Walking below the Tofane

This new panoramic road has been recently created by the Regole d’Ampezzo. It runs at high elevation all along the slopes below the Tofane rock faces and offers incredible views and points of interests such as lakes, herdsman’s huts, rifugi, and restaurants.

 

Suggested period: Daily from May 15th to September 30th

Suggested departure time: 10.30 a.m.

Grade: uphill 6/10, downhill 6/10

Elevation gain: 650 m

Elevation loss: 650 m

Length: 35 km

Estimated time: 4/5 hours

Physical effort: Medium, requires good MTB experience

Suggested minimum age: 14

 

Take the bike path heading north; at the end of the paved stretch, ride past the metal bar and continue for 300 m as far as a junction, turn left downhill following the signs for Laghi Ghedina – Cianderou. At the next junction, turn again left and continue until the trail intersects the state road at Fiames.

Cross and take the little road leading to the Olimpia camping site. Ride past the Ra Sia bridge over the Boite river and start climbing uphill along the paved road, closed to private vehicles, leading to Lago Ghedina, which is absolutely worth a stop to admire its emerald green colour.

Head back for about 200 m and take the nice dirt road which climbs up to Cianderou with long diagonals. After a couple of kilometres, you reach an intersection. To follow your itinerary, you should turn left towards Pié Tofana, however, we do suggest turning right uphill for about 1 km up to a picnic table on top of the hill. From this lookout you will enjoy one of the most amazing panoramic views over the valley.

Return to the intersection and continue on the so called Montanelli walk (named after the famous journalist) as far as it intersects the road descending from Col Druscié. The climb to the namesake rifugio and its spectacular terrace is an additional variation to this route, recommended only to those who have good MTB experience since some stretches are rather steep.

Continue as far as Piè Tofana. If you get there at lunch time and you like fine dining, the namesake Baita, one of the most renowned of the Ampezzo valley, is worth a stop.

The most demanding stretch of this route up the steep Stratofana ski run is ahead. Continue until you intersect the run, follow the trail and take the forest road known as “of the aqueduct”. Some stretches are steep and bumpy, so we suggest carrying your bike if you do not feel comfortable.

The road ends when it connects with the Tofanina ski run. Continue uphill for 200m, till you reach the paved road towards rifugio Dibona. A variation to this route could be the ride up to Rifugio Dibona or to rifugio Duca d’Aosta.

To follow your itinerary, turn left downhill and soon you encounter the ruined Fedarola herdsman’s huts. Once there, take the dirt road on your left descending as far as the intersection with the state road at Vervei near Locanda del Cantoniere. Continue down the long diagonals until you reach Malga Peziè de Parù on the road to Passo Giau.

Both restaurants offer exquisite traditional cuisine.

Cross the road to Passo Giau and take the forest road leading to Cason dei Macaron and d’Ajal lake. After a short uphill stretch and a slight downhill you reach Cason dei Macaron. From here, you can either ride back straight to Cortina or turn left and descend as far as the charming d’Ajal lake and its namesake rifugio, nested in the fir woods, where a stop is worth it.

Continue downhill for 1km and, at the intersection at Jamberta, turn left towards Mortisa. The route runs across a daring bridge over rio Costeana and the amazing area of the Volterra caves. Once you get to Mortisa, follow the municipal road that leads back to Cortina.

From Cason dei Macaron you may decide to reach Malga Federa. Turn right and ride along a nice road with gentle ups and downs until it intersects the paved road to Croda da Lago. Turn right uphill and after 3 km you reach the Federa pasturelands with Mt. Becco di Mezzodì in the background. A taste of the Malga typical products cannot be missed.

On the way back, descend on the same road as far as Campo di Sotto, turn left on the municipal road and then left again towards Campo di Sopra. Continue on the so-called “Via del Convento” that leads you to Cortina center.

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