Turquoise blue, crystal clear Alpine waters are waiting for you also in Ötztal. The countless impressive mountain lakes are wonderful hiking destinations and offer a welcome cool down on hot summer days - if you only dare to jump into the cold water. Here you will be inspired by 5 mountain lake hiking tips:
Peak conquests & enjoying high Alpine nature
Some of the Eastern Alps’ most legendary peaks await ambitious alpinists in the valley of 250 three thousand meter high peaks. Including Wildspitze at 3768 meters, North Tirol’s highest mountain. The trails leading to the "peaks" and "summits" take hikers through the fascinating nature of high Alpine Ötztal, across huge glacier fields and ridges made of granite and gneiss. The awesomely located mountain huts are your base camp, offering fine refreshment for the route ahead.
Mountain Lake Hikes
Lovely Wannenkarsee mountain lake high above Sölden promises a real spectacle of nature to every hiker: Depending on the angle of the sun's radiation, the color of the water changes from turquoise blue to deep black. The snow-capped mountain peaks of the Stubai Alps make a perfect contrast in the background - a picture-book memory that will stay with you forever.
There are different ways to reach the mountain lake. The easiest and most family-friendly route starts with a hut taxi transfer from Sölden to Windachtal side valley. From there you climb up to the lake in about 1.5 hours. On the way up you can watch cows and sheep. Special tip: Pack your picnic basket (and swimwear), take a couple of breaks and just let your mind wander. If you want to climb even higher, continue to Brunnenkogelhaus which towers mightily on a steep ridge (ascent: approx. 1 more hour).
Ambitious mountain sports lovers can choose an alternative but also more strenuous option: The public bus line takes you up to Timmelsjoch Pass at 7.00 am in the morning. From there, the hike takes around 3.5 hours along the Alpine ridge, comprising a steep detour to lake Wannenkarsee. The route is very demanding and partially exposed, therefore this tour is only suitable for very experienced mountaineers.
Four lakes in one go - is that possible? The best way to start this hike is to take a comfortable hut taxi transfer to Stabele Alm at 2000 meters above sea level (you can save the effort as the climb is really steep). Once there, you continue your hike from one lake to the next by discovering the beauty of the mountain lakes sparkling in different colors - such as Plattachsee, Weißsee, Spitzigsee and Hauersee. The hiking tour takes approx. 5 hours, including breaks at the lakes.
A culinary stop at quaint Stabele Alm is an absolute must for every hiker! A true insider tip among the locals: Enjoy a mouth-watering breakfast in the morning.
A good amount of stamina and endurance are required to reach Erlanger Hütte run by the German Alpine Club and the adjacent mountain lake, because the ascent along the cart trail is fairly long. But it is worth the effort as soon as you enjoy the hut's hearty home cooking which is best enjoyed on the sunny terrace. Just like the adjacent lake which invites you to put your sore feet in the cold water. The ascent takes approx. 5 hours.
The hike to the lake area high above Gurgl can be started from several points. Option 1: Start in Untergurgl at the parking area of Hochgurgl mountain gondola. Access the route at the bridge over the Ache river in Pirchhütt. At the beginning the trail is fairly steep (but very beautiful) until you reach the meadow-covered elevation. From there the almost flat route travels past Gurgl's Seenplatte Lake Area until you get to the hamlet of Obergurgl. The entire hike takes about 5 hours.
Alternatively, you can start the hike in Obergurgl. From the village center you walk towards the lower valley and the scenic Lake Area, past beautiful Alpine meadows and mountain slopes, to Nedersee mountain lake. On your way down, a stop at Lenzenalm is strongly recommended because you shouldn't miss the home-made cake prepared by Nina, the hut tenant. The descent then continues to the bus stop where you can take the public bus back to Obergurgl. Also for this variant about 5 walking hours are required.
Scenic lake Piburger See, one of Tirol's warmest natural bathing lakes with temperatures up to 26 degrees, not only invites you to swim but also makes a fabulous starting point and destination for leisurely hikes through the area's enchanted forests. Under the motto "The 9 Treasures of Lake Piburger See" you can explore 9 impressive viewing platforms and mythical places of strength you should not miss out on in close vicinity to the natural jewel. For example, scenic Weller Bridge which leads over the roaring water masses of the Ötztaler Ache.
Climb the walls: Rock climbing & Via ferrata
In Ötztal you won't bite on granite, you better cling to it. The valley is considered one of the granite climbing areas par excellence in Tirol. In 19 climbing gardens you can live out vertical dreams on around 750 routes. 8 via ferratas and an abundance of multi-pitch tours make you fit for the rocks. Last but not least, the certified and local climbing and mountain guide professionals will take care of you on the way to the top.