I’m particularly fond of hiking in autumn, when the weather is more reliable and, in my opinion, the soft autumn sunlight brings out the best in the landscape. This leisurely hike with beautiful views leads from Jerzens, at the edge of the Pitztal valley on the Hochzeiger, and back into the valley via typical Tirol pastures and forest tracks.
Access to the start point is via Arzl and Leins. You’ll arrive at the base station in Jerzens where parking is free and you can hop on the lift to Hochzeiger for a small price – you’ll find exact costs listed at the station. After a short ride on the gondola you arrive at the middle station which gives spectacular views of Hochzeiger and, on the opposite side of the valley, Venetmassiv.
There are various routes to choose from, with plenty of opportunity for short-cuts along the way, so take some time to study the hiking map first. We walked in the direction of Kalbenalm hut (Route M on the map), which involved just a little uphill trekking before leading along forest tracks.
Behind the Kalbenalm, the path curves out of the valley. Hike along the border of the forest and take in the spectacular views before descending slowly into the forest. Here, the warm glow of the autumn sun creates a wonderfully atmospheric mood in the afternoons.
A highlight of this route is the view from the Leiner Alm hut at Imst – the halfway point of the hike. Reward yourself with a long break and enjoy the view from the terrace.
Shortly after Leiner Alm, walk to the left of the valley station, rather than following the forest path. Continue briefly uphill, taking a short rest on one of the scenic wooden benches if you need to, before entering a forest clearing which gives uninterrupted views of the small village which lies opposite. Approximately three to three and half hours after you started, you arrive back at the valley station in Jerzens.
If you’re feeling more ambitious, you can include a summit, such as Hochzeiger or Sechszeiger, in this hike. Here’s wishing you a beautiful autumn trek!