When a hut is open? Huts are a traditional element of Alps, but in the Dolomites they are characterized in particular by the high number and the short distance (usually) between them. On Dolomites there are dozens of huts, and in most of them you can find restaurant and rooms. Many of them are recently restored and full of comforts 🙂 Some huts are private, and some are managed by CAI (Italian Alpine Club). The biggest an full-optional huts are often under 2,000-2,200 mt. altitude, while over 2,500 mt. altitude they are usually very simple and essential.

In any case, you will always find a recovery in emergency case (every hut do it by law). The short  distance between them allows children and untrained persons to hike on numerous paths, and also allows anyone to quite easily reach a hut in case of need.

Remember that if you want to pass a night in a hut (it is a beautiful experience) it is fundamental to reserve the bed some day before you go, expecially during July and August. And, first of all, check if the hut is open!

When do the huts open?

Usually the most of huts open from June to September, according with the high tourist season. In that period you are reasonably sure that each hut is open. Of course it is always a good idea to look for updated informations or to call the hut. Some hut can also be open for a larger period, for example from May to October. There are also huts that are open in winter, because they are on the paths of snowshoeing.

Would you like to have a quick overview of the open huts? There is a great website, in my opinion, called RifugiAperti http://www.rifugiaperti.it/. The website is in Italian, but it is so easy and graphic that you do not need to know the language.

It is a Google Map based website, so you can move on the map and simply check which hut is open and which not at the moment you are connected. Informations are not 100% guaranted but the times I used it was right.

open hut

Huts and Bivouacs

It is very important to consider the difference between huts and bivouacs. The bivouac is a free recovery, usually built with metal and situated under the peaks over 2,500 mt altitude. The bivouacs are always open and they have no service but some camp bed (usually 9 or 12 camp beds). They are used as emergency recovery in case of bad weather and also as a good starting point for an early morning hike or climb to a peak. There is no possibility to reserve them, so “those who first come first served”. They not always have a water source nearby.

A typical bivouac on Dolomites

 

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Seasonality on the Dolomites is very important. Each season show us the mountains in a different way: woods, rocks, snow, flowers, all change from a month to another. So, how to choose when to take a holiday here?


Spring: is a great period. Hiking is again possible after the snow has melted, but the peaks are still white and snow is plentiful on them. So the panorama is similar to a little “Canada”: bright colours in the valleys, many flowers, a freshness all around you. Temperature is still fresh (easily under 15°C).

Spring top elements: no tourists, good weather, great panorama, good prices in Hotels and apartments.
Spring bad elements: huts are still closed, cold temperature possible.
Be careful of: snow on the paths is still possible, expecially over 2.000 mt. altidude; bring warm clothing with you.


Summer: is the most common season to hike. This not necessary means that it is the best period. Of course summer brings big benefits to hikers: temperature is warm, huts are all open, there is no risks with snow or ice on the paths, so it is surely a good period. Unfortunately most of the people think the same, so Summer bring also a lot of people on the paths. Wheather is usually good, but air is full of humidity, so afternoon thunderstorm or rainy days are frequent.

Summer top elements: general good weather, warm temperature, huts open.
Summer bad elements: many tourists, high prices in Hotels and apartments.
Be careful of: many tourists means more risk in some difficult or exposed passages. If you want to sleep in a hut remember to reserve it some days before, or you probably will not find a free bed.


tofana-di-rozes

Autumn: is the season I love. No longer tourists on the paths, no longer a too warm climate. Again the possibility to hike admiring the snow over the highest peaks, and especially the fantastic colours of the wood. Orange, red, yellow, dark green are the colours of the Leaves during Autumn, so the period between the second half of September to the first half of November is something you should absolutely see on Dolomites.

Autumn top elements: general good weather, great colours, few tourism.
Autumn bad elements: huts are closed, cold temperature possible.
Be careful of: snow on the paths is possible, expecially over 2.000 mt. altidude; bring warm clothing with you.


Winter: is usually an off limits season for hiking. The snow falls abundantly expecially in January and February, so it is not possibile to hike without snowshoeing. But snowshoeing means also having a good knowledge of risks of snow, avalanches, and having the correct saving devices with you. This arguments is out from this blog. So, simply, in this season you have to go down under 1.000 mt. altidude to find some good path without snow.

 

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