(duration 2/3 h – medium difficulty – ring tour – length 3.5 km – altitude difference 268 m)
The Geotrail Dos Capèl, conceived in the 1970s, is the first geo-tourist trail created in Italy. With the collaboration of the Geological Museum of the Dolomites in Predazzo, the Muse of Trento and Latemar MontagnAnimata, the path was completely renovated and inaugurated in July 2017. On the path there are 13 thematic stations that tell about the Dolomites with illustrations of the Portuguese artist Bernardo Carvalho and simple texts to guide you in the history of the world up to 250 million years ago.
The Geotrail Dos Capèl starts from the Rifugio Passo Feudo. To get there, take the lifts from Predazzo: the cable car Predazzo-Gardonè and the chairlift Gardonè-Passo Feudo.
The first stretch is downhill until you reach the stone capital on the left and, shortly after, you see a boat, testifying that once upon a time there was the sea here. It is the first of the 13 interactive stations. We continue towards the upper part of the summit: we pass through rocky walls with various stratifications, horizontal, vertical or folded, which make us understand the force the clash between the tectonic plates had. Along the way we will find other stations that will explain various visible geological phenomena.
Along the path, in the flat part, we flank a rock wall with a marvelous cast of of an ichthyosaurus vertebra. A real gem! Continuing, we reach a point from which we can enjoy a beautiful panorama of the Pale di San Martino and Passo Rolle and over the Val di Fassa with its very famous peaks: the south wall of the Marmolada, Piz Boè and the Sella Group.
Shortly after we take the path that climbs gently. We arrive at a point from which the Tresca chairlift can be seen: under the summit, to the right, we can see the rock formed by white and black stripes. It is the work of nature. The lava of the Predazzo volcano, with the eruptions that took place 238 million years ago, infiltrated the calcareous-dolomitic rock, sometimes reaching the surface. What you see are the lava exit chimneys (dark rock) in the middle of the dolomitic limestone layer (white rock).
Continuing uphill, after a couple of bends we are on the top of Dos Capèl. On the ground there is a metal circle on which all the mountains are highlighted and, with a 360-degree view, you can enjoy a unique view. The path continues with a short flat stretch, then descends in a zigzag direction towards the Latemar, to rejoin the forest road previously walked on and begin the return towards Passo Feudo and the chairlift.
Keep in mind that the lift – here are prices and times – closes at 17.30.
If you follow this path with children and teenagers, don’t forget to go to the Info Point Gardonè to pick up the gamebook “Geotrail Dos Capèl, Triassic World” (€ 6.00) and the young geologist kit with backpack, lens, gloves, goggles and bags for the finds that you can collect along the way. Back in the village of Predazzo we recommend a visit to the Geological Museum of the Dolomites, located in the centre, near the church.
A gateway to the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site
Opened in 1899, it is one of the oldest in the region. It is the result of the cultural ferment and the strong attention paid to these territories by the world of international geological research since the early nineteenth century, when a new theory on the origin of the mountains was taking shape in Predazzo.
The Museum aims to tell the story of the Fiemme and Fassa Dolomites and their millennial relationship with the territory, with a contemporary museological approach that puts the visitor at the centre. With the new exhibition project, the unique and exceptionally valuable samples from the Museum’s geological collection have found a new location. The museum’s assets include over 12,000 specimens, including the richest collection of invertebrate fossils from mid-Triassic reefs preserved in Italy.
In the summer, the Geological Museum of the Dolomites comes alive with educational labs, workshops, interactive guided tours, conferences, excursions in the area and special events.