The Ötztal Nature Park consists mainly of alpine and high alpine terrain. Its landscape is dominated by the intense glaciation. Due to the large vertical height difference of almost 3,000 meters, almost all elevations of the Central Alps can be found in the Ötztal Nature Park, each with its characteristic plants, animals and habitats.
The Natural Monument Obergurler Zirbenwald (at a height between 1950 and 2100 meters), is a closed nature sanctuary. It is situated in the Ötztal Nature park, it is covering an area of over 20 hectares. In addition to partially far over 300 year old pine trees, there is a raised bog, alpine rose fields and an impressive waterfall to explore. During a hike on the adventure road, 13 panels explain more about the flora and fauna in this region. And the incomparable odor of pine trees is omnipresent! Relax with a stop at the Hohe Mut Alm on the comfortable deck chair terrace at a height of 2670 meters and enjoy the vast views of the surrounding mountains with 21 three-thousanders. The Alm is also the starting point for a variety of hikes.
A forest fire in the 1880s almost destroyed this jewel. Only than, already old pines have survived. Because of fresh young growth, today there arises a two-stage forest. Since 1977, on the Austrian side of the central part of the Gurgler Kamm, from the Seelenkogel to Schwenzerspitze, is recognized by the UNESCO as a biosphere reserve and as a biogenetic reserve. However, since May 2014, this area no longer maintains this status, because this area would no longer meet the complex requirements of UNESCO.
2. The trail
The hike is a round trip, with beautiful views, a lot of cultural, historical, geological and botanical highlights. The tour runs through the protected area of the Biosphärenreservat Gurgler Kamm. This biosphere reserve exemplifies sustainable development in environmental, economic and social terms. In this area, please respect the local instructions for the protection of nature.
2.2 Starting point
The trail starts at Hotel Alpenaussicht, Schlossweg 1,6456 Obergurgl, Austria. There is a free parking lot at the Festkogelbahn, at the beginning of Obergurgl.
How to get there:
By car: From the Autobahn A12 (Bregenz – Innsbrück), take the exit 123 (Haiming/Ötztal), follow the B186 to Obergurgl.
By public transport: From Oetztal Bahnhof you can take the bus 4194 to Obergurgl, duration 1.30 hours.
2.3 Turn-by-turn directions
The trail starts at Hotel Alpenaussicht, Schlossweg 1,6456 Obergurgl, Austria.
For people used to heights it takes x-y hours to reach the destination. For others it will take zz minutes more. When enjoying the scenery more relaxed, taking photos etc. it will take around xx hours. Going down to the village yy goes much faster; around xx hours including zz minutes break for people not used to heights.