Are you looking for kid-friendly hikes in the Dolomites?
Are you seeking an easy hike with gorgeous mountain views in a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
Do your kids love alternative transportation like funiculars?
If so, I’ve got the hike for you – Resciesa!
We’re a family of five with three kids (3, 6, 9 years old) and we love hiking in the Dolomites. The Resciesa hike is appreciated by all three of my kids (and me too!) and it finds its way into many of our Dolomites vacation itineraries.
I’ve been visiting the Dolomites since 2004 for work and play, and the Resciesa hike, in the Puez-Odle Nature Park, ranks as one of my favorites in the area to do with kids.
Read on for my family’s easy-to-follow guide to hiking Resciesa with your family.
Reciesa Hike – The Basics
Start From: Ortisei
Transport: Resciesa Funicular (check opening dates and hours)
Type of Hike: Out-and-back
Distance: Just over 3 kilometers, but with optional out-and-back extensions at the hut (they’re both steep uphill/downhill though)
Stroller or Baby Carrier: Baby carrier
Dining Options: Chalet Restaurant at top of funicular, Rifugio Resciesa mid-way through hike, picnic on trail like we do (you can buy sandwiches at Buteiga Berna on the walk to the funicular base station) or eat in Ortisei before or after hike
Difficulty: Easy, my toddlers have loved it (but I’ve had to occasionally carry on parts like the beginning uphill and if they get tired)
Map of Resciesa Hike with Kids
How to Get to the Resciesa Hike with Kids
Arrive in Ortisei – If you’ve driven your own car, park in the Central Parking Garage (aka Parcheggio Central, Parkgarage Central). There are toilets in the garage. When you exit the garage, you’ll walk past an old train – our kids always like to stop to check it out.
Walk to the Resciesa Funicular – It’s a steep uphill to the base of the funicular. Be careful as you’re on a small but used road and the sidewalk is narrow. My kids complain about the uphill but they forget about it when they see the funicular.
Take the Funicular Up – This funicular is expensive (unless you have the Gardena Pass – it’s included), but it’s unique and kids love it. Plus, it takes you up to a beautiful trail! Have your kids sit in the front if possible – it’s the most exciting spot. If it’s crowded and you don’t get in the front on the way up, don’t worry – you can also try on the way down.
Arrive at the Trailhead – Enjoy the hike!
What the Resciesa Hike is Like
The Resciesa Hike is a gentle walk in a wide-open landscape with expansive views of the Dolomites, including the Alpe di Siusi
If your kids are like mine, they will love looking for butterflies, wildflowers, and mushrooms. It’s also nice that you will be able to see the hut you’re walking to (eventually, not right away), so kids can have a goal to work toward.
The trail terrain is mostly large, rocky stones followed by a wide, dirt trail.
You can see the Google Map (out-and-back with elevation details) here.
Hiking Resciesa with Kids – Step-By-Step
The hike starts from the top of the funicular. If someone forgot to use the toilet at the base of the funicular, you can use the toilet at the Chalet next to the top of the funicular. There’s a large color map on the outside wall of the funicular building – you can show your kids the trail you’ll be taking.
The trail begins just next to the funicular. You’ll be following the signs for trails 35A and 35 FOR ‘UTIA DE RESCIESA / RASCHÖTZHÜTTE / RIF. RASCIESA.’ It’s about 1.3 kilometers from the trailhead to the Resciesa Hut.
The beginning section is the toughest part for kids because you’re walking on a trail made of large stones and it’s uphill. It’s less than 200 meters to the main trail and you’ll gain about 30 meters of elevation.
Once you reach the main trail, it’s fairly flat and the trail is wide, so kids can run around and check out the wildflowers, plants, and views.
At one point, you’ll stop by a water fountain and we often see tons of small butterflies there – delightful with kids!
We always stop at the Resciesa Hut and then turn back, but if you want to do more, you can walk the out-and-back to the cross (you can see people doing it and see how steep it is). There is another option to a chapel first and then over to the cross. Again, it’s wide open and you can see people walking and make the decision with your family. I’ve always found the out-and-back to the Resciesa Hut is plenty of walking for our family, especially because my kids stop a lot on the trail.
When you get close to funicular, you can either turn to walk down the same stone path you came up at the beginning of the hike, or you can keep going straight on trail 35 toward CASON HÜTTE / BAITA CASON and have a snack or meal at the hut before continuing down to the funicular.
You need to wait in line for the funicular (which is a pain with kids), but during busy periods they fill up and if you’re not in line you’ll need to wait for the next one (which is even more of a pain).
Once you’re back in Ortisei, either walk back to your car or take the wooden bridge into Ortisei to explore town (more below).
Resciesa Hike Logistics with Kids
Toilets – top and bottom of funicular and at the Resciesa Hut
Diapers – buy them at a grocery store (see below) or pharmacy; change diapers in the toilets or in a grassy area along the trail (bring your portable changing pad)
Snacks – grocery stores in Ortisei (plenty of small alimentari around town, plus bigger chains like Conad City and Despar
Breastfeeding – anywhere you feel comfortable; there are plenty of grassy areas (and a couple of benches) where you can take a break along the trail; bring a light muslin cloth or scarf to sit on; you can also breastfeed sitting at the Resciesa Hut or at the Chalet at the top of the funicular
Sun – in the summer months, it can be toasty (but not too bad) so make sure you have water for everyone; there’s no shade, so bring sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, etc.
Strollers – the trail isn’t stroller friendly (the first 200 meters, at least) so a baby carrier or baby backpack is better; if you’re traveling with a stroller leave it in your car or at your hotel
What to See & Do Near the Resciesa Hike with Kids
Ortisei (same day) – Ortisei’s playground is one of our favorites in all of the Dolomites. It’s huge, it has unique toys and structures, and for mamma and papà – hammocks and gorgeous views! Also, if you’ve parked in the Central Garage, there’s a tiny playground (swings, small slide, spring toy) on the other side of Bar San Durich just next to the garage. Ortisei has a nice pedestrian center, gelato, and a Ladin Museum. Read more about Visiting Ortisei and Ortisei with Kids.
Corvara in Badia (same day) – Stroll the main drag, have a meal at one of its many restaurants, get gelato. On another day, you could take a funicular up to one of the mountains around town – we love Pralongia and the kid-friendly Möviment Parks. Read more about Corvara in Badia with Kids and Visiting Corvara in Badia.
San Cassiano (same day) – See the bear at the Ladin Museum, visit the small playground in town, walk along the river and say hi to the cows, or take the gondola up to Pralongià. Read more about San Cassiano with Kids and Visiting San Cassiano.
Seceda Hike (another day) – Soak up some of the most amazing views in the Dolomites. There’s a great playground at the top of the gondola and cable car. We also like the hike out to Malga Pieralongia Alm. Read more about it in Hiking Seceda with Kids.
Alpe di Siusi (another day) – Take the gondola up from Ortisei or nearby Siusi. Plenty of kid-friendly walks, plus huts and restaurants with playgrounds or animals. Read more about Visiting Alpe di Siusi and Alpe di Siusi with Kids.
Enjoy the Resciesa hike with your family!