4 passes: Falzarego, Valparola, Campolongo, Falzarego

We’re heading into some of the most scenic territory in the Dolomites and riding up some of the most famous passes.

Here’s a photo of Sue leading Craig up the Campolongo.

OK, that’s a little out of order.

We started the day leaving Cortina and riding up the Passo Falzarego, which is a 3000′ climb.  The Falzarego is very scenic and also very popular, probably because it is the only road west from Cortina.

Here is our crew at the top of the Falzarego.  From left to right, we have Rudy, Jessica, Dave, and Ajax.

From the Falzarego we head north over Passo Valparola which is a tiny climb to an even higher point.  There is no descending, so we get there pretty quickly.

Here is a photo of Dave summiting the Valparola (on the left) and Ernesto sitting in the van (on the right) otherwise known as the Rifugio di Alta Quota.

There are some pretty spectacular views from up here.

Interestingly, the most interesting views are just down the pass about 1 km where the restaurant is.

Just to the left of the restaurant is a beautiful grassy ridge, where some hikers are returning from their hike.

Descending the Valparola is a breeze.  At the top there are several switchbacks.  Lower down, the road really opens up.  Driving the van today, I can barely keep up with the riders.  Here’s a photo of Rudy, who is enjoying the descent and looks up from his tuck to give me the thumbs up.

At the bottom of the Valparola, we turn left towards the ski town of Corvara and then up and over Passo Campolongo.  I already showed you a photo of Sue and Craig climbing the pass with the mountains in the background.  Here’s another view of the mountains above Corvara.

And here is Jessica leading the group over the upper slopes of the Campolongo.

After descending the Campolongo, we head back over the Falzarego.  The Falzarego is very famous because it is so close to Cortina.  Most car drivers only come up the east side, but the most scenic part is on the quieter side which we are climbing now.

Near the top are a pair of gallerias.  Gallerias are tunnels constructed over the road to protect the road from rockfall.

As you can see from the photo, the road makes it possible to get way above the riders.  Here’s a view of Dennis toiling up the mountain.

Near the top is a really cool tunnel with a switchback inside it.  Here is a view from inside the tunnel.

And finally, here is my wife Lisa exiting the tunnel.  You can see the road below the switchback to the right.

If you’d like to see more views of this ride, click here to see last year’s post.

Oh, yeah, you probably want some statistics.  Last year the ride was 54 miles and 7288′.  It probably hasn’t changed much since then.

About bikealps

avid cyclist and photographer
This entry was posted in bicycle touring, Dolomites, Italy, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

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