Hike to Prato Piazza, Dolomites
The starting point is along main road 51 between Cortina d’Ampezzo and Dobbiaco at Cimabanche. Take trail 18, which crosses the lower part of the scree cone coming down from Valon de Colfiedo. The path then follows the stream of the Chenope Valley, gradually gaining height. On the left, the Croda Rossa dominates gigantically. Some of the fords of the stream are exciting for the children and give the walk a touch of adventure.
Once you reach the bottom of the valley, on the left you can see the Sassi della Croda, while the valley is closed by a sudden jump at the stream’s waterfall. Just after the last ford the trail starts to climb on the right-hand side of the stream. At this point some parts of the trail are quite exposed and you have to continue with great caution.
However, the trail is half a metre wide and made of scree. After the jump, you will find yourself in a wide grassy valley with pastures, two hotels and the Rifugio Vallandro hut (2,040 m). To the west, there is the Croda Rossa and the Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park. To the east, Mount Specie (2,307 m). From the Rif. Vallandro hut you can then go down to Carbonin, two kilometres further east of Cimabanche.
The hike to Prato Piazza at a glance
Departure: 1.530 m, Cimabanche.
Arrival: 1.980 m., Prato Piazza.
Difference in altitude: 450 m.
Time: 1 hour and a half.
Difficulty: generally easy but with a short stretch quite exposed.
Maps: Sheet 03 – Cortina d’Ampezzo – Dolomiti Ampezzane, published by Tabacco
Children: they walk, or stay in a child carrier backpack
Weather: see the Dolomiti Meteo forecasts.
Last update: August 2015.