Hochfügen – Melchboden – Mayrhofen
This day walk will take you to historic Alpine villages which are only found here in scenic Zillertal Valley. Beginning in Hochfügen, the track makes its way up to Sidanjoch Col past glacier-carved rocks. Having passed Rastkogel Hut, a short climb takes you atop Mitterwandskopf Peak. The gorgeous path meanders along a ridge to Melchboden, passing picture-postcard tarns which were glacially carved out during the last ice age. Eventually, the path emerges onto the Zillertal High Elevation Road. From there, you can either take the long walk down what will possibly strain your knees; or you can ride a public bus to the village of Mayrhofen. Doing so, you will cut miles from the route and spare hiking time.
Zillertal Tourismus GmbH
Bundesstrasse 27d, A-6262 Schlitters
Tel: +43 (0)5288 / 87 187
Detailed path despription
Walk toward the valley across the big car park and continue alongside Finsing River on the steadily ascending forest road that takes you up to “Sidanjoch, Rastkogelhütte”. You will pass two switchbacks and soon arrive at Pfundsalm pasture (1,640 m) where you encounter more than ten houses. Continue your walk on the road leading towards the valley. After a left turn, cross the stream and switch to the track on your right called “Rastkogelhütte” that will take you past alpine roses, a private hunting hut and up to Sidanjoch Col (2,127 m). Once there, keep left. The track meanders in a gentle up and down manner toward Rastkogel Hut (2,117 m, 2 ¾ h from Hochfügen) that you can see from quite far.
Descend on the road behind the hut that leads towards Melchboden for about 600 metres. Turn right, directly after the alpine hut and switch onto the path to “Melchboden über Arbiskopf”. Be careful not to miss it, because the signpost faces hikers coming from the opposite direction. The track leads through alpine pastures, past glacier-carved rocks and up to the saddle right underneath the Kreuzjoch col. From there, the track meanders along a mountain ridge and takes you atop the highest spot of this tour, Mitterwandskopf Peak at an elevation of 2,280 metres. After this peak, the track makes its way past several tarns and towards Rauhenkopf, from where it’s a short descent atop Arbiskopf to Melchboden snack bar, located at Zillertaler High Elevation Road (at 2,000 m, 2 h from Rastkogel Hut).
The public bus for Ramsau/Hippach railway station leave at 2.50 p.m. and 3.50 p.m. From there, it’s just a few minutes by Zillertal Railway to Mayerhofen. (Bus schedules at www.vvt.at). Alternatively, take a taxi from Melchboden to Ramsau/Hippach railway station and Zillertal railway to Mayrhofen.