When a beautiful summer in the Ziller Valley comes to an end, it marks the beginning of the best time for hiking in the mountains. Balmy temperatures and the autumnal hues of the landscape attract many hikers to Tyrol.
In Autumn, when the mountains are at their most beautiful and the summer heat has abated, the Ziller Valley Alps offer the perfect conditions for ramblers, hikers and mountaineers.
Three routes in the Ziller Valley which are perfect for an Autumn hike are:
1. Kaleidoscopic Colours of the Pfitscher Joch
Take the public bus or car (toll road) from Mayrhofen through Ginzling to start your hike at the Schlegeis reservoir. From the moment you set off, you are treated to a wonderful blaze of colour: the bright turquoise waters of the reservoir, set against the brilliant white of the glacier and surrounded by the soft colours of the autumn trees. Although the hike leads you through a high alpine landscape, the route is well-suited to the whole family with a path of large stone slabs and steps. After approximately one and a half hours walk, past thundering waterfalls, you will reach the Lavitz Alm at an altitude of 2,090m. From here, it is a further half an hour to the Pfitscher Joch where the views into South Tyrol are incredible. After enjoying a refreshment stop at the Pfitscherjochhaus, take the same path back to the reservoir.
2. Autumn Ramble in the Zemm Valley
Of course mountain peaks can still be conquered in the golden Autumn months, but there is also much to discover close to the valley floor. As you ramble through the forests of the Zemmgrund you will be treated to breathtaking views of the valley and its waterfalls. Alpengasthaus Breitlahner is both the start and end point of this hike and can be reached by car (parking fee) or public bus. From here, simply follow the signposts and you will soon reach the romantic Klausenalm hut. The hut owner serves up delicious homemade dishes and ensures that a selection of fine wines is always in stock! The route continues over the Schwemmalm before gently ascending to the Grawandhütte at an altitude of 1,636m. The Grawandhütte describes itself as a place of enchantment and rejuvenation “with heart” and, when you visit, you will see why: you are guaranteed a warm welcome and a friendship heart stands proudly in front of the hut. Also, the lovely interior was refurbished at the beginning of this summer. The Grawandhütte is open until the end of October.
3. Autumn Ramble Sonnalm/Ramsberg
This circular route mostly crosses meadows and leads through forests and is especially nice in autumn. Take the Ramsberg lift to the Sonnalm at an altitude of 1,309m to begin the most autumnal hike in the Ziller Valley. The track leads around a bend and over a stile to an overgrown walking path which takes you directly to the Kotahornalm. When you walk this route in the autumn, the contrast between the snow-capped mountain peaks and the colourful trees is especially eye-catching. Follow a farm road further to the Berghotel Gerlosstein where the road forks and you can continue back to the start point.
Top Tip: The Ramsberg lift is in operation until the October 3rd. If you’d like to do this hike without using the lift, there are several paths to choose from. The most popular leads up the mountain in six bends and crosses repeatedly below the lift.