Golden autumn in Dolomites

Small weekend trip to Italian Dolomites. Many mountain lakes, beautiful mountains, wild camping in the tent and everything is during golden autumn.

Озеро Antorno

Lakes in Dolomites and lake Antorno

It’s autumn here, weekend is coming – time to start thinking of weekend trips. Italian Dolomites are beautiful in any time of the year, but it should be especially breathtaking during golden autumn season. Decided! Early morning on Saturday, quick breakfast and packing the backpack – and I’m ready to go.

First stop happens after ~4 hours of driving when I’m already in Italy in some mountain village near small church Chiesa Santa Maddalena. Perfect opportunity to have the second breakfast, walk around and enjoy the surroundings

Driving further south into the mountains, one cannot skip some of small lakes in the region: Toblacher See, Dürrensee and Misurina. But lago Antorno turned out to be the real jewel. It’s quite small and calm lake located just on the road going to Drei Zinnen. The lake is surrounded by forest which started to turn red and yellow and it features magnificent views with huge mountains in the background. I spend here more than an hour just relaxing, walking around and enjoying the autumn forest.

Lago Delle Baste

Unfortunately, one cannot spend the whole life at lake ANtorno and it’s time to move further. My friend recommended me the good place to spend a night at – lake Delle Baste. There is quite simple hike from Passo di Giau going directly to the lake. Under 30 minutes of driving and I’m at the parking near the pass, enjoying the views again and packing my backpack. At the foot of the mountain autumn has just started and it make the walk to be really pleasant. Several hundreds meters of ascent and I’m on the saddle point from where I can see both the starting point and the valley where the lake is.

It’s getting late, so I’m quickly walking down to the “valley” and to the lake. There are almost no people already, but still a few photographers waiting for sunset. Not a big deal, I’m setting up my tent and also preparing to sleep.

Day 2. Lake Federa

My initial plan for Sunday was to hike to lago Federa and then improvise something. After looking at the map it gets clear that “radial” walk makes more sense. And of course the thought of making the backpack lighter for ~3-4 kg cannot make me unhappy. Just near the camping spot I’ve found some big stones which allowed me to hide my gear there. Morning walk has started! Feels like I’m not really used to lightweight walking or miss morning exercises, so I tripped and fell couple of times. Fortunately nothing serious so I can continue walking. As I pass the next saddle point, sun finally reaches me and shares its warmth. Same as always, only a few people understand the beauty of early morning hikes, I met just a couple of other hikers after ~2 hours of walking.

It’s so beautiful! Lake Federa is indeed the one of jewels in Dolomites. Perfect place to make a break. I prepared myself the second breakfast, refilled by water bottles (there is a hut just by the lake and there is a water fountain).

And here it has begun… I decided that it was too easy and instead of relaxed walking back I headed further, around the mountain. First half an hour it was easy, but after that… It started with a steep descent (200m) followed by same steep and very tiring ascent (600+m). Seemed like my lack of regular hikes this season was the reason of myself almost dying on the top. And remember – I had the light backpack this time without my camping gear! Pffuf, 200 more meters down and I’m back to the valley. But it was really tiring.

So I made a big break, found some dried apples in my backpack (dried fruits are really awesome for hikes btw!) and tried not to think about the chance of being at the parking after sunset. I don’t really remember the final part of the walk: grab my stuff, walk to the car, change hiking shoes and get my breath. It wasn’t so late though, so I even watched the sunset from some mountain road nearby. Four more hours of driving – and I’m back to Munich!

Technical details

Total distance: 25572 m
Total climbing: 2817 m
Total descent: -2820 m
Total time: 01:33:34

First day: 2 hours hike to the lake (4km flat and 300m ascent)

Second day: easy walk (5km, ~-200m) to lake Federa. Then 2 easy kilometers before the tough part: steep descent for 200 m , steep ascent 600+m and 200m down again. I wouldn’t recommend to repeat this route, it would be much easier and more enjoyable to just walk back from lake Federa.

There are not many camping places directly near lake Delle Baste (a bit swampy near the lake and lack of flat surface a bit higher). However for small tent it’s still possible and no problems. In the worst case one can walk a bit further away, there are tons of space around.

Вечер у озера Delle Baste
Вечер у озера Delle Baste

2 thoughts on “Golden autumn in Dolomites”

  1. А в какие даты вы ездили в эту поездку? Хочется, чтобы прямо золотая осень была. Тут она только-только начинается.

    1. Добрый день!
      Ездил 12-13 октября 2019 года (добавил в пост). Да, было немножко рановато, наверное самый пик был 19-20 октября в прошлом году. Хотя, например, на высоте, у озера Federa, уже все желтое и зеленого цвета почти не осталось, как видно по фотографиям. В 2017 был на Konigssee 21 октября – там все было буро-рыжее в это время. В общем-то, рекомендую ориентироваться на середину или вторую половину октября, почти наверняка застанете самый пик.

      Но вообще предсказать сложно, влияют несколько факторов:
      – В целом от года к году по-разному погода себя ведет, заранее не узнаешь.
      – Поскольку местность горная и есть значительные перепады высот, легко может получиться, что на высоте уже осень кончилась, в предгорьях осень в самом разгаре, а внизу, в долине, все еще зеленое.

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