The Three Peaks of Dolomites are the white whale of mountain photography – many mountain photographers are obsessed with capturing it. Luckily, this UNESCO World Heritage wonder is not out of reach, as everyone who visits South Tyrol knows. Be the next one to photograph the Tre Cime on a hiking route explored and explained below.
The Tre Cime (Three Peaks) is the famous landmark of the Dolomites. The massive north walls of the three uniquely shaped rocky banks are probably the most sought-after photo motif in the most beautiful mountains in the world.
The hike leads on mostly very easy paths once around the Three Peaks. It is the hiking classic in the Sexten Dolomites Nature Park. For those who like it more sporty (and want to avoid the expensive ascent on the private road to the Refuge Auronzo).
Directions! This is how your hiking adventure in the Dolomites looks like on a map
The hike starts directly at the parking lot of Refuge Auronzo (2320m). Take the wide gravel path no. 101 – a former war road built by Italian soldiers to supply the front – and cross the southern walls of the Three Peaks until you reach the Refuge Lavaredo. Here turn left along path no. 101 to the Paternsattel (2454m).
At the Paternsattel continue on the military route to the Dreizinnen hut (2405m), visible from afar, and the prominent Toblinger Knoten resting behind it. From the refuge, return to the trail junction and continue on trail no. 105/Dolomitenhöhenweg no. 4 to the right, which leads through scree-covered meadows in switchbacks down to Rienzboden.
Here keep left, cross the meadow floor in a southerly direction and then take a short, steep ascent to the Lang alp. At the Langalm (hut) (2283m) and the three charming Cime lakes (2245m), the north faces of the Three Peaks are reflected picturesquely.
Photo tips that will make your Instagram pop – the Three Peaks and the Torre di Toblin
The most popular photo locations are at the Three Peaks Hut directly or a little further north towards Toblinger Knoten (Torre di Toblin) or on top of this small mountain. Here you can also find a scene from the 1st World War: a tunnel blasted into the mountain, the exit of which can serve as a frame for a typical Three Peaks picture.
At the pinnacle lakes near the Langalm (hut), a mirror shot of the Three Peaks can be rewarding when there is no wind. This spot is excellent for a sunset shot (don’t forget a headlamp for the way back).
Sunrise and sunset can be photographically attractive in high summer, here the last daylight shines on the mountain peaks.
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 next backpacking trip
How to get there by public transport: train to Dobbiaco, bus line 445 to Rifugio Auronzo. Alternatively: train to Calalzo di Cadore, bus line 31 to Rifugio Auronzo.
How to get there by car: Direction Cortina d’Ampezzo – Misurina – toll road up to Rifugio Auronzo. Large parking lot below Rifugio Auronzo (toll: 30.- Euro per car – as of 2019).
Start/finish: Rifugio Auronzo (46.612304,12.296319)
Hike difficulty level: medium
Highest/lowest point: 2451m/2169m
Refreshment stop overs: Rifugio Auronzo, Rifugio Dreizinnen, Rifugio Lavaredo, Langealm
Further tips: Overnight stays are possible e.g. at the Rifugio Auronzo or the Three Peaks Hut, reservations are advisable.
The most beautiful photo spots and hikes in the Dolomites – experience this hiking tour and 29 other exceptional trips in the Dolomites now.Fancy more hikes in the mountains – and beautiful photos? Get out into nature! Experience the best hikes and locations with our new book: Alps – Photo and Hiking Guide. The 90 best Photo Locations and 30 most panoramic Hikes.
Here we have compiled the most beautiful locations and photo opportunities. 30 hikes with 90 photo spots are selected and described in such a way that you can easily experience these wonderful landscapes for yourself – including GPS tracks and hiking map and all other information.
You can take a closer look at the ebook here– – why not give it as a gift to someone you want to visit and photograph these places with!
Of course, you will find all the information about this hike in the ebook. After registering, you will also receive the GPS track, so you are on the safe side and won’t get lost and will find all photo locations easily.
Hi, i am Marius, i love exploring the mountains and nature. Friends say, i know the mountains better than most locals, but actually i get lost all the time while photographing ;). Read more about the Mountain Moments Team.