When I first started to research the Dolomites as a destination, I was intrigued by this concept of Rifigios – mountain lodges , very high in the Dolomites, that one must hike or cable car to get to, but once there you have warm beds and fine Italian meals. This concept of lodges that high up with all the amenities, is quite foreign in the USA. I mean, we do have cabins high up (like LeConte), and we so have lodges with luxury (like Paradise Inn in Rainier NP), but never both at the same time.
Well, in the Dolomites, there are many of these Rifugios, often a days hike apart. Note: I did consider trying to string a few of these together, so that we would hike from Rifugio to Rifugio…. But… we would have been doing a lot of walking already in Tuscany.. and also, there is always the possibility of weather issues. So – one night was enough. It was excellent. Easy cable car up, a comfy room, great meals, and nice above-tree line hikes galore.
As for why Rifigio Lagazuoi (9100 feet) , it was the extremely high location , views, and proximity to the WW 1 tunnels that made this an excellent choice.
Woke up to shaky weather: