Actual the Tre Cime (Three Pinnacles) and the associated panorama road are not a pass road, since it has a dead end. But it is a big mistake if you ever miss that highlight in the Dolomite Alps. We always recommend to approach the Tre Cime from the North through the famous “cave stone valley” (Hoehlensteintal), down from the village Toblach. When we ride the Dolomite Alps we usually stay in Steinegg near Bolzano in the famous Pension Berghang. So when you also stay near Bolzano, we always recommend to plan the tour across the Passo di Gardena, then ride north through the Val Badia valley until you nearly reach Bruneck. Just a view miles before you reach Bruneck take a right across the Furkelpass. On the other side of the Furkelpass take again a right and just before you have reached Toblach you can take again a right into the fantastic Höhlensteintal (cave stone valley). From here you ride southwards on the SS51 (SS means strada statale = state road) until you reach the village Schluderbach. Directly after the lake you will find the SS48 which diverts left uphill to Lago di Misurina (Lago = lake). That’s a highlight as well.
The Tre Cime di Lavaredo are located between the community of Auronzo and Toblach, at the border between the province Belluno and the province Bolzano. Both communities still battle today about the exact border line. Just a view yards before you reach the lake Lago di Misurina, you will find the toll road that diverts to your left up to the Strada Panoramica Delle Tre Cime (panoramic road of the Three Pinnacles). This road leads you to the southern side of the Three Pinnacles, to the Forcella Longhères as to the Monte Piana. This road was built during Worldwar 1 as a transport road by pinoneers to support the front troops in that war. Just in the year 1967 the road was upgraded to the level as it is today.
If you have taken a left onto that road, you will follow it through a sink passing a camper parking lot with all technical equipment you need as a camper nowadays and then glimb very steep up passing a small lake at (1.866m). After approx. 2mls you reach the toll station. The eight Euro toll fee shown on that ticket are dated from summer 2003 for a motorbike and its passengers (at that time my eldest son). Don’t forget to ask for the panoramic map which is part of the toll fee and a great souvenir..
The road now runs in excellent and broad conditions uphill below the Tre Cime through light woods with endless views uphill to the mountains. Really soft curves during the first two third of that trip and just some serpentines uphill when you nearly have reached the parking lot. But take care since lots of busses and tourists stop nearly everywhere and crowds of people stumble across the road to take the best picture.
After approx. 6mls you reach the Rifugio Auronzo at 2.320m which is a nice Italian hostel with good food for moderate prices and tons of great souvenirs. We highly recommend not to follow the advise of the parking lot guides but behave as a brave Italian and just ignore the guides and ride straight up the road to its end where you reach the highest point directly in front of the Tre Cime. From this point you have the best panoramic view. If you are lucky and you have a sunny day, you will have the best Dolomite Alps view you can ever get. We have tried to catch a little bit of that impression in our panoramic photo on that page. But this will never supply the impression you will get onsite.
Just take your time and don’t get confused by the many tourists and hiker, since the Tre Cime on sunny days are really crowded and its a challenge to take a picture as we did without having dozens of hikers on your photo. Just place your biker fellows that way that they block out passing tourists until you have taken your picture. Sit down on the rocks and absorbe the situation up here. It is unbelievable and you will very soon forget the other people behind you rushing uphill.
On your way back we recommend to leave the toll road taking a left toward Cortina d’Ampezzo. After a view minues you will reach Lago di Misurina. Take again a break here and look back. If you are lucky you can take a picture as we did with our motorbike and the Tre Cime as a mirror picture in the lakes’ water A great scenery.