Hiking in Italy

Dolomites – Alta Via 2

The Dolomites are spectacular mountains, rather like something out of a fairytale. They are not huge like the French Alps but are much more toylike, with big jagged vertical cliffs.

In the Dolomites the weather can change very quickly, and often does. It can be raining then a few minutes later the sun is out and the sky is blue. So even when the forecast looks bad, it often turn out much better than you expect.

There are so many hikes, so many trails through the Dolomites, and many rifugios – mountain huts – where you can spend the night or have a meal or a drink (or two). Many people just do day hikes to a rifugio, relax there with food and drink, then walk back to where they started.

On the other hand, there are plenty of wonderful multi-day hikes – loops and point-to-point – where you spend the nights in rifugios. Most of the rifugios offer either just a bed (usually in dorms of varying sizes) or half-board, which is dinner, bed, and breakfast. All the rifugios we stayed in took credit cards and several (but not all) had WiFi.

Some of the long hikes are called Alta Vias (high ways) and the Alta Via 1 is probably the most popular, and easiest. The Alta Via 2 is also popular, and quite a bit harder.

I’ve wanted to the Alta Via 2 for a long time, and finally did it with my friend Mark in September, 2022. I took far too much stuff with me, which made the hiking more tiring that it needed to be. In particular I brought via ferrata gear which turned out to be totally unnecessary. I also brought a Kindle thinking I’d read in the rifugios, but read only 3 pages in the entire time. One of the guys we met was carrying a pack that weighed 4 kg – 8.8 pounds. I was envious.

I’m not going to describe each day because some of the links below do a far better job of that than I could. Instead I’ll just show photographs, in no particular order, to maybe inspire you to visit the Dolomites and perhaps even do the Alta Via 2.

Rainy and Cloudy Photos

Mainly Sunny Photos

Links and Other Clicks

If you have been inspired by these photos, here are some links to pages that will give you much more information about the Alta Via 2.

A Day By Day Guide to Hiking the Alta Via 2, with beautiful photos.

A Quick and Dirty Guide to the Alta Via 2, again with gorgeous photos.

The Dolomites AV2 Planning Guide.

BookATrekking. The company we used to book the huts.

The Alta Via 2 guidebook by Gillian Price. Definitely worth having if you hike the AV2. I bought the Kindle version and read it on my phone on the hike.

Other Hiking Pages