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Hiking the Eagle Walk across the Lechtal Alps, Austria

Trekking the Eagle Walk across the Lechtal Alps

The Eagle Walk (Adlerweg in German) is a long-distance hut-to-hut hiking trail that traverses the Austrian State of Tirol in 33 stages, from East to West. In North Tirol, the hiking trail starts in St. Johann in Tirol and ends in St. Christoph am Arlberg (Stages 1 – 24). The trail continues for another nine stages in East Tyrol (Osttirol).

While some may want to hike the Eagle Walk in its entirety, others may want to hike a section, choosing a specific mountain range. 

In North Tirol, the Eagle Walk crosses the Wilder Kaiser, Brandenberger Alps, Karwendel, Tux Alps, Wetterstein Mountains, and Lechtal Alps.

In the East, the Eagle Walk cuts across the Hohe Tauern Range, starting in the Venediger Group and ending in the Grossglockner Group. This route overlaps somewhat with the Venediger High Trail.

Why we chose to hike Stages 19-24 across the Lechtal Alps

We decided to tackle the Eagle Walk stages across the Lechtal Alps (19 – 24) – basically the most grueling section of the Adlwerweg – because we’re partial to jagged limestone peaks, wildlife, and remote hiking trails. Our interest was further peaked by the intimidating descriptions of these stages. In a somewhat concerned voice, I told Kati that this trail would be “very difficult” and she replied haughtily “How difficult can it really be?” 

Well, it was very difficult – more so than we anticipated!! It was also the most riveting and mesmerizing trail we’ve hiked in Austria. Scenically, the views are hard to rival. Additionally, while traversing the Lechtal Alps, you’ll also have heart-stopping views of the crystalline Verwall mountain range, a dazzling contrast to the limestone Lechtal range.

From a flora and fauna perspective, the Eagle Walk rewards hikers with daily wildlife sightings and a plethora of wildflowers. We saw roaming ibex, chamois, and marmots daily. And the cherry on top is the solitude. On any given day, we saw no more than 10 other hikers on the trail, traveling in the opposite direction. 

When can you hike the Eagle Walk in Austria?

July, August, or September. We hiked this trail in mid-July. We lucked out with the weather, only experiencing some rain and hail on day 2. This is a trail you simply can’t do in bad weather. We recommend having a plan B if the weather takes an unfortunate turn.

Our Eagle Walk was compensated in part by Tirol Werbung.

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Eagle Walk Lechtal Alps Hiking Guide

Eagle Walk - Lechtal Alps Hiking Guide Overview

  • Eagle Walk Lechtal Alps Trail Difficulty – Who can hike this trail
  • Eagle Walk Hiking Gear
  • Eagle Walk Hiking Trail Itineraries:  Lechtal Alps Route (6 Stages + Alternative Routes)
  • Eagle Walk Lechtal Alps Hiking Route Map
  • Arrival Day in Elmen, Lech Valley: Transit, Where to Stay
  • How to Get to the Trailhead 
  • Stages 19 -24 Explained: stage overview, where to stay
  • Where to End the Eagle Walk Trek
Planning a trip to Austria? Read these guides next:
More Austria Hiking Routes
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Eagle Walk Long-Distance Trail, Tirol, Austria

Who can hike the Adlerweg across the Lechtal Alps?

Experienced Alpine Hikers

In this guide, we’re outlining our Eagle Walk hut-to-hut hike for hikers looking for a challenging 6-day trek in the Austrian Alps. This hike is only for experienced alpine hikers who are sure-footed, in excellent physical condition, have lots of stamina, and are not afraid of heights.

You need to be able to navigate extremely narrow, washed-out trails as well as ridgelines. You should have a few hut-to-hut hikes under your belt as well. There are some “Holy Hell” moments along this trail, and you need to be physically and mentally prepared.

Do not email me (Sabrina), asking “Is it really that hard?… I hiked the TMB.”  However, feel free to DM us on Instagram if you have any other questions ;)!

Eagle Walk, Lechtal Alps, Austria

Eagle Walk Hiking Gear

What to pack for the Eagle Walk

Read our full Hut to Hut Hiking Packing List for a comprehensive list of things to pack for this hike. 

  • Cash: None of the mountain huts along this route accept credit cards (as of Summer 2020). Budget 60 – 80 EUR per day per person. You’ll pay significantly less for overnight stays if you have an Alpine Club Membership Club.
  • Recommended Hiking Gloves: Black Diamond Climbing Gloves. Though optional, gloves will help you safely grip cables and rocks.
  • Recommended Backpack: The Osprey Kyte 36 (for women) and the Osprey Kestrel 38 (for men).
  • Recommended Hiking Shoes: Grade B/C, high-cut hiking boots like the women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX / Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (what Kati and I wear) or the men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX.
  • Recommended Sunglasses: Cat 4 Polarized Sunglasses
  • Recommended Trail Poles: Unisex Black Diamond Hiking Poles
  • Recommended Trail Maps: 3/3 Alpenvereinskarte Lechtaler Alpen Parseierspitze (Stages 20 – 23) and 3/2 Alpenvereinskarte Lechtaler Alpen Arlberggebiet (Stages 23 – 24).

 

Photography Gear for Hiking in the Alps

 
Hiking the Eagle Walk across the Lechtal Alps, Tirol, Austria

Eagle Walk Lechtal Alps Hiking Trail Itinerary

Eagle Walk 6-Day Trek

  • Day 1 (Stage 19): Boden – Hanauer Hütte (2 hours, 5.3 km)
  • Day 2 (Stage 20): Hanauer Hütte – Steinseehütte – Württemberger Haus (7 hours, 11 km)
  • Alternative Day 2: Hanauer Hütte – Gufelsee – Bittrichsee – Württemberger Haus (6 hours, 9.7 km)
  • Day 3 (Stage 21): Württemberger Haus – Memminger Hütte (5 hours, 7 km)
  • Day 4 (Stage 22): Memminger Hütte – Ansbacher Hütte (6 hours, 10 km)
  • Day 5 (Stage 23): Ansbacher Hütte – Kaiserjochhaus – Leutkircher Hütte (7 hours, 12.7 km)
  • Day 6 (Stage 24): Leutkircher Hütte – St. Christoph am Arlberg (5 hours, 12.3 km)
  • Alternative Day 6: Leutkircher Hütte – St. Anton am Arlberg (2:30 hours, 7.2 km)
  • Alternative Days 6 and 7: Leutkircher Hütte – Stuttgarter Hütte – Lech am Arlberg (2 Days)

Eagle Walk Alternative Routes

Day 1 (Stage 19) starts at Anhalter Hütte, however, our trek begins half-way through Stage 19 at Boden. 

Day 2 (Stage 20). There are a few ways to hike from Hanauer Hütte to Württemberger Haus. We decided to hike the shorter way via Gufelseejoch and Bitterscharte instead of via Steinseehütte, because of the weather forecast. This is a gorgeous alternative route, which is considerably easier than the Steinsee trail. 

Day 6 (Stage 24) of the Eagle Walk is anti-climatic and a bit disappointing. If we could do it again, we’d either descend directly to St. Anton am Arlberg from Leutkircher Hütte, or we’d add an extra day, overnighting in Stuttgarter Hütte and descending on Day 7 to Lech am Arlberg (in Vorarlberg) via the Rüfikopfbahn. 

 
Lechtal Alps, Austria, Hiking the Eagle Walk / Adlerweg

Eagle Walk Hut to Hut Hiking Route Map

Eagle Walk Lechtal Alps Stages
  • Places to stay before/after the trek
  • Eagle Walk Stage 19
  • Eagle Walk Stage 20 - Alternative
  • Eagle Walk Stage 20
  • Eagle Walk Stage 21
  • Eagle Walk Stage 22
  • Eagle Walk Stage 23
  • Eagle Walk Stage 24 - St. Anton
  • Eagle Walk Stage 24 - St. Christoph
  • Eagle Walk Stage 24 - Lech
Parzinnspitze, Eagle Walk Lechtal Alps, Austria

Arrival Day in Elmen, Lech Valley, Tirol

How to get to Elmen in Lech Valley

To get to Elmen, it’s best to start your journey in Munich or Innsbruck

From Munich, take a train to Reutte in Tirol, where you switch to Bus 110 to get to Elmen. The whole trip will take around 3:30 hours.

From Innsbruck, you’ll either travel to Elmen via Nassereith and Reutte in Tirol, or you’ll go through Lech am Arlberg in Vorarlberg. It also takes around 3:30 hours. Check your best connection here or book your ticket with trainline.

Where to Stay in Elmen

LechZeit is a stylish, alpine-modern hotel and restaurant in Tiroler Lech Nature Park. With its mature millennial vibe, rooms feature sophisticated and functional minimalism that we found really appealing. We wouldn’t mind moving in. Rooms either face the valley, framed by the Lechtal Alps, or the forest.

The hotel’s restaurant is a very popular place in the Lech Valley, so make sure to make a dinner reservation in advance. Serving sumptuous and traditional Tirolean cuisine, it’s tempting to overeat. We had a great experience, and we hope we can return soon.

Book your stay at LechZeit.

Find a place to stay in Elmen: Booking.com  |  Airbnb

Luggage Transfer

Use Feuerstein to transfer your luggage from LechZeit to your end destination in St. Anton am Arlberg, or in Lech am Arlberg.

 
Unterer Parzinnsee, Lechtal Alps, Eagle Walk Trek, Austria

Day 1: Eagle Walk Lechtal Alps

Stage 19

How to Get to the Boden Trailhead

Take the Linientaxi from Elmen Gemeindeamt to Boden Dorf (20 minutes), which operates Thursdays through Sundays. The shuttle only leaves once in the late morning, and twice in the afternoon. This is free with the Lechtal Aktiv Card, which you receive for free when staying at LechZeit.

If you’re starting the trek on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, you’ll need to organize your own transit to Boden. Reach out to Klugi’s Shuttle Service +43 (0) 676 557 80 18 (or: + 43 (0) 5635 554), or ask LechZeit to help arrange the transfer for you.

 

Stage 19: Boden – Hanauer Hütte

  • Distance: 5.3 km
  • Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
  • Elevation: 580 meters ascending 
  • Time Needed: 2:00 – 2:30 hours

Stage 19 of the Eagle Walk begins at Ansbacher Hütte. Since we’re entering the trail in Boden (half-way through the stage), it doesn’t make sense to backtrack to Ansbacher Hütte.

From the shuttle-drop-off point at Boden, follow signs to Hanauer Hütte (signed 2:30 hours). After crossing the bridge over Fundaisbach stream, follow the road to the parking lot. From the parking area, the trail continues over another bridge, and then heads left up the valley, parallel to Gstreinbach stream.

As you follow the wide gravel track through the valley, you’ll amble across green-carpeted forests. Listen to the birds and enjoy the flat walking.

After 3.4 km, the wide track ends at the bottom of the Seilbahn, the cable car that services the mountain hut. From here, the “hiking trail” begins. You’ll ascend 390 meters to Hanauer Hütte rather quickly.

 

Stay in Hanauer Hütte

  • Showers: 4 EUR for 3 Minutes, Token operated. Open from 4 pm.
  • Drinking Water: Tap water is safe to drink
  • Electronic Charging Stations: Dining room and in bedrooms
  • Payment: Cash Only
  • Food: Okay
  • Half Board or à la carte: We recommend choosing à la carte.
  • Rooms: Dormitory, and private rooms

When you walk into Hanauer Hütte, there’s a sign that says “don’t pet the dogs”. Well, if you ask me, that tells you everything you need to know about the management of this hut. It’s clean and tidy, but the people running this hut are cold, rude, and disinterested. Don’t expect a warm welcome here.

We booked half board when we made our reservation. Upon checking-in, we inquired about the half-board options, because it’s typical to choose between 2-3 different dishes. A staff member replied: “Ihr bekommt den Müll, den der Koch vom Boden zusammenkehrt, und dann zu einem Essen vermischt” (you will eat the trash the cook sweeps from the floor and mixes together). The hut manager standing beside his employee said that he didn’t know what the dinner is tonight. 

Shortly before dinner, we asked another waiter what the half board menu was, and he refused to tell us. So, we ended up getting a meal we did not want and could not eat.

Most huts will tell you what the half board options are, but for some reason, this hut does things differently (strangely). If you opt for à la carte, at least you get to choose what you eat.

This experience aside, we liked the location and the rooms of Hanauer Hütte. From the outdoor terrace, there are unobstructed views of Dremelspitze, Parzinnspitze, Plattigspitze, Schlenkerspitze.

 
Zams Valley, Lechtal Alps, Tirol, Eagle Walk

Day 2: Eagle Walk Lechtal Alps

Stage 20

Stage 20: Hanauer Hütte – East Dremelscharte Notch – Steinseehütte – Würthemberger Haus

  • Distance: 11 km
  • Difficulty: Difficult 
  • Elevation: 1240 m ascending / 930 m descending 
  • Time Needed: 7 hours
  • Lunch Option: Steinseehütte

Alternative Stage 20: Hanauer Hütte – Unterer Parzinnsee – Gufelseejoch – Gufelsee – Bitterichsee – Bitterscharte – Württemberger Haus

  • Distance: 9.7 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate. The only difficult part of this hike is the ascent to Bitterscharte. It’s steep and the final stretch is almost vertical, but luckily it’s secured with cables
  • Elevation: 1065 m ascending, 762 m descending 
  • Time Needed: 6 hours
  • Lunch Option: None. Pack a snack, or request a lunch packet from Hanauer Hütte.
 

We decided to hike the alternative route because the weather forecast predicted rain and thunderstorms. This route is spectacular, and because it’s “less-traversed,” we saw roaming chamois and ibex throughout the day.

Starting at Hanauer Hütte, follow signs to Württemberger Haus, in the direction of Gufelseejoch. This gorgeous trail ascends through a vibrant, alpine paradise blooming with yellow kidney vetch, fuchsia alpenrose, and violet ferry’s thimble. From the wooden Parzinnalmhütte, continue hiking up to Unterer Parzinnsee (Lower Parsinn Lake), a small, nearly dried-out lake below Parzinnspitze.

The trail continues up and then left to Gufelseejoch, diagonally crossing a slope. Twisting hairpins and one steel cable guide you to Gufelseejoch, the saddle between Parzinnspitze and Kogelseespitze.

From the saddle, you’ll see Gufelsee below. Descend the loamy trail (very slippery in wet conditions) to the lake.

After passing the lake, the trail slowly descends across grassy slopes, animated by running and whistling marmots.

The trail eventually levels out, and you’ll walk across a meadow, cross a stream, and follow a balcony trail around Vorderer Gufelkopf above Glabtal.

When you reach an intersection, turn right towards Württemberger Haus über Bitterscharte (signed 3 hours). With views of the Otterbach river and the valley leading to Gramais village, the trail begins to ascend towards Bitterichsee. Off to your left, you’ll see the tiny unmanned Gufelhütte.

In July, the Bitterichsee lake was ringed with kidney vetch, which looked like a vivid yellow carpet. We took a long break here, soaking our feet in the water and enjoying the solitude.

From the lake, you have to cross the Otterbach stream, as the trail continues on the right side of the lake. We didn’t find a good crossing point, so we took off our shoes and crossed with our crocs.

Rising steadily above Bitterichsee, the views just get better and better. Look for ibex around here.

The trail eventually turns left along the Stuttgarter Weg and steeply ascends a scree slope. The final stretch to the Scharte (notch) is secured with steel cables. You’ll need both hands and some strength to navigate this very steep section.

When you reach Bitterscharte, you’ll descend towards Württembergerer Haus. Luckily, this side of the notch is less steep, so the hardest part is behind you.

As you descend, the views of Auf der Lacke and the soaring peaks behind the lake – Östliche Spiessrutenspitze, Westliche Spiessrutenspitze, Plankenspitze – will take your breath away. We wanted to linger, but our descent was hastened by an unfriendly hail storm.

Soon the trail merges with the one from Steinseehütte, and it’s a final 1/2 kilometer (130 m descending) to the mountain refuge.

 

Stay in Württemberger Haus

  • Showers: No hot showers. There’s a cold shower outside.
  • Drinking Water: Tap water is safe to drink
  • Electronic Charging Stations: Limited places to charge your devices.
  • Payment: Cash Only
  • Food: EXCELLENT
  • Half Board or à la carte: Both options are available. You can decide what you want when you arrive (by 5 pm).
  • Rooms: Dormitory, and private rooms

Facing the distant Ötztal Alps and hovering over a stream, Würthemberger Haus occupies one of the most romantic locations in the Lechtal Alps, high above Zams. This hut is cozy, warm, and absolutely charming. There’s limited space here, so the sleeping quarters are tighter. But, that doesn’t matter at all, because the outdoor terrace and the interior dining area invite you to relax and unwind.

There’s a lot to praise about this hut. The management creates a stress-free environment – there aren’t 101 rules to adhere to – and the food is superb and served in generous portions.

We did get the impression, however, that the hut manager isn’t comfortable speaking English or hosting English-speaking guests. She said that visitors should take a German language course, before coming to the hut. I’m not sure what motivated such a comment.

Other than that, we felt quite at ease here, though Kati, of course, speaks native German. I hope your stay here is comfortable, even with a potential language barrier. In most cases, other hut guests will step in to help, if you need assistance understanding, or translating something.

Let us know what your experience was like staying here.

 
Unterer Seewisee, Lechtal Alps, Tirol, Eagle Walk

Day 3: Eagle Walk Lechtal Alps

Stage 21

Stage 21: Württemberger Haus – Grossbergspitze Peak – Grossbergkopf Mountain – Grossbergjoch Saddle -Seescharte Notch – Unterer Seewisee –  Memminger Hütte

  • Distance: 7 km
  • Difficulty: Difficult 
  • Elevation: 670 m ascending, 650 m descending 
  • Time Needed: 5 hours
  • Lunch Option: None. Request a packed lunch, or bring a snack.
 

Stage 21 of the Eagle Walk is equal parts fun and demanding, requiring you to carefully climb along a lengthy ridge-line. This is a true Höhenweg (High Trail). You’re practically dancing in the clouds.

From the Württemberger Haus, set out in the direction of Östliche Spiessrutenspitze. At first, the trail gently ascends, crossing grassy slopes before leading you to a scree slope. The trail gets increasingly steeper, eventually twisting tightly and then not twisting at all – it’s just straight up (and it burns like hell) – bringing you to a rock wall.

Less steep than before, the path continues along longer switchbacks. Some iron rungs and a rope help you ascend and then you’ll follow a nice path to the ridge.

From the ridge, continue climbing up to Grossbergspitze Peak. Take a break here.

From the peak, the trail gets technically more difficult. There are some tricky, narrow parts that require your full attention. Follow the ridge to Grossbergkopf. It feels like you’re walking along the spine of the mountain.

Part of the route is secured, but not all of it.

When you reach Grossbergkopf, the trail continues on the left side of the ridge, and you’ll slowly descend.

The trail levels and you’ll cross grass and scree slopes horizontally. This is easy and painless. When you reach a trail intersection, Memminger Hütte is signed 2 hours. The other sign points down to Zams.

Continue ascending to the very-tight Seescharte Notch. When you squeeze through, you’ll see several alpine lakes and Memminger Hütte.

From Seescharte, the descent is initially secured. Then you’ll continue hiking steeply down scree, talus, and earthy soil. The path follows the Seewissebach stream and you’ll hike down a little ravine.

It’s a great relief when you reach level ground and see the meadows around Unterer Seewisee. The trail divides, and you can walk around the lake to the hut in either direction. We chose the right path and found a pleasant place to rest by the lake. Memminger Hütte is only a few minutes away.

 

Optional Peak Hike: Seekogel (2412 m)

  • Distance: 790 m one-way
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation: 170 m ascending / descending 
  • Time Needed: 30-minutes one-way (1-hour out-and-back)

From Memminger Hütte, you can hike to Seekogel, the peak overlooking the hut. We hiked to Seekogel in the late afternoon, after eating cake and coffee at the hut, and decided we wanted to return for sunrise.

The next morning we hiked again to Seekogel. Please don’t be as stupid as us. You don’t need to add any more hiking to Stage 22.

 

Stay in Memminger Hütte

  • Showers: 4 EUR for 3 Minutes, token operated
  • Drinking Water: Tap water is safe to drink
  • Electronic Charging Stations: dining room, limited outlets in rooms
  • Payment: Cash Only
  • Food: Very Good
  • Half Board or à la carte: Both available
  • Rooms: Dormitory, 4-bed rooms

Memminger Hütte is situated in a bowl encircled by magnificent peaks. There’s grandeur to this location that can’t be overstated. It’s EPIC!

The E4, E5, Lechtal High Trail, and the Eagle Walk all intersect at Memminger Hütte. E5 is basically the “Camino of the Alps” and a bucket-list adventure for every German hiker. This was the only place along our trek that felt a bit overrun.

So, it’s a bit crowded and has an impersonal, big hut vibe. However, the staff does an excellent job managing everything. We never waited very long to order food or drinks. And, our experience was overall quite good.

Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding about our breakfast at Memminger Hütte. The situation escalated, and the manager of the hut, Andy Schmidt, treated us inhumanely and disrespectfully. His aggressive (possibly homophobic and/or racist) behavior reached an apex when he said he should “Watschn einehaun” (slap us in the face). The hut staff were ashamed and devastated by his behavior. After speaking with several staff members, he ultimately apologized.

 
Lechtal Alps, Tirol, Austria

Day 4: Eagle Walk Lechtal Alps

Stage 22

Stage 22: Memminger Hütte – Griesslscharte Notch – Winterjoch Saddle – Kopfscharte Notch – Ansbacher Hütte

  • Distance: 10 km
  • Difficulty: Difficult 
  • Elevation: 1,040 m ascending / 900 m descending 
  • Time Needed: 6 hours
  • Lunch Option: None. Request a lunch packet at Memminger Hütte
 

From Memminger Hütte, the trail descends left along a loamy track across sloping terrain in the direction of Parseiertal Valley. After a water crossing, the trail narrows and is secured by a system of cables. You’ll continue along this narrow singletrack trail, crossing more streams, before finally reaching Parseierbach stream.

From Parseierbach, the 910-meter ascent to Griesslscharte begins. The trail ascends up a grove, in the direction of a tiny private hut wedged into the rock above. Before reaching the hut, the trail turns sharply left. You’ll continue hiking up grassy slopes, along a moderate trail to Langkar cirque.

The easy part is over. On the right side of the cirque, the trail continues straight up. It’s an unforgiving uphill battle, especially on hot days. The track eventually crosses the rubble-filled cirque over a snowfield, bringing you to the bottom of a secured passage. The fixed cables help you ascend quickly to the notch.

When you summit Griesslscharte, celebrate yourself and your beautiful, healthy body!! We felt elated and strong AF.

From Griesslscharte, it’s mostly easy-going from here, though you still have to hike 3.4 km to reach the hut.

You’ll descend scree terrain into a “bowl” where some snow resides until late summer. The mountain views are extraordinary. Colors collide and the peaks look like they are melting and congealing at the same time.

From Winterjoch, you’ll hike horizontally across scree slopes behind Stierkopf, until making a final climb to Kopfscharte Notch. After this final ascent, you’ll plateau and follow a soft, grassy, heavenly trail to Ansbacher Hütte.

This stage ends splendidly with sweeping views of the Verwall mountain range on the other side of the Stanzer Tal Valley. You’ll also see the town of Flirsch below, cradled by two impressive ranges. As you follow the balcony trail to the hut, you’ll likely encounter some grazing sheep or at least their lasting evidence.

 

Stay in Ansbacher Hütte

  • Showers: 1 EUR for 1 Minutes, 1 EUR coin-operated
  • Drinking Water: Tap water is safe to drink
  • Electronic Charging Stations: Sporadic, not very many
  • Payment: Cash Only
  • Food: Very Good
  • Half Board or à la carte: Both available. We had the half board menu and it was excellent.
  • Rooms: Private and Dormitory

This traditional hut combines delicious food with equally delicious views.

We would have rated this hut 5 stars, had we not experienced the following:

Because our mountain hut expenses were compensated by Tirol Werbung, we didn’t pay for our room and board in the mountain huts. When guests pay for their stay, they are given a “breakfast ticket,” which they need to present in order to receive breakfast. Because we didn’t pay, we weren’t given a breakfast ticket. The next morning, when we came downstairs for breakfast, the hut staff member (man in his 70s) refused to give us breakfast.

He knew we were representing Tirol Werbung (there was absolutely no confusion there), but he said that we needed a ticket. Of course, we didn’t have a ticket. And, when we explained that we never received one, he just made us stand in the dining room, whilst giving out plates and mugs to other guests. It was humiliating. When we tried to take a breakfast plate, he pulled it away from us.

Is he homophobic, racist, or both?

 
Hintersee, Eagle Walk Stage 23

Day 5: Eagle Walk Lechtal Alps

Stage 23

Stage 23: Ansbacher Hütte – Flarschjoch Saddle – Alperschonjoch Saddle – Hinterseejoch – Kridlonscharte – Kaiserjochhaus – Leutkircher Hütte

  • Distance: 12.7 km
  • Difficulty: Difficult 
  • Elevation: 949 m ascending / 1064 m descending 
  • Time Needed: 7 hours
  • Lunch Option: Kaiserjochhaus. However, you should pack a snack, because it takes a good 5 hours to reach Kaiserjochhaus from Ansbacher Hütte.
 

Ansbacher Hütte to Kaiserjochhaus (5 hours)

Stage 23 of the Eagle Walk is a beast of a hike. We found it more challenging than the previous two days because parts of the trail are washed out.

You’ll begin this stage by backtracking along yesterday’s stage for 670 meters. When the trail divides, head left and glide up to Flarschjoch saddle. 

From Flarschjoch, you’ll descend and then cross the barren rocky landscape of Knappenböden. You’ll continue across scree slopes to Alperschonjoch Saddle.

The next section requires a bit of patience, as you’ll clamber along 19 secured sections, skirting the rugged, southern side of the Vorderseesptize Spire. While no special equipment is necessary, we were really happy to have these climbing gloves. This is known as the Haas-Weg Trail. It’s not terribly difficult, but it’s long (1 hour). Because you’re moving horizontally, you’re not expending a lot of energy.

When you reach Vordersee (above the lake, not directly at the lake), the trail climbs gradually for 200 meters to Hinterseejoch. The final stretch to the saddle steepens along switchbacks.

From the Hinterseejoch, the views of Hintersee lake enchant. The initial descent is a bit slippery, because of the falling, earthy-rock terrain.

The trail then hugs the rocky mountain slope leading up to Kridlonscharte, in a soft diagonal line. This part is actually quite difficult because snow-melt carves up the trail. In some places, it’s so narrow, it’s hard to decide where to put your foot. And, you can’t really grab onto anything for support.

As you near Kridlonscharte, you’ll hike across rugged and exposed terrain, secured with cables. To reach the pass, you’ll climb up a chimney, also secured with fixed cables.

The path levels out on the other side of the Scharte (pass). You’ll follow a balcony bath across earthy terrain and then scree. Below, you’ll see the town of Pettneu am Arlberg, and above, the perfectly-pointed Kridlonspitze peak.

You have to cross boulders and then a steep, exposed slope (similar to the Vorderseesptize Spire slopes earlier in the day), along a scant trail, before reaching Kaiserjochhaus. It’s demanding and it’s a pain-in-the-ass, but it’s almost over. The scrambling ends soon!

When you reach the saddle between Malatschkopf and Griesskopf, you’re almost at Kaiserjochhaus.

Some people stay the night at Kaiserjochhaus, which is definitely an option.

After some cake, coffee, and Johannisbeer gespritzt, we continued on to Leutkircher hut (2 hours). Luckily, these next two hours are easy.

 

Kaiserjochhaus to Leutkircher Hütte (2 hours)

From the hut, you’ll begin by hiking up to the approachable peak Kaiserkopf. From the grassy summit, you’ll descend and then horizontally traverse the grassy slopes of Bergleskopf.

Ascend to Schindelescharte, the saddle between Schindlekopf and Bergleskopf. At the saddle, Leutkircher Hütte is signed 1:15 hrs.

You’ll continue descending and crossing the grassy slopes of Bergleskopf until reaching a green basin at the foot of pretty Stanskogel.

This is all very easy walking – thank the heavens!!!

With views of the Verwall on your left, follow the beautiful footpath through lush meadows and pastures.

When you wrap around the mountain, you’ll see Leutkircher Hut below and an ensemble of jagged peaks. It’s a short descent to reach the hut.

 

Stay in Leutkircher Hütte

  • Showers: 3 EUR for 3 Minutes, token operated
  • Drinking Water: Tap water is safe to drink
  • Electronic Charging Stations: In the dining room (available until 10 pm)
  • Payment: Cash Only
  • Food: Very Good
  • Half Board or à la carte: Both available. You can decide before 5 pm.
  • Rooms: Private and dormitory

This 108-year-old mountain hut is what every mountain hut ought to be: friendly, warm, welcoming, and exceedingly charming. Meinhard Egger has been managing the hut for 30 years and he’s so happy to answer your questions. We loved our stay here and can’t wait to revisit.

 
Leutkircher Hütte, Lechtal Alps, Austria - Eagle Walk

Day 6: Eagle Walk Lechtal Alps

Stage 24

Stage 24: Leutkircher Hütte – Ulmer Hütte – Galzig – Maiensee – St. Christoph am Arlberg

  • Distance: 12.3 km
  • Difficulty: Difficult 
  • Elevation:  611 m ascending / 1061 m descending 
  • Time Needed: 5 hours
  • Lunch Option: Ulmer Hütte
 

As you probably gleaned, we didn’t love the final stage of the Eagle Walk. After some very rugged, exposed scrambling, you’ll descend through the St. Anton Ski Resort, which is an eyesore in summer. The mountain is carved up by ski infrastructure, and it’s jarring. That’s no way to end an epic hike like the Eagle Walk. Of course, it makes sense that the Eagle Walk ends in St. Christoph am Arlberg, the westernmost Tirolean town. However, we don’t think this stage is worth it.

If we could do it over again, we’d hike to Stuttgarter Hütte and overnight there, before finishing the hike in Lech am Arlberg in Vorarlberg. Alternatively, you could just descend to the valley to St. Anton directly from the hut in 2:30 hours.

Today’s hike isn’t easy. In fact, there’s a grueling section, which requires careful footing, scrambling, and rock-hugging (can I call it that?).

After an easy start, the trail divides. Stay to the left, taking the lower high trail. In 1 km the trail divides again. Follow signs to Ulmer Hütte (black) on Trail 601, taking the right trail.

After some steep switchbacks, it’s time to get intimate with the rocks. The trail is a bit brutal, with washed out sections and falling terrain. There are some fixed cables along the route.

The trail eventually gets easier and you’ll hike across a scree slope and up a rocky outcrop (not difficult) to Mattunjoch Col.

From the col, the “ugly part” begins. Continue to Valfagehrjoch Col and follow signs to Ulmer Hütte. We stayed on the road – the trail seemed pointless – and walked down to the hut.

After lunch at Ulmer Hütte, the trail bears left in the direction of Galzig Mountain, descending along a stream and passing a playground beforehand. Take the “Panorma Weg” to Galzig, or just continue on the road (easier).

From the Vallugabahn / Galzigbahn mountain station (there’s a café here), the trail follows the “Maienweg” to Lake Maiensee. Descend through dwarf pine all the way to the lake. From the lake, it’s a short walk to St. Christoph am Arlberg.

 

Stay in Lech am Arlberg or St. Anton am Arlberg

St. Christoph am Arlberg is a ghost town in summer. We recommend either heading to St. Anton am Arlberg in Tirol or Lech am Arlberg in Vorarlberg to rest, rejuvenate, and dine, before heading home.

We stayed in Hotel Gotthard in Lech, which was the perfect ending. This family-run hotel is located in the middle of the village, very close to the bus stops. The wellness and spa area was our saving grace after this trip. And, the cuisine is excellent (Stube Gotthard). The bedroom upholstery is a bit whacky, but everything is clean and tidy. Overall, you’ll feel quite at home here. Don’t forget to try their excellent house beer OMES – which they brew themselves. 

Book your stay at Hotel Gotthard.

Find a place to stay in Lech am Arlberg: Booking.com  |  Airbnb

 
Hiking the Eagle Walk in Austria

Hiking in the Alps

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Eagle Walk Austria Trekking Guide
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@moonhoneytravelers
  • Happy Thanksgiving! This year, I’m grateful more than ever for my health and safety, my friends who are like guardian angels, the dawning of a new chapter (I’ll tell you about this soon), and Kati - the kindest and the most loving and non-judgmental human I know.
  • Seceda, Italian Dolomites.

Seceda is one of the most popular destinations in the Italian Dolomites, partially because it’s so easy to get to. There’s a cableway connection from Oritsei in Val Gardena, which means you don’t have to hike more than 10 minutes to get to this viewpoint.

A more interesting approach to the Seceda ridgeline is from the Resciesa Plateau. Starting in Ortisei, take the Resciesa funicular up to the plateau and descend to Malga Brogles in Val di Funes. From the hut, you can ascend to Seceda via the Panascharte notch or the Mittagscharte notch.

Another option, is to forego a cableway ascent altogether and hike from “the bottom.” Starting at the Praplan car park above Santa Cristina, hike to Seceda via Baita Gamsblut and Rifugio Fermeda. You can make this a circuit hike by combining the ascent to Seceda with the summit to Monte Pic (highly recommended).

You’ll find more details on these two Seceda hikes on the blog (link in bio).
  • A month ago, we re-visited the Dolomites, intent on seeing the changing colors and hiking as much as humanly possible. In preparation, I spent hours pouring over Tabacco trail maps, charting out new routes to hike.

Alas, the weather didn’t care about my thoughtful planning. In fact, the conditions were so dreadful, we cancelled the first four days and the final five. When we did arrive, we were welcomed by a blanket of snow. After a few dry days, we experienced another storm leaving us knee-deep in snow for the next six days.

This trip obviously didn’t go as planned. But, the silver lining was our accommodation. Bad weather isn’t so bad when your hotel has an integrated wellness & sauna area, or an in-house patisserie.

As we’ve learned more than once, the weather is often unpredictable in the Dolomites. Our recommendation is to choose a lovely place to stay, so your time spent inside is just as enjoyable as your time outside.

We’ve summarized our favorite hotels in the Dolomites (link in bio), based on five independent trips. Take a look.
  • Only gratitude, relief and joy today.
  • Sunrise in the Karwendel Mountains.

The weather forecast predicted early afternoon thunderstorms, so we woke up extra early and started hiking at 5:30 am. Seeing the sunrise as we crested the Mandlscharte was like entering heaven.

After a long and difficult 9-hour stage, we arrived at @solsteinhaus in rain. Luckily, the thunder never came.

The highlight of this incredible day was meeting @clarazijlstra and @jaqi_sta - two brilliant and talented women who radiate passion and warmth! Hope to see you both again! 💛💛💛
  • Italian Dolomites Tip:

Skip Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee) and Lago di Sorapiss and hike to Lago di Coldai instead for a crowd-free alpine lake experience.