Wow, last weekend was a blast! We got an invitation for a lunch & hike in an area, we had not been yet. Exciting, so many new things to see and discover. Let’s start! (For more pictures click on any of the images below to start the slideshow)
Our starting point for this day was pretty close to a tour we did before, the Glattmar summit. After passing the village Sonntag, we turned right in direction to Buchboden. Our plan was to start the hike from Buchboden, but there was no chance to get a parking space. Imagine a village with about 10-15 houses, but (I guess) 60 cars parked all around. After seeing this I was already a bit worried if we will ever find a parking space, because the two upcoming parking areas are very popular for hikers since they are used as a starting point for so many different routes in any possible direction… So we continued and held our hopes high. After searching a bit we found a little niche to park our car and begin our hike! Next stop: Bad Rothenbrunnen
The hiking path here is simply beautiful. A crystal clear wild river runs next to it and offers sights to many little waterfalls. The whole valley (Gadental valley) is characterized by water (rivers, springs, waterfalls) and its beautiful rich nature.
If you plan to come here for dinner, no problem, the trail even has lights to guide your way in the dark. We took it slow so we could enjoy the whole experience with every step we took and after about 30 minutes we already arrived at the restaurant.
Bad Rothenbrunnen is a historic building and nowadays used as a restaurant and a guesthouse. The location is fantastic to start many different mountain tours and so it is very recommended to take a room here if you plan to stay in this area for longer. After a few moments we already received the menu and ordered a drink. All the dishes sounded so delicate and it was really hard to choose something, but finally we decided for Schnitzel with a mixed salad (Gigi) and deer stew with Semmelknödel and red cabbage (Ben). It was delicious.
After the meal we looked a bit around and checked out the whole place which also offers a lake with a spring fountain, a little chapel and again, the wild river. Now we had to decide for which direction we wanted to go and after evaluating all possibilities we decided to follow the hiking trail alongside the wild river through the Gadental towards the alp called Gadenalpe.
It is a wide path of gravels which most of the time goes evenly up but 3 or 4 times gets actually pretty steep. Since gravels can be slippery (specially going down) it is recommended to wear good outdoor shoes for this path. Every few minutes you reach fantastic lookout points to take pictures of the surrounding mountains and the valley. The mountains all around are very tall and pretty impressive with their massive appearance. You can hear the wild river and the waterfalls at any given time and you can find another beautiful inhabitant of this valley. Butterflies!
Almost all the way we were accompanied by butterflies. They were so curious and tame that they even were sitting on our heads and shoulders. That was such a great and fun experience. Some of them kept sitting on us even when we moved on and used us as a taxi for a bit 😀 Fantastic! While we continued our hike to the alp we often stopped to simply enjoy the great atmosphere.
After about 1.5 hours we reached the alp Gadenalpe which consists of 3 huts. Lucky as we are, one of them had benches and a table outside in the shadow and even a well with fresh water. We refilled our water bottles and had the idea to rest our feet in the ice cold water. How good that felt! It just takes a few seconds to get used to the temperature but then it is such a good feeling. You can absolutly feel your feet recovering and how it animates the blood circulation. Top refreshment! A big ‘thank you’ to the owners of the alp hut at this point 😉
The view from the alp is amazing. On the right side is a big waterfall, on the left side huge mountains and simply straight ahead the view through the whole valley of the Gadental. We enjoyed it so much. Someone then said ‘Let’s go back to the restaurant for coffee and a piece of cake’. With this new delicous target in sight everyone started the hike back with full motivation. Since there is only one way through the valley, we used the same route. We met the butterflies again and after 1.5 hours reached Bad Rothenbrunnen for our coffee and cake. They had a good variety of cakes. The austrian speciality Apfelstrudel is a 100% recommendation. I can’t describe it…just try it 😉 (Note to myself: next time order the Apfelstrudel with Vanilla sauce).
After the well deserved coffee break we had one more thing on our to-do list for this day. A closeby canyon was the last target. From Bad Rothenbrunnen we chose the small hiking trail on the right side of the wild river. This trail is kinda an adventure since some parts of it were washed away by the heavy spring rains earlier this year.
After 30 minutes we arrived at the canyon and the view from the top is very spectacular. The canyon goes by the name ‘Kessischlucht’ which means ‘caldron canyon’ with a river running through it, quite an amazing sight!
From there it was just a short walk back to the parking lot. We saw many people coming here in the evening to have BBQ at the wild river for dinner. A really nice idea which we keep in mind for another time. This day was brilliant and will be a fantastic memory from now on.
Area: Buchboden / Grosses Walsertal / Gadental
Time: 4h (walking time)
Vertical meter: ↑ 352m / ↓ 352m
Weather: sunny 27°C