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Trentino - The mountains in autumn

San Martino di Castrozza - Passo Rolle / Alessandro Gruzza
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San Martino di Castrozza - Passo Rolle / Alessandro Gruzza
Wander along the high-altitude trails to visit the mountain huts that are submerged in silence or walk through the bright colours of the autumn foliage throughout the alpine valleys to experience the best parts of the mountains in autumn.
In autumn, silence descends upon the mountains. It envelops the valleys, covers the mountain trails, and flows over the cliffs, only ever broken by the calls of marmots or the sounds of deer, by the cry of a cuckoo or the whisper of the wind. It keeps you company as you walk along the trails that guide you towards the mountain huts which remain open until late October (even on weekends) which allow you to experience and enjoy this beautiful season at high altitude. Visit in autumn to experience sunrises and sunsets that take your breath away, vivid colours in the meadows and crisp air as you walk in the morning light. See the landscape change in real time as you move through the mountains, seeing the beech, birch, and larch trees changing from the liveliest greens to bright and warm shades of yellow, orange, red, and gold. Even without venturing up the mountains, staying overnight at the foot of the Trentino Dolomites is a truly magical experience where you can rediscover intimacy with nature.

San Martino di Castrozza - Passo Rolle / Simone Mondino
San Martino di Castrozza - Passo Rolle / Simone Mondino

Hiking in autumn

In between September and October in bVal di Fassa/b, you will find the perfect climate for tackling the six stages of the ‘bTrek King/b’, so named on account of the legendary king of the many fairy tales set within these enchanted mountains. Starting from the luxury Hotel Ciampedie above Vigo di Fassa, which is reachable by cable car, you will travel along Vajolet Vallet, touching the Principe Pass and the Antermoia Pass to reach the Antermoia refuge, just a stone’s throw from the turquoise Antermoia Lake. This stage is three hours long, is accessible to everyone, and is just 7km long. In the second stage you will descend towards the Val Duron before climbing up the Sasso Piatto Refuge. From there, you will start the third stage, bypassing the Sassolungo and ending the trek at the Sella Pass. The refuges open until 10-15 October are Roda di Vael in Cantinaccio, Vallacia in Val Monzoni, Salej at the foot of Sassolugo, and Fuciade above Passo San Pellegrino. The colours of autumn light up the Val di Cembra woods that you pass through when following the trails around Lake Santo di Cembra. Here you will find the starting point of an easy path up to the Portzmauer mountain hut which is in the woods above the village of Grumes and can be reached after an evening’s trek. Finish your hike with a dinner filled with authentic Trentino dishes.

Val Canali at the foot of the bPale di San Martino/b is one of the most celebrated valleys in the Italian Alps. You can explore the valley by following a circular route through the meadows that extends from the upper valley to the Ronzi. The trail begins at the Fosna car park and leads to the Fosne basin, where you will see some typical mountain huts known as ‘casere’, as well as barns known as ‘tabiadi’ which are dotted around the mountain. Taking the SAT 731 path, walk around the basin and up to a forest road that leads to the meadows of Prato di Costa near Forcella Col dei Cistri. The view of Monte Cimerlo seen from Prato di Costa is definitely worth the break. Continue along the trail to the pasture called Pra Sorin where more mountain huts are to be found. Remain on trail 731 and follow the signs for Prati Ronzi. From Ronzi, you will take the SAT 724 trail towards Dagnoli and, after crossing wide meadows in Piereni, you will return to the Fosna car park.

The Ledro Trek is made up of two circular trails, one on the valley floor, and one halfway up the mountain which offer truly amazing views of Lake Ledro. Both are accessible all year round. Ledro Trek Low is a 19km trek that you can do in a single day; it runs along paths on the shores of the lake, offering splendid views, and passing by the historic Citta della Pieve, the Madonnina di Besta, the Palafitte Museum, and the Ledro Land Art Park. Ledro Trek Medium is a two-day trek along mid-mountain trails that overlook the lake and go by Monte Cocca, the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Ferle, and the pastures of Sant’Anna.

To fully appreciate the variety of autumn colours in the Adamello range, you should walk towards the San Giuliano Mountain hut (open until 25 September and every weekend until 30 October) above Caderzone, one of the oldest villages in Val Rendena. It overlooks two small lakes right across from Presanella mountain. To get back to the Malga Campo car park, we recommend that you continue to Bocchetta dell’Acqua Fredda and, from there, descend towards Lake Vacarsa, Malga Campostril, and finally to the car park.


In Val di Sole, autumn paints the woods with a variety of colours. This can best be viewed from the circular route around the Saènt waterfalls in Val di Rabbi, just one of the iconic places in the Stelvio National Park. From the car park in Maso Coler, about 3km beyond the hamlet of Piazzola, you can hike up to Malga Stablasolo, which is an excellent place to stop for a snack on your way back down. Once you reach the first waterfall, continue to the bridge in front of the second sparkling and spectacular waterfall. Continue on to reach the SAT 106 trail, which climbs up to Pescia Alta. From here, you can go down to Malga Stablèt, the visitor centre of the Stelvio National Park dedicated to marmots, and back to Malga Stablasolo.

We also recommend a visit to the mountain huts and farmsteads around Monte Roèn in Val di Non on autumn weekends. You can follow the SAT 500 trail starting from the Mendola Pass. You first reach the Messavia mountain hut, and while hiking across both steep and gently sloping paths, you will leave the woods and enter the clearing where you will find the Malga di Romeno. The final stretch, which climbs to the top of Monte Roèn, is the steepest part; your effort is rewarded by the spectacular view that can be admired from the top. You can then either return the same way, or descend along the Roèn meadows to Malga Smarano, before returning to Malga di Romeno through the woods on the flat part of the SAT 528/A trail.

Those who love to take peaceful walks immersed in silence can climb from Andalo, through coniferous forests, to the pastures of Malga Spora which is close to the spears of the eastern Brenta Dolomites. Follow the SAT 301 trail that leads to Maso Pegorar and then cross the forest road that comes from Cavedago. You will then find yourself on a scenic stretch of path with some exposed ledges with panoramic views (with 100m of metal fences for safety). After walking through a centuries-old larch wood, you emerge onto the flat pastures that lay before the Malga Spora basin, populated by families of marmots.

Take precautions in the mountains

Before leaving for a hike at high altitude you must ensure you carefully plan your day and, if you are tackling a trail classified as very technically difficult or, if you are a beginner, always trust an alpine guide. It is always advisable to contact the mountain hut in the area you want to visit to get information on the practicality of the route and the weather conditions, to make sure that you wear appropriate clothing for your excursion.

Tags: #ski resorts #trentino #autumn #dolomites #val disole #val di fassa #outdoor #adventure