10 Steps to Take When Planning a Dolomites Hut to Hut Hiking Trip

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Reclaim Wonder, with your Kids in the Dolomites

Planning a multi day hiking trip in the Dolomites can be difficult and confusing, especially if you want to bring your kids. But there’s also benefits, like saving money by not hiring a travel agent (adventure tours are crazy expensive) and learning more about the culture through your research. It also means YOU are in charge of where you go, how you get there, where you stay, and what you’ll be doing.

For some people, it can be quite overwhelming if you don’t know where to start when it comes to hut travel planning. That’s where we come in. We have years of experience in trip planning and we are here to make it easier on you! Don’t make the mistakes I did, learn from my mistakes taking my family to the Dolomites each summer.

Let’s get planning!

Too much stress? Want a done for you solution?

Self Guided Dolomites Hut to Hut Backpacking

Want to experience the magic of the Alta Via 1 without all the stress?


Alpenventures Unguided does the heavy logistical lifting for you to plan a self-guided adventure in the Italian Dolomites so you can hike your own hike.  If you are limited on time, don't enjoy the endless back and forth emails, or don't want to get lost - this is a great affordable option for you.

What do they do:

  • Plan the route
  • Book all the accommodations for you on the trail
  • Deals with the non-English speaking hut owners for you
  • Provide GPS enabled app to never get lost
  • Provides custom eGuidebooks
  • Downloadable GPS Tracks for the entire Alta Via 1 to your phone
  • Distance, elevation gain and loss, profiiles and turn by turn directions.

    The Classic full AV1 is 10 days, but Alpenventures can help you plan shorter hikes if you've only got a long weekend too!  

The owner is from US so understands how to help those of us not used to the Alpine and Dolomites hut system of hiking and backpacking.

Wild camping is illegal in most of Europe.

1. Decide where you’ll go! Starting at the iconic Lago di Braies is a family favorite.

This might seem obvious, but it can be the hardest part of the trip planning process. There are many questions to ask yourself to narrow down the best location to hike hut to hut.

Fortunately, we’ve personally hiked with kids and written in a blog post our favorite comfortable route that you can read to get started. Check out our Guide to the Northern Half of the Alta Via 1 to decide where to go hut to hut hiking in Europe.

2. Plan out a rough itinerary.

When will you go? How many days will you hike? Do you want to go to avoid peak times? Then, you’re able to sit down and map out the best route. Just know mid-June through mid-September is the available time to go in these gorgeous mountains.

3. Plan out how you’ll get from place to place.

Once you’ve planned out which trails you will hit, you can begin to plan the travel from place to place. This is where a bit of research starts to come into play quite a bit. What’s the best route? A train? A plane? Renting a car? What’s the cheapest? Is there a famous route that may be a bit more expensive and take a bit longer but will give you the experience of a lifetime? You have options here and by planning for yourself you can look at all the options and decide which is best for YOU.

4. Book the transportation.

One of the best parts of Europe is the amazing transit system. So after you’ve done your research above and made some decisions, you can book your transportation to the trailhead.. Whether it’s a plane ticket, a train, your own car, rental car or bus. Now you are committed.

dolomites hiking hut to hut

5. Find + book accommodations.

This is probably the most difficult part as the hut systems at high elevations are not part of any booking.com systems or airbnb. Fortunately, the huts are incredibly reasonable from 40-80 per night depending on the food plan you choose. It really is affordable and unique. It just depends on your personal preference.

6. Figure out the logistical things.

This is the fine details, and many times can be saved until just before the trip. This could include questions such as: Will you need a visa? Do you need any immunizations? Should you purchase travel insurance? Are there any particular attractions or places you want to see while you’re there? Should you buy tickets in advance?

7. Figure out what you want to do in each place!

That’s what we are here for! Make this step SUPER EASY!! Just download our Cortina d’Ampezzo travel guides for the Dolomites and you’ve got everything you need for an amazing outdoor experience in your location.

8. Get packing, lightly!

A heavy pack will make you want to turn back on these hut to hut trips as you’ll carry your bag with you each day. Minimalist is the way to go, check out our packing list to keep your bag light and enjoy your hike. *Note: make sure you look at the baggage allowance for every flight/mode of transport you’ll be taking during your travels.*

9. Final steps…

These are usually done right before leaving and can include: vaccine QR codes, doctor appointments, printing documents, sorting out your phone plan, or writing down contact info for the places you’ll be staying. Don’t forget to get someone to watch the dog, too!

10. GO Hiking in the Dolomites!

Between the UNESCO sites, turquoise lakes, rocky spires and tranquil trails winding through some of the most breathtaking natural scenery, you’ll never forget a slow, sustainable hiking trip here.

If hut to hut hiking seems a bit too much, you can homebase at one of the glorious lower land huts and do some awesome day hikes. I’d recommend renting a car and planning 1-2 hikes per day.

Recommended Books and Guidebooks for Exploring Hut to Hut Hiking and Dayhikes in the Dolomites & More

Headed to the Dolomites in Italy? Alta Via 1 Cicerone Guidebook for Hiking Hut to Hut in the Dolomites is my absolute favorite.

For shorter day hikes this Cicerone Guidebook is amazing.

For road trip advice, DK Eyewitness Back Roads Northern and Central Italy (Travel Guide) offers great road plans.

Walking in the Algarve: 33 walks in the south of Portugal including Serra de Monchique and Costa Vicentina (Cicerone Walking Guides)


Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a passionate hiker and writer, physical therapist, and photographer. She is living near Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany and featured giving science-based hiking tips and advice.

​When not out exploring the mountains or sea, she’s writing articles and gear reviews to empower Outdoor Journeys that include family and good food.

With 💞, Crave the Planet

Thanks for reading! Please share your stories of your awesome outdoor adventures or ask questions from the community over on our facebook group Untold Outdoor Europe Travel Planning.

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