A visit to Lago Federa, also known as lake Federa, might not be immediately on your radar when planning a tip to the Dolomites, but it should be! Especially if you’re visiting this part of Italy in October you should make time to visit this more unknown spot in the Dolomites!
It’s one of the most beautiful lakes in the Dolomites and is surrounded by larches and during October these trees turn all shades of yellow and orange. I can assure you this is such a beautiful hike and you’ll be amazed by some of the views!
How To Visit Lago Federa – A Beautiful Day Hike in The Dolomites
The hike to Lago Federa is part of the famous Croda da Lago hike, which is one of the best hikes in the Dolomites. So if you have a full day planned to visit Lago di Federa I really recommend doing the full loop (11.3 km). For us it wasn’t possible because of two reasons, the first being that we also wanted to hike to the Cadini di Missurina that day and the second that there was a lot of snow on the ground.
But again, if you have the time and the weather permits it you should go for the full hike!
Hiking to Lago Federa – All you need to know
Starting point – Ponte de Ru Curto on the 437 trail
End point – Ponte de Ru Curto on the 437 trail
Distance – 9,5km
Duration – 3 hours
Elevation – 750m
Difficulty – Moderate
Best time to visit – October
How to reach the starting point of the Croda da Lago Hike
BY CAR – You can reach the exact starting point of this hike by car and there are a couple of parking spots available. Make sure to arrive early if you’re visiting during high season cause it’s not possible to park alongside the road. We did this hike in October and arrived around 9AM! Because of low season there was still plenty of parking space available!
The trail starts at Ponte de Ru Curto which is alongside road 638.
BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT – This is only possible during high season (from July until mid September) and you’ll have to take the 30/4 from Cortina or Pescul to the trailhead.
When to best hike to Lago Federa
Lago Federa is one of those lakes that is beautiful all year round but I have to say that what really convinced me to go on this hike was seeing a photo of taken during Fall season.
Lago di Federa is surrounded by larch trees and they turn all shades of yellow and orange from October!
So if I have to pick a best time to do this hike I would say start to mid October!
Do keep an eye on the weather forecast! This year we were greeted by a ton of early snowfall which made the hiking trail very icy. It was doable but both of us landed on our asses a couple of times.
So if you are planning to do this hike in October bring some hiking poles and snow spikes with you. Our hiking adventure would have been a lot easier if we would have had either of these with us.
How to hike to Lago Federa – A step by step guide
Once you’ve arrived at the parking lot at Ponte de Ru Curto it’s time to put on those hiking shoes!
The first part of the hike is really easy and leads you through a beautiful forest and over a couple of picture perfect bridges. After following trail 437 for a while you’ll end up at the first cross roads. Since Lago di Federa is part of the Croda da Lago hike you can choose to either go left or right since it’s a loop trail.
Again, if you have enough time and you’re just planning 1 hike that day you can go either way. If you’re a little short on time take the left trail and go up the mountain clockwise.
From here the trail becomes a lot steeper and has a lot of short switchbacks. Here those hiking poles would have come in very handy for us, especially because of all the snow on the trail. But we made it work and after 40 minutes of climbing you’ll reach one of the most beautiful viewpoints: The Val Negra viewpoint at 2048 meters! This spot offers a view over the Cinque Torri, Cortina, Tofana di Rozes and Mezes.
After admiring the view it’s time to head down to the beautiful lake! From here it’s only a short 20 minute easy walk and you’ll end up at the magnificent Lago Federa!
There’s a path which goes completely around the lake and I strongly advice you to do so! Lago Federa is beautiful from all angles!
A little further you’ll find the mountain hut Croda da Lago which remains open until the start of November. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a lunch before heading back down!
Where to stay near the Croda da Lago hike
The closest town to the Croda da Lago hike is Cortina. If you’re visiting during the Summer months and you want to go by public transport then this is the best town for you to stay.
It also offers busses to the Tre Cime National Park so that’s two birds with one stone.
Other Places to visit near Croda da Lago
The Giau Pass is a high mountain pass in the Dolomites in the province of Belluno in Italy and it connects Cortina d’Ampezzo with Colle Santa Lucia and Selva di Cadore. Located at a height of 2236m the Passo Giau offers insane views over the nearby mountain ranges and is an easy to visit location with a parking space right on the top!
Lago delle Baste
You can reach this beautiful lake from the former Passo Giau after a short 1,5 hour hike! To reach Lago delle Baste you need to follow trail 436 which is part of the Alta Via 1. The silence and the atmosphere of this place will enchant you and a photo to the Mount Pelmo that reflects in the lake is a must.
I wish we had had the time to visit this beautiful and still rather unknown lake near Passo di Falzerego. It’s a pretty easy to reach lake so if you feel like walking for another small hour (there and back) simply drive to Rifugio Col Gallina and park your car here. Take the trail that leads through the forest and after 25 minutes you’ll reach Lago Limides!
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