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Exploring endless trails in St. Anton am Arlberg

A stunning playground for trail runners and hikers, this mountain village in Tyrol has something for everyone. St. Anton is Austrian adventure at its best.

By: Kyle Frost + Save to a List

There's something about ski towns of the alps during the summer that's hard to beat. For St. Anton, a well-known ski destination in western Austria, 80% of their visitors come during the winter. This means that while there's plenty to do in the summer, there aren't that many people. I think it sits in a nice middle ground -- enough visitors to feel vibrant, but few enough to easily enjoy solitude on the trail. A wide variety of summer activities are easily accessible from the center of town, whether you're looking for a short hiking loop, a long, difficult, trail run, or a bike ride to a beautiful mountain hut for lunch.

My time in St. Anton was mostly spent focusing on the plethora of trail running options (which are all hike-able routes as well, at a more reasonable pace 😂). I was impressed by the quality of trails, the access from town, and the range of options to turn a short run into a long one (or vice versa). After a week of exploring this incredible part of Tyrol, here are a couple of my favorite suggestions for finding adventure in St Anton am Arlberg.

My favorite trail run - a loop to the Kaltenberghutte, Kaltenbergsee, and the Kaztenberghutte (17 miles)

This loop from St Christoph to the Kaltenberghutte, over to Kaztenberg Hutte and back to St Anton is around 17 miles and 4000 ft of elevation gain (depending on your exact route). It's an absolutely stunning trail that gives you some of the best views in the area. I started from St Christoph, a short bus ride from St Anton. While you could make this a full loop from town, you'd be adding an additional 1000 ft of elevation gain. From St Christoph, the trail climbs sharply before leveling out and traversing around the mountainside. Another steeper section brings you to the beautifully situated Kaltenberg Hutte. For some, this is a worthy destination in itself -- enjoy the views and the Austrian hospitality.

You can shorten your day by taking a trail that loops back to St Cristoph from here – a shorter day, but still incredibly beautiful. If you want to continue on the full loop, follow signs for Kaltenberg Pass. Once you've tackled the steep climb from the hut to the pass, I recommend a short side trip to the Krachelspitze for amazing views. Descend next to aquamarine alpine lakes and pass through a beautiful valley before the next ascent. From the top of this saddle it's a long descent to Konstanzerhutte. Enjoy an incredible view of Kleiner Patteriol as you descend the valley. Konstazer is another great place to refuel (and a popular day trip destination for bikers from St Anton). It's a straightforward path down from here and all the way back to St Anton.

More trail runs (or hikes) in St Anton

If the above loop sounds like a bit to much...you're probably not alone. Don't worry, the wonderful thing about St Anton is the wide variety of options. Big loops, small loops, point-to-point hikes, you'll find something that's right in your wheelhouse. 

Arlenweg loop - 4 miles (loop)

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. A 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 (one way)

This is a great trail that can be enjoyed one way, or turned into a loop. Starting from the center of town, run west, catching the Moosenweg trail up to Seegrubehutte. Follow signs for St Christoph. The trail continues ascending through the forest, and after a steeper section, you'll top out at the lake. Enjoy the last bit of trail down to St Christoph, where you can catch a bus back to St Anton -- or alternatively continue upward to Grizhul and either take the gondola down or, enjoy the downhill hike to St Anton from there.

Rossana Trail to Verwallweg and Verwallsee - 8 miles (out and back)

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.

Then best place to grab a view (without the work)

If you're looking for a sweeping panorama with little more than a short walk, head up to the top of Valluga II. The top of the ski resort offers (nearly) 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains. Catch the Galzigbahn gondola, then the Vallugabahn, and finally, squeeze your self into the tiny cable car that stretches the last few hundred meters to the top. Your "hard work" will be reward with mountains as far as the eye can see. You can also hike down from Valluga II or I all the way to town, or partway to Galizig, and then catch a gondola the rest of the way.

Looking for a multi-day tour?

The Arlberg trail is a new, 3-stage trail that winds 40km through the surrounding mountains and connects connects Lech, Zürs, Stuben, St. Christoph and St. Anton. If you plan your trip through the tourism office, they'll organize your lodging in each town and even transport luggage each day. If that's not the right fit for you, there's a robust network of mountain huts in the area for you to choose your own adventure.

Best spots for food in St Anton

The Galzig Cafe is a nice spot for afternoon drinks. Hotel Sailer is touted by the locals to have the best schnitzel in the alps. I'd be remiss not to mention the dinner at Hotel Schwartzer Adler. With a half-board room, you can enjoy a full spread at breakfast and delicious, 4-course meals for dinner (vegetarian options always available).

Where to stay in St Anton

The Schwartzer Adler is a stunning, four star hotel in the center of St Anton. With a spa, comfortable rooms, and impeccable dining, it's a great spot to enjoy your time in St Anton. Don't miss the cakes and coffee from 3-5pm at the bar :)

Getting to St. Anton am Arlberg

St. Anton is easily accessed via train from either Innsbruck (1 hr 20 minutes), or Zurich (2 hrs 40 minutes). You could also fly into Munich, which adds about another hour by train (passing through Innsbruck). 

Wrapping up

Long story short, there's a wealth of incredible adventures to be found in some of the ski towns of the alps...in the summer. Less people, incredible trails, convenient train access, what more do you want? I had an awesome time exploring St. Anton am Arlberg, and I know summer is coming to and end...but I hope be planning another trip back next summer (or winter)! It's never too early to start thinking about next year's adventures.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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