Italy

An Autumn Dolomite Photo Hike: Giau Pass to Lake Baste

Get ready for some stunning scenery on this engaging Dolomite hike from Giau Pass to Lake Baste.

If Cortina is on your Dolomite bucket list, then this day hike is for you.

It’s a whole lot of awesomeness rolled into diverse landscapes with a dash of fresh air.

So grab your camera, because you’re going to want to capture all of the beauty as you go.

Hike Giau Pass to Lake Baste

Wellness Travel in Cortina

A well-known resort town, Cortina is a prime wellness destination and outdoor lovers paradise. With over 400 km of hiking trails, it’s hard not to love.

In fact, along with Alpe di SIusi in South Tyrol, it’s one of my favorite Dolomite Hiking locations.

From the first time I visited at the age of 13, I was hooked. It’s awe-inspiring.

Living a quick 2 hour drive away in the bordering region of Friuli, Cortina often appears the weekend agenda as a well-being energizer.

The Dolomites are ideal for a digital detox or when you just need a good dose of self-care activities.

Come along to see what October is like in The Dolomites with this hike from Giau Pass to Lake Baste.

Hiking Giau Pass to Lago delle Baste

This hike starts at Giau Pass (2300 meters), one of the most panoramic passes in The Dolomites.

It’s also one of the most easily accessible to take photographs of the sunset known as Alpenglow or Enrosadira.

When the rocks turn a rose color at sunset and it makes everyone stop and take notice. It’s quite breathtaking.

Giau Pass Hike

How to Get to Giau Pass

A 25 minute drive from Cortina, Giau pass is the starting point for many fantastic hikes. As well as, it’s a stop on the Alta Via 1 long distance trail.

There’s a rifugio right on the pass, which is always a good stop for coffee, lunch & restrooms before or after you hike!

If you are sans car, there’s also a bus stop with service from Cortina.

Where to Start the Hike

Opposite the rifugio, is a small chapel. The 436 trail head begins just to the left.

Be sure to stop, turn around and admire the towering beauty of the peak rising behind the rifugio, it’s quite grand.

This trail is intermediate level and the hike time to my end point, Lago di Baste, is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Giau Chapel

There are some parts where you traverse some stones on the trail, so trekking poles are helpful. However, I did the hike without them.

The first part along Val di Zonia is smooth and enjoyable. Looking out over the peaks is mind boggling, the mountains just seem to go forever.

Hike Giau Pass to Lake Baste
Hike Giau Pass to Lake Baste

After a while you take the path that descends towards Forcella Giau & Mondeval, where the valley opens up and the views last for miles.

On the far side of the valley, the climb on the path towards Mondeval Plateau affords clear vistas of Cinque Torri and Tofane.

The Larch trees are just beginning to turn their glorious yellow shade.

Stopping every so often on the steep climb brings moments of gratitude for the vast beauty.

Arriving at the top, the plateau opens up before you, where Lake Beste is quaintly nestled in the valley floor.

The lake almost seems like a mirage.

Hike Lake Baste

The ridgeline reminds me of Seceda, a wonderful mountain not far from here that offers one of the most panoramic day hikes in The Dolomites.

Hike Giau Pass to Lake Baste

The path to the left follows along the mountain ridge, which is worth exploring to feel the grandeur of the peaks directly above you.

The path descending down the valley passes through The City of Stones.

Here a prehistoric skeleton was found of a hunter that lived 7,500 years ago. Try, just try to imagine that! Today the stones are impressive and majestically tower over you.

Hike Giau Pass to Lake Baste

There is something enchanting about this plateau and the babbling brook descending down the mountain.

Hike Giau Pass to Lake Baste

I spend some time wandering the plateau. Eating, journaling and just lounging in the grass before I make my way to the lake.

Mt. Pelmo is a stunning display as it commands attention rising above the lake.

The lake is rippled as it’s a windy day, but on a clear day there would be some amazing detail in those reflections.

Lake Baste

You don’t hear much about this hike and I don’t know why.

The Mondeval Plateau is a charming place nestled amongst some of the most famous peaks in The Dolomites.

With fresh air and views for miles there it’s an idyllic way to spend the day.

Don’t miss reading more about my the rest of my self-care afternoon on the plateau.

My advice, don’t miss it…this hike from Giau Pass to Lake Baste is a magical Dolomite day out!

until the next time…
…live well, travel well, be well

More Inspiration…

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15 Inspirational Reasons to Visit The Dolomites

Winter in Warsaw: A Mindful Photo Walk

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Hike Giau Pass to Lake Baste

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Travel Coach, Health Educator, photographer & coffee lover who calls italy home

Welcome to T & I! 
I'm Deanna, Your
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Wellness is my path & passion. Integrating my life's work in Education & Sports Medicine, with my love of travel, I created T & I to help you craft meaningful adventures that recharge the mind, body, & spirit. It's a space of inspiration, empowerment & well-being. Come and join me on the journey...

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