2 tips for hiking in Oberlech

Advertisement – At the end of October I went hiking with Raban in Oberlech am Arlberg in Austria for a few days . Where there is already snow and the ski season is just beginning, I went on two great hikes in glorious late autumn weather.

Hiking in Oberlech am Arlberg – an overview Oberlech is at an altitude of 1.750 meters above Lech and thus belongs to the Lech Zürs am Arlberg holiday region. Where the rich and beautiful ski in winter, in the other seasons there is a wonderful mountain world with around 350 kilometers of marked hiking trails.

There are tours for every taste – from Rather easy hikes in valleys, moderately difficult mountain hikes that require a good level of fitness and sure-footedness, through to alpine tours that require sure-footedness and a head for heights throughout.

My 2 tips for hiking in Oberlech both start at the Hotel Goldener Berg

Due to my limited time, I was unfortunately only able to do two hikes, the ones directly at the Hotel Goldener Berg, where I stayed have, start.

Tip #1 – Hike to Körbersee At the recommendation of the hotel I booked on my first day with Raban on the way to the Körbersee, the 2017 was voted the most beautiful place in Austria.

In sunshine and a slightly cloudy sky I set off. First it’s uphill, past hotels getting ready for the upcoming winter season and cows enjoying the last fresh blades of grass in the pasture. Raban actually knows cows, but somehow he doesn’t feel comfortable with them. Anyway, he’s extremely tense.

Art and History Shortly thereafter we reach the first highlight of the tour – the light art work Skyspace-Lech (and why I’m talking about it now I didn’t take a decent photo, unfortunately I don’t know either 🙄).

The Skyspace-Lech is the first highlight on my hike to the Körbersee

This is a so-called “light room on the mountain”. It was created by the American artist James Turrell, who is known for his light-space installations and is one of the most important contemporary artists. Skyspace-Lech is also about “the sensual and spiritual perception of light”.

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The Skyspace-Lech is open all year round. There are public tours that last around 1 hour and take place at sunset. But not only the light installation is impressive. The panoramic view of the mountains and of Oberlech is also spectacular.

Then we continue – this time downhill into a funnel-shaped gorge. If the path is wide at the beginning, it gets narrower the further down you go. A small waterfall rushes down in front of us. It goes down steeply to the left. Raban is excited – he sniffs here and holds his nose in the air there. Apparently there is a lot of wildlife around here. I’m a bit uneasy because I’m afraid that Raban could slide down the embankment on the left if he takes a wrong step.

But we get down safely and are now going for a walk over a wooden bridge. Now we’re on the other side of the gorge and it’s up a narrow and rocky path. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any photos. With the restless Raban on the leash it didn’t really go that well. It’s a shame, because that was a very special atmosphere in the gorge.

Nobody can deny a break in honor …

Arrived at the top, we are on the Gaisbühelalpe, where the cows are out and about in summer and the mountain meadows are in bloom. Here we take a short break and I enjoy another fantastic view over the Arlberg mountains.

In addition, I am walking on historical ground here, namely on the tracks of the Walser who once immigrated from the Swiss canton of Valais. In addition, the Tannberg region connected the three settlements of Lech, Warth and Schröcken.

Cosy over the Auenfeldalpe to Körbersee For Raban and I we continue on the stony path up to the Auenfeldsattel. As I read later, we also walk past chive fields, which of course have long since disappeared shortly before the start of the winter season.

Many mountain bikers also meet us in this area. It was nice in all encounters that we showed each other consideration. The sporty cyclists not only slowed down, but often simply waited until we were past. I don’t experience that very often at home (not to say: not at all… 😉…).

From the Auenfeldsattel it goes down to the Untere Auenfeldalpe

From the Auenfeldsattel, the route leads left comfortably downhill to the Untere Auenfeldalpe. The path in this area is wide and very easy to hike. A brook babbles a short distance away. Raban and I are alone in a long way.

Since my boy is relatively relaxed now, I dare to take him off the leash for a few moments. He likes that very much. After doing a few speed laps, he comes back and stays with me.

The hiking trail leads through the pretty Auenfeld. Everything is still in the late autumn sleep. But the preparations for the upcoming ski season can be seen everywhere with the huge snow cannons.

We follow the stream out of the valley. It’s going really well, I daydream and happily walk on. The wide path now leads downhill. I neither look at my hiking app nor at the map. And at some point I wonder, because in terms of kilometers I should have long since arrived at Körbersee 🙄.

Tscha, I looked at the Batzenalpe and realized that I had the turnoff missed going to the lake. Such a crap. Now it was time to hike back up the path that was so wonderful to walk down. I admit that I didn’t enjoy it … but Raban did.

Hiking in Oberlech can also be very adventurous. Not only if you miss a turn, but also if the path up is very narrow and drops down quite steeply on one side. And just such a path leads to the Körbersee. My Raban has meanwhile adapted to me (or he’s just a bit tired), doesn’t pull and is traveling at my speed.

Then we’re at the end of the road arrived and in front of us there is a great view of the Körbersee.

Beautiful view of the Körbersee

At this point, Raban and I will have a proper lunch break. He gets some food and of course a lot to drink. I let the sun shine on my nose with a muesli bar and just enjoy the moment.

The lake is at an altitude of 1.650 meters, has an area of ​​about three hectares and should have very good drinking water quality. Of course we went down after our break and Raban was able to convince himself of the water quality.

There is also the Berghotel Körbersee on the lake. Unfortunately it was closed at the end of October. The summer season there goes until October 3rd and the winter season starts on 14. December to.

Return with increasing cloudiness After this really After a nice break at the magical Körbersee, Raban and I started our way back. Without further detours we are back through the Auenfeld. Raban was allowed to run free again on the flat plain and refreshed himself extensively in the stream.

While there was still bright sunshine on the way there, the sky was now quite cloudy and lengthened more and more.

Hiking in Oberlech makes you thirsty…

Apparently the water in the Auenfeld tasted particularly good, because Raban took another mouthful out of the bathtub , which he had ignored in the morning.

I was very happy about the many benches that were regularly spaced to the right and left of the hiking route, because I admit that I was already a bit exhausted. A five-minute rest on a bench was always good for me.

Many wooden benches invite you to linger – here with a view over the Auenfeld

At some point we had arrived at the point where we went down into the gorge with the waterfall. From this position I was able to take a photo of Skyspace Lech after all… 😉 … at least from a distance.

View of Skyspace Lech in the distance

About half an hour later Raban and I were back at the hotel.

Route information The hike to the Körbersee is as moderately difficult mountain hike. With the detour via the Batzenalpe, the route was almost t 15 Kilometer long. If you are interested, you can download or view it from Komoot. There are a few challenging section e – at least for me – on the hike (e.g. the gorge behind the Skyspace Lech or the short path from Auenfeld up to the Körbersee). Not necessarily because they were difficult to hike, but because it was always steep downhill on one side and I felt a bit queasy even though I’m not afraid of heights. Although I didn’t see it – there is a lot of game in the region (this was also confirmed to me by the hotel) and Raban was very, very exhausting at times. Special attention should therefore be paid to dogs that love to hunt. Tip #2 – Educational trail through the nature reserve gypsum holes For hiking in Oberlech, a trip to the Gipslöcher nature reserve is a must, which leads almost directly to the door of the Hotel Goldener Berg.

My hiking in Oberlech always starts at Hotel Goldener Berg

When the weather is dry, the temperatures are pleasant and the sky is very cloudy, I set off for the gypsum holes nature reserve. First I march back to Skyspace Lech. But in contrast to yesterday, it doesn’t go down to the right now, but up to the left, where the gypsum holes nature trail starts shortly afterwards.

Slightly above the Skyspace Lech there is a nature trail in the gypsum holes

1.000 Sinkholes and many information boards The nature reserve consists of more than 1.00 Sinkholes – that’s how they become called sinkholes or karst funnels, which give the area its special appearance – and are considered a geological feature.

The nature trail is well signposted and many information boards provide information about the gypsum holes, the largest of which has a diameter of almost 100 meters and a depth of about 15 meters.

In the summer 20 different types of orchids bloom. Of course, Raban and I don’t see any more of that at the end of October. But that doesn’t matter. The cloudy, gray sky somehow gives the whole mountain scenery a mystical atmosphere and we shimmy over the narrow paths through the area of ​​the “lower gypsum holes”.

Raban is again reasonably excited. He probably smells the marmots that have built their caves in the soft gypsum rock and are already hibernating there. He would have loved to run down into one of the holes to check it out… 😎.

While hiking in Oberlech, Raban was more interested in wildlife than in the breathtaking mountain world

Again and again there are great views over Oberlech, Lech and the mountains behind. I almost can’t get enough of it. As on the way to Körbersee, there are plenty of benches here that invite you to linger and enjoy the landscape. Very beautiful.

Ski area waiting

With a bit of climbing you can get out of the plaster holes

We overcome one last mountainous obstacle and shortly afterwards we are on a wide path that leads us to the Schönenberg ski lifts. At the end of October there is a ghostly silence here. There are snow cannons everywhere, waiting for winter to finally start.

The snow cannons are waiting to be used

For us it’s now downhill back to Oberlech. The route is not too long, but has it all. The gradient at the steepest point is 14 percent and that really gets on my knees. I wish I had packed my hiking poles, then it would all have been a little less painless and hassle-free.

Route information The hike through the nature reserve gypsum holes is designated as a moderately difficult mountain hike. Raban and I did a circular hike with a length of just over 4 kilometers. This can be downloaded from Komoot. This hike is supposed to be the most beautiful in July and August, because then the orchids bloom, from the 20 different ways are 10 can be found directly on the hiking trail. Other Information As mentioned earlier, there are throughout the region Lech Zürs many good signposted hiking trails. If you come in winter, you don’t just have to go skiing… 😉 …, you can go around 40 Kilometers of groomed winter hiking trails enjoying the snow. I was welcomed by the very dog-friendly Hotel Goldener Berg for two nights to experience the “Mountain Summer” and to go hiking in Oberlech. Thanks a lot for this. By the way: If you come to Oberlech to ski, you can take your dog with you without any problems – in the Hotel Goldener Berg dog care can be booked for a fee.

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