Scenic Nature sites on the Elfer

Nature sites are places that have always been known by the Stubai people for their special magic and energy. Further natural sites await nature and hiking lovers in the Stubaital. The beauty of the mountain world cannot only be imagined, but is immediately apparent. But because the special things like to remain hidden, it is also worth taking a second look attentively. The treasures of nature are hidden throughout the valley and are often very close by without having to climb steep rock faces and overcome many metres of altitude.

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Nature site Elfer Gratzengrübl

The Elfer, the local mountain of the municipality of Neustift, has not only always been a natural time-keeper for the locals, but it also has unique geological features. Impressively recognisable, two different rock forms meet there. On the one hand, the rugged and bright rock towers of the Serles ridge made of limestone and, on the other hand, the primary rock of the Stubai Mountains, the so-called Ötztal-Stubai crystalline, which forms the base of the mountain. The limestone deposits were lifted up from the sea during the formation of the Alps, when the African plate pushed against the Eurasian plate. The limestone can be recognised by its reddish to yellowish limestone layers below the summit of the Kesselspitze, the craggy, highly fissured structure and the light-coloured rubble heaps of sharp-edged scree.

Circular hikes Elfer Gratzengrübl

Start and end point:  Elferlifte mountain station (1.794 m)
Walking time: 4 hours
Height diffrence: 700 m
Refreshment stops: Panorama restaurant Elfer (1.794 m), Elferhütte (2.080 m), Autenalm (1.665 m)

APPROACH / STARTING POINT:
Direct bus connection to Neustift (bus stop: Neustift i. St. Abzweigung Elferlifte). In addition, there are numerous free parking spaces at the valley station of the Elferlifte.

TOUR DESCRIPTION:

From the top station of the Elferbahn cable car, take the serpentine path up to the Elferhütte. Shortly above the hut, the panorama trail branches off into the western flank of the Pinnistal valley, rises a little and then continues at the same altitude for a long time with a wonderful panorama into the wildly romantic Pinnistal valley. After about 1½ hours of walking, shortly after the turnoff in the direction of Zwölfernieder, you reach the Elfer nature site, which is located on a plateau and offers a fantastic panoramic view along the Serles ridge. Larch benches invite you to linger there. Return via the Zwölfernieder and the Autenalm. To do so, walk the first 300 metres back along the same path before turning left towards Zwölfernieder and Autenalm. The Zwölfernieder is reached in about 30 minutes. From the Zwölfernieder, the narrow but good path leads initially (the first 30 minutes) on a fairly steep gradient to the Autenalm, which is reached in 1 hour. From the Autenalm, it is possible to hike back relatively flat to the mountain station (45 minutes) or to descend to the valley station of the Elfer lifts (2 hours).

Starting point:  Elferlifte mountain station (1.794 m)
Finishing point:  Elferlifte valley station (993 m)
Walking time: 5½ hours
Height diffrence: 450 m
Refreshment stops: Panorama restaurant Elfer (1.794 m), Elferhütte (2.080 m), Karalm (1.737 m), Pinnisalm (1.550m), Issenangeralm (1.380 m)

APPROACH / STARTING POINT:
Direct bus connection to Neustift (bus stop: Neustift i. St. Abzweigung Elferlifte). In addition, there are numerous free parking spaces at the valley station of the Elferlifte.

TOUR DESCRIPTION:
From the top station of the Elferbahn cable car, take the serpentine path up to the Elferhütte. Shortly above the hut, the panorama trail branches off into the western flank of the Pinnistal valley, rises a little and then continues at the same altitude for a long time with a wonderful panorama into the wildly romantic Pinnistal valley. After about 1½ hours of walking, shortly after the turnoff in the direction of Zwölfernieder, you reach the Elfer nature site, which is located on a plateau and offers a fantastic panoramic view along the Serles ridge. Larch benches invite you to linger there.

Nature site split stone from the Pinistal

As romantic as this nature site may be, the history of its origins is just as spectacular. The giant stone that lies here is made from dolomite, which, like all the dolomite ranges in the Stubai Valley, is made up of what is known as Brenner Mesozoic. It is proof of the tremendous rock movements that took place here in the Pinnis Valley several thousand years ago, in the middle of the Elfer’s flanks and the Serles mountain crest. The stone is thought to have broken in two auf crashing to the ground and has remained here split open ever since.

North of the Pinnisalm are even more large blocks of dolomite which are also the result of these spectacular landslides. They mostly come from a large eruption site on the flank of the Elfer summit, which is extremely rugged with numerous spires and pillars.

Circular Hike Split Stone

Starting point: Elferbahnen mountain station (1.794 m)
Finishing point: Elferbahnen valley station (993 m)
Walking time: 3 hours
Diffrence in altitude: ↑ 140 m ↓ 954 m
Refreshment stops: Panoramarestaurant Elfer (1.794 m), Pinnisalm (1.550m), Issenangeralm (1.380 m)

ARIVAL / STARTING POINT :
Direct bus connection to Neustift (Haltestelle: Neustift i. St. Abzweigung Elferlifte). There are also plenty of free parking spaces next to the Elfer lifts valley station.

TOUR DESCRIPTION:
From the Elfer lifts mountain station, follow the forest path directly past the sundial. A slight slope leads to the Pinnisalm in the Pinnis Valley, which can be reached in approx. one hour. From there it only takes another 5 minutes in the direction of Neder to reach the natural site of “Pinnis Valley – Split Stone”. To return from there to the starting point at the Elfer lifts valley station, follow the forest path down the valley past the Issenangeralm until you reach the Neder district after approx. 1 hour and 45 minutes. Then turn left and follow the signposts to Neustift. After 20 minutes, you will reach the carpark at the Elfer lifts.
Alternatively, the natural site can also be reached directly via the district of Neder (walking time: 2 hours), or can be combined with the Elfer.

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