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Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

Val Gardena is a valley in northern , in the Dolomites, one of our top 10 hiking regions of the world..

The 3 alpine towns are UrtijëiSëlva, and Santa Cristina.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse of my 3 days in the valley on YouTube.

There are no bad hikes out of Gardena. But the highlight for me was getting to the famed ridge vista of the Odles/Geisler Group from Secede (2518m).

I hiked up early, the first person to reach the ridge on this morning. I wanted to beat the cable car day hikers. That expensive lift started up at 8:30am in 2023.

Here's that famed vista on a clear day.

Amazing views in the Dolomites mountains. Views from Seceda over the Odle mountains are spectacular.

Another good option is to stay late in the day, after the cablecar stops at 5:30pm.

Of course it's a long steep descent. ????

There's heated debate in the Dolomites whether or not you should use the cable cars. Personally, I'm OK with them — if you have the money.

But on this one I climbed down over a vertical kilometre back to the valley. Step by step.

I fuelled up with a couple of thousand calories at the Daniel Hut restaurant.

I'd started with a plan. BUT — as usual in the Dolomites — I ended up changing it en route. Easy to do when there are so many clearly marked alternatives.

Another day I took the cablecar from Ortisei to the Alpe di Siusi up to what's claimed to be the largest high altitude Alpine meadow in Europe. It is high, huge, and green.

You can't lose Val Gardena. It's fantastic.

Be ready for afternoon thunder and lightning, however. Don't get stuck up high in a storm.