The Merano High Mountain Trail, considered one of the most beautiful hikes in the entire Alpine region, is an approx. 100-km circular hike. It can be circumnavigated in both directions in five to eight daily stages.
The Merano High Mountain Trail is divided into a northern and a southern part. Extending along route 24 at a relatively constant altitude, the trail surrounds the Texelgruppe Nature Park. The northern part features the high mountain climate typical of the Texelgruppe range while the southern part boasts a sub-Mediterranean climate with characteristically lush flora. In particular, the southern part features fantastic views of the city of Meran and the Etschtal and Vinschgau valleys.
The lowest point of the trail is 839 m elevation while the highest section extends to nearly 3,000 m. Hikers along this route can ascend and descend to and from the Etschtal, Passeiertal and Schnalstal valleys. Additionally, there are numerous overnight accommodation options along the trail that make it possible to hike only individual stages or to tailor the route to personal preferences. The trail demands both sure-footedness and alpine experience and the exposed areas are always secured with chains or ropes.
Possible start and finish points: Katharinaberg, Unterstell, Hochmuth, Ulfas, Vellau, Giggelberg, Pfossental, Christl, Matatz
Duration: 5-8 days
Length: approx. 100 km
Total difference in altitude: 5,100 m
Lowest point: 839 m
Highest point: 2,895 m
Level of difficulty: for experienced mountain hikers
Best period: from July to September
Information about possible closed trails on maps.merano-suedtirol.it
General information: www.meranerhoehenweg.com
The total length of the Merano High Mountain Trail is approx. 100 km. It can be circumnavigated in five to eight daily stages.
- Suggested stage: from Hochmuth (Dorf Tirol/Tirolo) to Giggelberg (Partschins/Parcines)
This mountain trail is moderately difficult; some portions of the trail are secured with steps and ropes.
Route length: 13.4 km Metres of ascent: 731 m Metres of descent: 542 m
- Suggested stage: from Giggelberg (Partschins/Parcines) to Katharinaberg (Schnalstal valley)
Partly exposed mountain trail; sections are additionally secured. Highlight: Gorge with 1000 steps.
Route length: 14.2 km Metres of ascent: 569 m Metres of descent: 894 m
- Suggested stage: from Katharinaberg (Schnalstal valley) to Eishöfen (Schnalstal valley)
Moderately difficult Alpine tour through the Pfossental valley to the Eishöfen area in the Schnalstal valley. Highlight: chamois and golden eagle. View of the peaks of the Hohe Weiße and Hohe Wilde mountains.
Route length: 12.6 km Metres of ascent: 954 m Metres of descent: 123 m
- Suggested stage: From the Eishof (Schnalstal valley) to Pfelders/Plan (Passeiertal valley)
The most amazing stage of the Merano High Mountain Trail. Steady ascent, high Alpine terrain (some snowfields possible). Highlight: The trail leads through the high mountains to staffed mountain huts and Alpine pastures.
Route length: 17.1 km Metres of ascent: 826 m Metres of descent: 1264 m
- Suggested stage: from Pfelders/Plan (Passeiertal valley) to Matatz/Montaccio (Passeiertal valley)
Tranquil forests, clearings, meadows and mountain farms. Partly paved roads with access to the farms.
Route length: 18 km Metres of ascent: 314 m Metres of descent: 894 m
- Suggested stage: From Matatz/Montaccio (Passeiertal valley) to Hochmuth (Dorf Tirol/Tirolo)
Pass by the lowest point of the Merano High Mountain Trail in the Kalmbachtal valley at 820 m. Highlight: Scenic views of the spa town of Meran/Merano.
Route length: 18.4 km Metres of ascent: 1240 m Metres of descent: 934 m
Further information on the individual stages: www.merano-suedtirol.it
description to arrive at destination
The following places allow hikers to ascend and join the Merano High Mountain Trail: Dorf Tirol, Algund, Partschins, Naturns, Katharinaberg in the Schnalstal valley, St. Leonhard in the Passeiertal valley.
- closed the section between Vernurio e "Gasthof Bergrast" with sign-posted detour
- closure at the height of Monte S. Caterian/Katharinaberg in Val Senales, with detour over Tumlhof an Inganghof. Duration: 1,5h
Possible ascents and parking areas: Meran/Merano → Dorf Tirol/Tirolo → Hochmuth cable car → Hochmuth Parking area at the valley station of the Hochmuth cable car; pay & display, (4 - 7€/day) unguarded
Algund/Lagundo → Algund-Vellau chairlift → Leiteralm chairlift Parking area at the valley and mountain stations of the Vellau chairlift; free of charge, unguarded
Partschins/Parcines → Texelbahn-Giggelberg Parking area at the valley station of the Texelbahn cable car; free of charge, unguarded
Naturns/Naturno → Unterstell cable car Parking area by the Unterstell cable car, valley station; free of charge, unguarded
Naturns/Naturno → Schnalstal valley → Katharinaberg (public bus) Parking area in the centre of Katharinaberg; free of charge, unguarded
Naturns/Naturno → Schnalstal valley → Pfossental valley Parking at the Gasthof Jägerrast inn (Pfossental valley; subject to a charge (one-time fee of €2.80), guarded by the farm owner Farm owner
St. Leonhard/San Leonardo → Pfelders/Plan (public bus) Parking area in Pfelders pay and display (6€/day) and Ulfas; free of charge, unguarded
St. Leonhard/San Leonardo → Christl or Matatz
The well-developed network of public transport in South Tyrol enables you to ascend and descend the Merano High Mountain Trail at numerous locations. Information available by visiting: www.suedtirolmobil.info.
The Merano High Mountain Trail demands sure-footedness and Alpine experience.
- Planning: Information regarding length and degree of difficulty are essential for a safe experience in the mountains. Always inform relatives or hut keeper/accommodation provider about your intended destination.
- Assessment: objectively assess your physical condition and select the appropriate tour accordingly. Set off early in the morning and plan to be at your next destination before dark.
- Pace and breaks: Choose a moderate and regular walking pace. Plan regular breaks (especially when children are hiking).
- Hydration: Make sure you drink enough fluids! Drinks such as water, tea or natural juices are best.
- Consideration: Always take care to ensure the needs of weaker members of the group, point out dangers to other hikers and provide first aid in the event of an emergency.
- Respect nature: Avoid noise and waste. Respect protected plants and animals.
- Safety: Always follow trail markers and do not leave marked paths and trails. Regularly refer to the hiking map and, in case of doubt, turn back in good time.
(Source: Autonomous Province of Bolzano-South Tyrol, Department of Tourism)
Clothing: Choice of hiking clothing should be adapted to the season. Basic equipment includes a windproof hiking jacket, robust hiking trousers, long hiking socks and sturdy hiking or trekking shoes. It is imperative to check the weather conditions beforehand and inform yourself about local weather conditions.
Cash: Payment with credit cards is not possible in all mountain huts. It is therefore essential that you bring enough cash with you. Accommodation and reservations: In high season it is advisable to book all overnight stays at mountain huts in advance. If you are not able to make it, please cancel your booking.
Hiking with children: The indicated walking times are walking times without breaks at an average walking speed of an adult. With children, shorter stages should be planned and regular breaks should be taken. In exposed places, it is advisable to take children by the hand and to be particularly careful.
Hiking with dogs: The Merano High Mountain Trail can feasibly be completed with your four-legged friends accustomed to longer distance hikes. Important: Check with the huts beforehand to ensure that dogs are allowed when staying overnight indoors.