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There's an undeniable charm to the ski towns of the Alps during the summer season. Take St. Anton am Arlberg, for example, a renowned ski destination nestled in western Austria. While 80% of its visitors flock here during the winter months, the summer unveils a different side of this picturesque town. With fewer crowds, it strikes a perfect balance—vibrant enough to feel alive, yet quiet enough to relish solitude on the trails.
During my time in St. Anton, I had the pleasure of exploring its myriad of trail running routes, each of which can be enjoyed as a hike at a more leisurely pace. I was impressed by the impeccable trail quality, the convenient accessibility from town, and the wide range of optoins. After an awe-inspiring week of traversing the breathtaking landscapes of Tyrol, here are a few of my recommendations for the best trail runs in the area.
Krachelspitze Loop - 17 miles
This scenic loop from St. Christoph to the Kaltenberghütte, then to Kaztenberg Hutte, and finally back to St. Anton covers approximately 17 miles, with an elevation gain of around 4000 ft (depending on your chosen route). This trail treats you to some of the most breathtaking vistas in the entire region. To reach the trailhead, I hopped on a short bus ride from St. Anton to St. Christoph. While it is possible to do a complete loop starting from St Anton, you'll add an additional 1800 ft of elevation gain and 3.5 miles to your loop.
From St. Christoph, the trail ascends sharply before leveling out and traversing along the mountainside. A subsequent steeper section leads you to the beautifully situated Kaltenberghütte, which, for many, serves as a worthy destination in its own right.
If you're looking for a slightly shorter but still incredibly scenic day, there's an option to take a trail that forms a loop back to St. Christoph from the Kaltenberghütte. However, if you're up for the full loop, follow the signs that lead you to up to Kaltenberg Pass. I'd encourage you to consider a short side trip to the top of Krachelspitze, where you'll be rewarded with an incredible 360 panorama.
Descend from the pass alongside the stunning aquamarine alpine lakes, passing through a picturesque valley before the next climb. From there, it's a relatively short ascent over another saddle. Once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of Patteriorol before embarking on a long descent to Konstanzerhütte. This is another great spot to relax, refuel, and gather your energy before continuing on the well-traveled trail back down to St. Anton.
Arlenweg Loop - 4 miles
The Arlenweg trail is a pleasant loop accessible from the center of town. Follow the main road south and then climb through the forest before traversing back to the west. It's pleasant trail, with views of St Anton that open up on the west side of the loop (CCW). A fun descent past the Seegrubehutte takes you back into town.
St Anton to St Christoph - 3.8 miles
This trail offers a fantastic run whether you choose to enjoy it as a one-way route or as a loop. Begin from the center of St. Anton, heading west. Follow the Moosenweg trail that leads you up to Seegrubehütte. Keep an eye out for signs guiding you towards St. Christoph. As you continue, the trail ascends through forest, and after a slightly steeper section, you'll reach the "top", where a lake and stunning view awaits. Enjoy the final stretch of the trail as you descend towards St. Christoph. From there, you can conveniently catch a bus back to St. Anton, or if you're looking for a longer loop, you can continue upwards to Galzig. From Galzig, you have the option to take the gondola down or enjoy a downhill cruise back to St. Anton – the full loop with Galzig ends up being between 9-10 miles depending on your exact route.
Rossana Trail to Verwallsee - 8 miles
From Redlbahn, follow the path to the and join up with the Rossana trail that follows the river. Eventually you will connect with the Verwallweg, a graded path the continues all the way to Verwalsee. The lake is a stunning color, and it's a great place to relax and have lunch.
A few that probably deserve to be on this list but I didn't have time to do.
- The ridge line trail from Valluga to Leutkircher Hutte + Kaiserjochhaus
- Loop from St Anton to Putzen Alpe and back
- The Arlberg Trail is a new 40km trail that connects Lech, Zürs, Stuben, St. Christoph, and St. Anton. It's designed as a 3-stage hiking trip, but could be run in 1-2 days (with elevation gain/loss being the main limiting factor). There are plenty of mountain huts along the way, but you have the option to plan your trip through the tourism office, which can arrange lodging and daily luggage transport.
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