At an altitude of 2,485 m, the three most impressive 3,000-metre peaks of the Stubai Valley – the Wilder Freiger, the Wilder Pfaff and the Zuckerhütl – are reflected majestically on the surface of Lake Mutterberger. The basin which holds the lake was forged into the rocky ground below by glaciers formed many thousands of years ago. This cirque, which was sealed in place by fine sand, forms the lakebed that we know today. Lake Mutterberger is, as part of a series of smaller lakes and wetlands, the region’s largest expanse of water. It is not at risk from avalanches, and is supplied by water from underground. As a result, landmass is prevented from seeping in, and it is able to maintain its character as a lake in full. A trip eastwards brings you to the “Unterer Hölltal”, a half-silted-up lake with expansive deposits of cotton grass. Still further east is a swamp area known as the “Hoachgruaba”, which has barely any areas of open water at all. Hiking along a trail of just under one kilometre, visitors can track the evolutionary development of high mountain lakes, forged over many thousands of years and encompassing numerous forms – from open lakes to silted wetland.
The round tour to Mutterberger See lake starts with the ascent to the middle station of the Stubai Glacier cable car. Right next to the middle station is the Dresdner Hut, which is the starting point for this tour. Winding paths lead up to the small, beautifully located Egesensee lake and from there (south, past the lake) to the Niederl. At this junction, you descend for about 20 minutes through the ‘Wilde Grube’ to the ‘Regensburgerbrüggl’. From there, the trail continues slightly uphill along the Stubai High Trail until a signpost indicates the last, short and steep ascent to Mutterberger See lake. It takes about 2 ¼ hours to get to the lake. The descent is via another trail in the direction of the Mutterbergeralm. On the trail, you pass several small lakes and wetlands. Finally, you reach the ‘Wilde Grub’ again, where you descend the last steep path to the starting point of the tour, the Stubai Glacier cable car valley station.