Hiking to Lago di Sorapis is one of the top things to do in the Dolomites, the popular mountain region in Northern Italy. Since we spent some time at the incredibly crowded Lago di Braies, we wanted to find something a little more secluded and ended up at this stunning blue lake. Sounds good to you? Here’s everything you need to know about the Lago di Sorapis hike!
Hiking to Lago di Sorapis – Key Facts
LENGTH | 11km / 6.8 miles round trip
ELEVATION GAIN | 536m / 1759 ft
TIME NEEDED | 2-2.5 hours
DIFFICULTY | Intermediate. Although most website list this hike as easy, I’d say it’s moderate – mostly due to its length. Additionally, the hike to Lago di Sorapis includes some steep inclines and narrow pathways. Luckily, you’ll find a number of railing and ropes that you can use as support throughout.
OTHER LANGUAGES | Lago di Sorapis is also known as Sorapissee (German) or Lake Sorapis.
Getting to Lago di Sorapis
The start and end point of your hike will be the Passo Tre Corci trailhead located a 15 minutes drive from Cortina D’Ampezzo, a popular hiker’s base in the Dolomites.
At the trailhead, you will find plenty of street parking. However, I recommend arriving early – especially in summer months – as it’s a very popular trail. This will also allow you to enjoy some time without the crowds at the Lake Sorapis itself.
From Cortina D’Ampezzo it takes around 15 minutes to drive to Passo Tre Croci. We simply used Google Maps and typed ‘Passo Tre Croci’.
By Public Transport
Of course, the easiest way to get to the trailhead is by car. However, there are buses that run a few times a day during high season (June-September). It’s very important to consult a timetable for your specific dates as the buses run less frequently during shoulder and low seasons. Please keep this in mind. If you want to take the bus 30/21 to the trailhead, plan with additional 30-45 minutes.
Yes, it’s also possible to arrive at the trailhead by foot. I wouldn’t recommend it though as it stretches your hike from 11km up to 41km.
Where to stay?
We stayed in Austria and drove around 2 hours to Lago di Sorapis. So, if you can, get yourself a hotel or accommodation in Cortina D’Ampezzo.
Tips for your hike to Lago di Sorapis
Florian and I decided to do the hike in the morning when there were fewest people around. First off, because we wanted to enjoy the lake as empty as possible and second off, because I sometimes get nervous when hiking with many other people. I’m actually so glad we did this!
We visited the Sorapis Lake in June and left our hotel around 6am when the sun is already rising. We enjoyed the morning light as much as possible and were incredibly happy, hiking to the lake, sipping on our warm coffee and being surrounded by nothing but nature.
The trail starts with a flat, easy walk before then dipping downhill. After half an hour of easy hiking, the trail starts to get a little more complicated. You have to deal with steep and narrow trails (which also was a reason why we wanted to leave early). Please be mindful that some rocks can be wet and might be slippery. We wouldn’t recommend to do this hike after it rains.
Tip: If you do this hike in autumn, be aware that the lake might be a little less full. Some years it’s almost completely dry, others, it has more water.
After arriving at Lago di Sorapis, please enjoy the views for a while before heading back! You can either do a loop around the lake or simply enjoy a coffee at the lake. The path around the lakes takes approximately one hour and is the best experience at Lake Sorapis.
Then, make your way back – it’s the exact same route you came up along. We left around 10:30am and we already met some other hikers.
Lago di Sorapis Packing List
You should definitely bring a day pack with you for this hike! Please keep in mind that you’ll spend around 5-6 hours away from your car and it’s absolutely necessary to have water with you. If it’s cold, we’d also recommend thermos with tea/coffee/hot chocolate to enjoy at the lake after your hike. Also, bring snacks but make sure to pack out all of your rubbish!
Further, if it’s cold, I’d consider bringing a hat and gloves, because these cables can get pretty cold! Also, use sunscreen no matter what seasons it is.
Although we visited in summer, we brought a rain jacket/windbreaker, because the mornings can get a bit chilly. I’d definitely go with a lightweight jacket that you can throw on and off.
For shoes, hiking boots with good grip are essential. Sunglasses are also!
- Thermos with tea/coffee/hot chocolate
- Hat and gloves if it’s cold
- Lightweight jacket
- Hiking boots
Photography Tips for Lake Sorapis
As I already mentioned, Lago di Sorapis gets crowded – especially during summer months. That’s why – for photography – I’d recommend to go as early as possible. We visited the Dolomites in June and went around 6am when the sun was already rising but no one else attempted to hike to the lake already.
You also get the best light for photos about an hour after the sun has risen. The surrounding mountains dim the light, which is why you have to wait longer in other seasons. For example, we read that it only really gets light around 10 am in autumn. However, then of course you also have the problem that more people will probably be on the way there.
Moreover, we shot everything with a 16-50mm lens which was absolutely perfect. You don’t have to get a wide angle lens to take good pictures here.
These are my favorite photos we shot at Lago di Sorapis.
We would absolutely recommend Lago di Sorapis. Of course it can be considered negative that you have to hike there for 2 hours, but we find it better than just leaving the car, taking photos and walking again. Somehow we always appreciate places a lot more if we had to do something about it beforehand. So it was with our first hike together in the Caribbean (which was completely unplanned). There we hiked to the Titou Gorge waterfall and were not disappointed. This time the hike was not as difficult and dangerous as on Dominica, but we had a lot of fun.
Since we love taking photos while traveling, we include this in our final evaluation. Lake Sorapis is a very photogenic lake that is absolutely worth it for photographers. We even find it a little nicer than Lago di Braies, because you don’t see it again and again on social media, but something special.
We hope that this guide to Lago di Sorapis has helped you. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments at any time.
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