A steady ascent leads you into the Fanes national park to the high, rocky Lagazuoi peak. Many WWI trenches and bunkers remain in this region, especially as you reach the top of the hike.
Distance 10.5 km
Highest point2,681 m
Lowest point1,524 m
Today’s hike to the Lagazuoi hut takes you back into high country, to the rocky peaks separating Alta Badia and Cortina. You’ll hike up steep rugged trails to the historic Lagazuoi peak - scene of fierce trench warfare during WWI.
There are a couple huts and restaurants along the way, at Capanna Alpina, rifugio Scotini and rifugio Lagazuoi itself at the peak of the mountain.
Lagazuoi also has a cable car to the peak from the Falzarego pass, so there is easy access from the pass if you don't want to hike up from San Cassiano. If you are staying the night at the hut, you won’t have luggage there, so make sure to bring supplies for an overnight.
If you are returning to San Cassiano or continuing to Cortina, you can take the cable car to Falzarego pass and bus back. Some of our tours include taxi pickup at Falzarego pass... see your tour packet for details.
If it rains... Stick to the main route. Worst-case scenario, you can take a bus to the Falzarego pass. If it’s not so bad, you can hike up trail 402 from the pass, or if you don’t want to hike, simply cable car to the hut.
From San Cassiano, you can walk along the gravel path that follows the road gently uphill to Falzarego, reaching Amentarola and passing the Hotel Ciasa Salares in about 20 minutes.
Continuing up the road, the trail leads to the Sciare riverbed. Cross the river and the main road to the Sass Diacia campground. Trail 11 runs through the campground to the Capanna Alpina buvette and parking area. You can enjoy views of Lagazuoi and Cimes de Fanes ahead of you, with the Conturines peak farther north to your left.
You’ll pass the large parking lot at the Capanna Alpina, and now you’re ready to start... the really nice part of your hike begins. Keep right on trail 20 (unless you’re doing the longer day), heading uphill now into the Valun de Lagacio toward Scotini hut, through woods and meadow in a very pretty valley.
Scotini hut is a good hour uphill and a good place to stop for lunch or a break (the only hut enroute). They put a lot of love into their food, which includes soups, local polenta dishes and many bbq meats.
Continuing up from Scotoni, the trail leads you on a steep zig-zagging route past a small waterfall and up to the emerald-blue lakelet of Lagacio, supplied by underground springs. Keep right on trail 20, ever upward. There are often snowfields here until well into the summer as you climb higher in this north-facing basin.
The final approach to the hut has many WWI trenches with informational placards that you can stop and see on the way up. You should stop and read some of the placards... the conditions soldiers had to endure were unbelievably harsh, and might make you feel better about your hike today.
Eventually there is no more uphill, and you have reached rifugio Lagazuoi! This hut is extremely popular due to its easy access via a cable car from Falzarego pass. Sure, you could have taken that, but you didn’t! The views are extensive, and the historic trenches and tunnels just below the hut are definitely worth a look. Lagazuoi has a large outdoor terrace and much indoor seating and it’s a great place to reach at the end of a long climb. Enjoy.
The Lagazuoi peak was the scene of a great deal of trench warfare during the first World War. Austrians on one side and Italians on the other worked tirelessly building tunnels as they attempted to blow up the others’ positions and gain the advantage of the peak. Many of these trenches and tunnels exist still, downhill toward the Falzarego pass, and are open to the public. To descend all the way from the top to the Martini ledge (called the Galleria Lagazuoi on the map) requires helmet, headlamp, harness and a tolerance for heights and dark caves. You can buy affordable gear at the hut. But even if you’re not going far, you can start out at the top and descend as far as you feel comfortable. There are machine gun turrets, engine rooms, barracks further down... it’s a fascinating and sobering peek at this terrible war.
If you are staying at Lagazuoi, this is your stop for the night. If you are returning to San Cassiano or continuing to Cortina, either take the cable car down to Falzarego or walk down on trail 402, about 1½ hrs. There is a restaurant and bus stop at the pass, with regular buses to San Cassiano and to Cortina d'Ampezzo. If we have included a taxi for you, please see details in your tour packet.
Longer day via Forcella dal Lago: The main route is steep but pretty short for a full day, some may enjoy a detour on the way up. If this is you, stay left just past Capanna Alpina, hiking up to the Locia pass on trail 11. Another 3 km past that pass, turn right to head up on trail 20b. This is a pretty and straightforward climb of about 1200 ft up from the trail and is a common alternate route used by people hiking to and from Lagazoui hut. The trail enters a strange lunar lanscape, growing rockier and rockier as you switchback up to a narrow notch in the ridge above, the Forcella dal Lago pass.
On reaching the pass, you’re faced with a very steep descent. No cables here, and people with a fear of heights will probably not be comfortable, but taking it slow and steady, there should be no real difficulties. Be very careful not to accidentally knock rocks down the trail onto people below you... it’s easy to do. This steep descent eventually mellows and brings you to Lago di Lagacio, where you meet the main trail, and turn left uphill, to continue the main route to Lagazuoi. You will not pass the Scotoni hut if you take this detour, so bring a lunch. It adds about 1000 ft up and down, and 2 hrs to the day.