When the summer heat abates and nature displays its best colours in autumn, the mountains of the Ziller Valley offer the perfect conditions for hiking and mountaineering.
Three hikes in the Ziller Valley which are especially beautiful in autumn:
1. A Kaleidoscope of Colours at the Pfitscher Joch
Start at the Schlegeis reservoir, which can be reached by public bus from Mayrhofen or by car (via Ginzling on a toll road). A magnificent spectrum of colours greets you at the very start of the hike: the turquoise blue reservoir, the pure white glacier and the various shades of autumn leaves in the surrounding forests. Despite being at a high altitude the path is formed from large stones and gentle steps making it walkable for the whole family. After around one and a half hours of walking beside beautiful scenery and tumbling waterfalls, the path climbs to the Lavitzalm at 2,090m. Just half an hour further and you’ll arrive at the Pfitscher Joch. The views down into South Tyrol are fabulous. After a refreshment stop at the Pfitscherjochhaus, return via the same path to the start point.
Open until: mid October!
2. Autumn Ramble in the Zemmgrund
The golden autumn months are not only good for conquering mountain peaks, there’s also plenty to discover in the valleys. A hike through the Zemmgrund leads mostly through forest with breathtaking views of waterfalls and to the valley below. Start and end your hike at the Alpengasthaus Breitlahner which can be reached by car (a parking charge is payable) or public bus. Follow the signposts to the first hut en route; the romantic Klausenalm. The landlord is likely to serve you himself and homemade food and fine wines are always on the menu. Continue past the Schwemmalm where the path ascends gently to the Grawandhütte (1,636m altitude), which is a self-professed ‘hut with heart’. When you leave the hut, you will realise why: you are ensured a warm welcome and the hut with heart motto is embodied by a huge friendship heart which stands in front of the hut.
Open until: end of September!
3. Late Season Hike to the Zimmereben
The Gasthaus Zimmereben lies on the mountain directly above Mayrhofen. There are several possible ways of reaching this lovely guesthouse with stunning views over Mayrhofen. Either you take the ‘Huterlanerweg’, a steep path which will get you to the Zimmereben in about 30 minutes, or the ‘Mariensteig’, which offers a more gentle ascent. If you’re feeling more adventurous then you can climb to the guesthouse by following one of four via ferrata routes. Climbing equipment can be hired at the beginning of the path to the Zimmereben. This hike is the perfect half day activity. Everyone who makes it to the hut is given a complimentary schnaps. Top tip: the hut serves a delicious schnitzel! Open until: end of October!