The Hike to the Seceda Ridgeline is easily one of the most scenic ridge hikes in Italy. The bizarre and beautiful giants of rock of the Odle group that dominate the landscape are a sight to behold.
There also are several viewpoints along the Ridgeline and getting there can be both very easy or challenging depending on your preference.
For instance, you can either hike up from Ortisei or take the cable car and do the easy panoramic loop trail on the Seceda Ridgeline.
Regardless of how you get there, the loop trail is easy. This is a hike you should not miss if you are visiting the Dolomites, even if just for a quick touch-and-go; the views are truly worth it.
Overview of the Seceda Ridgeline Loop Hike & Map
There are several ways you can reach the Seceda Ridgeline. Hiking from Ortisei is going to be at least a 17 km roundtrip with an elevation gain of more than 1,200m. So that’s a full day of hiking. The trail itself isn’t difficult, but the hike is no joke and requires good fitness.
Alternatively, you could take the cable car to Furnes and hike to the Seceda Ridgeline from there. In this case, the round trip is a little less than 9km, and a little over 700m of total elevation gain.
The Seceda Cable car station
Once you’ve reached the Seceda Ridgeline you can do the panoramic trail and that’s an easy one. It starts at the mountains station of the cable car and follows the Ridgeline downhill, forming a loop that circles back to the cable car station.
If you want to explore the area further, there are plenty of trails that will allow you to do so too.
Here is the map of the Seceda Ridgeline loop hike:
How to get to the Seceda Ridgeline and Parking
The easiest and most expensive is by far taking the Funivia Seceda cable car up from Ortisei. In 2024, the price of a return ticket is 28 euros.
- Driving Directions: Ortisei can be easily reached on a detour from highway A22 (Brenner/Brenero), on road SS242. You’ll see the signs for the Seceda Cable Car station once in town.
- Parking: paid parking is available at the Ortisei Cable Car station. If you are staying in Ortisei, you can probably just walk up to the Funivia. That’s what I did since parking was already included at the guesthouse I stayed at.
- Public Transport: no public transport options to the secede Ridgeline – only the cable car.
The Seceda Ridgeline Hiking Trail
The trail is an easy loop hike around on top of the ridgeline. It is also nicely maintained and easy to walk, so no special equipment is required.
As you leave the cable car station, the trail will gently climb up to the first panoramic viewpoint, which offers amazing views of the valley below and a sneak peek of the amazing view of the Odle group that awaits.
View from the first panoramic point toward Ortisei.
There are a few viewpoints and observation decks you can stop at along the trail. the first one is one of the best and likely one of the most crowded too.
It’s just a short detour to the left of the main trail. You can see this detour on the map linked above. Be careful there as that viewpoint is completely exposed and has no protection rail like the rest of the trail.
The first panoramic viewpoint is rather exposed but offers the best view of the cliffs.
You’ll find a few additional vantage points along the trail that offer great views of the Odle Group. Those panoramic viewpoints are wide enough for a few people; so while it may be crowded, it should be easy enough to find a spot along the protective fence.
The trail then continues further toward the majestic peaks of the Odle group and you can continue even further, but that is reserved for mountain climbers with the appropriate equipment.
The trail then loops back to the cable car mountain station, passing by a few mountain hits that may tempt you for some tasty mountain food, a warm drink, or a beer.
It’s possible to climb up the Odle group from the Ridgeline if you have the right equipment.
Apart from the Ridgeline, the trail offers fantastic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.
The trail then closes the loop passing by some mountain huts.
The Seceda Ridgeline Hike Photos and Photography tips
To be fair, the Seceda Ridgeline is a great place for any time of the day. However, it does require some planning if you want to watch the best light.
For instance, if you want to catch some nice, warm sidelight on the side of the cliffs, it is best to be there for sunrise or in the very early morning from late spring to early autumn.
To catch some sidelight on the other side, like the photos in this post, it’s best to visit in mid-late afternoon.
If you want to catch the sun rising right behind the Odle group and in front of the panoramic viewpoint, then the end of August/September is the best month to visit. For this purpose, I’d recommend staying at the Fermeda Hut as it is less than thirty minutes by foot from the Ridgeline.
Lastly, late spring/early summer is best to catch some flowers if you want to use them as foreground. Late October/early November is best for autumn colors.
This is also definitely one of those locations you’ll be competing for a spot at. Be it sunrise, sunset, or anything in between.
Where to stay
Ortisei is a great place to stay, especially if you are planning more hikes in the surrounding Area. For instance, Alpe di Siusi or Le Torri del Vajolet to name two. That’s what I did too. Generally speaking, Ortisei is also one of the best places to stay in South Tyrol.
There also is a Rifugio you can stay at a short hike away from the Ridgeline. The Fermeda Hut. This is a great option if you want to be there for sunset or sunrise – book in advance though.