A pleasant excursion to the Federa Lake and to the Palmieri Cabin at the Croda da Lago
Autumn, with its mild temperatures during the day, allows the most passionate ones to still venture on our Dolomitic trails.
Moreover, around this time, nature's intense green slowly gives way to the warmer colours and shades which paint the woods as if they were a canvas.
One of the itineraries we're suggesting to better take in the scenery of the fall foliage is the easy hike that leads to the Federa lake and the nearby Croda da Lago - G. Palmieri cabin, starting from the Giau pass.
Park your car at the Ru Corto bridge (1708 m., 25 km from San Vito, reachable in about 30 minutes) along the road that leads to the Giau pass.
From here, take route 437, leading through the thick woods, crossing lovely little bridges over bubbling streams.
The first part of the excursion continues with easy ups-and-downs and beautiful views on the Tofana di Rozes.
Once the trail merges with 434, the way becomes a little harder and steeper, walking past the natural canyon carved by the Ru Formin creek.
But the view that you will be able to take in will make you forget your fatigue!
You will get a glimpse of the 5 Torri, the Averau and the Lagazuoi; the natural viewpoint you will reach soon thereafter, dominates the entire Ampezzo valley and you can admire the Tofane, the Cristallo, the Sorapiss and the Antelao mountains.
Refreshed by the surrounding landscape, the last few meters of the climb will be exceptionally pleasant due to the fact that you'll soon spot the banks of the Federa lake.
The lake is charming in every season, and so are the larch-, mugo- and pinewoods which surrounded it and the overlooking Croda da Lago.
But especially during Autumn, the larches turn yellow, giving a new and spectacular frame to the lake.
The lake is nestled like a gem in a basin among the mountains.
Its waters are calm, and like a mirror, they reflect and multiply the surrounding peaks and the clouds streaking in the sky.
As an appropriate reward for your hike, you can stop and have lunch at the Malga Federa Alpine hut or at the Palmieri cabin (at 2046 m), open until the end of October.
Interesting fact: the water level stays the same both in the Summer and in Winter, due to the presence of underground springs.
It is possible to walk the entire lake's perimeter following a path, which is ideal to admire it from different perspectives.
Every step will make you discover new views which may surprise you, such as the Becco di Mezzodì, the pointiest mountain reflecting in its waters.
As for other Alpine lakes, a legend explains the birth of the Federa lake.
It is told that an evil dragon decided to burn a city to the ground, and after having caused such disaster, hid in the mountains of the Croda da Lago. During his residence among the mountains, the dragon buried a shell.
When the snow melted, in Spring, the shell opened and filled up with water, thus creating the lake.
- Duration: 2.30 hours
- Climb: 350 m.
- Difficulty level: easy