m
Lowest point1,520 m
Today’s hike is a relatively moderate one through the meadows of Pralongia above town. This area is a well-developed ski area, with lifts, roads and huts dotting the landscape, similar to the Siusi alp above the Val Gardena, but don’t let that discourage you. There are beautiful views all around in the meadows, and the easier walking can be a joy.
There are also many mountain huts with nice restaurants to stop and eat at - Bioch, Pralongia and Saraghes have popular restaurants.
If you’d like a longer day, you can make the steep out-and-back excursion to the peak of Setsas from Pralongia, which should add about 3 hrs to the hike, and gets you well away from the lifts and restaurants.
If it rains... This route is a fine hike for a cloudy day or mixed weather. After the first hour you’re mainly above treeline, and you won’t have the distant views, but the trail is easy, and you could duck into any of the huts for lunch and a warm drink. From Bioch hut, you can turn downhill (southeast) onto trail 21A, and an easy 2 km walk brings you to the Sorega gondola that will take you directly down to San Cassiano.
The Setsas peak on the high route is not appropriate for snow, heavy rain or thunderstorms, and should be avoided.
For an easier day today, start by taking the Col Alt gondola to the top station. The hike up from town pleasant enough, but it is also steep and wooded, and you won’t be missing much by skipping it.
To hike the whole way though, you’ll take trail 2B from Corvara. To find the trail, pass the Hotel Col Alto in the direction of Villa (Brunico), and find the trailhead in the parking lot just beyond the next souvenir shop on the right.
This starts uphill modestly at first, but after a left turn becomes immediately steeper through the woods, and leads you steadily uphill until you reach the Col Alt hut and cable car station a little over an hour into the hike.
From Col Alt, whether you’ve walked or taken the gondola, the trail drops down to the right on a small road as you reach the high meadows above the woods through an area that is a busy ski region in the winter, and filled with trails and biking activities in summer.
Continue along trail 30 to 30A and then 23 as it leads you gently along pleasant countryside to Bioch hut, a beautiful spot itself, and then Pralongia hut, perhaps about an hour from Col Alt. The trail is sometimes along small roads and sometimes along narrower paths, always with pleasant, far-reaching views.
We suggest Pralongia hut for lunch, which has a great outdoor terrace. Although this is a modest ridge, the views are spectacular with gorgeous views in every direction... the Sella and Sassongher to the west, the glaciers of the Marmolada to the south, and handsome Tofane group of mountains near Cortina to the east.
Leaving Pralongia, backtrack about half a kilometer on trail 23, and head right (north-east) downhill on trail 22, on the easy, steady trail, which is also a small country road, toward San Cassiano. The trail does become gravel road for much of the way, and if you’d like to avoid that, veer left to follow signs up to Piz Sorega, where you can take the gondola down.
If you’re walking down, you’ll pass the Utia Malga Saraghes mountain restaurant about 45 minutes from Pralongia, which has a restaurant.
Continue down the trail to the bottom of the valley. When you reach the bottom, San Cassiano is just across the street, with the town center off to the left.
If you are staying at Ciasa Salares, you’ll need to turn right onto SP37 (instead of left towards the village). It's up the road about 1 km and across the street (at Armentarola).