Tre Cime Nature Park is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the Italian Dolomites and for a good reason.
Its famous Three Peaks, where the park takes its name from are one of the most recognisable features of these mountains.
I spent a considerable amount of time adventuring in the Tre Cime Nature Park and the hike through Val Fiscalina has become one of my favourite dolomiti day hikes.
Most tourists hitting the trails in the Tre Cime Nature Park focus on the famous loop of the Three Peaks, a beginner day hike starting and ending at rifugio Auronzo at the south entrance of the Park.
Val Fiscalina offers an alternative and a lot quieter approach to the Three Peaks and in my opinion even more scenic!
Hike through Val Fiscalina to rifugio Locatelli in the Tre Cime Nature Park: distance, elevation gain, time and route information.
18 km / 11.2 miles
1100 m / 3600 feet
Where Is Val Fiscalina?
The Fiscalina valley is located in the north part of what’s known as the Dolomiti di Sesto (Sextener Dolomiten). The whole area is covered in the Tabacco Map no. 10 and if you plan on spending some time in the park, I highly recommend purchasing this map.
The closest towns are Sesto and San Candido, both of which have plenty of accommodation options and public transport connections, should you be heading that way without a car. Below you can find a few of my personal recommendations.
If you would like to support my site please use the affiliate links to the hotels (even if you don't book the ones I recommend). It won’t cost you anything and it helps me creating more awesome travel content!
Where To Stay In Sesto
Sesto is a small town in the South Tyrol region of Northern Italy, known for its great access to summer and winter sports with countless numbers of trails and ski slopes to choose from.
Sesto also made it onto the list of my favourite Dolomiti towns. If you are planning a holiday here you should definitely check it out.
I have stayed in Sesto before setting out onto Alta Via 4 – a 6 day backpacking traverse across the Dolomites.
Best Time Of The Year For Hiking In The Dolomites
I talk about this tirelessly on my website. If you plan on hiking Val Fiscalina or any other trails in the Italian Dolomites, do not come here earlier than the 3rd week of June and later than the end of September/mid October (season and area depending)
This is the official hiking window in the Dolomites, when the trails are mostly clear of snow and safe to pass and the huts are open to cater to hikers.
You can find more info about the weather patterns in the Dolomites in the FAQ section of my Italian Dolomites Guide.
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Getting To The Val Fiscalina Trailhead
The start of the hike is right next to Hotel Dolomitenhof built at the entrance to the valley. If you have the budget I do recommend staying here before or after the hike!
There is a paid parking lot next to the hotel where you can park your car safely for the duration of the hike. Make sure to bring cash. At the time of writing this article the fee was 5 Euro/day.
If you are using public transport, then bus no. 446 runs from Sesto and will drop you off at the Fischleintalboden bus stop. Fishleintal is the german name for Val Fiscalina.
During the summer months the bus normally operates every 30 minutes and the journey takes 11 minutes. For schedule and directions check the public transport option on google maps.
Val Fiscalina hike: path numbers and brief route description
The loop described in this post will take you clockwise around Cima Una (ger. Einser). You will cross 4 different mountain huts, so no need to pack a lunch either. You can go ultralight weight on this trail!
Thanks to signs and path markings this trail is super easy to follow and if you know where you are heading, getting lost is nearly impossible!
I recommend studying the map beforehand and making a mental note of the hut names along this trail. The signs along the paths and forks usually point in the directions of the huts.
They will come as follow: Talschlueßhuette, Zsigmondy Comici, Pian di Ciengia, Locatelli.
Below I enlisted path numbers as well as times you will be spending on the individual sections of this hike (breaks are not included).
- 102: From hotel Dolomitenhof to the fork at the foot of Cima Una (30 mins)
This is the easy part of the hike. The first half an hour entails walking on a wide path through the valley with the first glimpse of the dramatic Cima Una and Croda dei Toni straight ahead.
- 103: From the fork to rifugio Zsigmondy Comici (2h)
Once you reach the fork the path climbs steadily all the way to rifugio Comici. Make sure to stop at the hut for a coffee and cake or cold beer. Its terrace views are hard to beat!
- 101: From Rifugio Zsigmondy Comici to rifugio Pian di Cengia to rifugio Locatelli (1h 30 min)
Another 300 meters of elevation is gained between the Comici and Pian di Ciengia huts. Don’t miss the extension opportunity to go up to Mittl di Mezzo and photograph the best vantage point of Croda dei Toni.
From rifugio Pian di Ciengia the path drops down and runs along Laghi (lakes) di Piani to Forcella di Toblin and the Locatelli hut.
- 102: From rifugio Locatelli back to hotel Dolomitenhof (2 h)
A steady descent down the beautiful Sassovecchio valley which connects with the Fiscalina valley.
Val Fiscalina: Route extensions
There is no shortage of adventure possibilities in the Tre Cime Nature Park and apart from the short extension to Mittl di Mezzo which I have mentioned above, there are two via ferratas I highly recommend doing as addition to the hike. Both of them start near rifugio Locatelli:
Via Ferrata Torre Do Toblin
This 2 hour loop gives you an exhilarating glimpse into the history of World War I and the battles fought in these mountains between the Italian and Austro Hungarian troops.
In addition the views of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo from the summit of Torre di Toblin is worth the climb along ladders attached to vertical walls.
Via Ferrata De Luca (Innerkofler)
The Word War I tunnels and the summit of the dramatic looking Monte Paterno. This beginner level via ferrata is a great alternative option to the previous ferrata, especially If you are scared of the vertical walls (3-4 hours)
Bear in mind that to tackle via ferratas you will need to have a special equipment. For more info check out my beginner's guide to via ferrata climbing in the Italian Dolomites.
Staying at rifugio Pian Di Ciengia or rifugio Locatelli
Even though the hike can be tackled in a day, there is no need to rush! If you would like to complete any of the extensions, I highly recommend booking a night in one of the huts along this trail.
To be close to all the action rifugio Locatelli is the place to be, but because of its fame this is the toughest rifugio to get reservations at.
Their contact emails are email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org*. Their very basic website strictly states that if you do not include your name, full postal address, telephone number and email address you will not get a response.
However if you prefer more homely atmosphere and less crowds go for the stay at the tiny rifugio Pian di Ciengia, which is only 30-40 minute by foot from the Locatelli hut.
On their website you can find prices and other info. To make a reservation, send your enquiries to email@example.com*
*Email only if you are making a reservation before the season kicks off. Once the huts open call them directly. For more information on the ins and outs of staying in a mountain hut in the Italian Dolomites go to my other article.
If you have any questions about this or any other hike, via ferrata, photography spot in the Italian Dolomites post it in the comments below. I tend to all comments personally and never leave any unanswered!
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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.