Trailhead: Top or bottom of the Col Raiser Gondola
Length: 8km with cable car, 14km without
Duration: 4 hours with cable car, 7 hours without
Elevation Change: 400m with cable car, 1000m without
Map: Tabacco 05
A trip to the Dolomites wouldn't be complete without seeing the famous Seceda ridgeline.
When looking on Google Maps, one assumes that it’s an easy point to reach. Just take the Seceda chairlift right?
Whilst this is certainly possible in the winter when the lift is operational, in the summer time, when it’s not running, the trip requires a bit more effort.
Hiking to Seceda ridgeline and beyond is the perfect way to explore the heart of the Puez Ödle Nature Park and if you plan roadtripping the Dolomites, add this place onto your bucket list!
How To Reach The Seceda Ridgeline
The closest lift that is operational for most of the summer (June 1st - October 15th) is the Col Raiser Gondola. Its lower terminal is in the town of Selva di Val Gardena in a small subdistrict called Plan Da Tieja.
Since it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area, there are signs all over town pointing to it.
A return journey costs 20 Euro and the tickets are valid for one week. It's valuable information in case you were planning an overnight stay in Puez-Odle Nature Park.
If you don’t want to take the cable car, then the hiking trail to get to the upper terminal (path 1 onto 1A) zigzags underneath the gondola, in and out of the tree line with a few glimpses southward to Sassolungo and Sassopiatto peaks.
Far better views are to come so by taking the cable car you aren’t going to miss anything and I highly advise that you take advantage of it, saving the energy for what's to come.
With your gondola ticket you will be given a hiking map of the area with few ideas of where to walk. Whilst it's not the most sophisticated map it will keep you on the right path.
Hiking in the Dolomites is always easy. With plenty of signs and route markings everywhere, it's hard to get lost. However if you want peace of mind or plan on exploring the area around Puez Odle National Park more, then purchase Tobacco Map nr 05.
To reach the Seceda ridgeline from the upper Col Raiser gondola terminal take the path nr 2. It is really more a backcountry road than a hiking trail.
The quickest route heads steadily uphill then takes a right turn onto path 1A, then another right again onto path 6, eventually bringing you to the famous viewpoint. Frankly speaking, there’s a multitude of paths and unnamed desire lines that you can take there but these are the main arteries.
It takes around an hour from the Col Raiser upper terminal to the viewpoint.
NOTE: If you’re hiking from the lower terminal, where the Col raiser gondola leaves from, then just stay on path nr 1A from earlier on and follow it all the way to the Seceda ridgeline viewpoint. In this case it will take you 3 hours to reach it.
Once you’ve admired the view at the top of the Seceda chairlift it's time to explore the area more. Head directly towards the famous spires on path nr 1. This will take you past some incredible huts and viewpoints of the cliffs to your left and Sassolungo to your right.
After around 30 minutes on path number 1, bare left onto path nr 2B to reach Malga Pieralongia. There are signs pointing to it. Nearby you can find the incredible “Lion King Rock” - a small, shark-tooth-looking spire (see photo above).
From here follow the signs for via ferrata Sass Rigais, before turning right onto path nr 13B then 13 and descending to rifugio Firenze.
This is a great place for a cold beer on their huge patio area, overlooking the Puez Odle Altiplano. From Rifugio Firenze it’s only 15 minutes back to the upper Col Raiser Terminal or a 1.5 hour hike back to the lower terminal along the access road behind the hut (Path nr 1).
If you want to experience the sunrise at the Seceda ridgeline then unfortunately the gondola isn’t of much use as it only starts at 8am. What I suggest is to take the last gondola the evening before, stay overnight in Rifugio Firenze and walk the 45 minutes to 1 hour hike to the Seceda viewpoint in the morning.
Rifugio Firenze is a great place to explore more of Puez Odle Nature Park especially if you want to scramble to its highest peak Sass Rigais or experience classic Dolomiti cuisine and culture.
If you have any questions about this hike or would like to add something, post it in the comments. I will be happy to help!
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More day hikes in the Italian Dolomites
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.