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.
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.