On hot summer days you usually have to get up early to avoid hiking in the hot midday sun. But for all you late-risers, I’ve got the perfect summer walk: a short hike to the Stuibenfall waterfall.
At 159-metres tall, the Stuibenfall is Tirol’s biggest waterfall and is a great place to hike to on hot days. Located in Obergurgl (Ötztal Valley), it’s less than an hour away by car from Innsbruck and there’s plenty of parking available.
Passing Ötzi ancient village (worth stopping-off for), a broad footpath leads to your first viewpoint, before a narrow path guides you up to the Stuibenfall. The trail leads through the forest which, depending on the time of day, can be pleasantly shady. The waterfall, however, can always be relied upon to be cool and refreshing – you can feel wafts of air and droplets of water as it plunges. To get as close to the falls as possible, stand on one of the viewing platforms.
On arriving at the top, the views of the surrounding mountains and the river below are astounding. This leisurely uphill hike, including stops at the viewing platforms, takes around an hour and a half in total. Just five minutes’ walk away is a traditional Tirol inn, Gasthof Stuibenfall, which is a good place for a rest and a glass of homemade elderberry juice.
Ambitious climbers can scale the Stuibenfall’s via ferrata route and, if you’re still not cool enough after that, the lake at the bottom of the falls is ideal for swimming.