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June vs. September for the Dolomites in 2022

We are looking ahead to 2022 and hoping to get to the Dolomites again for some hiking. This time we would like to go with a guided hiking group and I have a particular company in mind. They offer the trip in late June (overlapping into July) and early September.

We have been to the Dolomites 3 times before, twice in early September and once at the very end of September. Each time we had mostly nice weather but at least one day of pouring rain—-actually thunderstorms on both of the early September trips. We were up on a high open plateau and had to seek shelter.

I am leaning toward June for this trip, because that is too early for hiking in our local mountains (the North Cascades), and also I would love to hike in green meadows with wildflowers blooming (where they haven’t been eaten by cows or goats). But then I would have to juggle that with a hoped-for return trip to Alaska, which we also like to schedule in June. Decisions, decisions. . . .

Can anyone compare the likely weather pattern for late June with early September? Also, the scenery—-I cannot remember if the meadows are still green in September. And I cannot easily find my photos that might resolve the question (bad filing on my part).

Thanks for your help.

Posted by
9519 posts

Hi Lola. We usually go in September but we did go once for the month of July, the 1st through the 28th. It was great! Not too hot although there were some days over 80 degrees Fah it does cool off enough at night to make the next day fresh and sleeping easy. The wild flowers in July were abundant while in Sept they are scarce. In July there was lots of haying activity in the Alpe di Siusi as the grass has grown thickly. Some of that activity persists in September as well. Yes, it is green overall in Sept as there are thunderstorms all summer and fall. We’ve seldom missed an entire day of hiking due to rain there, but in Sept 2017, fairly early in the month, we encountered unseasonable cold and there was ice up on the Rasciesa Trail. As with any mountains, YMMV.

Posted by
1590 posts

We went in early June 2019, aware that some of the lifts would not be running yet. It was a great time, but I remember thinking that early July would be my first choice next time - for what it's worth!

Posted by
11929 posts

Thank you both! Sounds like we cannot go wrong with either. I realized since I wrote that I would be reluctant to give up our favorite time in Alaska (June) so that could be the deciding factor. I can count on seeing wildflowers in Alaska without worry about them being devoured by livestock.

Posted by
27 posts

We stayed in Kastelruth the first week of September in 2019 and it rained in town and snowed above us in the mountains on two of the seven days. The innkeeper where we stayed (a RS recommendation) told us it always rains the first week of September, as a preview of winter; then turns beautiful. She was so right. The Dolomites after a fresh snow are unbelievably gorgeous.

Posted by
469 posts

I have been spending my holidays in Tirol - both north and south of the border - since I was born, mainly in August but even in July and September. I can remember any possible weather pattern - from two weeks of unrelenting sun to two weeks of pouring rain and floodings, but on average it is mainly mixed, with a few gloriously sunny days, some rainy, and several cloudy. Morning is usually better than afternoon, as clouds develop during the day. It is mountain weather and if your aim is getting all sunny days, you can get it only with a lucky strike that may happen only every few years.

Posted by
190 posts

On the Alps the weather in June is as good as the weather in September. Depends much more if it's a rainy period or not. In a week of hikes a day or two with rain (at least a storm in the afternoon) is pretty normal in the whole Summer. The important is being well equipped even for rain. Is not even strange have hail or a little of snow over 2500m (I remember one in August, years ago...).
In general the meadows are usually green for the whole summer, exactly due to the frequent short rains. Of course near 3000m there are even gravel and rocks areas, with only moss and much less green. And glaciers too. For example the area near the Tre Cime di Lavaredo is quite barren: rocks, gravel, moss....

Posted by
3 posts

Hi! I spent three full days in the Italian Dolomites in early July 2016, following a few days in the Austrian Alps in late June. The weather was fantastic for the most part. Breathtaking mornings, but someone mentioned cloudy afternoons above, and that is a reality with mountain weather. So plan to be up and out early if sunny weather is what you need, especially for photos. Around that time of year, you are getting 16hr days essentially, so you can always head back to the hotel, chalet, or rifugio for a few hours to relax after a morning hike. Clouds start to build on the mountains by midday and then you'll get some rain showers for a few hours, or maybe a passing storm. Things may clear by sunset, but not always. The sunsets are amazing in the Dolomites. My Alpe di Siusi/Seiser Alm day was glorious, great weather, Passo Sella was good too, but my hike on Seceda was cloudy and not the experience I wanted...womp womp. My suggestion would be to build in a day or two for rain, and if Bolzano and Castelrotto are on your itinerary, you can use those destinations for rainy days as well. Note: It might be cloudy in the mountains, but it could be sunnier in the lower valleys, not the Val Gardena per se, but down in the Kaltern wine region, Merano and the Val Venosta. So be ready to move things around when you check the weather the day before. It is the Alps, and apparently the Dolomites are known as the sunnier side of the Alps compared with the north, so take what you can get. Haha.

And like you, I'm heading back to the Dolomites in June/July 2022 as well! It's a longer 12 days this time (plus Venice) to see more of what I missed last time, since I fell in love with the dramatic landscape, local culture, and food. Hopefully I'll get good weather for my planned hikes and views, like Tre Cime, Val di Funes, Lago di Braies, and back to Alpe di Siusi and Seceda, plus other areas in Südtirol like Bolzano to see Ötzi the Iceman, drive up Stelvio Pass, and the aforementioned Kaltern an der Weinstrasse. I have three possible rainy days built in just in case, helps by not stressing in the moment. I hope you have a fantastic trip! -- Michael

Posted by
1724 posts

I think weather wise it is generally going to be similar in late June or early Sept. ; either could have rain.
Late Sept will definitely get colder and can even have snow at elevation.

Main difference is going to be
+: wild flowers in bloom in late June / beginning of July
-: trails and towns will be more crowded in late June / beginning of July

Think it comes down to that for the most part.
I went in late Sept and looking at going back again this year (2021) wanted to try late June to see wildflowers but looks like that probably cannot happen, so may do Sept again. I am assuming August will be not ideal.
Have a couple pictures from the Ortisei area on my website under Mountainscapes from our previous trip:
www.MattReynoldsPhotography.com