Lake Sorapis, one of the most fascinating alpine lakes in Italy, is an extraordinary place hidden among the wonders of the Dolomites. This guide will show you what makes this mountain gem so special and how to get there for an unforgettable experience in the Italian mountains.

Sorapis Lake, located 1,900 meters above sea level within the Ampezzo Dolomites Natural Park, is famous for its deep blue color and the surrounding mountains reflected in its crystal clear waters.

The lake owes its unique color to the suspension of finely ground limestone particles from the surrounding glaciers, which filter sunlight and create its characteristic blue hue.

The mighty mountains of the Dolomites surrounding the lake, including Mount Piz Popena and the Three Peaks of Lavaredo, create a truly breathtaking panoramic view, making Sorapis Lake one of the most photographed and coveted destinations for hikers and photographers.


Once you reach the lake, you can relax and enjoy the magnificent scenery. For the more adventurous, you can go around the lake or continue along the various hiking trails nearby. During the summer, you can encounter a wide range of alpine flora and fauna, such as marmots, chamois and gentians.

Upon arrival at the lake, you will find the picturesque Rifugio Vandelli, a mountain hut located 1,926 meters above sea level, where you can refresh yourself with delicious home-cooked meals and drinks. If you wish to have a full mountain experience, it is possible to book a night at the hut.

Sorapis Lake is a must-see for mountain lovers, hikers and photographers. With its brilliant blue waters, the majestic Dolomites surrounding it, and fascinating trails through unspoiled nature, Lake Sorapis will enrapture you with its beauty and leave you speechless at every turn.

How to get to Sorapis Lake


There are several trails leading to Sorapis Lake, each with a different degree of difficulty and length. The main paths leading to this natural wonder are described below.

  1. Trail no. 215: The most popular and accessible trail to Sorapis Lake is trail no. 215. This route starts at Tre Croci Pass, about 8 km from Cortina d’Ampezzo. The moderately challenging trail winds for about 5 km through forests and alpine meadows to the lake. Estimated travel time is 2-2.5 hours, depending on conditions and pace. During the hike, you will enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, including the Marmolada Glacier, Mount Pelmo, and the Tofane Mountains.

  2. Trail no. 213: Another trail leading to Sorapis Lake is trail no. 213. This route starts from the Vandelli Refuge and proceeds along the Val dei Téi through forests and alpine landscapes. The trail climbs gradually and offers spectacular views of the surrounding dolomites, including Sorapis Peak. This route takes about 3-4 hours of walking and has an elevation gain of about 500 meters. Due to its longer length and the effort required, this trail is less popular and frequented than trail no. 215.

  3. Trail no. 246 (High Way No. 3): A more advanced and challenging option to reach Sorapis Lake is trail no. 246, which is part of Alta Via no. 3 of the Dolomites. This trail begins in Misurina and climbs along the southern slope of Mount Piz Popena, offering extraordinary views of the Sorapiss Group and the Three Peaks of Lavaredo. Through small bridges and tunnels, we reach the Vandelli Refuge and finally Sorapis Lake. This route is more challenging and has a longer length than the above trails, with a walking time of about 5-7 hours.

When planning a visit to Sorapis Lake, it is important to consider one’s ability, hiking experience, and available time to choose the most suitable trail. In addition, it is recommended to pay attention to weather conditions and wear appropriate hiking shoes to ensure a safe and enjoyable hike.

Recommended equipment


For a hike to Sorapis Lake, it is essential to have the proper equipment to ensure safety and comfort during the trek. Here are some tips on what to bring:

  1. Hiking shoes: Footwear is the most critical part of the equipment. It is always important to choose trekking-specific shoes that offer good ankle support and a sturdy sole for dealing with rough terrain. Definitely avoid sneakers and flip-flops.

  2. Layered clothing: Clothing should be chosen according to weather conditions. However, it is always a good idea to dress in layers so that you can add or remove clothing depending on the weather. A waterproof garment is useful in rainy weather.

  3. Backpack: A backpack is needed to carry water, food, extra clothing and any other essentials.

  4. Water and snacks: Remember to bring enough water and snacks to keep you hydrated and energized during the hike. There is no direct access to stores or services during most of the trek, so it is important to be self-sufficient.

  5. Map and compass: Although trails are generally well marked, it is always a good idea to have a map and compass or GPS device for navigation.

  6. First Aid Kit: Accidents can happen, so it is a good idea to have a first aid kit with you. This should include band-aids, bandages, a disinfectant, tweezers and possibly a thermal blanket.

  7. Sunscreen: The sun in the high mountains can be very strong, so don’t forget sunscreen. This includes sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.

Sorapis Lake in winter


Sorapis Lake offers a completely different scenery in winter than in summer hiking. In winter, in fact, the lake is often completely frozen over and snow covers the surrounding mountains, making the landscape even more picturesque and spectacular.

Given the weather conditions, reaching the lake during the winter months can be more challenging. Trails may be covered with snow or ice, which requires caution and proper equipment such as crampons and trekking poles. In addition, the day length is significantly shortened, so it is important to start the hike early to avoid walking in the dark.

Among the winter activities possible in the Sorapis Lake area are snowshoeing, ski touring, and winter trekking. These activities offer the opportunity to experience the Dolomites from a unique perspective and enjoy the tranquility of the winter landscape.

Before embarking on a winter hike to Sorapis Lake, it is recommended to inquire about trail and weather conditions. Weather conditions in the mountains can change rapidly, and snow and ice can make trails and roads dangerous.

Simply put, Sorapis Lake in winter is a fascinating destination for outdoor enthusiasts and offers an unforgettable experience amid snowy vistas and mountain quiet. However, it is essential to be properly prepared and adhere to safety rules to fully enjoy this winter adventure.


Is it possible to swim in Sorapis Lake?

Unfortunately, no, swimming is not allowed in Sorapis Lake. The lake is located within the Ampezzo Dolomites Natural Park and its waters are protected.

It depends on the path you choose. The most popular trail (No. 215) starts at Three Crosses Pass and takes about 2-2.5 hours.

Yes, Sorapis Lake can also be reached by families with children. However, some parts of the trail can be steep and rocky, so caution is advised.

Yes, dogs are allowed on the trail to Sorapis Lake, but it is always recommended to keep your dog on a leash to respect wildlife and other hikers.

Yes, there is a parking lot near Three Crosses Pass, which is the starting point of trail no. 215. However, the parking lot can fill up quickly during the peak season, so it is recommended to arrive early.

Yes, Rifugio Vandelli is located near Sorapis Lake and offers food, drink and lodging. You are advised to contact the shelter in advance if you plan to stay overnight.

Yes, but the winter visit requires some experience and proper equipment due to the weather conditions and the possible presence of snow and ice on the route.

Photographs of Sorapis Lake

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