Hiking from Lake Karersee to the Latemar Rock Labyrinth

A wonderful, extended hike from Lake Karersee to the Latemar rock labyrinth with glorious views of the Rosengarten (another Dolomite massif). This walk is particularly recommended during early summer when the snows have melted and the Karersee’s water has been sufficiently replenished to reflect the unique beauty of the Latemar.

The magical Rosengarten Mountain, once the domain of the legendary dwarf king Laurin, and the Latemar mountain range are amongst the most popular attractions in South Tyrol. Hikers may have to extend their holidays to explore everything the region has to offer. The trail network alone extends to more than 530 km, through mountain pastures and forests and up to the pale mountains themselves: the Dolomite Alps. It offers varying degrees of difficulty, catering for the novice as well as the experienced hiker.

The trail leads us to the Rosengarten-Latemar, the most westerly range of the Dolomites. The Rosengarten-Latemar resembles a craggy wall, consisting of a spectacular array of shapes such as rock banks, pointed pillars and spires.

Located between the two formations – Rosengarten and Latemar – is the Karerpass (the Karer mountain pass). The Karersee, a stunningly beautiful small lake, nestles between dense forests and appears to be crowned by the spikes and peaks of the Latemar-Rosengarten mountains. It’s just a short stroll around the lake, even suitable for children, but we want to make it up to the Latermar rock labyrinth. An exceptional hiking trail, where one has to climb over majestic rocks or squeeze through narrow gaps.

Trail Description

Starting point is the Karersee car park. The Karersee (1561 m) itself is accessible via the ‘Groβe Dolomitenstrasse‘, the SS241, east of Bolzano in Italy.

From the car park, we cross the ‘Dolomitenstrasse‘and the take forest path No. 11 in the right-hand direction around the Karersee, up to the tall spruce forest. After approx. 1 hour, the path branches off to the ‘Sagenwanderung‘, which we ignore and instead continue on path No. 11 until we reach the ‘Mitterleger‘, where a small brook invites us to take a short rest. Here, surrounded by massive rocks, we take path No. 20 to the left. About 30 minutes later, after leaving the beautiful larch forest, we reach the rock labyrinth at the foot of the Latemar. The labyrinth is a group of large boulders, caused by a rockslide, dating back a long time ago. The path now leads through an interesting rock landscape, where we occasionally have to crawl through some tight spots, down to the Latemar meadows. In early summer especially the meadows are strewn with gentian and many other wild flower varieties. After another short rest, we continue slightly uphill on path No. 20. About 10 minutes later we stay on the right on path No. 18 and shortly after we turn left onto path No. 13 in the direction of the Latemar mountain pasture. Through a wonderful meadow (offering spectacular views of the Latemar) we continue on path No. 13 to the next crossroads. From here we follow path No. 17, first down the meadow and then through the forest in the direction of the Karerpass. We reach the Karerpass through yet another meadow and then take a left on path No. 21 back towards Karersee. We now hike mostly through the forest. At the crossroads with path No. 18, we continue to the right until we reach the ‘Dolomitenstrasse‘. Here we take the parallel path No. 10 back to the Karersee.