Hiking the Italian Dolomites | San Candido and the Rifugio Baranci

We started this hike not too far from our hotel, taking the train from the nearby station south to the first stop, a trip of about four minutes! At the base of the mountain, we took a chair lift up about 300 meters before beginning our hike into the higher elevations.

What started out to be a “walk in the park” soon turned into a steep, narrow trail; and, while this route eventually saved us time, it didn’t save us energy! We were glad when we reached its intersection with the main trail that would lead us back down the mountain.

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One of our group decided to take the reverse route, starting his hike instead not far from the train station in town. After an hour of hiking up the very steep trail, he met us on the main path, just as we crawled out of the steep narrow canyon. He warned us about the steepness of our downhill trail, and we warned him about the potential dangers of the trail we had just climbed. While we had no alternative, he elected to take the longer, but gentler maintenance road back down to the chair lift, and then continued down the slopes until he reached the small town below. Then he hiked back to town and we all convened within fifteen minutes of each other at the hotel’s outdoor patio for hot lunch and cold beer.

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