Marmot Hike Weitental


“A river cuts through a rock, not because of its power but because of its persistence.” - Jim Watkins

Quick Facts

What To Expect





General InfoS

   Distance ~8 km

     Total time needed ~5 hours

  Total elevation ~250 meters

How To Plan

Waterfalls and Marmots wherever you look

The first days of our vacation in Austria were pretty rainy and gloomy. After a short hike to a very small and cozy hut where we were served something rather strong in order to get warm - and most of all dry - again, that the next days we had rather enjoyed our wellness hotel than the beautiful hikes out here. 

Pro tip: Plan some extra time to observe the marmots!

Four days, a few swims in the pool, some wellness and one massage later it was time to get out though. We started early and went up to the first station with the gondola to about 2,100 m where this pretty moody adventure started. It was about 8.30 am but not really bright yet. The first hour we had to hike in the thickest fog I had seen in years. You could barely see further than 10 to 20 meters at times. The first part of this usually beautiful and also crowded hike leads up on an unpaved road to a rather large hut. Two cars passed us on the way up - besides that there was no human in sight. 

After about half an hour a shot was fired - we stood still looking at each other confused. It was probably just two huntsman - they must have passed us in one of the cars. I was still pretty scared though - in that fog I assumed that also for them it must be hard to tell apart a human from a moving animal. But we had no choice other than to continue on our way up. A little while later we reached the hut that looked somewhat abandoned in this moody scenery. 

By the time we were already freezing to our bones - the fog had really crawled up our bodies and even the almost 300 m of elevation couldn’t help with that. So after a sip of water we continued our way through the so-called Weitental - a wide valley if you will. I told Chris that back in the days when I was here hiking with my parents we had almost every time seen or at least heard a marmot - I was hoping for the same thing this time. And just a few minutes in - we did hear one! 

When we came further down into the valley and closer to the river, I saw something move - and oh my there they were - four marmots were roaming right in front of us. Eating, playing and drinking in the river. Oh what a sight. I took some photos - from a safe distance of course - we had a snack and then continued. I was completely satisfied not having promised too much. 

The valley is so beautiful in the summertime green grass covering the hills and valley floor with small streams and some larger waterfalls coming down from the rougher mountains further up. There isn’t really a place you can go where you don’t hear a waterfall or the river - which was still true this time. The colors were different though providing a more intimidating scenery that could just remind you of the Scottish highlands. 

“A river cuts through a rock, not because of its power but because of its persistence.” - Jim Watkins

“A river cuts through a rock, not because of its power but because of its persistence.” - Jim Watkins

The first two hours had passed when the first hikers crossed our path. All in all we probably only saw about 10 people that day - a scene you will never quite find on the German side of the alps and another reason I have always loved this place in Austria. So much solitude you can find here with views than are rather hard to find in Germany too. Plus all the marmots of course - oh yes, we had seen more probably about a dozen by now and I am not exaggerating here!

You leave the Weitental going down a short and sketchy path but will instantly be rewarded by an amazing waterfall that will appear on your right. Back on the normal trail again it will lead right past that waterfall. With all the rain we have had those past days it wasn’t hard to guess that these few meters would leave us soaking wet - but laughing. By now we had seen more than 15 little marmots and probably heard a dozen more. 

I did say that we usually saw one or two of these little fellas - but never quite that many! I still wonder if it was due to all the rain and almost no people around or if they had just grown so accustomed to humans over the past 20 years that they just don’t get scared anymore? I hope for the first option. 

The last part of the hike leads over small trails and through some forests down to the parking lot at the gondola station again. Definitely an adventure but fairly easy hike to recommend if you are ever in this area. 

Pro tip: Bring a rain jacket for passing the waterfall!

I hope you found this article helpful and enjoyed this little adventure and the little marmot fellas as much as I did! I would love to hear your outdoor adventures and if you have been in this area for hiking - feel free to leave a comment below or contact me via email!

November 25, 2020
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