The short variant runs around the Sassolungo and does not include the Sassopiatto massif. Being a complete loop, you can theoretically start from any point along the path. Here we document the classic tour, which starts from Passo Sella.
The tour begins by following trail nr. 525 towards the Forcella del Sassolungo, located at an altitude of 2,685m/8,612 ft. This first section is very beautiful, but also steep and challenging. If you want to take it easy, you can take the cableway to the top!
Once you reach the Forcella, you will immediately feel the climate of the mountains. You'll find yourself in the middle of a stunning rocky landscape. If you look South you'll be able to make out a thin stone tower: the thumb of the Cinque Dita (Five Fingers) rock formation. To the North rises the Sassolungo, surrounded by its many peaks and towers.
The Sassolungo loop begins with a steep and demanding descent, which requires a certain degree of confidence, until you reach the impressive amphitheater in the heart of the Sassolungo Group. To the right and left, spectacular Dolomite walls rise up for hundreds of meters. The sight of these incredible rock formations may give you the sudden sensation of being very small.
After the first few hundred meters, the landscape becomes flatter and the path continues gently above the valley. Continue until you reach Rifugio Vicenza(2,253 m / 7,391 ft.), a good option for a first break. From the hut keep hiking downwards, always along trail nr. 525, until you reach a crossroads.
Follow the signs for Rifugio Comici (trail nr. 526) in northern direction. You'll be hiking up and down through a diverse landscape for a while, along the path that leads to Col de Mesdì (2,114 m / 6,935 ft.). From here you can enjoy an incredible view of the high northern wall of the Sassolungo, one of the highest and most impressive peaks in the Dolomites.
You can continue along trail nr. 526A, directly under the mountain, or a few hundred meters below, along the slightly flatter trail nr. 526. A short climb will lead you directly to Rifugio Comici, where you can take a break before tackling the last part of the tour back to Passo Sella.
The last 2.5 km of the Sassolungo loop still follow trail nr. 526. A few minutes after departing from Rifugio Comici you'll come to a crossroads - we recommend choosing the lower road, which will take you back to Passo Sella through the Città dei Sassi (the "city of boulders").
route and text from : https://www.val-gardena.com/en/tours/detail/hike-around-sassolungo-round-tour/
Route variation: via Forcella
This is the short version around Sassolungo, going past the spectacular Toni Demetz Hütte at the Forcella del Sassolungo. Best place to start the loop is at the Sella pass and following the trail via a pretty brutal climb to the Forcella. After that it’s a climb and short descent towards Rifugio Vicenza. After the rifugio you complete the loop via trails close to the Sassolungo passing the iconic Rifugio E. Comicci.
Full description of the route can be found at : https://www.val-gardena.com/en/tours/detail/hike-around-sassolungo-round-tour/
Gpx can be found at https://www.outdooractive.com/mobile/en/route/mountain-hike/val-gardena-dolomites/sassolungo-circuit/16420519/#_=_