I slept like a baby my first night in Seefeld. Perhaps it was the freshness of the Austrian mountain air combined with the blissful feeling of being at peace in the mountains. Or maybe it was the anticipation for the day ahead knowing that I’d finally be in the place I’d been longing to be for so many months: Way up high at the top of the world in the heart of the Austrian Alps.
The kids rose to the smell of scrambled eggs, freshly baked bread and strawberry jam. It was the first time we had a homemade breakfast in two weeks and I was enjoying the normalcy of cooking and having a kitchen again. I stepped out on our apartment’s spacious wood deck, rose my head up to the sky and smiled, letting the morning sun gently warm my face. We were going to have a wonderful day of hiking ahead. I was looking forward to checking out the Rosshütte Ski Area – one of two main Alpine ski resorts in Seefeld- which has a couple of fantastic panoramic hikes at the top of the Alps overlooking the Olympiaregion. After yesterday’s hike along the lower-laying plateau, I desperately craved to get up high knowing very well that the views would be breathtaking. Thanks to the Seefeld Tourist Office, we had a route in mind. It would be my children’s very first high alpine hike and I wanted it to wow them.
After breakfast, we set off on foot, heading to the base of the ski resort located about a 15 minute walk from town. When we arrived at the base of the mountain, we purchased a ticket to ride the funicular up to the Rosshütte mid-station located at 1760 m saving us a long, long hike up. We saw people hiking along the way but in my opinion, I preferred to save my energy (and especially the kids’ energy) for the top where the views would be astounding.
As we rode up the funicular, we could see clouds forming off in the distance. After all my years of hiking, the most important thing I’ve learned about the mountains is to be prepared because the weather is unpredictable and can change in an instant. Thankfully we had rain gear packed just in case the weather would turn unforgiving. Luckily we never had to use it.
When we got off the funicular, we discovered that unfortunately that the gondola (our next ride up) was out of service due to construction. That meant that we had to start our hike right there at the base of a ski run hiking literally straight up for an hour to reach the start of our hike at Seefelder Joch. I was concerned that my daughter Sophia would freak out and our hike would be over but somehow she pulled it together and moved her tiny legs up the hill stopping often to catch her breath along the way. Even I was panting quite a bit as the trail was pretty rocky and steep. We learned an important lesson too. That any kind of serious hiking in Austria or pretty much anywhere in the world requires a set of hiking poles. We were able to share our hiking poles with Sophia but promised her we would try to find her a pair in town for the next hike which seemed to keep her going. I honestly was quite proud of her as she is only eleven and has never done any hiking like this before.
Forty-five minutes later we arrived at Seefelder Joch (2064 m) where had the gondola been running, we would have gotten off to begin our panoramic hike. We took a moment to have some water and rest a bit before continuing on for the best part of the hike. The wondrous view was what I’d come all the way to Austria for and what I could hardly wait to show my children.
The panoramic High Trail to Seefelder Spitze (at roughly 2220 m) begins at Seefelder Joch and takes about an hour to reach the top. It is labeled a red trail meaning “more difficult”. I personally didn’t find the hike hard however the path itself was very narrow and not good for those who have a fear of heights (like my daughter Sophia).
About half way through the hike, the path narrowed even more and my daughter Sophia did not want to continue. She was too afraid and as much as I would have loved to make it to the top for the view, we decided to wait it out on a bench while my father and Max continued on to the summit. A half an hour later they returned with a few incredible photos and the news per my son Max that it wasn’t too bad. If this hike was labeled a red trail, I could only imagine what the black trail “King Trail” was like that goes even higher over the mountain top to Reither Spitze. I think even I would have been terrified of that trail.
After a picnic lunch, it was time to head back down. Sophia was ready to get to level ground. The promise of getting her first pair of hiking poles that she rightfully earned kept her moving steadily down the mountain and back to town. I wasn’t so sure I should have made such a promise given how expensive everything is in Austria yet by chance we bought a brand new pair of hiking poles at 50% off from a local hiking store just as he was closing his shop. It was Sophia’s lucky day! It also meant that she would be doing many more hikes over the next week in Austria.
If you go:
Rosshütte is located at Talstation 419 in Seefeld in Tirol. Check out www.seefeld-sports.at to learn about all the hikes and skiing at Rosshütte. Looking for an easier hike? Check out the Circular Walk from Seefeld to Lake Möserer See.
What a great youngster Sophia is! She could have ruined your day. Awesome views but it does look a bit hard in places 😕 xx
Yes she is a special little girl. It was such a joy to travel with my kids and show them my love of hiking and mountains. 🙂
RUT! can hardly wait for the Hallstatt Glacier hike blog… s
Thanks! It will be coming soon….! 🙂
You’ll have to tell me sometime how you manage all of these wonderful adventures! Stunning photos … especially the one of the kids walking together on that narrow Alpine trail.
Oh thank you! It was really a wonderful trip. I loved the hike and loved even more bringing my kids on it and showing them the divine beauty of the Alps. 🙂
Magnificent views and captures! What an incredible hiking experience. 🙂
Thank you Amy! It was pretty beautiful up there! Glad my kids enjoyed it too. Now I’ve got some hiking buddies. 🙂
There are just SO many spectacular hikes there – wow! This was a beauty. My youngest had the opposite problem on thin, high trails when he was little; he was way over-confident and would run and jump in places that I feared he would pitch right over the edge! Hope the poles helped give Sophia some added security.
Yes, Austria is so magnificent for hiking. I just loved it so much. I’d love to do another alps trip with my kids sometime. I think if my child was over-confident it would have given me quite the panic! Yes, Sophia was ready to rock and do much more hiking once we got her the poles. But towards the end of the trip, she was ready to not hike any more. I’m still so glad I got her to try it out. Hoping both my kids want to be my hiking partners down the road! 🙂
What a little trooper Sophia is! Love that photo of Max and Sophia holding hands. Looking forward to seeing more of the beautiful scenery in Austria.
Thanks LuAnn! Yes she was really awesome on the trip. I hope to do more hiking again next summer.
Bravo to Sophia. She may have not wanted to go to the very top but I would have had a fit if I had to do the extra hour at the start. Well deserved hiking poles I would say!
Thanks Sue! It was challenging for her tiny legs but I was so proud of her! Not an easy one for her first “real” hike.
What a fantastic day out. The panoramic hike looks incredible, I would love to have a go at that. Such a shame the railway was closed and you had that steep climb first but glad you were lucky with the weather. Brilliant photos.
Thanks so much! It was so gorgeous! I sure love the mountains.
very nice… i really like your blog…