Holiday brochures have dubbed this tour the 'lazy walker's paradise'. And they just about hit the nail on the head. Along the whole route, there is virtually no change in altitude. This makes the route ideal for families with some trekking experience. The first challenge comes right at the start of the route: The Drischlsteig is very safe, but does require a steady footing and is not for those afraid of heights. The rest of the route features a mixture of marked pathways and wide roads on the descent to the halfway station. Along the route lie Muttekopfhütte (1.934m), Latschenhütte (1.623m) and Untermarkter Alm (1.491 m) – three perfect spots to take a break and enjoy the view.
Where the journey begins
The starting point is marked by the mountain station for the double chair lift on Alpjoch. At 2050 metres above sea level, the station offers spectacular views from East to West: from the Gurgltal, to Tschirgantmassiv, from Imst and the Inntal, to Ötztaler Bergriesen as well as the sheer slopes of Laggers, Mannkopf and Alpjoch. The best place to marvel at the natural scenery is from the SunOrama, just next to the cable car station. While soaking up the view, why not try out comfy wooden sun loungers?
Muttekopfhütte hut: The first station along the three-huts route can be reached within 30 minutes. Recommended: Take advantage of the stunning views the terrace has to offer. Foodie tip: For a real treat, order 'Die 3 Guaten', or Schlipfkrapen, a stuffed pasta dish typical to the region (for more information see 'trekking for foodies').
Latschenhütte hut: Landlady Mrs. Waltraud puts her heart into running this hut. Her motto: "Only the freshest, home made dishes." And the proof is in the authentic, natural flavour of her dishes. Tyrolean delicacies such as the sweet Hüttenschmarrn, a pancake based dish has become something of legend in the area.
Untermarkter Alm: At this point, this alpine foodie tour reaches its end, leaving you to reflect a moment on your adventure on the spacious sun terrace. The halfway station as well as the entrance to the Alpine Coaster are just opposite. Families with children and hikers with aching legs have the chance to take the swift route back to the valley on the roller coaster; a 3.5 km long journey that is sure to invigorate even the weariest of hikers.
Continue a little further up the slope and there's a whole world of sights to discover. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of Drichsteig:
- Get up close and touch the rugged surface of the rocks – but watch out! Some edges are as sharp as knives
- It may be hard to believe, but these rough, stony slopes are actually home to delicate moutain plants such as auricula or mountain cowslip and dryas peeking out from every crevice and crowning every peak you conquer
- After descending the slope by ladder, budding artists and writers can immortalise their words and images on the 'stone book', or attempt to decipher the contributions of other mountain adventurers.
...of the standard trek from the mountain station through the Drischlsteig, Muttekopfhütte, descending straight to the Latschenhütte and finally on to the Untermarkter Alm should take around two to three hours. Give yourself 4-6 hours to allow for the trip there and back and a few breaks along the way. The length of this trail is 7.5km. For something a little different, try the route over Plattigsteig and the Narrenkreuz, which should take around 30-45 minutes extra but watch out - this route is for confident climbers and not for anyone afraid of heights! The reward for your efforts is a breathtaking panoramic view over the Narren.