September is the perfect month to hike in the Dolomites. The weather is generally stable, temperatures are mild, rifugios are open, hotels aren’t full, and cable cars (chairlifts, gondolas) operate all month. Though certainly not as crowded as July and August, September is still bustling with hikers. In this post, we’re going to outline everything you need to know about hiking in the Dolomites in September. 

Read Next: Dolomites Travel Guide


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Hiking in the Dolomites in September

Quick Summary

Lago d'Antorno, Dolomites, Italy

  1. The weather is generally stable throughout the month of September.
  2. The average daytime temperature hovers around 20°C /  68°F
  3. Rifugios (mountain huts) are open until late-September. Some huts are open until the last Sunday of September. Others are open until the very last day of September. 
  4. Cable Cars (gondolas, chairlifts, etc…) operate all month. 
  5. Buses (in South Tyrol) operate the whole month of September, though there is a schedule change starting in mid-September, with reduced bus frequency. 


Weather in the Dolomites in September

Mount Pelmo, Dolomites in September

September has a reputation for being very stable. And for the most part, it is. But, freak storms can certainly happen. 

During our 21 days in the Dolomites in September, we only experienced 4.5 days of rain. On the days that it rained, it poured all day. 

On one such rainy day, the rain turned into sleet, which then turned into snow. And before we even realized it, we were in the middle of a snow blizzard trying to find Rifugio Lagazuoi (September 8th). For a semi-dramatic retelling of getting through this storm, check out this Instagram post.

Note to everyone: if it starts to snow and you still have a lot of elevation to gain, turn back around. Footprints and waymarks get covered up and you’ll have an impossible time trying to find your way when the snow is blinding you and you’re freezing cold.

Rifugio Lagazuoi, September in the Dolomites

Rifugio Lagazuoi the day after the snowstorm

The weather gods must have felt sorry for us. Because for the next 17 days we had brilliant weather with clear skies and burning red sunsets. 

The point is that September is generally a great month to hike in the Dolomites, but like anywhere, the weather can be unpredictable. 

 

Average Temperature in the Dolomites in September

The average daytime temperature is 20°C /  68°F

The average nighttime temperature is 9°C / 48.2


Dolomites Rifugios Opening Times in September

Rifugio Gardenacia, Rifugios Opening Times in September, Dolomites

One of the most memorable experiences you can have in the Dolomites is visiting a rifugio. On a day hike, you can stop in a mountain hut for lunch, or simply a refreshing beverage. On a hut to hut hike, you’ll overnight in rifugios during each stage of your journey. 

Situated directly on the trail, these charming alpine refuges are great hiking destinations. Read about some of our favorite rifugio hikes here: 

Mountain huts in the Dolomites are generally open from late-June until late-September. Depending on the weather conditions, some rifugios will stay open until mid-October. In 2019, many rifugios closed on the last Sunday of September (Sep 29th), as opposed to the last day of the month. 

If you’re planning a hut to hut trek in the Dolomites in September, it’s important to check hut websites for their opening times. These times may certainly vary between rifugios. 


Gondolas, Chairlifts, and Cable Cars Operating Times in September

Peralongia, Val Gardena, Dolomites in September

Hiking in the Dolomites is extremely accessible due to a system of gondolas, chairlifts and cable cars across the region. Many hikes begin with cableways, thus cutting out long tedious ascents. 

Most cableways in the Dolomites operate the whole month of September. Very popular cableways will open up as early as mid-May and stay open until mid-October

Here are some popular chairlifts and gondolas in Val Gardena, Alta Badia, and Eggental. 


Popular Summer Cableways in Alta Badia for Hiking

Alta Badia summer chairlifts in September - Boe gondola from Corvara

In Alta Badia, summer lifts are open from June 13 until October 4, 2020. See all Alta Badia cableways here.

Read Next: Alta Badia Summer Guide


Popular Summer Cableways in Val Gardena for Hiking

Summer Cableways in the Dolomites, Val Gardena

 

Most summer lifts in Val Gardena are open from mid-May until mid-October.

Resciesa Funicular

The Ortisei – Furnes cableway / Furnes – Seceda cable car

Ortisei Alpe di Siusi Ropeway

Col Raiser Cable Car

Read Next: Best Hikes in Val Gardena


Popular Summer Chairlifts in Eggental for Hiking

Vajolet Towers, Summer cableways in the Dolomites

Chairlifts around Carezza are open from early-June until mid-October. See the summer chairlift schedule here.

Paulina Chairlift

  • Location: Carezza
  • Open: June 8 – October 13, 2019 (2020 dates not available) 
  • Hiking Trail: Vajolet Towers and 3-day Rosengarten Trek

Laurin II Chairlift

  • Location: Nova Levante
  • Open: June 9 – October 18, 2019 (2020 dates not available)
  • Hiking Trail: Vajolet Towers and 3-day Rosengarten Trek

Other Popular Summer Cableways in the Dolomites

Lagazuoi Cable Car


Where to Stay in the Dolomites in September

We recommend staying in Val Gardena, Alta Badia, Cortina d’Ampezzo, and/or Eggental. If you’re trying to decide where to base yourself, we’ve outlined each destination in this guide: Where to Stay in the Dolomites. Here are our favorite hotels:

 

Hotel Col Alto in Corvara, Alta Badia

Extensive spa and wellness area, Deluxe bedding, Generous breakfast buffets 

Book your stay at Hotel Col Alto


Hotel Ciasa Soleil in La Villa, Alta Badia

Intimate atmosphere, Sunrise and sunset views of Fanes, Beautifully designed 

Book your stay at Hotel Ciasa Soleil.


Sporthotel Alpenrose in Carezza, Eggental

Trail accessibility (e.g. Rosengarten Trek), Delicious food (breakfast and dinner), Views of Latemar from the indoor swimming pool

Book a room at Sporthotel Alpenrose.


Hotel Rodella in Selva, Val Gardena

Unbeatable sunset views of Sella and Langkofel, Comfortable, light-filled rooms, Location (walking distance to Col Raiser Cable Car)

Book your stay in Hotel Rodella.


Dorthotel Beludei in Santa Cristina, Val Gardena

Visionary cuisine, Luxurious rooms, Rejuvenating spa and wellness area

Book your stay in Dorfhotel Beludei.


What to Wear in the Dolomites in September

What to wear in the Dolomites in September

On most days, we hiked in shorts and athletic t-shirts. When overnighting in the rifugios in September, bring a down jacket and fleece-lined leggings. 

Outer Layers

Mid Layers

Waterproof Grade B/C Hiking Shoes

We recommend wearing a sturdy pair of hiking boots, preferably grade B/C like the women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX / Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (what Kati and I wear) or the men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX

Hiking Pants

When buying hiking pants, we think flexibility and the ability to shed water are two important criteria. We both bought two pairs of these Macpac Women’s Hike Tight Pants and we love them. They’re breathable and extremely comfortable in all types of weather. Bonus: you don’t need to wear a belt.

Hiking Backpack

Ideal hut to hut trekking backpacks: Osprey Packs Kyte 36 Women’s Backpack or Osprey Packs Kestrel 38 Backpack for Men. We also use our Osprey Kyte 36 for day hikes.

Accessories 

For Overnighting in Rifugios


Transit in the Dolomites in September

The info below is based on our experience using buses in South Tyrol. Use the Südtirol Mobil site for bus timetables. 

Buses run throughout the whole month of September. However, starting in mid-September, the bus schedule changes. 

High season is roughly from late-June until mid-September. Low Season is from late-May until late-June and from mid-September until mid-October. The main difference between high season (early September) and low season (late September) is frequency and last bus departure. For example, in late September, some buses will stop operating an hour earlier than in high season.

If you have any questions about visiting the Dolomites in September, drop us a comment below.


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