This two day hike of moderate difficulty starts with a ramble along idyllic Alpsteig Path that climbs up to Simmering Alm through a mixed forest. Simmering Alm has one of the most spectacular viewpoints, offering a vista back that includes Karwendel Range and the Inntal Valley and Mieming Plateau below. This wonderful hike has many fabulous changing faces throughout the seasons, featuring ridgelines blanketed in wildflowers in summer and ringed with golden conifers and deciduous trees in fall. Gaining the 2,096-meter summit of Simmeringjoch, wander, gaze, luxuriate, and thrill at the views off to the horizon. Nearby mountains include the Ötztal and the Stubai Alps, the mighty Karwendel Range, the lofty Lechtal Alps, the Mieming Range and the Mieming Plateau. A sea of peaks stretches out in every direction as far as your imagination can hike. Marvel at the rock fall of Tschirgant Mountain and call it a day at Haiminger Alm. On day two, you have several miles of ridgetop meandering through meadows and over view-rich crests and peaks. Along the route, the scrappy, mixed forest gives way to a dense forest canopy, a uniform stand of old-growth stone pine trees. From the grassy plateau high above Inntal Valley and from the foot of Tschirgant Mountain you can feast to your heart’s content on splendid views of the rock falls and its summit. When you finally reach the summit of Tschirgant, relax and savour your well-earned achievement—before you are glorious views in all directions. The route gives you a good workout and requires endurance and sure footing; acrophobes will not appreciate this route. If you can safely navigate this trail though, the rewards are many.
- Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
- Circular hike
intermediate (red mountain trails)
Elevation uphill 1,780m
Vertical metres downhill 2,025m
Best time of year
* These are approximate values and recommendations. Please take your personal fitness level, technical ability and the current weather conditions into account. Tirol Werbung cannot guarantee that the information provided is correct and accepts no liability.
Day 1: Obsteig – Haiminger Alm
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 1,130/365 meters | Hiking Time: 5,5 hours | Distance: 8,6 kilometers | Highest Elevation: 2,096 meters | Trail Rating: Moderate (red)
Make your way from the western end of Obsteig opposite Hotel Bergland on the access road that leads from the main road to Grünberg Lifts. Then, turn right heading towards Simmeringalm Alpine Pasture Hut and continue in the same direction on a narrower dirt road through the forest. Some distance beyond, bear right following signs for “Alpsteig”. Continue for a while on a dirt road before the real Alpsteig Path starts. The path ascends straight up across mostly steep terrain through a mixed forest and ends a few meters below Simmeringalm Alpine Pasture Hut. At an altitude of around 1,700 meters, the path turns onto a forest road that quickly takes you up to Simmeringalm Alpine Pasture Hut, which soon becomes visible. Optionally, one could save one switchback on the path. Right before the hut (not when reaching the last switchback!), turn left onto the path to “Haiminger Alm”. Now, ascend on the poorly defined path (sometimes only a rolling singletrack trail can be found) across meadows and hollows. Pass the water catchment to the right and turn left into the dwarf pines. Thereafter, ascend across a kind of ridge and then walk over to the summit of Simmeringjoch Saddle that features a cross. Continue in the same direction (“Haiminger Alm”) and gently descend on the spine of the ridge. The route crosses a little incision, followed by a short counter-ascent to Zunterkopf Mountain, a kind of mountaintop that is strewn with dwarf pines. Thereafter, the route descends again and finally runs over to Haiminger Alm Alpine Pasture Hut on a dirt road.
Strongly Recommended: Visit the worthwhile chapel at Simmeringalm and marvel at iconic 2,370-meter Tschirgant Mountain. Some 4000 years ago, gigantic masses of rocks plunged down from Tschirgant. Originally, people thought that the rock fall occurred at the end of the Ice Age. By means of tree trunks, which have recently been discovered after a flood under scree and talus, however, one could determine the date of this natural phenomenon more precisely. The rock fall of Tschirgant Mountain has influenced landscape formation up to now.
Day 2: Haiminger Alm – Imst
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 650/1,660 meters | Hiking Time: 7,5 hours | Distance: 16,3 kilometers | Highest Elevation: 2,370 meters | Trail Rating: Moderate (red)
Start off at Haiminger Alm Alpine Pasture Hut and ascend the slope on a way-marked trail. From the beginning, the route gently ascends across marvelous meadows in a scrappy forest on the ridge that divides Inntal Valley and Gurgltal Valley. Thereafter, the path enters a world of dwarf pines and ascends to a little fore summit of Tschirgant Mountain with the so-called Haiming Cross on its top. From here, the scenery becomes more rugged. Walk over to the fork that is marked by trail signs (this section has some descents). Then, continue in the same direction and gently ascend on a well-maintained trail right below the ridge and partly on the ridge across grass-strewn rubble flanks and rocky terrain to the (main) peak of Tschirgant Mountain with Karres Cross on its top. A short distance below is where you will find Karrösten Cross (the crosses on the summit are named after the villages of Karres and Karrösten). Thereafter, retrace your steps to the fork where, this time, though, follow the sign for “Karröster Alm”. The trail leading to this Alpine pasture hut, however, branches off to the left only a few meters east of the sign. Soon, the trail enters a forest and steeply descends for a while before leading westwards more gently. At an altitude of around 1,650 meters, you get to a dirt road that you have to cross. Beyond, follow the trail that descends through scrappy forest down to Karröster Alm Alpine Pasture Hut. From the hut, walk down on a rolling singletrack trail across meadows before gently descending on the trail through woods, which turns onto a forest road at an altitude of around 1,200 meters. Continue your descent on the forest road, where the route once again passes terminals of the Karrösten Geo Interpretive Trail (“Geolehrpfad Karrösten”). Shortly after, switch onto the broad footpath ("Karrösten") which merges onto the forest road again after a while. Descend, passing the parking area where you can also find information on the interpretive trail. At the following fork, descend to the right heading towards Karrösten. Having reached the village, continue your descent in the same direction (passing the first option to branch off to Imst). At Weberei Schatz (weaving mill), walk down to the local authority building where you turn right towards Imst. Now, descend on a trail and dirt road across meadows and through woods, constantly heading towards Imst. Having reached the valley bottom with its stream, continue in the same direction. Finally, cross the stream and ascend to the town center.
Strongly Recommended: Worthwhile buildings in Imst are the Gothic parish church and Laurentius Chapel at Bargl Hill. Laurentius Chapel was constructed on Roman foundations and is the oldest chapel of North Tirol. The Gothic parish church (“Assumption of Mary”) with its steeple that rises 86 meters high is also a superlative building: it features the highest spire of North Tirol and the third-highest of Austria.