Established in 1977, the Puez-Odle Nature Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covers the north-western part of the Dolomites and includes the Odle and Puez mountain groups, both belonging to the Putia Dolomites, the latter between Val Badia and Val di Funes. It covers 10,000 hectares and is defined as the Earth's history book due to the geological importance of its landscapes: from the Val Gardena sandstone, to the limestone with chilifera, to the Serla Dolomite... The park is home to numerous refuges and many animal and plant species.
The protected area is bounded to the west by the Valle Isarco, to the north by the Val Pusteria, to the east by the Val Badia and to the south by the Val Gardena. The entire Puez-Odle group encompasses to the north the Plose and Mount Gabler (which are not actually part of the park) and Sass de Putia (2,875 m), to the south west the Odle group with the Rasciesa sub-group, where the highest peaks such as the Furchetta and Sass Rigais, both 3,025 m high, can be found. To the south east is the Puez group, whose highest peak is the Piz de Puez (2,913 m).
Some of the main attractions are the ruins of Wolkenstein Castle, Val Lunga, the rocky pillar of Sassongher, Pizes de Cir, Lake Ciampac, Alpe di Cìsles and the valley of the 'mills' of Longiarù. Noteworthy valleys include Val di Lietres, Val Scura, Val Culea and Vallunga.
Geology, flora and fauna
Within the park there are various geological formations typical of the Dolomites, such as porphyry and phyllites, rocks characteristic of the Plose area; dolomite and sandstone, which can be admired near Sass de Putia.
The park is interesting for the beauty of its landscape. The flora is rich in rare species, such as the dwarf rhododendron, the mugwort, the rock raponzolo and the devil's claw. The fauna includes marmots, chamois and deer, as well as golden eagles and ptarmigan.
What to see
The Puez-Odle Nature Park Visitor Centre is located in Funes and has several exhibition areas: one dedicated to the geology of the Dolomites; one dedicated to animals and plants and one dedicated to mountaineering and Reinhold Messner.
The main huts
There are several huts in the Park:
- Firenze hut (2039 m)
- Genova hut (2301 m)
- Puez hut (m. 2475)
- Gardenaccia hut (m. 2050)
- Stevìa hut (2312 m.)
- Malga Brogles hut (m. 2045)
- Odle hut (m. 1996)
The Park is crossed by the Alpine Path of the Dolomites n.2, also called the "via delle leggende". Among the most important hiking trails are the Adolf-Munkel Trail, the Zannes Nature Trail and the Odle Trail. In addition, these mountains are popular with mountaineers and hikers because of the numerous via ferrata routes on offer.
How to get to the Puez-Odle Nature Park
To access the Park
- from Val Gardena
- from Alta Badia
- from Val Badia
- from the Fùnes and Eores Valleys
- from the "Dolomitenstrasse" road, which from Bressanone crosses the Passo delle Erbe and leads to Val Badia: like the other neighbouring parks, it offers rich flora and fauna and spectacular views.
Puez-Odle Nature Park visitor center
S. Maddalena 114/a
Tel: +39 0472 84 25 23