Rushing mountain streams, adventurous gorges, and impressive waterfalls wait for you at the first of three stages of WildeWasserWeg at Stubaital valley. The path is relatively plane and accessible. Hence, families with strollers can also master this stage without problems.
The hike starts at WildeWasserArena, located at the quarry in Ranalt. From there, the path leads to the stream Ruetzbach, which quickly becomes a rushing whitewater, cutting its way through narrow ravines. On the two platforms above the chasms as well as the wooden footbridge that leads over the stream bring you particularly close to the blusterous force of the water. Once you have put Ruetz Katarakt behind you, Tschangelair Alp is a first opportunity to grab a bite to eat.
After Tschangelair Alp, cross Ranalt country road and follow WildeWasserWeg to the end of the first stage: Grawa waterfall. A large viewing platform invites you to sit down and assemble new forces before you continue on the second leg to Sulzenauhütte.
Where to eat
You can stop at Tschangelair Alp after Ruetz Katarakt. The cosy hut serves regional fare with home-grown ingredients. Furthermore, you can try home-made goat cheese and self-distilled schnaps. The alp can also be accessed by bus or car.
At the end of the first stage, right by Grawa waterfall, Graw Alp invites you for a break. It belongs to Feldhof farm, and offers own produce like butter, bacon and home-baked bread. Tyrolean classics like Kaiserschmarrn, Käsespätzle and Speckknödel are also on the menu.
- You're traveling a distance of 2 miles on this easy trail. The hike is therefore not too long. The average length of all hikes in Tyrol is 9 miles.
- You're facing an uphill climb of 286 vertical meters on this hike. The high point of the hike is located at an elevation of 5000 ft.
- This easy hike is perfect for the whole family.
- In case of good weather conditions, the hike can also be done without bringing your hiking boots. There are places to buy beverages and food along the track. However it’s always recommended to bring enough water and food along with you.
Highlights of the tour
Before you start the hike, you might check out WildeWasserArena. It provides information about the role of water at Stubaital valley. Furthermore, it's exterior space invites you to sit down and enjoy nature.
Ruetz Katarakt really does the name WildeWasserWeg (whitewater way) justice. The latest stage of the hike was inaugurated in 2015, and leads through Ruetzbach stream's gorges. Platforms to walk above the abyss have been installed, where the waterfalls and rapids rush right under your feet.
Grawa waterfall is the absolute highlight of the tour. At 85 metres, it is the widest waterfall of the Eastern Alps. The heart of WildeWasserWeg is especialls popular in spring, when the snowmelt makes large amounts of water cascade into the 180m deep abyss. Comfortable chairs on the viewing platform provide an opportunity to relax and enjoy the natural spectacle.
You can find a short description of all three stages of WildeWasserWeg here:
WildeWasserWeg Trail - Stubaital
Ranalt, where the tour starts, is located around 35km south of Innsbruck. From there, follow motorway A13 towards Italy and exit at Schönberg/Stubaital. Follow B186 to Neustift. Take the third exit of the roundabout, and continue on B183 to Ranalt. Car parks are available along the main road.