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Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking

Croda da Lago, is a very distinctive small mountain chain in the Dolomites, its jagged peaks offer a great hiking adventure, and you’ll have to go a long way to beat the beauty of Lago Federa. Being close to Cortina where we stayed, this trail is very popular all summer long.

Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking

Walk this route yourself in 3D!

The Video is a 3D walk through of this route, it will give you a unique sense of having walked through the route before you start.

I have created 3D Videos of my adventures and have shared them with the OutdoorActive community as well as my walking community.

Watch the ‘Route’ with Autoplay here

We went the end of May for this trip to the Dolomites, and we did have awesome weather but at around 6500 feet there still was a lot of snow which stopped us doing the route we downloaded. Basically, we had to double back when we followed the route to the right around Croda da Lago, and then instead went to the lake the way we were going to come down on.

The pic below is where we couldn’t go any further and had to turn around, the downloadable route I will add to this post is the full route and not the one we had to do.

Getting There: Directions, GPX and App Link

The Hiking App I use is ‘OutdoorActive‘ which has a free and Pro version, the Pro version will allow you to download the routes to your phone and use them without using up your data. The reason I mention it is that if you were to download it, below is the link to this route in my hike list on that app, you can follow the arrows and voice on that. I think it is best that you do get the app, as most of these walks are a bit tricky to explain.

  • We stayed in Cortina, and we drove from there to the start point, so make sure you got satnav in some way or another.
  • You leave the beautiful town on the main roads, and head out on the SP638 road to a car park on the side of the road, and a stop point in google maps called Ponte de ru Corto, with the address ‘32043 Cortina d’Ampezzo, Province of Belluno, Italy’.
  • You will see a tourist information board, and the start point is there down to the little bridge going over the river, a beautiful place to start.

Navigation Aids:

Hike Map

Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking

Hike Profile

  • Distance: 8m / 13km
  • Duration: 5-6 hours (lots of sightseeing)
  • Highest point: 8081ft / 2463m
  • Difficulty: Moderate (steep short climbs), sometimes loose terrain through the woods, but season depending as snow can be thick in Spring.
  • Route conditions: Well-worn pathways most of the way around, good walking shoes are a must really.

Hike Description & Pics

Croda da Lago, is a very distinctive small mountain chain in the Dolomites, its jagged peaks offer a great hiking adventure, and you’ll have to go a long way to beat the beauty of Lago Federa.

The start point is called ‘Ponte de Ru Curto‘, it’s a long clearing on the side of the road, and you will know you are there, as there is a tourist information board, and the path you want to take at the start is 437, you will them merge into path number 434, for the rest of the way. These numbers are painted on trees and stones as you walk around, and it is the same for all the trails in the Dolomites.

Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking

It’s a beautiful start to the walk, as you cross 2 creeks and then head through the forest, really magical place.

The path ahead is a steady climb, winding your way up through stunning woods, along well-trodden paths, bridges and in some places wooden pathways sometimes crossing gaps in the ground below you or to help you over large rocks. To your left as you head up, there is also a very large gorge that you take a bridge over, and in early spring, I imagine the water flow through it will be impressive and loud, the water has really carved it out.

Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking

Further along, continuing to climb up you will come to a little clearing and you will see a wooden shack in the open on your left, we stopped there for a little break, and it is at this point back on the path that the route splits. This is where you start your journey to go either side of Croda da Lago in a loop, and this is also where our route doesn’t match the route I have attached, but we didn’t lose out on much, and you have to remember it’s still out of season and there is still snow around at high points.

We went to the right, and basically got so far before being stopped by snow, and it was right at the point where you come in line with the peaks on your left, so we did get to see them, but after an attempt to move on, we decided to turn around, return to the fork near the shack, and go to the left to Lake Federa.

Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking

We were a little disappointed as we set of, having been turned back, but it wasn’t long after more climbing that we came to a view point which stunned us all, and we spent a long time here just looking at the view, and realising how high we were up, and the magnificent views of Cinque Torri, Nuvolau, Tofana di Rozes, the Pomagagnon, and the Sorapiss Group.

The viewpoint is slightly off the track, but on it at the same point if that makes sense, as you are leaving the path up, to join this off shoot to go to the viewpoint, then turn around and join back up on the path up to the lake, but it’s not to be missed.

Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking

Leaving the viewpoint and returning to the path, it is now a walk to Lake Federa, and you will pass through some enchanting woods, and although we did have deep snow in parts, it was much easier to get through, and we made it up quite quickly. Helped by their only being deep snow outside the woods. Walking this in summer will be much easier, and although steep in places, is a moderate walk, nothing extreme and the paths are really clear.

Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking

The path soon levels out, which was nice as it was quite steep for a while, and after walking through a gate, it’s a short walk-through Val Negra to Lago Federa, the famous lake beneath the eastern side of Croda da Lago. We got to see it frozen over, which was beautiful, very magical, almost staged looking, and then we walked along the left edge to the end where we again sat for a while, eating our lunch sitting outside the large hut, and taking in the stunning views, and trying to work out where the loop was if there wasn’t any snow.

Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking

Leaving Croda da Lago the way we came up, we followed the exact path down, and we got down pretty quickly, walking back through the woods, passed the clearing with the hut, past the gorge and then down to the small bridges and back to the car park.

This is a brilliant walk, and I’m looking forward to returning in the summer time, and seeing the aqua blue lake and being able to walk the complete loop.

Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking
Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking

That’s it, you’re all done, back at the car and hopefully the weather has been good, and you have had a great experience.

It is worth downloading this route onto the Outdooractive app, it’ll re-assure you time wise and that you’re not heading in the wrong directions. There is so much space up there and lots of alternative paths you could accidently join.

Hope you enjoy this walk, and I’d love it if you could share this post either with the social media buttons that follow you down the screen on your left, or below in the footer. Also, comments are very welcome, I love meeting new people and talking and you never know we could meet up on one of our walks.

Croda da lago, Croda Da Lago Circuit Trail – Hike in the Italian Dolomites – Path 434, Welsh Man Walking

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