Multi day hikes for beginners & alpinists in the Ötztal valley
© Ötztal Tourismus | Fotograf: Matthias Burtscher
The Ötztal valley — only the name makes the heart of mountain hikers beat faster. The wide valley, framed by enormous, glaciated mountains, lined by magnificent alpine meadows and rustic forests, flowed through by countless streams and rivers, is an Eldorado for all hikers. Whether long-distance hiking trail or leisurely family tour — our selection has something for everyone.
For this collection, we have selected the two most famous long-distance hiking trails for you: The Ötzaler Urweg and the high alpine Ötztal Trek. The mid-difficulty Ötztal Urweg leads you through the picturesque nature of the Ötztal valley and to the most beautiful villages and towns. You should plan around twelve days for the entire hike — but thanks to the good bus connections, you can only choose your personal favorite section as well.
Especially practical: on your long-distance hike on the Ötztal Urweg you don't have to miss out on service and comfort. Plan and book your adventure via the information and booking center. There you will receive extensive advice from experienced staff, allowing you to tailor your trip to your individual wishes. With the shuttle service and luggage transport, you don't have to worry about the logistics of your hike — just drop your suitcase off at the host in the morning and take it back in the evening in your new accommodation. You can reach the online chat and the trail hotline (+43 4782 – 93093) daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Ötztal Trek, on the other hand, is a dream hike for experienced alpinists. Narrow alpine paths, numerous glacier crossings, summit ascents and rustic hut nights lure you to the 3,000 meter peaks of the Ötztal Alps. The Ötztal Trek has a total of 22 daily stages — for a better overview we have put together six partial routes that can also be perfectly planned as independent hikes. Thanks to the good hut infrastructure and various descent routes, you can also shorten the individual stages.
If you're not in the mood for alpine top performances, the Wasserläufer hiking trails are just right for you. These are family-friendly day hikes that take you to the most beautiful waters in the Ötztal valley: Whether Stuibenfall, Lake Piburg or the Rotmoosache, the Ötztal valley shows its most beautiful side here.
Now all you have to do is choose the right tour and your hiking experience in the Ötztal can begin.
Varied landscape, impressive mountain worlds and gentle alpine pastures: in all its diversity, the Ötztal invites you to discover its culture, its culinary art and, above all, the unique nature. On the twelve-day Ötztal Urweg all three priorities will be linked. You wander from village to village and again and again you meet the Ötztaler Ache, which so decisively shaped the Ötztal. For a better overview, we have divided the trail into four sub-routes to three daily stages. Since all stages are also easy to reach by bus, you can also undertake only a single section of the great multi-day hike.The first part route starts at the Ötztal-Bahnhof, which is approached directly from Innsbruck. From here, the excellently signposted hiking trail meanders along the banks of the Ötztaler Ache into the valley. The first stage is still pleasantly flat and so you can immigrate in peace and at the same time enjoy again and again beautiful views of the vast Ötztal. On the second day it gets a bit steeper and you walk past the Stuibenfall - the largest waterfall in Tyrol - and up to the contemplative hiking village Niederthai. Now you are in shape and ready for the third stage. This leads you on forest paths over a mountain saddle, down again to the shore of the Ötztaler Ache and finally up the rushing Fischbach uphill to the hiking village Gries.Stage 1: From Ötztal-Bahnhof to Oetz
3.5 hours - 10.3 kilometersStage 2: From Oetz to the hiking village Niederthai
6.5 hours - 17.2 kilometersStage 3: From Niederthai to the hiking village Gries
5.5 hours - 15.8 kilometers
While the other sub-routes of the Ötztal Urwegs run mainly in middle locations, the second part route takes you up to the exciting high mountain landscape of the Ötztal Alps. It is initially only very comfortable.Stage number four takes you from the hiking village of Gries without major differences in altitude and with great views to the famous winter sports resort Sölden. The next day you walk - slightly uphill - very close to the course of the Ötztaler Ache. Just before you reach the finish line Obergurgl, you collect again some altitude. The last stage of the partial route then finally becomes a real mountain tour: on promising climbs you climb the 3,189 meter high Ramoljoch and thus also the highest point of the entire Urwegs. The view of the surrounding glacier world is breathtaking. Afterwards, the rest of the stage will take you downhill to the mountaineering village of Vent.Stage 4: From Gries to Sölden
7 hours - 20.6 kilometersStage 5: From Sölden to Obergurgl
5 hours - 14.5 kilometersStage 6: From Obergurgl to the mountaineering village Vent
6.5 hours - 15 kilometers
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Not quite as high, but still promising, the third section of the Ötztal Urwegs begins. All three stages run high above the Ötztaler Ache, offering breathtaking panoramic views in many places.Let's start in the mountaineering village of Vent. To do this, you first climb up the exciting Ötztal mountain trail and hike along the impressive Tiefenbachferner. From the glacier, the path leads you to spend the night in the valley to Zwieselstein. The next day it goes straight back up and you walk just above the tree line through impressive mountain landscapes and look down into the valley on Sölden. The destination of the stage is the small village of Granstein. On the ninth stage there are more meters in the descent on the program and you can hike downhill on beautiful forest paths downhill to the tranquil Längenfeld.Stage 7: From Vent to Zwieselstein
7.5 hours - 19.5 kilometersStage 8: From Zwieselstein to Granstein
6 hours - 17.6 kilometersStage 9: From Granstein to Längenfeld
5.5 hours - 14 kilometers
On the fourth - and thus the last - partial route, your hike on the Ötztal Urweg trail slowly fades away. With sparkling mountain lakes and beautiful vantage points, you will of course also be spoiled on this section.From Längenfeld, the starting point of the partial route, you first wander across wide meadows in the middle of the valley. From here, a short detour to the beautiful Lehner waterfall is worthwhile, before you climb through a forest to Wurzbergalm. Walking downhill, you finally reach your stage destination Umhausen. The eleventh stage leads mainly downhill to the stage destination Sautens - only interrupted by a small climb to the picturesque Piburger lake. On the last stage you walk on beautiful forest trails to the banks of the Inn. You follow its course and after a small round through the quiet forest Haiminger Forchet you reach the starting point of your hike at the Ötztal-Bahnhof.Stage 10: From Längenfeld to Umhausen
5 hours - 14.5 kilometersStage 11: From Umhausen to Sautens
6 hours - 17.1 kilometersStage 12: From Sautens to the Ötztal train station
5 hours - 19.1 kilometers
In six sub-routes and a total of 22 daily stages, you can experience the impressive mountains of the Ötztal Alps on the high-alpine Ötztal Trek. In total, over a distance of around 400 kilometers, you can expect more than 30,000 vertical meters in ascent. You should have enough experience in altitude mountaineering and have complete equipment for several glacier crossings. Almost all routes are classified as 'Black Mountain Trail' and thus as a difficult mountain hike. If you bring the necessary requirements with you, then the Ötztal Trek is an unforgettable experience.Getting started is pretty easy. On the first three daily stages, it goes from the Ötztal train station at the valley entrance slowly east over rustic mountain trails and along mountain lakes up. Only on day four and five are your first glacier crossings on: it goes over the eternal ice of Bachfallenferner, Wädenkarferner and Sulztalferner.Stage 1: Via lonely paths from Ötztal-Bahnhof to Dortmunder Hütte
6.5 hours - 17 kilometersStage 2: Along the Finstertal Reservoir to the Schweinfurt hut
4 hours - 10 kilometersStage 3: Through the Zwieselbachtal to the Winnebachseehütte
4.5 hours - 10 kilometersStage 4: Over the Bachfallenferner to the Amberger hut
5 hours - 10 kilometersStage 5: Across the Rift Valley to Hochstubaihütte
4.5 hours - 8 kilometers
The stages of six to nine lead through picturesque high mountains and along huge glaciers, but still enough here your normal mountain hiking equipment. Therefore, this sub-route is also a true classic among mountain hikers. On old smugglers' paths you will cycle through the rocky landscape, over the Windachscharte to South Tyrol and through the impressive Timmelsjoch back to the Ötztal.This stage is also suitable for ambitious hikers without experience in high altitude mountaineering - only the stages 6 and 9 are classified as black mountain trails - and there are no glacier crossings or trackless passages.After completing the ninth stage, you will descend to the Fiegl's hut in Windachtal in about 2 hours and then take the bus to Sölden and then continue to the starting point of the tenth stage in Obergurgl.Stage 6: Safe over the Windachferner to the Hildesheimer hut
6 hours - 8 kilometersStage 7: Ascent to the Gamsplatzl and on to the Siegerlandhütte
3.5 hours - 5 kilometersStage 8: Via the Windachscharte to the Gasthaus Hochfirst in South Tyrol
4 hours - 5 kilometersStage 9: Over the Timmelsjoch to the Brunnenkogelhaus
7 hours - 9.5 kilometers
The third section of the Ötztal Trek takes you up to the highest peaks of the Ötztal Alps. All three stages are real mountain adventures, but here too, the only glacier crossing can be done without crampons and ice picks. The Gurgler Ferner has meanwhile declined sharply and so you can walk through the tours with almost no ice contact. Despite all this, this section is a hiking trail for high-season mountain hikers due to long stretches and challenging ascents.Stage 10: From Obergurgl to the Ramolhaus
7 hours - 16 kilometersStage 11: Over the rocky Ramoljoch to Martin Busch Hut
6 hours - 11.5 kilometersStage 12: Through glacier valleys to the Similaun hut
2 hours - 4.5 kilometers
On the fourth part of the route you can expect the most exciting, but also most demanding glacier tours of the entire Ötztal Trek. On almost all tours is a crossing of the column-rich Ötztal glacier and the highlight is certainly the night in the Brandenburg House. In inhospitable heights stands the stone house in the midst of a breathtaking glacier landscape. From here it goes on the Fluchtkogel, with almost 3,500 meters altitude, a unique view awaits you at the top of the summit.With glaciers and icy peaks, this section is only for experienced mountaineers or accompanied by a mountain guide.Stage 13: On Ötzi's tracks to the Hochjoch hospice
5 hours - 7.5 kilometersStage 14: Through the Kesselwandferner to the Brandenburg House
3.5 hours - 5.5 kilometersStage 15: Ascent to the Fluchtkogel and on to the Vernagthütte
4.5 hours - 5.5 kilometersStage 16: High above the Rofental to the Breslauer Hütte
2 hours - 7 kilometersStage 17: On the Rettenbachferner to the Brunswick hut
7.5 hours - 15 kilometers
Teilroute Fünf takes you to the Geigenkamm, the northernmost part of the Ötztal Alps. Here are only a few glaciers, but this is the least hikers on the way. In the natural mountain landscape you can enjoy the tranquility of the mountains. For experienced mountain hikers, this section is a particularly fantastic high altitude tour.Stage 18: Three three-thousanders and over glacier fields to Rüsselsheimer hut
10 hours - 9 kilometersStage 19: Ascent to the Luibisscharte and descent to the lonely Hauerseehütte
7 hours - 10.5 kilometersStage 20: Over Felderjöchl to Frischmannhütte
4 hours - 7.5 kilometers
On the sixth part route, it goes back from the violin comb back to civilization. But before that, you will still be wandering your last few kilometers on quiet and lonely mountain paths and spending the night at the romantic Erlanger Hütte. The last stage is divided by most hikers again, otherwise you would have to master about 2,350 feet descent in one day. Along the path of the last stage, you will pass the Forchheimer bivouac box and the Maisalm, where you can spend the night.Stage 21 continues as a black mountain trail over high alpine crags, while on stage 22 you walk over footpaths and finally over paved driveways to your destination. However, the last stage is not to be underestimated due to the length of the route and the altitude to be lowered.Stage 21: Over the Fundusfeiler to the Erlanger hut
6 hours - 10 kilometersStage 22: From the Geigenkamm to the Ötztal train station
9 hours - 19 kilometers
The highlight of this water walk is the Stuibenfall, the largest waterfall in Tyrol. On quiet forest trails you climb from Umhausen uphill towards the waterfall. The Stuibenfall itself you come on a metal staircase very close - the fine spray on the face is guaranteed. Your hiking tour is rounded off with two rest stops: Either you rest in the Waldcafe Stuböbele or in the Gasthof Stuibenfall.Our tip: After your hike, there are two attractions for the whole family in Umhausen. On hot days you refresh yourself in the Umhausen bathing lake and lie comfortably on the beach. History buffs, on the other hand, embark on a journey back in time to the Stone Age in the Ötzi village and observe proud birds at the birds of prey show.The starting point of the tour is the paid hiking parking lot next to the swimming lake Umhausen - definitely the parking ticket, because there is a discount on the entrance to the lake. From the parking lot it goes straight into the forest. Until the forest café, the path is still flat, but then it goes briskly uphill to Stuibenfall. From the individual levels of the metal staircase you can enjoy the view of the water masses and the wide Ötztal. From the waterfall it is only a few steps to the Gasthof Stuibenfall.Back you wander first across meadows and then on beautiful, gently sloping forest trails. Shortly before the bathing lake you come again past the forest café - perhaps still a piece of cake? Only about 30 minutes walk and you reach the starting point of your hike again.
A family hike through high alpine landscapes - this is exactly what the Rotmoostal waterfall trail promises. Even if pushchairs are out of place up here, the hike, which is classified as "moderately difficult", can be easily created for sporty children. On this hike up to the water of the Rotmoosferner on the trail: The glacier drains namely in the wild and romantic Rotmoostal, where the meltwater snakes as Red Mossache through the valley. The innkeepers in the Hohe Mut-Alm and the Schönwieshütte also provide for their well-being on this hike.At the beginning, you first hover comfortably from Obergurgl with the Hohe-Mut-Bahn on the summit of the same name and you save as many meters in the ascent. Here you are at the proud height of 2,670 meters - and thus at the highest point of the hike. That is, from now on it is almost exclusively downhill. With a wonderful view of the peaks of the Ötztal Alps, you hike on a marked mountain hiking trail to the Rotmoosferner. The path leads below the glacier, but the view of the eternal ice and the frosty wind are very impressive.At this point, the trail turns north and you follow the Rotmoosache through the picturesque valley to the state-of-the-art Schönwieshütte - if you like, you can also take a quick detour to the summit of the Schönwieskopf. From the hut the waterway path leads you finally through the Obergurgl pine forest back to Obergurgl.
Two bodies of water accompany you on this watercourse hike. On the one hand you are looking at the calm waters of the Piburger lake, where the huge peaks of the Ötztal Alps are reflected. On the other hand, you will get to know the roaring Ötztaler Ache, which flows foaming and bubbling in the direction of the valley. And because a hike also includes a hearty retreat, two inns await you on the shores of the lake: the Seehäusl and the Restaurant Piburger See.Your hike on the watercourse path starts in the center of Oetz. First you hike upstream along the Ötztaler Ache. The path climbs gently and leads you to the Wellerbrücke. At this point, the Ötztaler Ache rushes between rocky walls and over huge stone blocks to the valley - an impressive view. On the other bank you leave the river and ascend in some turns to the Piburger lake. Arrived at the shore, the two guesthouses are already enticing.From the shore but it goes first uphill to Seejöchl. The viewpoint offers you the most beautiful view of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The path then leads you downhill again to the shore of Lake Piburg. You circle the lake and get out again at the inns - now you've earned your break well. Strengthened, you finally hike down forest trails to Oetz.
This watercourse trail has everything that makes for a perfect family hike in the mountains: a bubbling mountain stream, a retreat on a quaint alpine pasture, a petting zoo and a swinging suspension bridge with fantastic views. In addition, there is a manageable route and good hiking trails - the hike can start with the whole family.Let's go in the center of Längenfeld. From here you can stroll to the Fischbach and along its shore. Soon you cross the rushing brook on a bridge and follow the wide, hardly traveled access road to Brandalm. In some bends you walk uphill through the dense forest. Soon you are standing on the expansive alpine meadows and enjoying a magnificent view of the wide landscape of the Ötztal. A stop on the cozy Brandalm course is mandatory. While the parents enjoy their coffee and their apple strudel, the children can stroke goats, sheep and rabbits or romp about in the playground.Strengthened and refreshed, we continue to the suspension bridge. From the bridge you have a fantastic view of the valley. After crossing the impressive bridge, the hiking trail meanders through the forest back to Längenfeld.
This waterway path leads you from Sölden to the Windache valley. At this point, a Waalweg was modeled. These are narrow, wooden canals on which the valley dwellers once directed the water into the valley. The Waalwege in Windachental are equipped with all sorts of barriers, basins and water wheels - a great experience for children. There are also beautiful viewpoints with great views of the mountains of the Ötztal.Your hike starts right in front of the tourist office in Sölden. From here you walk a bit through the city until the trail branches off. Along meadows and farms along the path leads you into the forest and on into Windachental. It goes briskly uphill and soon you will enjoy a magnificent view of the Ötztal.Above the Windache, it is now pretty flat. Soon the waterway path branches off to the right and leads you directly to the Waalweg. Plan a little time here, so that your children can let off steam. On beautiful forest trails, you finally hike downhill again. On the banks of the Ötztaler Ache, you then stroll comfortably back to Sölden.
At the far end of the Venter Valley, a side valley of the Ötztal, this waterfall hike begins. It takes you from the contemplative mountaineering village of Vent to the scenic summit of the Mutsbühel - easy to reach and yet breathtaking views. On the way, you walk over lonely mountain meadows and through dense forest back to the starting point.Starting point of your hike is the center of the mountaineering village Vent. From here it is only a few steps to the start of the trail. The path leads you first across meadows and then through rustic forests uphill. After a few bends, you will reach the 2,361 meter high Mutsbühel. From the meadow-covered summit you have a picturesque view of the wild and romantic Venter valley and the mountain giants of the Ötztal Alps.Without noteworthy height differences, you hike in the direction of the south over open mountain meadows. Slowly it goes downhill and finally on rustic forest trails back to Vent. Here you will find at the end of the hike also some inns for a cozy stop.