Pitztal Holiday

Hiking and sightseeing
in and around Pitztal Tyrol

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    1. Background / History

    Nauders is a village near the Reschenpass where three countries meet: Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Where normally the stork brings babies, in Nauders, newborns come from the “Holy Tree”. This is just one of many ancient myths and legends that circulate in the village near the Reschenpass, that connects Austria and Italy. Nauders is located in a remote part of Tyrol where visitors will find a great mix of high alpine meadows and steep peaks.

    2. The hiking trail

    2.1 Summary

    The trail starts with a relaxed ride up with the Mutzkopf chairlift. From there, the hike leads through a nature reserve, to the idyllic lake Schwarzsee and then further to the lake Grünsee. Now the climb to the Großer Mutzkopf follows. Here the view extends to the lake Reschensee (in Italy). Via the inn Riatschhof it goes back to the valley to Nauders.

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    The total length of this trail (without chair lift) is 10.3 kilometers. The duration is 4 hours.

    In the trail, between the both lakes, there is a side-way that leads to the three countries landmark (borders of Italy, Switzerland and Austria). This is a 15 minutes walk.

    Signpost to the three countries landmark
    © www.suedtirolerland.it

     

    The boundary stone
    © www.suedtirolerland.it

     

    2.2 Starting point

    Starting point of the trail is the top mountain station of the double chairlift Mutzkopf in Nauders. There is a little parking lot at the valley station of the Mutzkopfbahn. There is a free parking lot at the valley station of the Bergkastelbahn (20 minutes walk to the Mutzkopfbahn).

    How to get to Nauders:

    By car: From Wenns, drive to Fließ, follow the B180 (Reschenstraβe) to Nauders. At the end of this road (in the center of Nauders), drive to the right over the Martinsbrücker Straße. The chairlift is at the left side of the road.

    By public transport: From Wenns, there is a bus connection to Nauders via Imst and Landeck, duration 2 hours.

    2.3 Turn-by-turn directions

    First you take the chairlift to the mountain Kleinmutzkopf. From there you walk through a nature reserve area to the idyllic Schwarzsee and then through a small wood with pine trees to the Grünsee. Then the trail rises up to the Großmutzkopf. At the top you have a boundless view to the Reschensee (lake) in Italy. Back into the valley via Riatsch to Nauders.

    Then follow road no. 6. You can also choose an alternative route, there are two options. East of the Schwarzer See, you can take a path that runs over the southern shore towards the Grüner See. A second road begins at the very end of the western shore of the lake.

    In the end, both paths come back together in the wood above the lake. You’re walking further through a beautiful pine forest to the Grüner See.

    If you then follow the path to the southeast, you enter the Groβmutz area with outstrechted meadowlands. If you choose to stay at road nr. 6, walk further in northeast direction, then you will reach the highest summit of the Großmutzkopf. Here, with a little luck, you can see the Reschen lake in Italy!

    The trail continues at road nr. 7 towards the meadows of Riatsch and Riatschhof. If you decide in Riatsch to walk back to Nauders via road 5a, below the meadows of Riatsch you will find signs that show the way. You arrive at a former ski trail that winds through the woods into the meadows into the valley. Then cross the street and walk across the bridge over the Stillebach creek. So you reach the hotel Gasthof Martha at the Alte Straße and you are back in Nauders.

     

     

    2.4 Duration

    The total duration of this trail is 4 hours (cable car not included). When enjoying the scenery more relaxed, taking photos etc. it will take more time.

    3. Recommended maps for this region:

     

    4. Photos

     

    20170519 D-5318-seerosen-schwarzer-see

    The Schwarzer See with the white water lillies
    © www.suedtirolerland.it

     

    The Grüner See, which really lives up to its name (green lake)
    © www.suedtirolerland.it

     

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    1. Background of the Feldringalm

    The Feldringalm is situated at 1,888 meters above sea level in the Stubai alps, near Kühtai – Ochsengarten. In the summer, in the beautiful surroundings, on different hiking trails, you can reach the extremely scenic hut, which is also suitable as a stopover after the very popular and simple trip to the mountain Faltegartenköpfl.

    20180323 Outdooractive - Feldringalm

    The Feldringalm
    © www.outdooractive.com

    2. The hiking trail

    The trail starts from the (paid) parking lot Sattele in Ochsengarten. There is a large public parking lot near the valley station of the Ochsengartenbahn (5 minutes drive).  First you walk over the forest road, in about 45 minutes you reach the Feldringalm hut. The trail continues with a climb up to the mountain Faltegartenköpfl. At a height of 2184 meters, you have a wonderful panoramic view of the alpine world in Austria. The descent takes over the Bettlersteig (climb) above the Faltegartenalm, back to the hut on the Feldringalm and over the same way back to the parking lot in Sattele.

     

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    The duration of this hiking trail is 4,15 hours, it will take more time if you take a break at the hut or if you stop to enjoy the beuatiful panoramic views.

    Another route: A wonderful round trip results when in Sattele, you walk on the way no. 10a, to the inn Marlstein, this is a road without significant gain in altitude. From the inn, turn sharply to the left and follow trail no. 151 uphill to the mountain Grünwaslkreuz (at 2027 meters) and from here to the northwest direction, slightly downhill to the hut on the Feldringalm. The length of this variant trip is 6,5 kilometers, duration about 2-2.5 hours, with a height difference of 380 meters. It is also nice to go this round trip in the opposite direction!

    2.2 Starting point

    The trail starts from the (paid) parking lot Sattele in Ochsengarten. Cost for the whole day € 3. (Coördinates 47°13’52.44″N, 10°55’40.55″O). There is a large public parking lot near the valley station of the Ochsengartenbahn (5 minutes drive).

    How to get there:

    By car: From Wenns, drive out of the Pitztal valley to Imst, take the B171 to Oetztal Bahnhof and Haiming, turn right to the L309 Haiminger Landestraβe to the parking lot in Sattele (30 km, 35 minutes).

    By public transports: From Wenns, there is a bus connection via Imst and Oetztaler Höhe to Gasthof Burkert in Ochsengarten. From there, walk to the starting point parking lot Sattele (35 minutes). Total driving and walking time 2,5 hours.

    2.3 Turn-by-turn directions

    From the parking lot “Sattele”, you follow the yellow signposts to the Feldringalm. This hut can be reached in about 45 minutes. After a short break at the hut, follow the signpost to the Faltegartenköpfl.

    First it goes up steeple through a thin forest, until you reach a crossing, here keep left. At the top of the ridge, you keep left, along the edge of the forest. After about 30 minutes,  you already see the summit cross of the mountain Faltegartenköpfl, on the left. There are several ways to climb to the summit, in this trail is chosen for the lighter one, you don’t have to climb. We go to the right, under the summit, up to the ridge, where you can see the next signposts.

    You follow the signpost to the Faltegartenköpfl, this mountain top can be reached in a few minutes. Up here, you have a beautiful panoramic view at the Mieming Range (in German: Mieminger Kette), the alps of the Lechtal valley, the Stubai valley and the Ötztal valley, as well as in the deep Inn valley below.Over the same way, you walk back to the ridge, then follow the signpost Bettlersteig/Feldringalm.

    20180323 At the Bettlersteig

    Natural beauty at the Bettlersteig (beggar’s climb)
    © www.outdooractive.com

    First you descend in an easterly direction on the ridge, you cross the brook and then you pass the next road signs. Now it’s westwards on the Bettlersteig (climb), which leads on the northern slope of the mountain Faltegartenköpfl. From here, you walk steadily up and down, back to the hut on the Feldringalm. The last part of the trail is the already known way back to the parking lot in Sattele.

    2.4 Duration

    The total time of the round trip is 4,15 hours, (for people used to heights). When enjoying the scenery more relaxed, taking photos, or taking a break at the hut etc. it will take around 5 -5,5 hours. The total time of the variant trip is 2 – 2,5 hours (for people used to heights and without stops).

    3. Recommended maps for this region:

    4. Photos

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    5. Useful links

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    1. Background / History

    Background or history of the destination, including a link to it’s website if available. 

    Optional:

    • a map with icons
    • photos

    If section is long split it into subsections using paragraph style H4

    2. The hiking trail

    Summary about the trail.

    Map loading, please wait ...

     

     

    The duration, possible other routes.

    2.2 Starting point

    The trail starts at the bus stop “Wenns Pitztaler Hof”. There is a parking lot near this hotel-restaurant.

    2.3 Turn-by-turn directions

    The trail starts at the bus stop “Wenns Pitztaler Hof”. Follow the signs “Hochasten” to the north. From Hochasten we walk along the road to Gasthof Plattenrain. At the inn we take the abbreviation steeply uphill towards Hochastner Alpe after the sight of the meditative chapel. We can have a rest on the Sonnenbankerl of the alp and then we use the forest path for the descent to Hochasten. At the chapel we leave the road and follow the road to Ameishaufen and Trenk. The circle in Wenns then closes over the hamlets of Auders and Farmie.

    2.4 Duration

    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.

    3. Recommended maps for this region:

    Pitztal/Kaunertal – Mayr Verlag Ötztaler Alpen – Kompass Wanderkarte Blatt 43

    4. Photos

    Here photos taken by ourselves will be put. They should be uploaded from Lightroom to the website with the NextGen gallery plugin. Then photo gallery can be added here by pressing the green button from the toolbar above.

    if no photos available leave the following remark for the time being:

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    5. Useful links

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    1. Background / History

    Background or history of the destination, including a link to it’s website if available. 

    Optional:

    • a map with icons
    • photos

    If section is long split it into subsections using paragraph style H4

    2. The hiking trail

    In this post, we describe the details of tour 1 of the Knappenweg. On this website, you can find 7 more routes, with different starting points and different lenghts and heights, all in the region Hochoetz. All routes pass the Knappenhaus, a restored miner’s house with the crushing mill (a sort of stone mill in which the ore was broken up).

    The Knappenhaus
    © www.knappenweg.at

    Trail 1 starts at the top mountain station of the Acherkogelbahn in Hochoetz (height 2020 meters). From there, follow the road to the Bielefelder Hütte (2150 m) and the Wetterkreuz (2572 m). Through the Wörgetal you pass the Knappenhaus (2002 m), the Obere Iss (1932 m), over the Balbachalm (1957 m) back to the top mountain station of the Acherkogelbahn. Total length of the trail is 6 hours.

     

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    2.2 Starting point

    The trail starts at the top mountain station of the Acherkogelbahn in Hochoetz. There is a free parking lot at the valley station of the Acherkogelbahn.

    How to get there:

    By car: From Wenns, drive out of the Pitztal valley to Imst, take the B171 (direction Roppen) and the B186 to Hochoetz. The ride of 36 km takes almost 52 minutes.

    By public transport: There is a bus connection between Wenns via Imst to Oetz, duration 1 hour and 45 minutes.

    2.3 Turn-by-turn directions

    Describe the route. Do it briefly; just to guide people to the destination. Assume they have a GPX or map. Give guidance with for example photos to prevent mistakes going the wrong way.

    2.4 Duration

    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.

    3. Recommended maps for this region:

    Pitztal/Kaunertal – Mayr Verlag Ötztaler Alpen – Kompass Wanderkarte Blatt 43

    4. Photos

    Here photos taken by ourselves will be put. They should be uploaded from Lightroom to the website with the NextGen gallery plugin. Then photo gallery can be added here by pressing the green button from the toolbar above.

    if no photos available leave the following remark for the time being:

    ACTION: UPLOAD PHOTOS

    5. Useful links

    Add here only usefull links for the visitors of the website. Links to sources used for this post need to go in to the custom field information source.

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    1. Background / History

    Nauders is situated in Tyrol in Austria, in the border area of three countries: Austria, Italy and Switzerland. In the summer visitors can hike or bike

    Both in the winter and in the summer, visitors will find a great mix of high alpine meadows and steep peaks.

    2. The hiking trail

    The trail starts with a relaxed ride up with the Mutzkopf chairlift. Next through a nature reserve to the idyllic protected natural lake Schwarzer See and then further through a fir forest to the lake Grüner See. From here starts the climb to the mountain Großen Mutzkopf. On the top, the view extends all the way to the lake Reschensee in Italy. Via the mountain inn Riatschhof it goes back to the valley to Nauders.

    Map loading, please wait ...

    2.2 Starting point

    Starting point of the trail is the top mountain station of the double chairlift Mutzkopf in Nauders. There is a little parking lot at the valley station of the Mutzkopfbahn. There is a free parking lot at the valley station of the Bergkastelbahn (20 minutes walk to the Mutzkopfbahn).

    How to get to Nauders:

    By car: From Wenns, drive to Fließ, follow the B180 (Reschenstraβe) to Nauders. At the end of this road (in the center of Nauders), drive to the right over the Martinsbrücker Straße. The chairlift is at the left side of the road.

    By public transport: From Wenns, there is a bus connection to Nauders via Imst and Landeck, duration 2 hours.

    2.3 Turn-by-turn directions

    Before the trail starts, ascent with the Mutzkopf cable car to a height of 1,812 meters, here starts hiking trail no. 9 to the small mountain Mutzkopf and the fabulously beautiful lake Schwarzer See. This is a moor lake in the middle of a dark fir forest.

     

     

    At the lake Schwarzer See starts hiking trail no. 6 Here are two options, east of the lake Schwarzer See, you can take a path that runs over the southern shore towards the Grüner See. A second road begins at the very end of the western shore of the lake Schwarzer See. Both paths meet in the forest above the lake Schwarzer See.

    Through fir forest it goes up to the fish-rich lake Grüner See at a height of 1,836 meters. Follow the path from the lake Grüner See in a south-easterly direction, you will reach a wide meadow area.

    Hiking trail no. 6 leads in a northeasterly direction to the highest point of the large Mutzkopf mountain. At the top, you can enjoy a clear view of the Italian reservoir Reschensee and the mountains in the south. Then follow hiking trail no.7 towards the wide meadows of Riatsch and the inn Riatschhof. The hike back to the valley station of the Mutzkopf chairlift, follows the road Kohlstatt (Rundwanderung Grosser Mutzkopf). This is a different road than the gpx in this post (ends in the center of Nauders).

    In the trail, between the both lakes, there is a side-way (not on the gpx) that leads to the three countries landmark (borders of Italy, Switzerland and Austria). This is a 15 minutes walk.

    Signpost to the three countries landmark © www.suedtirolerland.it

    The boundary stone
    © www.suedtirolerland.it

     

    2.4 Duration

    The total length of this trail (without chair lift) is 10.3 kilometers. The duration is 4 hours. When enjoying the scenery more relaxed, taking photos etc. it will take more time.

     

    4. Photos

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    1. Background/History

    1.1 The Rofen farmhouses

    Already in the 13th century, the area around Rofen, in Austria, was colonized over the Niederjoch by the people from the Schnalstal valley (Senales valley), near Bozen, in Italy. According to tradition, in the autumn, shepherds were surprised in an early fall of heavy snow, so a return over the 3010 meters high mountains of the Niederjoch was no longer possible.

    Thus a first settlement was established at the place of the Rofen farmhouses (in German Rofenhöfe), by sheep-shepherds, who had to build simple huts for wintering. For the first time, in 1280, the existing evidence of these farmhouses in Rofen was documented.

    The Counts of Tyrol, headquartered in Merano, established the property boundaries firmly. From 1348 to 1803, the Rofen farmhouses had their own rights by a protection letter from Ludwig of Brandenburg, an opponent of Ulrich von Lenzburg, in that time Bishop of Chur. These rights included not only tax exemption, but also home jurisdiction in a special court that belonged to Bolzano.

    Nowadays, the legend is still told, that in the first half of the 15th century, the farmhouses in Rofen became a significant place in the history of Tyrol. The Tyrolean Duke Frederick IV here had found one of its sanctuaries, where he had to hide after he was banned by the Council of Konstanz from the King Sigismund. Historically correct is, that “Friedl with his empty pocket” fled over the Reschenpass to Merano as he reported itself in a letter to the pastor Johann in Tirol.

    Today the farms are primarily accommodation in the summer for mountaineers. This area also has international significance, because of the breeding of Haflinger horses. The farms are owned by the Klotz family. In 1848, one of their ancestors, Leander Klotz, succeeded to climb, as one of the first, the Wildspitze (the highest mountain of the Oetztal Alps).

    The Rofen farmhouses are situated at a height of 2009 meters above sealevel, about one kilometer west of and 114 meters higher than Vent in the Ötztaler Alps, in Tyrol, in Austria. As well as Vent itself, Rofen forms part of the municipality Sölden in the Ötztal. The Rofen farms are the highest permanently inhabited mountain farms in Austria.

    1.2 The Rofen valley

    The Rofen valley near the village of Vent is about 10 km long and is a side valley of the Venter Valley, (which is a side valley of the Ötztal valley). The creek in the Rofen valley originates at the Hintereisferner (glacier), from the mountain Weißkugel (3739 meters above sea level, on the national border to Italy).

    20170427 Rofen valley uit outdooractive (vent_landschaft_01_03)

    The Rofen valley
    © www.outdooractive.com

    During the Summer, parts of the Rofental valley are inhabited by sheep from the south of Tyrol (in Italy). These sheep are driven over the Ötztaler alp main ridge. In October 2011, the tradition of this transhumance, was taken up by the Austrian Commission for UNESCO in the National Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

    2. The hiking trail

    Get fascinated on this walk along the Rofner creek, among the blossoming Alpine meadows and the eternal ice of the surrounding glaciers.

    Along the Rofner creek and its spectacular gorge you will not only find messengers from long past times, as the hunters’ camp or the “hollow stone”, it will present itself to you again and again smaller works of art from the present who tell you their own stories.

    Along the countless meadows with Haflinger horses, you also can find some small pools, they reflect clear as a mirror in calm countryside. On this trail you can also prove your courage, while crossing the suspension bridge, which crosses the Rofner gorge.

    The suspension bridge
    © www.oetztal-online.at

     

    On the way back to Vent, you can take a break at the restaurant Berggasthaus Rofenhof.

    2.1 Summary about the trail.

    Follow the road to Rofenhöfe farms. The way back to Vent leads past the suspension bridge and through beautiful mountain pastures with a unique flora.

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    2.2 Starting point

    The trail starts from the parking lot, at the beginning of Vent, parking fee € 4 per day (Coordinates: 46.863330 N 10.917000 E). But in the centre of Vent, there is a free parking lot near the valley station of the Stablein lift. (Section P8 is a free parking lot for hiking people, situated near the chapel).

    How to get there:

    By car: From Wenns, drive out of the Pitztal valley to Arzl, then follow the B171 to Oetz. Here, follow the B186 into the Oetztal valley, via Umhausen and Sölden. In Zwieselstein, follow the L240 to Vent (Venter Landesstraße). Duration 1.15 hours.

    By public transport: From Wenns, take the bus to Imst. Change to Zwieselstein. There is no bus connection between Zwieselstein and Vent.

    2.3 Turn-by-turn directions

     

     

     

    2.4 Duration

    For people used to heights it takes 40 minutes to reach the Rofen farms. When enjoying the scenery more relaxed, taking photos etc. it will take around 1 hour.

    4. Photos

    Transhumanz at the Schnalstal valley
    © https://www.european-hiking-villages.com/

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    1. History of the Amberger hütte

    The Amberger hütte is situated at the end of the Sulztal, at a height of 2135 meters, almost surrounded by the Stubai Alps. The hut was built in 1888, rebuilt in 1936, 1974, 1999 and 2014. The hut is owned by the section Amberg of the DAV (Deutsche Alpen Verein, in english German Alpine Associaton).

    Directly at the hut there is a sulfur lake (about 18 degrees warm).

    huette1

    Around the Amberger hütte
    © www.alpenvereinaktiv.com

     

     

    Cozy room for the hut visitors
    © www.alpenvereinaktiv.com

     

    2. The hiking trail

    The family friendly trail starts in Gries. First you walk about two kilometers along the Fischbach creek over an asphaltic road, the rest of the trail is a gravel road.

    After crossing the Vögelasbrücke (bridge), the trail to the Nisslalm branches off. The trail to the Ambergerhütte leads into the narrower valley. At 1,900 meters, it is the temptation to resist having dinner already in the nice Sulztalalm.

    But the onward journey along the rushing Fischbach creek is worth it! The peculiar high valley is increasingly arid, the Amberger Hütte, at a hight of 2136 meters now is in sight. With the mountains Hinteren Daunkopf, Windacher Daunkogl and Schrankogel, it offers fantastic views of the Stubai Alps.

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    The trail length is 6,1 kilometer, it takes one and a half hour. The way back to the starting point goes over the same trail. So the total distance is 12,2 kilometer.

    2.1 Starting point

    The trail starts at the end of Gries. There is a free parking lot for hikers to the Amberger Hütte. Walk back towards the bridge over the Starkenbach, the trail starts at the other side of the river.

    How to get there:

    By car: From Wenns, drive out of the Pitztal to Imst. Take the B171 to Telfs. At Ötztal Bahnhof take the B186 into the Ötztal valley. Follow this road untill Längenfeld. From there, take the L239 to Gries in the Sulztal. This road is 5,81 kilometers long, at the start are a few hairpins, the road climbs 400 meters. To protect the road against avalanches during the winter, there were built 3 tunnel galleries (with a length of 488, 150 and 95 meters). There is a free parking lot at the end of Gries. Total driving is about 50 minutes.

    By public transport: From Wenns, you can take the bus to Längenfeld, duration 1,5 hours. There is no bus to Gries.

    2.2 Turn-by-turn directions

    From Gries, you walk along the Fischbach creek, first over the asphaltic road, then it becomes a gravel road. You cross the Vögelasbrücke (bridge), here the trail to the Nisslalm branches off. Now the trail leads into the narrower valley. At a height of 1.900 meters, you pass the Sulztalalm.

     

    20170414 Sulztalm-laengenfeld2_e97557d25a (from Oetztal.at tourismus)

    The Sulztalalm
    © www.oetztal.at

     

    The peculiar high valley is increasingly arid, the Amberger Hütte, at a hight of 2136 meters now is in sight. With the mountains Hinteren Daunkopf, Windacher Daunkogl and Schrankogel, it offers fantastic views of the Stubai Alps.

    2.3 Duration

    For people used to heights it takes 1,5 hours to reach the Amberger Hütte. When enjoying the scenery more relaxed, taking photos etc. it will take around 2 hours.

    3. Photos

     

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    1. Background

    This nature trail leads through the Kauner and Kaunerberger dry grasslands, which are home to many different animal and plant species. On the 45 accompanying information boards along the way, you learn a lot of more than 40 species of trees and shrubs, and their native flora. Also, more than 1100 species of butterflies, many nocturnal thereof, can be observed here!

    In its biodiversity and its conservation value, the dry grasslands are comparable to the sunny slopes in Fließ. As part of the care plan, since 2006, deforestation and overgrazing are carried out and encouraged to obtain valuable lean lawns. At the same time rare butterfly species such as the “Silver Green Bluebird” or “Variable Burnet” are protected.

    2. The hiking trail

    From the bus stop Kauns Dorfplatz (Kauns village square), you go first towards Kaunerberg. In the reverse the information boards begins. At the sign “Zum Wasserfall” Schlossbach ends this way. Back to Kauns along the signage. There also is a brochure from this trail.

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    The trail is a 2,5 kilometers long round trip, duration 1,5 hours.

    2.2 Starting point

    The trail starts at the bus stop Kauns Dorfplatz (Kauns village square). There is a free parking lot.

    How to get there:

    By car: From Wenns center, drive via Piller, Fuchsmoos and Kaunerberg, duration 27 minutes.

    By public transports: There is no direct bus connection, you have to travel via Imst, Landeck and Prutz to Kauns.

     

    schmetterling

    Butterfly
    © www.kaunertal.com

     

    The dry grasslands of Kauns
    © www.kaunertal.com

    kauner62_vorauer

    2.3 Turn-by-turn directions

    Describe the route. Do it briefly; just to guide people to the destination. Assume they have a GPX or map. Give guidance with for example photos to prevent mistakes going the wrong way.

    2.4 Duration

    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.

    3. Recommended maps for this region:

     

    4. Photos

     

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    5. Useful links

     

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    1. Background

    From the Kaunertal glacier road, you can reach the Seeles See in a walk of 15 – 30 minutes. From the clear lake you have an excellent view of the surrounding glaciated mountains of the Weißseespitze (a mountain top at a height of 3518 meters, at the boarder of Austria and Italy). There is probably no better place for an alpine picnic.

    seelissee_maxwasser

    Seeles See
    © www.kirchenwirt.com

     

    2. The hiking trail

    The trail starts at the valley station of the Ochsenalmbahn (near the Kaunertaler Glacier Road). In a walk of 15 – 30 minutes, you reach the Seeles See.

    You can take the same road back, but it is possible to walk over the Gepatsch alm to the Gepatschhaus. Give close attention, with a little luck you can observe the deer, which very much like moving here quite stormy and enjoy the warm days. Also the alp marmots can be seen here.

    2.1 The route

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    2.2 Starting point

    There is a parking lot at the valley station of the Ochsenalmbahn (near the Kaunertal glacier road). Three hairpins further is a little parking lot beside the road (place for 10 cars), at this point the trail starts.

    How to get there by car or public transport:

    By car: From Wenns, drive through Piller and Kaunerberg to Kauns. From there, follow the Kaunertaler Gletscherstraβe, the Kaunertaler glacier road. For driving over this road, you have to pay tolls.

    By public transports: There is no direct bus connection. From Wenns, take the bus to Imst, Landeck and Prutz into the Kaunertal Valley. The bus stop is near the little parking lot, where the trail starts.

    Start of the toll road

     

    Start of the toll road
    © https://www.motofun.ch/paesse_ausland/kaunertal.html

     

    2.3 Turn-by-turn directions

    The trail starts at the valley station of the Ochsenalmbahn (near the Kaunertaler Glacier Road). In a walk of 15 – 30 minutes, you reach the Seeles See.

    2.4 Duration

    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.

    4. Photos

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    1. Background/History

    The Rotmoosferner (ferner is the German word for glacier) is situated near Obergurgl, at the end of the Ötztal, in Tyrol in Austria. The glacier at the end of the Rotmoostal valley extends in a height of about 3400 to 2400 meters and covers an area of about 3 square kilometers.

    Like most glaciers in the Alps, the Rotmoosferner has been affected by the glacier melt since the middle of the 19th century. In 1858, the maximum extension of the glacier end moraine was measured at a height of approximately 2300 m. Since then, the glacier has retreated and lost massively and surfacely (interrupted by short advances between 1916 and 1922, as well as in the 1980s). Between 1850 and 2006, the length went back by about 2 km, and the ice thickness in the area of the tongue around 150 m. In 2005, the existing connection with the Rotmoos waterfall glacier was demolished.

    In its retreat, the glacier leaves moraine and gravel surfaces, on which gradually pioneer vegetation settles. One of the first plants to be found in this area is the feldspar, quarry stone crust and alpine lemming. After 20 years of ice-freeness, the first lawn plants such as the Poa Alpina (alpine meadow grass) occur. The first representatives of soil fauna are jumping tails, mites and enchyroses as well as butterflies and beetle larvae.

    Up to 28% of the Rotmoos glacier is covered by cryoconite, a powdery windblown dust with organic components. As a result, the albedo of the glacier is altered, the darker places are heated more strongly by the solar irradiation, melting more rapidly than the surroundings and leaving depressions in the ice, so-called cryokonite holes. In the cryokonite of the Rotmoosferners the Hypsibius klebelsbergi Mihelčič was found, which can survive times without oxygen as well as extremely low temperatures in cryobiose.

    There are fascinatingly different stones at the Rotmoos valley. The darker rocks often contain not only the shiny mica red garnets and dark hornblende, the bright rocks are marbles from the Schneeberger. Near the Schönwieshütte is a several thousand year old peat bog.

    2. The hiking trail

    There should be a certain degree of certainty. Also on this section you can observe marmots. The rest of the way is easy. On the Schönwieshütte you can then take a rest before it goes back to Obergurgl.

    In Obergurgl, you take the cable car Hohe Mut Bahn (in two steps, travel time not included), with a little luck you can see some alp marmots underneath you. The panoramic view from the Hohe Mut is overwhelming, with high mountains, framed by glaciers. From here, at a height of 2600 meters, walk over the flat ridge to the south. A beautiful trail will lead you on high moorland with a view at the Rotmoos glacier. Take the slightly ascending path towards the glacier. Then you descend the slope to the foot of the glacier. Take care of your steps in this part of the trail!

    At the stamping point, you can have a short break and make some pictures. After a walk through the Rotmoos valley, you can take a longer break at the Schönwieshütte. The rest of the trail is easy.

    Stamping point
    © www.komoot.de

     

    The Schönwieshütte
    © www.tripadvisor.at

     

    On the way back towards Obergurgl the trail leads through a 300 year-old pine forest, the GPS trail in this post ends at Vitalhotel Mühle in Untergurgl.

    obergurgler_zirbenwald_moor_04

    Pine trees in Obergurgl
    © www.naturpark-oetztal.at

     

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    2.2 Starting point

    The trail starts at the (top) mountain station of the Hohe Mut Bahn. In 2017, this cable car is open from June 24 until September 17, daily from 9 am until 4 pm.

    Hohe Mut Bahn, top mountain station
    © www.obergurgl.com

     

    There is a free parking lot at the Festkogelbahn, at the beginning of Obergurgl.

    How to get there:

    By car: From Wenns, drive out of the Pitztal to Imst. Follow the B171, follow the signs to the B186 (Ötztal), from Zwieselstein follow the L15 to Obergurgl.

    By bus: From Wenns, to Obergurgl (bus change in Imst), duration 2 hours, 15 minutes.

    2.3 Turn-by-turn directions

    From the (top) mountain station of the Hohe Mut Bahn, you walk over the ridge until you reach the Rotmoos glacier. You walk back through the Rotmoos valley, you can take a break at the Schönwieshütte. Back to Obergurgl, you walk the Alpine Interactive Trail through the Obergurgler zirbenwald, this is a 300 year old pine forest. 

    2.4 Duration

    The length of the trail is 9,9 kilometers, without stops the duration is 5 hours (the Hohe Mut Bahn is not included). On the website www.outdooractive.com you can find some other trails that pass the Rotmoos glacier and/or the Schönwieshütte, also starting point Hohe Mut Bahn and end point in Obergurgl.

    4. Photos

    ACTION: UPLOAD PHOTOS