A student stopped while backpacking to take in the beauty of the cloud cloaked peaks of the Dolomites in Italy.
Camera Rich Brame

Hiking Italy's Dolomites Via Ferrata - Alumni


8 days


21+ yrs



Stay tuned for dates

Join a group of NOLS grads and instructors for a week of spectacular hiking in the Dolomites as we trek between "rifugios" (small, hostel-style lodgings) during the Italian Alps' late summer.

This particular trip is for graduates of our past Dolomite hikes. The route includes three "ferrata" or technical, cabled sections requiring some climbing gear, comfort with airy trails, and nimble footwork.

Connecting our string of rifugios gives us the chance to savor Italian cuisine and culture while mixing with other, mostly European travelers, in a dorm-style setting. Sleeping and dining (dinner and breakfasts) in the rifugios allows us to considerably lighten our packs for our daily hikes (average move is ~6 miles, plus elevation changes) among the stunning spires, valleys, ridges and peaks of northern Italy. We'll even have a chance to explore Marmalada Peak (10,968')- the glacieated site of heavy WWI battles, tunnels and epic weather.

The trip starts and ends in the ancient, cobble-stoned city of Bolzano (capital of the Bolzano-Bozen Province: population ~100K). Participants can flying in and out of Bolzano, Verona, Milan or other area cities— consider staying extra days on either end of the trip to explore the sights of northern Italy.

As a group from Bolzano, we will take a series of train, shuttle and cable car rides to and from our "roadheads" in the mountains.

The trip spends 6-nights in the "field" at rifugios, and 7-days hiking as well as a hotel night on either end in historic Bolzano. Unlike a standard NOLS expedition, we won't carry cook gear, or heavy rations—even pads and sleeping bags are not needed at the rifugios—but we'll do "real" trail hiking up and down varied and often steep terrain with our backpacks.

This trip will re-acquaint you with NOLS backpacking techniques in a convivial, relaxing and visually stunning location. Instruction is geared to your interests, with optional walk-up peaks, Italian "word(s) of the day," time for journal-writing and photography, and more. 

Because of the airy trails, cable-clipping moves and required nimble footwork, this trip is for previous NOLS Dolomite trip participants only.


*Staying in huts means cultural interaction, bunks, cooked meals and light packs on the average 5-mile trail days- with plenty of ups and downs. The route's average elevation is ~7,200'.

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More Information

If you have questions about enrollment or including families/guests on a particular alumni trip, please email us or call us at 800-332-4280