Walking the smugglers’ trails – Smugglers’ trails – European walking route E5:
Timmelsjoch – Gasthof Hochfirst – Rabenstein – Moos im PasseierThe Timmelsjoch is located on the border ridge between the north and south side of the Alps and acts as a meteorological divide. Linking the Stubaier Alps and the Ötztaler Alps, it serves as an ideal base for mountain climbing and hiking. Hikers can retrace the footsteps of the famous Ötztaler Kraxenträger (basket bearers) as they follow the ancient path over the Timmelsjoch. This trail is part of the European walking route E5 which stretches all the way from Lake Constance to the Adriatic Sea. This old mule track and smugglers’ trail takes about 3 hours to walk and leads from Zwieselstein through the Timmelstal valley up to the Joch (the gap in the mountain ridge). After passing the impressive stone structure of the old customs hut, you follow a broad trail to your left before continuing right down a steep track to the Passeier Timmelstal valley. If you continue along the left side of the valley over barren grazing land, you come to the Gasthof Hochfirst, situated right on the edge of the High Alpine Road. Follow the road down towards the valley for approximately 300 metres before turning right down to the Schönau farmsteads. At Saltnuss on the High Alpine Road, a signpost indicates the path to take for Schneeberg (a two-hour ascent) where, at an altitude of 2,355 metres, you’ll find a mountain refuge hut and the remains of an old mine, indeed Europe’s highest situated mine at one time. Galena, sphalerite and silver were mined here for over 800 years. During its glory days in the 16th century, some one thousand miners worked here. The trail continues along the forest track to the River Passer, across the bridge and along the right bank to the village of Rabenstein. A further one-and-half-hour walk takes you to Moos.
Walking time: approx. 5–6 hours
Kummersee circular hiking trail
Timmelsjoch – Rabenstein – KummerseeBis Rabenstein
Follow the route description as detailed above as far as the village of Rabenstein. Shrouded in legend, the Kummersee in Rabenstein, at the far end of the Passeiertal valley, not only offers breathtaking natural surroundings and excellent hiking trails, it also brings history to life. During the summer months you can walk round the former lake bed, situated at an altitude of 1,340 metres, in approximately two and a half hours covering an elevation difference of roughly just 150 metres. There are eight resting areas as you walk round the one-time lake with chronologically sequenced information boards displaying interesting facts about the Kummersee and the surrounding region.
Walking time: approx. 3–4 hours
Sturdy footwear and weather-proof clothing are an absolute necessity for any walk or hike. Please check the weather and snow conditions before setting out.
Passeiertal Tourist OfficeTel: +39 0473 656 188
Ötztal Tourist Office – Information Obergurgl–HochgurglTel: +43 (0) 57200 100