Between Alta Badia and the Val Gardena valleys, stretches the impressive Sella massif, a buffet where amateur and professional photographers take any amount of pictures they want, on the house. There are two conditions, though – one is a full battery, and the other is hiking experience, as some backpacking routes are equally challenging and rewarding. We cover one such trail here, on and take you on a full day hike that leads you through the whole Sella Massif (shortcuts possible) and give you tips for grat photo locations in the area.
The plateau-shaped Sella massif is, next to the Three Peaks, probably the biggest tourist attraction in the Dolomites. In summer it offers hikers and climbers a challenging area with panoramic views. In winter, on the other hand, it is the center of the world-famous Sella circuit in the Super Dolomiti ski area.
A kind of central point in the Dolomites is the crossing of the Sella massif and the ascent of the highest peak of the massif – the Piz Boè belongs to the obligatory program of every hiker.
Route description – this is how your Sella massif hiking trail looks like on a map
The tour starts early in the morning at the parking lot Grödner Joch/Passo Gardena. The approach is via the slightly ascending path no. 666, which first crosses mountain meadows and then scree. Once you reach the Sella massif, the view opens up into the narrow Valley Setus.
The valley is crossed with the help of steep switchbacks (beware of falling rocks!). The last 150 meters of ascent to the Pisciadù hut lead over a rocky step secured by ropes. Continue on the somewhat exposed climb at Cima Pisciadù or take the longer and easier route to the Sela de Pisciadù.
For the easier option, walk around the beautiful Lake Pisciadù on the right side and climb to the Sela de Pisciadù. The following path leads first slightly uphill over the flat Sella plateau to the ridge at L’Antersas. Then cross at a height to the Bamberger hut (Rifugio Boè, 2873m). Now follow the signs towards the Sas de Pordoi mountain station and after about 1km turn left onto the summit path to Piz Boè.
The last serpentines to the summit are again steep and partly rope-secured. The descent is initially via the ascent path. At the next prominent junction, take the path to the Pardoi hut. If you are tired or want to spare your joints, you can make a descent with the cable car of the same name. Otherwise, via the Valon del Fos steadily downhill on mainly stony paths to the Monti Pallidi (Mount Pallidi) hut.
Photo tips that will make your Instagram pop – alpine meadows and Piz Boè vantage point
Depending on your taste, there are many possibilities for photos. A typical motif are the alpine meadows near the Gardena Pass (starting point of the tour). The Sella massif in the background limits the picture.
With the right light, interesting shots of the midday valley are a possibility worth mentioning. The panoramic shots from the top of Piz Boè on the various mountain ranges are almost obligatory.
Mountain Moments Photo Workshops provide Photo Tours for everybody, Alpine Experience for beginners and intermediate-level photographers with 3 to 6-hour routes, as well as Summit Experience for more advanced photographers and hikers. We have private workshops and group classes.
More information about your Sella massif adventure in the Dolomites
How to get there by car: Follow the Brenner freeway to the Val Gardena – Klausen – Gröden exit. From there continue on the mountain road to Ortisei, S. Cristina and Selva Gardena. Then always follow the signs for the Gardena Pass or Corvara and park in the parking lot near the Gardena Pass, which is sometimes subject to a fee.
How to get there public transport: Train connection via the Brenner Pass to Bressanone or Chiusa. From most of the surrounding train stations there are direct connections to Selva Gardena. From there take the Gardena Pass road to the stop at Gardena Pass.
Hike difficulty level: Difficult
Highest/lowest point: 3149m/1854m
Refreshments: Gardena Pass, Pisciadù Hut, Bamberger Hut/Rifugio Boe, Capanna Piz Fassa Hut, Pardoi Hut, Monti Pallidi Hut
Start/finish: parking lot Gardena Pass(coordinates: geogr. 46.549593, 11.806577), Monti Pallidi hut (coordinates: geogr. 46.498335, 11.791068)
Special hazards: Some rope-secured passages, surefooted necessary.
Tips: If the hiking group consists of members with different levels of fitness, an ascent and descent with the Pardoi cable car is conceivable. From there, Piz Boè can be reached quickly and in this case is one of the easiest 3000m peaks in the Dolomites.
In addition to the presented traverse via rope-secured paths in places, it is possible to link it with various via ferrata routes of varying degrees of difficulty. In this case, or also when carrying out the normal route, an overnight stay in one of the numerous mountain huts is recommended.
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