Usually, I explore the mountains in the environs of Innsbruck and in Tirol’s Unterland Region together with my boys. Thus I thought it’s time to head west and see what’s on offer for families in Upper Inntal Valley. On a rainy day in fall we ended up on the Fendels Summer Mountain, which makes for a rewarding destination.
We like autumn and we think that this is one of the best times to head out for the mountains. So we are quite relaxed as it starts raining during our gondola ride from Ried in Upper Inntal Valley to Fendels. We gear up in rainwear in the gondola cabin and are ready for the next uphill ride: From Fendels, we take the chair lift up to the top.
Up at the top terminal the kids rush towards the raft in the tiny pond. They are happy that they have the raft all to themselves. That’s one of the benefits of heading out on a rainy day ;-). While the boys are having fun aboard the raft, I download the Locandy APP to my mobile taking advantage of the mountain restaurant’s free WiFi network. What comes up next is a digital scavenger hunt.
There are three different adventures available to young explorers: “The Forgotten Tower” (2.5 kilometers long), “Walk of Science” (1.5 kilometers long) und “Flow of Thoughts” (3 kilometers long). All trails have a gentle grade and take about two hours to complete. Each interpretive trail is bustling with tasks to stimulate curious minds. The quizzes are rounded out by great stories and music.
I opt for “The Forgotten Tower” – but first I have to pick up my kids, who romp about the treehouse and have a great time at playing knights.
Right next to the treehouse is the first terminal of the scavenger hunt. In the meantime, a dense fog comes up and gives the Summer Mountain a very mythical atmosphere. That’s somehow too much for my big son who doesn’t want to embark on a thrilling scavenger hunt anymore. I think it’s a pity because I’m sure that would have loved it.
Instead, we take a walk along the Interpretive Animal Trail. It’s an easy walk with a gentle grade that takes us towards Fendler Alm Alpine Pasture Hut and teaches us about local wildlife and plant life – although we are quite experienced on this topic as we are regular visitors to the Alpine Zoo in Innsbruck. However, we didn’t know what happens to blue flowers when they fall into an anthill :-)
The undisputed highlight of the day comes at the end of our day out on the Summer Mountain: We ride mountain carts back down to Fendels. The course is some 4 kilometers long and the ride takes 10 to 20 minutes – this gravity-fuelled mountain carting adventure on three wheels is great fun for all of us!
The Bottom Line
The Fendels Summer Mountain is packed with fun for kids big and small: Sattelboden is trailhead for a variety of rewarding walks and hikes (including the scavenger hunts) and for mountain carting. Moreover, Sattelboden is home to an outstanding on-mountain play & adventure zone that makes for a great destination for kids and families, in summer and in autumn, too. Although some of the features require finer and warmer weather (such as the trampolines, the water channels and chutes where kids can build dams and the raft in the pond), this is a fun place to play for little ones. (What’s best, we parents can kick back and relax on the ample sunlit patio of the mountain restaurant with a great view of the kids romping about the playground.)
Good to Know
Minimum height restriction for single mountain cart drivers is 140cm; minimum age is 8. If your kids are shorter than 140cm and/or younger than 8, they can ride with you on a bigger cart!
Kaunertaler Gletscherbahnen | Bergstation Seilbahn Fendels | 6528 Fendels | +43.5472.616023 | www.kaunertaler-gletscher.at | Opening Dates & Times: Daily during the summer months; Thursdays and Sundays only from mid-September to late October. Operation hours: 09:00am – 4:45pm