Archaeological trail Maso Corto/Kurzras - Vernago/Vernagt (A1)

General description

This archaeological trail begins with a ride on the glacier train from Maso Corto/Kurzras to the summit station, then there’s a short climb to Grawand and its imposing summit cross; it passes over the ridge and drops down to the small Finailsee lake, goes on to the Finailhof farm, once the highest grain farm in the region, passes unhurriedly by Raffeinhof farm to Tisenhof farm and then into the village of Vernago/Vernagt with its wonderful dam and reservoir.

Route description

The glacier cable car from Maso Corto/Kurzras (2,011 m) brings us to the summit station in only a few minutes (3,212 m), from the terrace there we will have an unforgettable panoramic view of the Alpine world: from the icy peaks of Ortler and Cevedale to Adamello, from Weißkugel to Wildspitze. From here, it’s only a short climb to Grawand (3,251 m) with its imposing summit cross. At the other side of the ridge, the small Finail lake is visible far below, which we will reach along the archaeological trail A1, which corresponds to trail no. 8. The trail takes you over the ridge and down to Finailjoch (3,084 m), directly above the climbing aids.  It is particularly steep in parts and in early summer it is often still covered in icy firn! Near the beautifully located Finail lake (2,709 m), where chamois are often seen, archaeological finds were made (stela) that bear witness to the presence of man up here even from time immemorial. After a further climb, we come to the remains of a former sheep pen (Finailgrub): a circular dry stone wall with water running through it; this provided protection for the sheep at the trough from wild animals that were probably everywhere in former times, as can be seen with the many field names. A bit further down the mountain are the remains of the Finail seasonal mountain pastures (2,307 m).

Archaic structures that have only changed slightly over the four thousand years of mountain farming culture. Descending further, we come to the Finailhof farm (1,952 m), a farmstead with buildings from the late Middle Ages that continues to serve its purpose fully today and is occupied all year round. Crops were still grown up here during the 1950s, a clear sign of a perfect climate. However, “thanks to” the dubious agrarian policy of the EU, the economic survival of most of the mountain farms today is in question and most mountain farmers are also obliged to do additional work, even though they are mainly "closed" farms. You can have refreshments at Finailhof farm: in addition to the excellent roast mutton you can also savour (order in advance) the famous “Schnalser Nudeln” (a Schnals pasta speciality) a delicacy made with flour and butter, but rarely made these days. Staying at the same level, we continue along to the Raffeinhof farm (1,822 m), where you have to watch out for a few difficult sections. Continuing from here through a clear larch forest, we climb up towards a large bowl-shaped stone on the hut floor (stela). We now head downhill towards Tisenhof farm (1,814 m) which stands majestically at the entrance of the eponymous valley. We can also take a break to eat or freshen up here while enjoying the view of Vernagt Lake from here, an area that used to have eight farms, some of which have been rebuilt further up the mountain. The stage finishes in Vernago/Vernagt (1,711 m).

description to arrive at destination

Naturno/Naturns - Schnalstal Valley - Vernago/Vernagt


parking place in front of the village Maso Corto/Kurzras, to pay, unguarded

Public transport

with the SAD bus line no. 261 to Maso Corto/Kurzras

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