Hike to Croda da Lago
Hike to Croda da Lago: the itinerary
The trail starts at the Palù de Cor car park, which can be reached from Croda di Sotto, a small village near Cortina. Leaving the car behind, we follow the ‘Gores de Federa‘ path along the asphalt road that runs alongside the Federa torrent, which soon turns into a path that allows us to admire its scenic water features and waterfalls more closely. After walking along a short section of an equipped path, which we recommend as it is very easy, the forest gives way to the wide meadows that will lead us to Malga Federa. Here you can refresh yourself with the fantastic dishes of cold cuts and malga products, preparing to embark on what is the most challenging part of the route: following the signs for Croda da Lago and the refuge of the same name, we now take a path that climbs back up into the woods, becoming steeper and more impervious. After less than an hour’s walk along stretches of path whose gradient exceeds even 25%, the scenery opens up again, allowing us to catch a glimpse first of the refuge and then of Lake Federa with the imposing Croda da Lago towering above it.
The difficulty of the path in this section is rather high, but you will see that your fatigue will be mitigated and repaid in full by the fantastic panorama! However, if you don’t feel up to tackling the difference in altitude, don’t worry: there is a jeep that goes up from the car park and, via Malga Federa, offers a shuttle service to Croda da Lago.
After lunch, we recommend a nap at the edge of the lake to recover your energy and prepare for the descent. We cross the lake, skirting it along the path above it, giving us a beautiful view of Cortina, and take the path that winds through the woods, steeply downhill, until it joins a wide dirt road.
From here we soon arrive at the Rifugio del Lago d’Ajal, where we take a final break, enjoying the scenery of the lake with the Rifugio overlooking it.
Finally, we continue along the path to the right of the hut, which alternates between wooded and grassy stretches, finally joining a wider road that takes us back to our car park.
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