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Jagdhausalmen Alpine Pastures, Defereggen, East Tirol, Austria, Europe

The Best Fall Hikes in Tirol

Updated on 04.07.2017 in Sports
Heavenly hiking temperatures, rarely exceeding 25 degrees Celsius, predictable weather with almost no thunderstorms and mountainous landscapes saturated with fiery reds, oranges, yellows and golds are just some of the benefits from hitting the hiking trails in autumn. I have put together a list of perfect fall hikes with a little help from my friends and colleagues:

Atop Hoher Burgstall Mountain

My Personal Fall Hike Recommendation: Entering Stubai Valley, the soaring heights of jagged and rugged Kalkkögel Peaks rise at the right hand side. In the middle of the picture above is Hoher Burgstall Mountain, the peak we summited. From Fulpmes, Kreuzjochbahn Gondola conveniently whisked us atop Kreuzjoch to an elevation of 2,100 meters. 2,611-meter tall Burgstall Peak is easy to scale across rugged and rock-laden terrain; some sections are assisted by a fixed anchoring system of cables. On our tour last year on October 2nd we were lucky, as patchy fog gave way to amazing views every now and then, with gorgeous Alpine views stretching out in all directions. From the summit, the path zigzags down to Starkenburger Hut, a wonderful place to gather new strength over hearty delicacies or to spend the night. Here you will find a detailed trail description.

Walk atop Rosskogel

Anne: „The trail to Rosskogel Peak is filled with delights for the hiker who appreciates fall colours. Along the way, soak in sweeping views of the Inntal Valley below. Munch on an inexhaustible supply of wild fenberries („Moosba“) and cranberries („Granten“) and see the horses that gave the mountain its name grazing on its Alpine pastures („Ross“ meaning ‘horse’ in German).“

Fall Hike at Hochzeiger Mountain in Pitztal Valley

Eva: „I love to hike in autumn as the weather is more predictable and fall colours make vivid surroundings. The scenic trail ambles peacefully through rolling Alpine meadows and golden Swiss stone pines, taking you from Jerzens in Pitztal Valley almost to the top of Hochzeiger Mountain. The loop brings you back down to the valley past Leiner Alm Alpine Pasture Hut. “ Read Eva’s blog post on this walk here.

Stunning views of Venet Massif, ringed by Swiss stone pine forest. (Photo Credit: Eva Thöni)Stunning views of Venet Massif, ringed by Swiss stone pine forest. (Photo Credit: Eva Thöni)

Innergschlöss and Matreier Tauernhaus Lodge

Esther: „Gorgeous weather and late-season colour make this trip to Innergschlöss and Matreier Tauernhaus Lodge one of the most beautiful autumn hikes in Hohe Tauern National Park. An up and down meandering dirt road that leads through a true Alpine environment and provides breathtaking summit views of the heart of Hohe Tauern National Park. It offers one of the most dramatic views of the Schwarze Wand, literally ‘black wall’ and glimpses of Großvenediger Mountain. The route back follows a hiking trail.“ Here you will find a detailed trail description.

Along Zirbenweg Trail

Martina: „The crown jewel of fall’s magnificence is located where the largest Swiss stone pine stand in the country conquers the terrain. Leading from Tulfes to Igls, scenic Zirbenweg Trail is lined by Europe’s largest and oldest stone pine populations; some of these trees are several hundred years old, invoking visitors to ooh and ahh in the fall. From woods to upland plateaus to panoramic views of Inntal Valley below and even into Wipptal Valley, it just doesn’t get much better than this. Riding the chair lift up from Tulfes is a great way to enjoy the autumn sun. The walk takes some two hours to complete and you can gather new strength over hearty delicacies in the end. Finally, take the easy way down in the iconic Patscherkofel Gondola. If you have parked your car in Tulfes, you can ride a bus to get back there. This enjoyable walk with its easy ups and downs is not that strenuous and is perfectly suitable for families and kids as there are information panels along the way and Kugelwald Adventure World awaits on Glungezer Mountain in Tulfes ;)“ Here’s a detailed route description.

Dolomiten Hut Viewpoint

Ines: „I’ve been to Dolomiten Hut high above Lienz last year in September. One of the finest viewing outposts in East Tirol, the views from the hut are astoundingly beautiful. The jagged peaks of the Lienz Dolomites and the fiery red, orange and yellow larch groves are a sight to behold. Throw in an optional side trip to Instein Chapel below Laserzwand Rockface for an ample serving of a glassy tarn, where you call it a day, basking in the warm sun, and you have a perfect fall hike.“ Learn more about Dolomiten Hut in the blog post titled „24 Hours in East Tirol„.

A post shared by Ines (@_inibinii) on Oct 12, 2014 at 11:23am PDT

Walk to Wildseeloder Lake

Birgit: „Last year in autumn we hiked to Wildsee Lake in Pillerseetal Valley, from where the trail to Wildseeloder Lake departs. This tarn is a gem, tucked under the two iconic peaks of Henne and Wildseeloder Mountains. The lake can’t be seen from below — the views improve as you climb, making for a tremendous wow moment.“ Learn more about Wildseeloderhaus, the lodge on the shores of gorgeous Wildseeloder Lake.

Zireinersee Lake Loop Walk

Cornelia: „Last autumn on October 19th I’ve been to Zireinersee Lake with friends. This loop walk is incredibly beautiful. It’s said that this place is the most photographed mountain lake in Tirol, and when you see it, you’ll understand why. Unfortunately, the old chair lift doesn’t operate anymore, so the access point and the route are different now. I’d recommend walking past Eilalm and Labeggalm Alpine Pasture Huts to Rosskogelsattel Col, from where the trail descends to Zireinersee Lake.“ Here’s the route from Sonnwendjoch to Zireinersee Lake.

To the Top of Scheffauer Mountain

Michael: „Views of majestic peaks and the vibrant golden hues of larches come autumn – Scheffauer Mountain offers both, as well as the commanding views you’d expect of one of Tirol’s premier lookout mountains. If you’re lucky, Söll-Leuken-Tal and Inntal Valleys are cloaked in a blanket of fog in the morning, with jagged peaks and summits popping up in surprising places along the route. Great views await you at the summit, starring deep-blue Hintersteinersee Lake. If that’s not enough to slack your jaw, the almost nose-to-nose access to Großer Rettenstein Mountain will most certainly captivate you. On your way down, you will likely find the scenic Hintersteinersee Lake, where the golden trees frame a reflection of the purple-and-white-striped peaks.“ Here you will find a detailed hike description (in German only).

Autumnal Hut-to-Hut Tour in Villgratental Valley

Ingrid: „This scenic walk in East Tirol’s Villgratental Valley takes you to two wonderful Alpine pasture huts in stunning locations, Unterstalleralm and Volkzeiner Hut. This is one of my favourite hikes in fall, as both huts are open until mid-October and serve hearty delicacies to hungry trekkers.“

Up to Berliner Hut

Kerstin from the Tirol Shop: „I prefer to walk along south-facing hillsides in the autumn and avoid climber’s paths across talus and scree slopes and slippery crests and ridges. I like areas that are graced with rows of stately larches. In autumn their golden transformation stains the slopes yellow and golden.“ One of her fall hikes took Kerstin to Berliner Hut in Zillertal Valley.

Other favourite fall hikes recommended by Kerstin:

  • From Obernbergersee Lake to Hoher Lorenzen (the trailhead is at Obernberg)
  • Along Adolf-Pichler Hut and Stubai Seejöchl Col to the summit of Gamskogel Peak (the trailhead is at Kemater Alm)
  • Niederelbe Hut – Kappler Kopf, (Diasbahn Gondola Top Terminal, Paznaun Valley)
  • Friedrichshafener Hut – with the trailhead at Wirl, Paznaun Valley
  • Nockspitze/Saile – with the preferred trailhead at Axamer Lizum
  • Salfains See Lake from Grinzens (Christina has written a blog post on that walk)
  • Across Halltal Valley to Lafatscher Joch and on to Bettelwurf Hut
  • Kuhmesser and Kellerjoch from Loassattel Saddle
  • A fall hotspot for hiking, Rofan Mountain Range is the perfect place to witness fall spreading its yellow, orange and golden fingers across the landscape. The views of Tirol’s largest lake, Achensee, will have you catch your breath not from climbing, but from watching a continuous reel of premiere showings starring soaring peaks and the deep-blue lake below. Each year, Ebnerjoch is one of the first summits I bag in May and one of the last in October. Rofanspitz, Bärenkopf or Hochiss are favourite fall peaks, too.

Do you know more colour-soaked fall hikes in Tirol? Please let us know in the comments below :)

When he is not working, Michael Gams is out exploring this beautiful country, hiking, mountain biking, freeriding and ski touring to the most beautiful spots in Tirol.

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