Neither rain nor sleet nor snow will stop hikers’ desire to go. To a true hiker, photographer, and nature lover, on the Villanderer Alm hike in the Dolomites, different weather conditions present different photo opportunities. This is not only a positive way of thinking but an honest true, as this route will more often than not show you.
Gently rolling ridges, wild alpine flora, stone pine forests, mountain lakes and high alpine moors. The Villanderer Alm is a must for every nature and panorama lover! Significantly less frequented by tourists than its big brother, the Alpe di Siusi, the second-largest high alpine pasture in South Tyrol is located just outside the Dolomites.
Family-run alpine huts with local dishes and the detailed view of the partly rare herbs and plants in the high moor attract nature lovers. Although no dolomite walls shoot up here, it is an excellent place to stroll in alpine nature on easy to moderately difficult hikes.
Directions! This is how your Villandro adventure looks like on a map
From the Saltnerstein parking lot (1757m) follow hiking trail no. 6 to the Mair in Plun Alm. Here take the road (no. 7A, later no. 7) uphill to the Gasteiger Sattel (2058m). Turn right here and follow hiking trail no. 3.
Across wide alpine meadows into a wide basin, past a small waterfall to the Sarner-Scharten bivouac (2380 m). Now always continue over the wide ridge on trail no. 2 to the first summit: the Sarner Saddle (2468 m). Now go downhill a bit and after the saddle go uphill again to the Villandererberg (2509m).
Continue path no. 2 in a southeasterly direction to the Zwölfernock (2430m) and shortly after go downhill a bit steeper to the(Lake Toten) Totensee (2208m). The descent continues (keep left) over the Totenkirchl (2186m).
From here, always follow trail marker no. 6 via the Villanderer Alm back to the Saltnerstein parking lot at the Gasser hut. Various shorter alternative routes through the moors and wide meadows make the Villanderer Alm also attractive for dignified hikers and families.
Photo tips that will make your Instagram pop – Lake Toten and the “earth pyramids” near Ritten
Our favorite motif along the hike, besides the view and the many natural spectacles in the moors and on the meadows, is Lake Toten. When there is no wind, it reflects the Puez-Odle mountain range with the Peitlerkofel. This motif can already be found on the road uphill to the starting point.
As a bad weather alternative in case of rain, clouds or fog we choose the earth pyramids near Ritten. Gloomy rain-cloud atmospheres are just the right photographic ingredients to perfectly show off the pointed earth mounds.
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 backpacking route in Dolomites
How to get there by public transport: Take the train to Klausen, change here and take bus 345 to the Saltnerstein stop.
How to get there by car: On the Brenneratobahn (A 22) to Klausen and via Villanders to the Gasser-Hütte (parking lot subject to charges).
Hike difficulty level: medium
Start/finish: Villanderer Alm/Gasser-Hütte/stop Saltnerstein (coordinates: geogr. 46.509256,11.757469)
Highest point/lowest point: 2509m/1757m
Catering: Gasser hut, Mair in Plun, Pfroderalm
Further tips: Shorter round trips are signposted at the Gasser hut.
Alternative photo spot: Earth pyramids Ritten. Duration hike approx. 1.5h.
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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.