There is a fantastic variety of walks in St Anton making it an excellent destination for a summer holiday. Many of the routes appeal to keen hikers but there are plenty suitable for more casual strollers, and easily enough to keep you entertained on a fortnight’s holiday. I’ve picked a few of my favourites for this blog: one easy, one intermediate and one challenging route.
Verwall Lake – Easy
For an easy walk, head west of the village, up to Verwall Lake. The free, local buses, which depart from the village every half hour, will take you to the lakeside. Walking around the lake is enjoyable and only takes around half an hour at a leisurely pace. A suspension bridge across the eastern part of the lake is a new addition this summer, and provides excellent views over the dam. For children, there is a play area on the northern shore, and there is a restaurant at the end of the lake, the Rasthaus Verwall offering delicious food and drinks for passers-by.
On your way back, you can use the bus or extend your walk. There are two walking routes back to the village. The Rosannaschluch is a slightly more challenging trail beside the river. Alternatively, there is a solid path all the way down into the village. This pleasant stroll takes you past the St Anton Museum, where guests enjoy free admission courtesy of the St Anton Summer Card. The museum is an excellent place to pause on your journey. It provides a detailed history of St Anton as both a ski resort and a farming village.
Alpenrosenweg – Intermediate
The Alpenrosenweg is a longer walk on the southern side of the village. Guests visiting St Anton receive one day’s free use of the lifts, and can use this day to go up the Rendl lift to the start of the trail. It is worth bearing in mind that the Rendl lift is only open on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
From the top of the lift, there is a well-marked trail heading east along the mountain. This route provides incredible views of the Stanzer valley, where St Anton is nestled. Follow this route all the way across to the Alpe Rendl mountain hut – an excellent place to stop for lunch.
After a lunch break or coffee stop, there are a number of ways down the mountain. You can either walk through the forest, which is shorter yet steeper route, or stick to the gravel track, which will bring you out in St Jakob, a neighbouring village of St Anton. This route takes between 4-5 hours at a good pace, and good fitness and a sturdy pair of hiking boots are required.
The Mountain Spirit Way – Challenging
For a challenging hike, I would recommend the Berggeistweg – or the Mountain Spirit Way. The trail starts in the small village of St Christoph, which you can easily reach using the number 92 bus from the St Anton bus terminal.
The trail heads west toward the Kaltenberghutte and begins with a sharp ascent. The climb is around 600-700 metres but eventually evens out (more or less) and once high above St Christoph, the route offers wonderful views of the Stanzer valley.
As you head further west, you pass a couple of the Stuben ski lifts, abandoned in summer. The area is home to a large number of marmots who love showing off to summer hikers. They will often proudly stand for a great photograph. The route eventually leads to the Kaltenberghutte, with stunning views straight down the Kloster valley. The hut is a perfect place to stop for a bite to eat, and does even offer basic accommodation for hikers to spend a night.
The return route completes a circular trail, heading down the Stuben side of the mountain with great views towards Zürs and back to the starting point in St Christoph.
These are just a select few highlights of the walking trails in St Anton. To experience the eclectic variety of St Anton’s walking routes you need to spend a good couple of weeks in the village. I thoroughly recommend heading to St Anton to go walking on your next summer holiday.