Valfredda

Valfredda

The valfredda is a small side valley located on the border between falcade (The Dolomites Venete) and the Val di Fassa (Trentino Dolomites).

The name well represents what this small valley is, it is an area that receives little sun in the winter season and makes it a very cold and snowy area.

In summer, however, the Valfredda is a refuge from the hot temperatures of the cities and the plains, it is kissed by the sun until the early afternoon which illuminates the green meadows and the peaks of the Dolomites that overlook it.

It is undoubtedly one of the side valleys to be discovered absolutely for those who have decided to spend a holiday in the Dolomites of Val di Fassa or in the Venetian Dolomites of Falcade.

Despite its beauty, Valfredda is still a less famous side valley than others and for this reason it still retains its charm. In the afternoon, when the hikers have already left for the trails at high altitude, few people meet and this makes the atmosphere even more magical.

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Casoni of Valfredda

casoni of valfredda

The distinctive element of the Valfredda are its "casoni" or small wooden chalets that once were instead the shelter for hay and cows in the mountain pastures.

The use of that small valley was mainly agricultural, a haymaking area in the high mountains where each family collected hay in their own patch of land and where they grazed the few cows that supported the whole family.

Today the casoni di valfredda have been largely transformed into small alpine chalets for the exclusive use of local families, however the environmental constraints still in force have been able to keep their appearance intact.

Even the recently renovated casoni reflect the appearance of the past, some instead have remained simple shelters and seem to have stopped history in the era in which this corner of paradise was not a predominantly tourist place but an important point of reference for the agricultural life of mountain in the Belluno area.

How to reach Valfredda

From Falcade you have to drive up to the San Pellegrino Pass, before reaching the Col Margherita lifts, take the road on the right that leads to the signs for the Flora Alpina refuge.

If you arrive from Moena or more generally from Val di Fassa it is still necessary to reach the San Pellegrino Pass by car, once you have passed the pass you go down by car to the Col Margherita lifts, after these too you continue to descend by car until you find the signs on the left for the road that leads to the Flora Alpina Refuge.

Where to park

It is advisable to park near the Flora Alpina Refuge or in the various open spaces between the Flora Alpina Refuge and the Col de Mez Malga. It is good to remember that the dirt road that leads to Valfredda is closed to traffic and therefore cannot be traveled by car.

Path towards the Valfredda

valfredda path

Both from the Flora Alpina Refuge and near the entrance to the col de Mez hut there are paths that go up towards the larch forest and lead towards Valfredda.

In less than 20 minutes you go up through the path in the larch forest and pass it by finding yourself in front of the small valley called Valfredda.

It will not be difficult to confuse it because in the background you can admire the peaks of the group of Marmolada while behind you the peaks of the Pale di San Martino will rise towards the sky.

Excursions from Valfredda

Pian de la Schita

The Valfredda is the starting point of many excursions, among the main ones is the Valfredda ring tour Fuciade (also suitable for children), the excursion to the Forca Rossa pass at 2500m, and the malga ai lach (towards Falcade in Veneto).

Round trip Valfredda-Fuciade

valfredda fuciade

The most popular itinerary is certainly the one that will take you from Valfredda to the Fuciade Refuge and then back. It is also the one most popular with families with children.
Usually you park near the Flora Alpina Refuge and go up towards the Valfredda following the path in the larch forest, reached the Valfredda continue uphill until you cross the wooden bridge over the stream, here you begin to find the directions to reach the Fuciade.

You go up to altitude through the path, first steep then gradually easier and easier and you reach a semi plateau where the large meadows widen towards the peaks of the Marmolada group and you can see the Valfredda from above. The plateau is easy to spot as it
On this plateau there are signs that on the right indicate the path towards Forca Rossa (2500 meters) and on the other side signs for fuciade. For the circular tour, you will take Fuciade directions with a path that first walks flat and then begins the descent towards the homonymous refuge.

Once you have reached the Fuciade Refuge, you can stop for a break and then return to the road that takes you back to the Flora Alpina Refuge.

In fact, this route is the most popular because it is the simplest and shortest, also ideal for families with children or people with little training. Despite its simplicity, this route offers an extraordinary panorama as you can still reach a good altitude where you can closely observe the peaks of the Dolomites and admire the underlying Valfredda in all its shining green.

Red Fork 2500 meters

red fork step 2500m

One of the main destinations offered by this small valley is the excursion to the Forca Rossa pass, it is a small alpine pass located at 2500 meters that offers a magnificent panorama on the Belluno side.
The panorama over the Val Ombretta and the view of Falcade alto with the summit of Mount Civetta and other splendid peaks of the Dolomites, as well as the continuous view of the Pale di San Martino and the peaks overlooking the pian di schia.

Before leaving for Forca Rossa it is good to remember that this step does not lead to any shelter where you can find refreshment, moreover the whole path is exposed to the sun and without trees where you can find shelter from the sun, which is why it is essential to have a good supply of water and possibly food to regain energy when you arrive at your destination.

From valfredda go up keeping the signs for the red fork and up to the plateau the path will be the same that leads to the "valfredda-fuciade tour" explained above. From the wooden path table, keep to the right and go up towards the lawns that bring you higher and higher.

The path is clearly visible and crosses open terrain with meadows interspersed with stony ground, there are no particularly critical points but attention must be paid as in some points the path winds between the streams left by the rain and the large stones. Maximum attention must be paid especially on days with rain and / or low clouds, as in all high altitude areas the risk of losing one's orientation exists in situations of poor visibility, so it is good to follow the marked path.

In this open stretch the path climbs slowly but steadily towards higher altitudes, until it reaches the slope of the red fork (which is well known for the color of the ground) from here begins a more challenging but short climb.

Arriving at the red fork there is a wooden signage house, inside which there is the hiking notebook to be signed. As previously written, there are no refuges, huts or huts to refer to. Here you go up to enjoy the view and nature, as it used to be in the past.

The return follows exactly the same path as the outward journey.

Malga ai Lach

alpine hut at the lakes

In recent years, there is an ever-increasing flow of tourists from Valfredda to Malga ai Lach. This particular hut is located in the territory of Falcade but the excursion from the Valfredda and the Trentino side of the San Pellegrino Pass is very popular.
A hut immersed in the larch forest where you can appreciate a view of the peaks of the Pale di San Martino and a view of the surroundings of Passo Valles.

Its success also derives from a good typical cuisine open for lunch during the summer season, a recently renovated hut where you can have lunch or a small alpine snack.

The travel time is about 1 hour with a leisurely pace, and 1 hour it also takes the for the return. At the beginning of the Valfredda there is a table that indicates Malga ai Lach in 40 minutes, but it is a time for those who are trained.

From the beginning of the Valfredda you will find the signs for Malga ai Lach, just follow the main road and turn right crossing a small bridge that leads to the lawns over the stream. From here begins a steady climb towards a saddle, a bit gravel but with a well-marked path. After passing the saddle, where you can admire a beautiful view towards the San Pellegrino Pass, you descend along a narrow path surrounded by siege by mountain pine trees and which then leave room for the larches.

The descent in some sections is a bit steep and must be covered with caution so as not to slip, it must also be considered that on the return all this slope will turn into a demanding climb (an underrated aspect afterwards if you have a hearty lunch).
Going down you start to hear the tinkling of the bells and you understand that you are about to arrive in the meadow of the Malga ai Lach.

As soon as the wood ends, you will find the hut where you can rest and refresh yourself. The return is made along the same path.

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