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Winter hiking Austria

The nicest sideline in Ötztal

Cleared, marked hiking trails as far as the thermal boots can carry you: more than 80 varied winter hiking routes make Tirol’s ski destination Ötztal also a dorado for those who love walking on snow. A total of 250 kilometers between Haiming and Gurgl or Vent are at your feet. That corresponds to the distance from Hamburg to Berlin. But of course, you prefer to hike and explore Austria's most beautiful winter hiking trails spread all over Ötztal!

A pleasant side effect: snow and silence

No matter if snow flurries, sunshine or something in between, exploring the outdoors is always worthwhile in Ötztal. Simply choose a hiking route based on your preferences and fitness. Families with children, for example, appreciate the loops on the valley floor along the banks of Ötztaler Ache or the gently meandering forest paths around frozen lake Piburger See. More ambitious hikers will set their sights on one of the countless serviced mountain huts and alpine pasture inns or get to know Ötztal’s quiet side away from toboggan runs and ski areas. A clear advantage of higher-lying routes is revealed on foggy days: the blue sky is actually often waiting at the top. Now I'm really walking on sunshine, oh yeah ...

Winter hiking trails in Ötztal

Winter hiking Austria
Winter hiking Austria

Little equipment, heaps of fun

In contrast to the equipment battle on the ski slope, winter hiking is wonderfully easy. The few things you need for a hike in sub-zero temperatures and on snowy paths are: sturdy, warm, waterproof boots, winter clothing according to the onion principle, plus cap, gloves and scarf. A rucksack with a hot drink and a small snack is also necessary - especially if you hike to remote destinations like Brunnenberg near Sölden. In icy conditions boot spikes will do a good job. These mini crampons fit over almost any winter boot and make your steps safer on steep and slippery passages.

Winter hiking in Ötztal

Into the wild: the snowshoe version

For the even more adventurous, Ötztal has to offer a kind of enhanced winter hiking. On snowshoes you head off into the backcountry, through avalanche-proof wooded terrain and above the tree line. Beginners can best be introduced to the fascination of snowshoeing by an expert guide. The local ski schools provide both manpower and equipment and know the really, really beautiful tours to the Ötztal Nature Park, that will most likely make you an ardent snowshoeing enthusiast.

Go to snowshoe hiking


If you want to explore nature on your own, Ötztal’s sports shops provide rental or purchase options. Good knowledge of the terrain and a strong sense of direction are, however, the be-all and end-all. Believe us: it is not uncommon for snowshoe hikers to end up in a completely different location than planned and the way back to the car can be surprisingly long. A truly unforgettable experience is a guided moonlight tour through the wintry landscape near Ochsengarten, glittering like a fairytale in the light of your headlamp.

Winter hiking Austria