Warm colours and clear skies – autumn hiking in the Kitzbühel Alps
© Kitzbüheler Alpen | Matthäus Gartner
Autumn in the Kitzbühel Alps is colourful, beautiful and cooler than in summer – the perfect time for hiking. The leaves on the trees come alive in the most beautiful colours, the air is clearer and far-reaching views are guaranteed. The surrounding mountain peaks all seem close enough to touch. Both nature lovers and amateur photographers will be spellbound by the endless panoramas. Plus there’s another advantage – it’s much quieter on the mountains in autumn than summer.
With excellent infrastructure for hiking, the Brizental valley in the heart of the Kitzbühel Alps is well worth a visit. The combination of rustic alpine pastures, stunning panoramas, trickling streams, and wild nature makes the region the perfect getaway to unwind and recharge your batteries. A hiking holiday in the Brixental valley helps you to slow down and forget your daily routine for a while.
The region proves that autumn in particular is a wonderful time for a hike. From 3 to 11 October, the Brixental Autumn Hiking Week takes place with a varied programme including the ‘Kitzalphike’, a sunrise to sunset hike. Between hikes, you can enjoy a musical morning pint at various mountain huts.
To help you explore the nature outside of the events, we’ve put together the most beautiful hikes in the Brixental valley for you. Whether you want to enjoy alpine pasture, sail on the waters of Jochstubnsee lake at an altitude of 1,600 metres (5,250 feet), marvel at panoramic views of the Kaisergebirge mountains, or walk through the city in Brixen im Thale – the Brixental valley in the Kitzbühel Alps has so much to offer that a week's hiking holiday is almost not enough. Another reason to return!
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The certified “Brixner Gangl” hiking trail takes you on a seven-kilometer tour around the holiday resort of Brixen im Thale. Brixen im Thale is a small one
idyllic place in the middle of the Brixental valley. Although the place is quite tranquil, there is still a lot to discover - especially from above the city center.An arbor-like path leads over the higher-lying Schneckgasse, past ancient trees and meadows rich in flowers. A special highlight of this section is an ancient stone wall. These are stones and boulders that have detached from the existing rock and have been piled up in a pile. The view of the village from here is overwhelming.The next section of the approximately two and a half hour long circular route leads to the district of Feuring, which lives mainly through its original, rural character and makes for a lot of impression. The path leads along the Brixentaler Ache through the town center, past the magnificent, double-towered church. It is considered to be the most beautiful, classical sacred building in Tyrol and is often affectionately referred to by the locals as "Bressanone Cathedral".The Brixner Gangl is actually an easy walk, but you still overcome around 260 meters in altitude. But that shouldn't deter you from going on a discovery tour through the beautiful town.
The Jochstubnsee is located high up in the mountains of the Brixental - more precisely between the towns of Brixen im Thale and Scheffau am Wilden Kaiser and thus in the middle of the SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser Brixental ski area. In summer the lake is a popular destination for hikers and mountain bikers. We'll introduce you to a popular hiking option from the mountain station of the Hochbrixen gondola lift. From here the
Circular hiking trail around the Zinsberg to the Jochstubnsee.With an altitude of over 1,600 meters and the unique view of the Wilder Kaiser, the lake is a popular photo opportunity for all nature lovers. But not only that: The Jochstubnsee is not only used for winter snowmaking on the surrounding ski slopes. In summer you can experience a very special highlight here: a sailing trip. Depending on the weather, the local Jochstubnsee captain offers sailing trips to take with you. The Jochstubnsee promises you the highest sailing adventure in the entire Tyrolean Alps - and that against this dreamy backdrop.Not far from the lake, the Jochstubn of the same name awaits you with the refreshment you deserve. Hüttenwirt Hans doesn't just have a casual saying on his lips. A schnapps from the house is also a must here.In total, you are on the road for a good three and a half hours on the circular route and cover around 450 meters in altitude on the approximately eight kilometers. The path is consistently classified as easy and promises fantastic panoramas of the Brixental mountain landscape. Nevertheless, a good basic level of fitness is recommended. You should also have enough water with you.
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The Kreuzjöchlsee between Westendorf and Kirchberg is a beautiful mountain lake where you can slow down and recharge your batteries. Originally there was no lake at this point. The natural looking, picturesque mountain lake is an artificial installation of the local mountain railway to have enough water for snowmaking. But that doesn't detract from its beauty.Nestled between the peaks of Gampenkogel, Fleiding and Brechhorn, the lake reveals impressive panoramas - depending on which direction you look from: Sometimes you see the Wilder Kaiser, then again the peaks of the Windau valley in the south of Westendorf. And the best thing about it: The landscape architects have put all their skills into this project to actually make the lake look as if it has been here for thousands of years. The Kreuzjöchlsee with its around 200,000 cubic meters of water is one of the most modern and largest artificial snow-making lakes in the Tyrolean mountains.Not far from the lake, on a small hill, is the Anna Chapel. It is a popular retreat for hikers who want to enjoy the panorama in peace. Some even say that a very special power emanates from this place. When it comes to recharging your batteries, another house nearby also plays an important role: the Brechhornhaus.Just like the Kreuzjöchlsee, the Brechhornhaus can only be reached on foot or by bike in summer. The route is worth it for culinary reasons alone. If you have a little more time with you, you can experience the very special evening atmosphere on the mountain with an overnight stay in the hut.The way back leads around the Fleiding - a mountain peak that has it all. The ascent is easy, but relatively steep. The all-round view of all the surrounding mountains makes up for all of your efforts. The circular route ends again at the mountain station of the Alpenrosenbahn Westendorf.
The round tour takes you far into the Windau Valley to the Rotwandalm. The way there begins in the rearmost Windau valley at the “Krumbach” car park. The parking lot is free, but the use of the road costs three euros per vehicle. Right at the beginning, the narrow path leads over a small bridge that spans the Windauer Ache. In the course, your path leads you past huge ferns, impressive anthills and through pine forests. Above the tree line, numerous small waterfalls and mountain streams line the hiking trail to the Rotwandalm.The Rotwandalm is home to cows, goats, sheep and pigs during the summer. It is managed by the dairymaid Carola. By the way, she also offers her self-produced products to passing hikers at her Almausschank - very spartan, rustic, but genuine. And that with a view that you probably won't experience a second time. Because from up here at an altitude of 1,600 meters, the entire Windau valley opens up before your eyes.After you have left the Alm, a new highlight is waiting for you. Right on the edge of the path, a small fountain marks the way in the right direction. The "Schreier Bründl" is known for its cold, clear water. It is said that the water in the fountain is so cold, even in midsummer, that people can only scream when they drink from it. Try it out yourself!Nearby, the path branches off towards paradise. The detour to the Filzenscharte is only a few hundred meters long. But this is particularly worthwhile. The natural moor landscape and the breathtaking view make the saddle a very popular destination. If you are looking for pure peace and nature, you should definitely plan a little time here to enjoy the beautiful landscape. The descent to the starting point then takes place via a narrow, moderately difficult hiking trail.
The round tour takes you on forest paths to a real insider tip in the Brixental in the Kitzbühel Alps: to the Käsealm "Straubing" in the Windau valley near Westendorf. Secluded on a small high plateau, it is surrounded by picturesque alpine pastures, meadows and forests and guarantees you peace and relaxation.Even when the alpine summer is almost over, you can still linger on the Käsealm. The tasty products of the dairymen and women such as cheese and ham will seduce you into a wonderful taste experience even in autumn. It couldn't be more pure and closer to nature!
The way to the Käsealm is possible in several ways: The short and easier route leads directly from the “Jägerhäusl” inn at the beginning of the Windau valley a little uphill through a forest and later to the open plateau on which the small, rustic Käsealm is enthroned.A much more attractive and exciting way to get to the destination is via the starting point “Lendwirt” and then back to the starting point on a circular route. While the first part of the path along the Windauer Ache is relatively flat (from the “Jägerhäusl” inn the two path variants overlap), the return path leads over the high plateau, through alpine pastures and forests back to Unterwindau.The easy circular route should be able to be mastered in around two and a half hours. The time for a delicious, typical alpine snack is not included in the walking time. Experience has shown that one or the other additional hour can be added here. Anyone looking for typical alpine flair is guaranteed to find it here!