Hike to Stunning Lake Sorapis

Lago di Sorapis, or Lake Sorapis, is a hike to be remembered, and  will serve as new standard to compare against. Several sections on the trail are via ferrata routes that encompass cables and ladders, making this an intermediate to advanced hike. This trail is a must when visiting the Dolomites.

Lago di Sorapis, Lake Sorapis, Dolomites, Cortina, Italy

Lake Sorapis

When to Go

Summer and fall


How to Get There

Start the hike from the parking area at Passo Tre Croci. From there, walk on the mountain access road or service road that eventually connects to the trail 213.


Hike Details

Our Hike: 9.5 Miles round trip, 2,664 feet gain, 5 hours 34 minutes

Difficulty: Difficult

Lago di Sorapiss hike, Cortina, Dolomites, italy

Trailhead 213

The Hike

The hike starts in the forest where a walking path leads to trail 213. Continue on the trail until shortly after above the tree line where trail 213 intersects with trail 216. Turn left on trail 216 to continue towards Sorapis. After this point the views become stunning.

Lago di Sorapiss hike, Cortina, Dolomites, italy

Trailhead 213 Intersects with Trail 216 – Turn Left

Following a short section where the trail is flat, the trail ascends up a very steep gulch. The ground is filled with loose rocks and small pebbles, causing feet to often slip out. This is the steepest section of the hike. Zig zag to the top of the gulch, at which point you are at the highest elevation of the hike.

Lago di Sorapiss hike, Cortina, Dolomites, italy

Rock and viewpoint looking to the valley right before the steep section


Lago di Sorapiss hike, Cortina, Dolomites, italy

Steep Section on trail 216

Continue on trail 216 towards Lago di Sorapis (or Rifugio Vandelli) at the top of the gulch.


Lago di Sorapiss hike, Cortina, Dolomites, italy

Trailhead Intersection

The trail is mostly flat or downhill from this point onward. It leads to the first via ferrata section of the hike. The via ferrata is daunting with a narrow path and enormous vertical drops. In some sections, there are cables along the cliff to hold onto. While this hike is challenging, it is not a technical hike, and no equipment is necessary. Several sections of cable continue as the trail leads around the side of the mountain.


Lago di Sorapiss hike, Cortina, Dolomites, italy

Trail 216 Via Ferrata

Following the via ferrata section, Lake Sorapis comes into view. The trail descends first to Refugio Vandelli, and just beyond that, Lake Sorapis. If you have time, make sure to walk around the lake.


Lago di Sorapiss hike, Cortina, Dolomites, italy

View from Above Lake Sorapis

Lago di Sorapiss hike, Cortina, Dolomites, italy

Lake Sorapiss

Take trail 215 to return to Passo Tre Croci. The trail is mostly downhill. There is a small section of via ferrata with ladders and cables, however most of the hike is easy.  The trail will lead you to the main road. From here, walk uphill for a few minutes to return to the parking area.


What to Bring on the Hike

  • Day pack

  • Lightweight jacket

  • Water

  • Snacks (food can be purchased at Refugio Vandelli)

  • Sunblock

  • Hat


Interested in another excellent hike? Try the Tre Cime de Lavaredo hike:

Tre Cime Hike, Dolomites, Italy

Tre Cime Hike, Dolomites, Italy



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Published 12/29/2015 by Beard and Curly. Visited in September 2015.


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