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Powerful Place. Swiss stone pine trail on the Glungezer

The seven-kilometre Swiss stone pine trail leads above the Inn Valley through one of the largest Swiss stone pine forests in Europe. The trail starts at the Patscherkofel mountain station and ends at the Tulfeinalm (Tulfes). Take the bus from Tulfes to the Patscherkofelbahn valley station in Igls. From there, you can take the gondola up to 1,964 m in comfort. The Zirbenweg trail first leads along a wide path to the somewhat hidden Boscheben hut. Along the tree line, at an altitude of over 2,000 m, the trail climbs and descends gently, but without any significant change in altitude, to the Tulfeinalm. Throughout the hike, you can look down into the Inntal valley and enjoy the breathtaking backdrop of the Karwendel mountain range opposite. The entire route takes around 2.5 hours. Close to the Tulfeinalm, you can take the new gondola lift to the Halsmarter middle station and then continue down into the valley.

The Zirbenweg power spot on the Glungezer at a glance

  • oldest stone pine in Tyrol
  • Alpine rose blossom
  • Glungezerbahn
  • Zirbenweg circular hiking ticket
  • Mountain adventure world Kugelwald
  • Patscherkofel nature trail with botanical garden
  • Natural product stone pine

Interesting information on the Zirbenweg

The Patscherkofel nature trail
Above the Patscherkofel refuge, not only does the path to the east begin, but also the "Patscherkofel Nature Trail" with its botanical garden. It is the highest alpine garden in Austria and has been owned by the University of Innsbruck since 1930. It also offers a modern research station within the garden. Interested visitors can take a look at the naturally occurring plants such as dwarf shrub heath, high forest or tall herbaceous flora on a signposted circular trail. The aim is to increase interest in and understanding of the extremely sensitive landscape at this altitude, which is increasingly under threat due to the growing development of the mountains.

Alpine rose blossom on the Zirbenweg
Many guests hike the Zirbenweg at a very special time: after the last snow fields have finally retreated, the landscape along the Zirbenweg slowly blossoms into new life. The alpine roses are a wonderful natural spectacle that delights many visitors every year. We have reported in detail on the fascination of alpine roses in a blog post.

The Zirbenweg circular hiking ticket
is available at the Glungezerbahn valley station. It includes the bus ride to and from Igls as well as transportation on the Patscherkofel and Glungezer lifts. The current prices and the Zirbenweg hiking bus schedule can be found on the Glungezerbahn homepage!

The oldest stone pine in Tyrol on the Glungezer Stone Pine Trail

The Swiss stone pine trail on the Glungezer leads through one of the largest Swiss stone pine forests in Europe and also past the oldest Swiss stone pine in Tyrol. It is already an impressive 750 years old and was designated a natural monument in 1926. The stone pine belongs to the genus of pine trees and lives to an average age of 200 to 400 years. However, they can reach a maximum age of up to 1200 years.

The fact that trees are indispensable for our environment as well as for flora and fauna is shown very well by this example. Numerous animal and plant species have created their habitat in and around the Methuselah tree. The tall lichens, for example, make the tree look very mysterious. And various species of woodpecker love the old tree as a nesting site.

The Glungezerbahn

The new 10-seater gondola lift has been in operation since the 2018/2019 winter season. Winter sports enthusiasts in particular are enjoying the new luxury on the Glungezer. The double chairlift, which took a whole 15 minutes to get to the middle station, was replaced on December 22, 2019 and the feedback from locals and guests has been fantastic. The old Glungezer lift was too unsafe, especially for children, which always proved difficult for ski courses or family outings.

Although the municipality of Tulfes and the tourism association took over the old lift system in 2010, it still took some time to complete the project due to the financing. In the end, the hope of a new lift was almost lost, but now everyone is delighted, especially the surrounding businesses. Many restaurants have more visitors thanks to the new gondola lift, such as the Larchenhittl below the valley station, but also the Alpengasthof Halsmarter at the middle station.

The special thing about the gondolas is that each one is inscribed with the name of one of the 19 municipalities that helped finance the new lift. Nostalgic Glungezer fans had the opportunity to buy the old chairlifts.

Snowmaking system
As a further expansion stage, a snowmaking system with a reservoir was built in 2019. The reservoir is located above the Tulfeinalm at an altitude of 2,080 m. A total of around 17 hectares of slopes are covered with snow.

Combi lift instead of combined lift
Many people remember the long T-bar lift in winter and the single chairlift up to the Tulfeinalm in summer. Since 2020, the last of its kind in Austria is also history and has been replaced by a modern combined lift: the Tulfein Express with 26 chairs and 13 cabins. The new lift was opened on December 24, 2020 and was a complete success with the local population despite this difficult winter due to the pandemic situation.

New Tulfein Express building on the Glungezer
The new Tulfein-Express combined lift on the Glungezerbahn is right on schedule. Here is a current video of the new construction of the ...

Hiking packages for the Glungezer stone pine paradise

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