The route up to Passo del Mulaz is the quietest hike on the list of my favourite day hikes in the Italian Dolomites.
You don’t see many pictures of it online and it’s not yet, what you would call today - instafamous, but with the recent popularity surge, I won't be surprised if in the next few years this hike becomes a lot busier.
It’s a tough hike that requires a lot of elevation change, but what you’ll get in return are exceptional views of the spires of Passo Farangole in the Pale di San Martino group.
Even though trails are always very well marked in the Dolomites, there are very few occasions when a map comes in handy. It always better to come prepared. For this hike you will need the Tabacco map nr 22.
Passo Del Mulaz - A Day Hike In The Italian Dolomites
14 km / 8.7 miles
900 m / 2950 feet
Getting to the Trailhead
The route starts at Passo Rolle. It is a popular spot in winter for skiers and a busy road side spot in the summer enroute to the nearest town - San Martino Di Castrozza. If coming by car you can park it at Malga Juribello parking lot.
Hike To Passo Del Mulaz - Trail Description
The first small stage of this long hike begins with the well trodden path to the scenic Baita G Segantini, one of the iconic photography spots in the Dolomites.
It’s more of a road than a hiking path to be honest (see photo above) but you won’t care much, the views are so phenomenal you could be walking on a bed of nails and it wouldn’t bother you.
The route then drops into the Campignol Della Vezzana valley annoyingly losing all 200m of elevation you’ve just gained.
Luckily it's a well maintained windy trail. You’ll also notice that there’s considerably far fewer people after you leave Baita G Segantini.
The views of the tiny Travignolo Glacier on your right become better as you wind north westward along the road into the valley. After around 30/45 minutes from Baita G. Segantini the real grind begins.
Turning right onto path nr 710 passing underneath large cliffs the route quickly steepens and several switchbacks take you into the heart of the Pale di San Martino. It’s an uphill struggle for over an hour before the trail somewhat plateaus.
Unfortunately the plateau doesn’t last long and the trail continues uphill again until the last push to the Mulaz pass, the objective of this hike. This is the first stage of the much longer Giro del Pale di San Martino, which if you have a few days to spend, I really recommend.
If you’re really keen on hiking, don’t fancy staying anywhere overnight, and still have loads of energy left, you can continue uphill to the summit of Monte Mulaz. It adds on extra 2 hours to your day and another 300 meters of elevation.
The views from the pass however are more than any human being will ever need. The cute little monolith on Passo Farangole in the distance is a personal favourite of mine.
If you’re like me and love exploring the mountain refuges, the closest one Rifugio Volpi Al Mulaz, one of my favourite dolomiti huts, is only 15 minutes downhill from the pass.
It’s a great place for an overnight stay and serves flaming Creme brûlées for desert. I honestly couldn’t believe my eyes when the waiter brought them out. Such a luxury in such a remote mountain hut.
If you are not staying overnight then the route down is the same as the one up. It’s a knee buster on a combination of hard rock and loose scree and if you struggle going downhill like a lot of avid hikers do, then it can be tough.
Make sure you allocate plenty of time for the descent, take plenty of water because there’s no shade and try your best to avoid creating small rock avalanches as there may be hikers below you.
There is a possibility of turning this day hike into a multiday traverse of the Pale di San Martino group. I highly recommend it if you've got more time and would like to experience the great mountain hut culture in the Dolomites!
If you have any questions about this hike, post them in the comments below! I always answer!
For more inspiration visit my Italian Dolomites guide, where you will find articles about photography locations, via ferratas and hikes.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am Marta Kulesza - the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me hiking somewhere in the mountains.