Alp stories: The Eppzirler Alp and its hosts
The Eppzirler Alp is located at 1,459 m above sea level in the middle of the Karwendel mountains. Up here, the world is a different one: a quieter one, a more tranquil one, perhaps also a more contented one. Christian and Vanessa manage the alpine pasture at the end of the Eppzirler Valley.
Eppzirler Alp: 500 years of history
The roots of the alp go back a long way: already in the 16th century the Eppzirl was mentioned several times in the "Gejaidbuch der Graffschaft Tirol". At that time, valuable Tyrolean stone oil was also already being extracted. In the beginning, however, it was not very successful - Eppzirl only experienced its heyday as a mining area in the 19th century with the development of cast iron crucibles. At that time the mountain pasture was given the secondary name "Goldalpe". Oil shale deposits were dug in up to ten pits for the valuable stone oil. In the 1920s, the Eppzirler Alm experienced its very own "Golden Twenties". In addition to the stables, which still exist today, the Sennhütte was built, and in 1932 the alp was made accessible for the first time by a forest road. Until today it is preserved as a jewel of alpine pasture and high mountain landscape.
According to legend, more than 30 tons of Reich gold disappeared during the Second World War and was hidden somewhere in the area at the end of the war. No one has found it to this day. If you happen to stumble across it, please let us know.
The alp today: a small paradise
In total, the alpine pasture covers an area of about 1,100 hectares and is managed from the beginning of June to end-October (depending on weather conditions). Then around 100 head of cattle also graze on the meadows, which the hut keepers keep a constantly watchful eye on. Hikers always like to take a seat on the sun terrace. The menu is small, but stocked with everything that makes hikers' hearts happy. Served are bacon and cheese dumplings with cabbage, soup or salad, a richly stocked Jausenbrettl, bacon and cheese sandwiches and wonderfully fragrant homemade apple strudel.
"We place a lot of value on regionality, which is why our bacon and sausages are from our own production," says hut owner Christian. "And also with the other products we work - wherever possible - with regional producers." Christian and Vanessa agree: "We simply have the most beautiful place as a workplace!"
A real place of power: surrounded by giants in the Karwendel mountains
The panoramic view over the gentle, lush meadows of the alpine pasture on one side and the jagged limestone peaks of the Karwendel mountains on the other side amazes every visitor. Behind the lovely alp, the Erlspitze, the Eppzirler Scharte, the Freiungstürme, the Kuhjoch and Reither Spitze are enthroned - the views are truly breathtaking, allowing hikers to relax and at the same time giving them energy. For this feeling, you don't even have to have stood on the peaks in Eppzirl.
Hikes to and around the Eppzirler Alm
The Eppzirler Alm can be reached comfortably via the forest path in about two hours from Gießenbach. The route is family-friendly and also good for children. If you like, the Eppzirler Alm is the end point, or you can use it as a starting point for further hikes, for example via the Eppzirler Scharte to the Solsteinhaus (walking time: 2.5 to 3 h / difference in altitude: 350 m) or via the Ursprungsattel to the Nördlinger Hütte (walking time: 4.5 to 5 h / difference in altitude: 779 m) or for summit tours on one of the Karwendel peaks.
The more ambitious take the circular hike from the valley station of the Rosshütte cable car via the Schlagkopf, the Eppzirler Alm and the Nördlinger Hütte and via the Reitherjochalm back to Seefeld. The entire route is just over 20 kilometers long, the tour takes about ten hours and requires a really good physical condition as well as surefootedness and a head for heights. If you bring all this with you, it is truly sensational and rewards you with tingling views and far-reaching vistas and plenty of happiness. Also on the 15th stage of the Adlerweg, which leads from the Solsteinhaus via Scharnitz to Leutasch, you pass the alp via the Eppzirler Scharte down.
On the last few metres before Eppzirler Alm
Insider tip: Autumn at Eppzirl
When it's "herbst'lt" in the Karwendel mountains, it becomes really beautiful in the Eppzirl: the larches on the slopes around the alp turn into a bright yellow-gold, while the mountain peaks around are already sugared. On mild days you can enjoy the warm rays of the sun on the terrace, but in the parlor Christian and Vanessa also like to heat up the stove, where you can really make yourself comfortable.