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.
We absolutely loved this hiking trail. However, we did have some unfortunate experiences in the mountain huts, specifically with hut managers and staff. As mountain huts are an intrinsic part of the Eagle Walk hiking experience, we know it is our responsibility to truthfully highlight any encounters that may be inherently xenophobic, racist, or homophobic. We’ve summarized our experiences in each stage of the trek.
Our Eagle Walk was compensated in part by Tirol Werbung.