in the Valley of Mountain Huts
Experience nature in Grossarltal, the Valley of Mountain Huts. Discover crystal-clear mountain lakes, alpine meadows and forests, grassy summits and limestone peaks, streams, waterfalls, and ponds. Grossarltal also extends into Hohe Tauern National Park, the largest protected area in the Alps.
Schödersee is the only periodic lake inside Hohe Tauern National Park. During snowmelt and after heavy rain, a lake several hundred meters long and wide forms in the Schödertal (approximately 1 ½ hours on foot one way). In the dry period of summer, it drains, leaving only a narrow stream. This stream first cascades down several steep steps into the Schödertal valley, then meanders gently through the broad bed of the periodic lake before disappearing amongst some stones.
A nature trail with about 45 display boards leads from the valley head in Hüttschlag along the stream into the Schödertal. It provides information about animals, plants, geology, and the history of Grossarltal.
Highlights along the way include Kreealm Waterfall, Ötzlsee, the natural Kneipp spa, and of course, the Schödersee itself.
The path to the lake is fascinating: The water accompanies you at first, then suddenly it becomes quiet, eerily quiet. You realize the water is gone, the rushing sound is absent, because the stream flows underground in this particular section of the path. The view of the beautiful Schödersee, if it happens to be there, rewards the effort you put into the hike up.
If you're up for more and have the stamina, you can continue walking through this high-alpine, virgin forest landscape. After about 3 hours of hiking, you will reach the Arlscharte (2,252 m) with a magnificent view of the Hochalmspitze, Ankogel, and the Maltastausee with its impressive dam.
Find refreshment and enjoyable water experiences in this water-treading facility at the valley end of Hüttschlag. Several large springs surface here with a temperature of about 8 °C, ideal for refreshing leg baths using the method pioneered by Pastor Kneipp.
In some alpine areas, there is an abundance of wildlife. Attentive observers often have the opportunity to spot chamois as well as roe and fallow deer. That said, hikers should keep as quiet as possible, for everybody’s benefit.
The following areas are among the richest in wildlife in Grossarltal:
- On the way from the Filzmoosalm to Bichlalm