Stage 20: Hanauer Hütte – East Dremelscharte Notch – Steinseehütte – Württemberger Haus
- Distance: 10.4 km
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Minimum Elevation: 1897 m
- Maximum Elevation: 2444 m
- Total climb: 1260 m
- Total descent: 942 m
- Time Needed: 7 hours
- Lunch Option: Steinseehütte
Alternative Stage 20: Hanauer Hütte – Unterer Parzinnsee – Gufelseejoch – Gufelsee – Bitterichsee – Bitterscharte – Württemberger Haus
- Distance: 8.9 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
- Minimum Elevation: 1912 m
- Maximum Elevation: 2547 m
- Total climb: 1052 m
- Total descent: 749 m
- 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, Württemberger 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.