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Hiking the Karwendel High Trail in Tyrol, Austria

The Karwendel High Trail (Karwendel Höhenweg in German) is a 6-stage hut-to-hut hiking trail in the Karwendel Mountains in Tyrol, Austria.

This high alpine route encompasses thrilling peak summits, impressive balcony trails, riverside walking, and countless ascents and descents.

This hike will satiate your alpine wanderlust and your thirst for strenuous hiking days. Each stage ends in a cozy mountain refuge, where you can unwind, relax, and eat delicious Tyrolean food.

Measuring 60 kilometers and 7000 meters of total elevation gain and loss, this rigorous 6-day-hike requires stamina and good conditioning. It’s essential to have high-cut hiking boots and hiking poles for this route.


Karwendel High Trail: East to West

Day 1 | Scharnitz – Hallerangerhaus (19.7 km, 5:30 hours)

Day 2 | Hallerangerhaus – Speckkarspitze – Bettelwurfhütte (8.5 km, 6:30 hours)

Day 3 | Bettelwurfhütte – Stempeljochspitze – Pfeishütte (10.7 km, 6 hours)

Day 4 | Pfeishütte – Solsteinhaus (17.9 km, 9 hours)

Day 5 | Solsteinhaus – Nördlinger Hütte (6.2 km, 4 hours)

Day 6 | Nördlinger Hütte – Reith bei Seefeld (5.6 km, 3:30 hours)

Note | It’s also possible to reverse the hike.


Responsible Hiking in Naturpark Karwendel 

While hiking in the Karwendel Mountains, keep in mind that you’re visiting a protected area. Please adhere to the following rules:

  • Camping is strictly forbidden.
  • Stay on marked trails only.
  • Do not disturb wildlife.
  • Do not pick plants or flowers.
  • Do not make loud noises on the trail (or play music).
  • Keep a safe distance from grazing animals.

We wrote this comprehensive Karwendel High Trail trekking guide based on our personal experience. Keep in mind that things can change over time: trail difficulty, accessibility, and routing (due to rock falls, landslides, and avalanches) and hut management (reservation system, hospitality, payment, food quality, etc…). Please do your due diligence before tackling this route.

Karwendel High Trail, Tirol, Austria

Karwendel High Trail Map

KARWENDEL TREK STAGES

Where to Stay

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5

Stage 6


Karwendel High Trail Difficulty

Each stage varies in difficulty.

Stage 1 | Scharnitz – Hallerangerhaus: EASY. The entire route follows a wide gravel track.

Stage 2 | Hallerangerhaus – Bettelwurfhütte: MODERATE. You can make this stage more challenging by adding the summit hike to Speckkarspitze Peak. The descent from the peak to Lafatscher Joch initially follows a very narrow and exposed ridgeline. You have to be extremely surefooted and not at all afraid of heights to tackle this ridge route.

Stage 3 | Bettelwurfhütte – Pfeishütte: MODERATE. You can make Stage 3 longer and more interesting by adding the hike to Stempeljochspitze Peak. We highly recommend ascending to Stempeljochspitze from Stempeljoch on fair weather days. It’s not difficult, but highly rewarding.

Stage 4 | Pfeishütte – Solsteinhaus: DIFFICULT. This is the most challenging Karwendel High Trail stage, because of its length (8 – 10 hours) and numerous ascending and descending passages. The descent from Frau Hitt Saddle is particularly challenging because of the unstable terrain (steep and slippery scree slope).

Stage 5 | Solsteinhaus – Nördlinger Hütte: MODERATELY DIFFICULT. There are some very narrow segments along stage 5, where the trail has been washed out. This stage requires surefootedness and confidence along tight/narrow footpaths.

Stage 6 | Nördlinger Hütte – Reith bei Seefeld: EASY – MODERATE.

Frau Hitt, Karwendel High Trail, Austria

How to Book the Karwendel High Trail

All mountain huts along the Karwendel High Trail must be booked individually and independently. 

It’s important to make reservations for overnight stays in huts several months in advance. You may be able to book more short-term, if you have a flexible start date. 

You can make overnight reservations for most huts along the Karwendel High Trail using the Alpsonline online reservation platform.

For more information about booking huts, read our guide to visiting Austrian Mountain Huts. For information about pricing, hut etiquette, joining the Austrian Alpine Club, helpful German phrases to know for hiking in Austria, read hut to hut hiking in Austria.

Arrival Day | Stay in Seefeld in Tirol at Lifestylehotel dasMAX (budget), Princess Bergfrieden (midrange-luxury), or Summit Seefeld (midrange-luxury).

Stage 1 | Hallerangerhaus – Online Reservation via Alpsonline.

Stage 2 | Bettelwurfhütte – Online Reservation via Alpsonline.

Stage 3 | Pfeishütte – Online Reservation via Alpsonline.

Stage 4 | Solsteinhaus – Online Reservation Request Form.

Stage 5 | Nördlinger Hütte – Online Reservation via Alpsonline.

Stage 6 | The trek ends in Reith bei Seefeld, or Seefeld. We recommend staying in Seefeld in Tirol after the trek: Lifestylehotel dasMAX (budget), Princess Bergfrieden (midrange-luxury), or Summit Seefeld (midrange-luxury).

Bettelwurfhütte, Karwendel High Trail, Austria

Arrival Day in Seefeld in Tirol 


How To Get to Seefeld in Tirol

The Karwendel High Trail starts in the village of Scharnitz. However, we recommend staying in nearby Seefeld in Tirol (1180 m) before and after your trek. Seefeld is a larger town with more restaurant and accommodation options. There are direct, 15-minute bus and train connections between Seefeld in Tirol and Scharnitz.

If you’re traveling with extra luggage, ask your hotel in Seefeld in Tirol about your luggage storage options before your trip. 

To get to Seefeld in Tirol from Austria, take a direct train from Innsbruck (37 minutes). To get to Seefeld in Tirol from Germany, take a direct train from Munich (2:11 hours). 


Where to Stay in Seefeld in Tirol

Budget | Hotel Residence Metropol offers cozy and clean double rooms, apartments, and family suites. Guests love the balcony view and the friendly staff. Free on-site parking. 

Budget | Located across from Wildsee Lake in Seefeld, LakeSide Apartments Seefeld is a modern apartment complex with studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom apartments. Free on-site parking. 

Budget | Lifestylehotel dasMAX is a sleek and modern hotel, set in the center of Seefeld, very close to the train station. Bedrooms feature soundproof windows and contemporary Danish furniture. Guests have access to an on-site bistro, honesty bar, wellness area with a sauna and rooftop relaxation space. Breakfast is available from 7:30 – 10:30 am for an extra charge.

Budget | Apart Simon Seefeld offers 3 cheerful, well-equipped apartments in the town center of Seefeld.

Midrange | Tiroler Weinstube occupies an ideal location in Seefeld in Tirol’s pedestrian zone. Apartments are spacious, tastefully-furnished, and well-equipped. Guests love the hotel’s on-site restaurant. Free parking is available in a location nearby. 

Midrange-Luxury | Princess Bergfrieden is a traditional, Austrian hotel in Seefeld, just 5 minutes from the town center. A wonderful breakfast buffet is included in the room rate. Guests love the comfortable beds, wellness facilities (heated indoor pool, steam sauna, sauna, rain shower), and mountain-facing garden and sun terrace.

Midrange-Luxury Aparthotel | The sparkling new Summit Seefeld offers elegant 1-2 bedroom apartments in the heart of Seefeld in Tirol. The complimentary spa area includes a 50°C bio sauna, Finnish sauna, steam bath, relaxation area, and outdoor pool. Breakfast is available at an extra charge.

Look for accommodation in Seefeld in Tirol.

Karwendel Nature Park Hinterautal, Tirol, Austria

Karwendel High Trail Stage 1: Scharnitz – Hallerangerhaus 


Stage 1 Trail Stats

Distance | 19.7 km

Time Needed | 5:30 – 6 hours

Elevation Gain | 854 meters

Elevation Loss | 48 meters

Difficulty | Easy

Minimum Elevation | 961 meters

Maximum Elevation | 1767 meters

Route | Scharnitz (964 m) – Gleirschhöhe (1069 m) – Kastenalm (1220 m) – Hallerangerhaus (1768 m)

Lunch Option | Kastenalm (Cash Only)


Scharnitz to Hallerangerhaus  (5:30 hours)

Stage 1 of the Karwendel High Trail follows the Isar River through Hinterautal Valley. You’ll hike along a wide gravel track, which doubles as the Isarradweg cycling route, the entire day.

From the Scharnitz train station (964 m), head south into the village. After crossing a bridge over the Isar, turn left onto Hinterautalstrasse (street), between the Pfarrkirche Mariahilf (church) and the Goldener Adler hotel.

Continue along the Isarpromenade through a residential area. After crossing a bridge, you’ll see a parking lot and the entrance to Naturpark Karwendel, marked by a large wooden signboard.

From here, you can access three different valleys: Karwendeltal, Hinterautal, and Gleirschtal.

Stay in Hinterautal, following signs to Hallerangerhaus.

The trail runs parallel to the Isar river. We recommend staying on the northern-side (left-side) of the river, even though there’s an opportunity to walk on the opposite side.

We crossed the river at Schraffelbrücke bridge, passing Scharnitzer Alm, and then ultimately crossed back at Gleirschhöhe.

While it was more peaceful on the right-side, it was a bit confusing getting back to the main hiking trail, after crossing the Gleirschbach stream.

From Gleirschhöhe, continue along the wide gravel track for 10 kilometers to Kastenalm.

Along the route, you’ll see the impressive Gleirsch-Halltal-Kette mountain chain tower above the crystal-clear, gurgling Isar. As you progress, wooden benches beckon you to rest and enjoy the view.

Eventually, you’ll reach an intersection, where the trail steers right towards Hallerangerhaus. We recommend continuing straight to Kastenalm for a bite to eat.

Kastenalm (1220 m) is an alpine pasture hut at the foot of Hoher Gleirsch and Rigelkarspitze. This is a self-service hut. You can order drinks, cheese and/or meat platters, and cake here. The platters are served with bread and pickles. Here’s the menu:

  • Große Platte (Käse, Speck, Kaminwurzen) – Large platter with cheese, bacon, and sausage
  • Gemischte Platte (Käse, Speck) – Mixed platter with cheese and bacon
  • Speck Platte – Bacon platter
  • Käse Platte – Cheese platter
  • Kaminwurzen – sausage

From Kastenalm, backtrack to the last intersection and ascend 560 meters (5 km) to Hallerangerhaus (1768 m). As you approach the Kohleralm alpine pasture, the views of Speckkarspitze are extraordinary.

Cows graze here in summer. Make sure to keep a safe distance. Avoid startling and disturbing them.


Stay in Hallerangerhaus

Hallerangerhaus, Karwendel High Trail mountain hut, Tyrol, Austria

Hallerangerhaus (1768 m) is a lovely hut, overlooking the Hallerangeralm and facing the mighty Mount Lafatscher. Throughout the night, we could still hear the cowbells chiming from the pastures below. The hut staff was attentive and kind.

Reservation | Online Reservation via Alpsonline

Payment | Cash, or Credit Card

Showers | 2 EUR for a 4-minute shower. Token operated.

Drinking Water | Tap water is safe to drink

Electronic Charging Stations | In the main dining area, where you check-in.

Food | Okay

Half Board or à la carte | Both available

Rooms | Dormitory, and private rooms

Speckkarspitze Peak, Karwendel High Trail, Tyrol, Austria

Karwendel High Trail Stage 2: Hallerangerhaus – Bettelwurfhütte

If you hike directly from Hallerangerhaus to Bettelwurfhütte, stage 2 of the Karwendel High Trail is only 2:30 hours (5.8 km).

To make this stage more interesting, we recommend hiking to the Speckkarspitze peak (2621 m). However, the ridge trail beyond the summit is very exposed. Hikers must have a head for heights and must be comfortable with exposure. 

If you don’t plan on hiking to Speckkarspitze, you may way to continue the trek to Pfeishütte, and skip Bettelwurfhütte. 


Stage 2 Trail Stats

Distance | 8.5 km

Time Needed | 6:30 hours (with breaks)

Elevation Gain | 1017 meters

Elevation Loss | 701 meters

Difficulty | Difficult, if you hike to Speckkarspitze (optional). Only add this variation, on days with great visibility and stable weather. 

Minimum Elevation | 1756 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2619 meters

Route | Hallerangerhaus (1768 m) – Durchschlag – Speckkarspitze (2621 m) – Lafatscher Joch (2081 m) – Bettelwurfhütte (2077 m)

Lunch Option | None. You can order a lunch packet at Hallerangerhaus.


Hallerangerhaus to Speckkarspitze (2:15 – 3 hours)

Follow signs to Lafatscher Joch (1 hour) and Speckkarspitze (3 hours). Initially, the path is quite gentle, spoiling you with views of Grosser Lafatscher. But, soon you start ascending a steep rock-laden gully.

After about 35-40 minutes, the trail cuts to the right, leaving the scree slope. You’ll follow a gentle balcony trail and continue ascending until you reach a signed intersection, where you’ll turn left in the direction of the peak (2 hours).

If the weather conditions aren’t stable, do not hike to the summit. Simply continue straight to Lafatscher Joch, the mountain saddle between Grosser Lafatscher and Speckkarspitze.

The ascent is quite straightforward. You’ll hike up along loopy switchbacks, gaining elevation gradually. The glaciated peaks of the Zillertal and Stubai Alps shimmer along the horizon.

The last 30-minutes to the summit is partially secured with cables and requires some scrambling.

From the summit of Speckkarspitze (2621 m), you’ll see Innsbruck and the Inntal Valley, flanked by the Tux Alps and the Stubai Alps. On the other side, you’ll see the Karwendel mountain range, sprawling out in layers.


Speckkarspitze Ridge to Lafatscher Joch (1:40 hours)

The ascent to the peak is manageable, but the descent from the peak to Lafatscher Joch (mountain pass) is far more difficult, as you have to navigate a narrow ridgeline.

If the ridge descent is out of your comfort zone, simply descend the way you came up, and follow the main route to Lafatscher Joch.

Following the red-painted waymarks, descend along the ridge. There are some extremely narrow passages. Be very careful.

After about 40-minutes of ridge hiking, the trail eases up and continues along scree switchbacks to the Lafatscher saddle (2081 m).


Lafatscher Joch to Bettelwurfhütte (1:40 hours)

From Lafatscher saddle (2081 m), continue east (left). You’ll follow a balcony trail with very minimal grade variation.

The trail cuts across karst stone, scree, and dirt terrain, high above beautiful Halltal Valley and the Alpengasthaus St. Magdalena.

You’ll encounter a few sections with iron rungs and pegs, for assistance.

You’ll see the red-roofed Bettelwurfhütte (2077 m) clinging to the mountain-side, long before you arrive.


Stay in Bettelwurfhütte

Bettelwurfhütte mountain hut, Karwendel High Trail, Tyrol, Austria

Built in 1894, the historic balcony-like Bettelwurfhütte (2077 m) is a welcoming mountain refuge overlooking Absam and Hall in Tirol. On a sunny day, the outdoor terrace invites you to eat, drink, and be merry. Frequented by Klettersteig (via ferrata) climbers, this hut has an acutely local vibe. At night, the Inntal valley twinkles like starlight.

Reservation | Online Reservation via Alpsonline

Payment | Cash, or EC-Cards

Showers | None

Drinking Water | Tap water is safe to drink

Electronic Charging Stations | Hallway and dining room

Food | Good

Half Board or à la carte | Both available. You can decide what to order by 4 pm.

Rooms | Private and Dormitory

Pfeishütte, Karwendel High Trail, Austria

Karwendel High Trail Stage 3: Bettelwurfhütte – Pfeishütte


Stage 3 Trail Stats

Distance | 10.7 km

Time Needed | 6 hours with Stempeljochspitze

Elevation Gain | 701 meters

Elevation Loss | 859 meters

Difficulty | Moderately difficult. The only difficult passage is the ascent to Stempeljoch saddle. 

Minimum Elevation | 1920 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2525 meters

Route | Bettelwurfhütte (2077 m) – Lafatscher Joch (2081 m) – Wilde Band Steig – Stempeljoch (2215 m) – Kleine Stempeljochspitze (2529 m) – Pfeishütte (1922 m)

Lunch Option | There are no huts along the way. We ate lunch at Pfeishütte as soon as we arrived. Their Knödel (dumplings) are outstanding!


Bettelwurfhütte to Stempeljoch (3 hours)

Stage 3 of the Karwendel High Trail returns to Lafatscher Joch saddle (2081 m) by the same route. Your hike will likely be accompanied by the sound of falling scree, courtesy of hundreds of galloping chamois.

Keep your eyes out for the adorable, fluffy babies. 

From the saddle, continue west, following signs to Stempeljoch (signed 1:15 hours) and Pfeishütte (signed 2 hours).

You’ll hike along the Wilde Band Steig, which is a level track, lined with dwarf pine. The trail is overall easy (in dry conditions), though narrow at times.

There’s one short passage, secured with steel pegs and rungs, that requires some concentration. Face the mountain as you descend, using the steel fixtures to safely step down.

As you continue along the trail the jagged Lattenspitzen peaks steal all your attention.

Ultimately, the Wilde Band Steig delivers you to a scree slope. You’ll ascend 30 minutes up this steep slope, along switchbacks to Stempeljoch. The trail is bolstered by wooden beams, steps, and rubber “tires.” It’s a calf burner!

When you reach the Stempeljoch saddle (2215 m), you can continue directly to Pfeishütte (45 minutes), or detour to Kleine Stempeljochspitze peak (2529 m, 1 hour). This peak is fairly easy to ascend, so definitely bag it.


Stempeljoch to Kleine Stempeljochspitze (1 hour to summit / 2 hours out-and-back)

From the saddle, follow the trail heading right, and ascend along the dirt path up the grassy slope. As you gain elevation, the Lattenspitzen spires look like a colossal pillar coral.

You’ll ascend switchbacks along this earthy track almost the whole time. The final 230 meters to the cross-crowned summit is rocky.

Kleine Stempeljochspitze (2529 m) delivers panoramic views of Samertal valley, Innsbruck, and countless Karwendel peaks.


Stempeljoch to Pfeishütte (40 minutes)

To reach your final destination, Pfeishütte (1922 m), you’ll descend along a gently descending trail. It’s stunning!


Stay in Pfeishütte

Pfeishütte mountain hut, Karwendel High Trail, Tyrol, Austria

This memorable Karwendel mountain hut (1922 m) is an absolute delight to stay in. The interior is charming and full of character. The location is spectacular. And, the staff is amiable.

Reservation | Online Reservation via Alpsonline

Payment | Credit Cards, or Cash

Showers | 1 EUR for 1 Min. The shower was room temperature.

Drinking Water | Only in the washroom, or outside. Look for the “Trinkwasser” sign.

Electronic Charging Stations | When you enter the hut (main entrance), there’s a charging station at the end of the hallway.

Food | Excellent. Drinks are self-service.

Half Board or à la carte | When you check-in, the hut manager will present the daily menu. You can choose between 3 main dishes. You can also opt for a 1-course, 2-course, or 3-course dinner.

Rooms | Dormitory and Private rooms available.

Pfeishütte - Solsteinhaus, Karwendel High Trail, Austria

Karwendel High Trail Stage 4: Pfeishütte – Solsteinhaus


Stage 4 Trail Stats

Distance | 17.9 km

Time Needed | 8:30 – 10 hours. It took us 9 hours.

Elevation Gain | 1499 meters

Elevation Loss | 1615 meters

Difficulty | Challenging. This is an extremely long stage, with countless ascents and descents. Technically, the most challenging section is the descent from Frau Hitt Saddle. 

Minimum Elevation | 1458 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2276 meters

Route | Pfeishütte (1922 m) – Mandlscharte (2314 m) – Mühlkarscharte (2243 m) – Gleirschjöchl – Hafelekar Aerialway Station (2269 m) – Seegrube Aerialway Station (1966 m) – Frau Hitt Sattel (2224 m) – Solsteinhaus (1806 m)

Lunch Option | Restaurant Seegrube

Tip | Take the cableway from Hafelekar to Seegrube. You won’t miss anything, and it’ll save your legs a good 370 meters of grueling downhill.

How to break up this stage | This is an immensely rewarding stage, but it’s taxing. You can break up this hike by descending to Innsbruck via the Hafelekar and Seegrube cableways. Stay the night in Innsbruck (e.g. Café Pension Alpina next to the Seegrubenbahn Valley Station), and then return to Seegrube to continue the hike the next day.

Stage 4 Alternative | If it’s raining, or you want to opt for an easier route, you can hike from Pfeishütte through Samertal Valley (Trail 221) and Grosskristental Valley (Trail 16, 213) to Solsteinhaus. That’s the safest and fastest route. Along the way, you can eat at Möslalm.


Pfeishütte to Hafelekar Mountain Station (2:30 hours)

From Pfeishütte, follow signs to Goetheweg, Mandlscharte (1 hour), and Hafelekar Bergstation (2:30 hours). After about 20-minutes, the trail divides.

Take the right trail, known as Goetheweg and continue ascending to Mandlscharte (notch). Here, you’ll see Zugspitze (Germany’s Highest Mountain) and the Wetterstein Mountain Range.

From the notch, the trail descends steeply, but quickly levels out, horizontally crossing rock-laden slopes for some time. There are some steel cables along the route.

Eventually, you’ll hike over Mühlkarscharte (2243 m), and you’ll see the Inntal Valley below. The trail follows a sensational balcony path high above the valley.

When you get to Gleirschjöchl, Hafelekar is signed 40 minutes.


Hafelekar Bergstation to Seegrube (1 hour)

From Hafelekar, the trail plummets along tight, steep switchbacks, down a grassy slope. It’s tedious, but at least the views of Innsbruck are epic. We highly recommend opting for the cableway instead.


Seegrube to Frau Hitt Sattel (1:30 hours)

From Seegrube, continue west. You’ll follow a level path across grassy slopes for a long time.

When the trail divides, follow the sign to “Solsteinhaus über Gipfelstürmerweg” not “Frau Hitt Sattle Schmidhubersteig,” taking the lower track.

When the trail divides again, take the upper track to Frau Hitt Sattel (45 minutes) and Solsteinhaus (4:30 hours).

Careful here. Lots of sheep graze along this slope, so it’s easy to continue straight along a sheep track. Soon after the last intersection, the trail heads up the mountain, making a 90-degree turn.

There’s a waymark on an inconspicuous rock, that directs you onto the right path. We missed it because we were following the sheep.

Now, the hiking really begins. You’ll zig-zag up the steep slope until you reach the Frau Hitt Saddle (2224 m).


Frau Hitt Sattel to Solsteinhaus (3:30 hours)

Initially, your descent is secured with cables and rungs. Face the mountain, as you make your way down.

Then, the nightmare begins. In my opinion, this section is the hardest part of the whole Karwendel Höhenweg. The trail steeply descends a semi-scree slope.

It’s slippery and tricky, and you have to be really vigilant. Eventually, the slope is entirely scree and you can gleefully descend, sticking your heals into the rocks, smiling as the hikers coming up (poor things). 

Trail 215 levels out significantly and you’ll continue descending in the direction of Kleinkristental valley.

When the trail divides, head left along Gipfelstürmerweg trail, following signs to Solsteinhaus (3 hours).

The hard part is over, but you still have to tackle a series of ascents and descents and a few secured passages.

You’ll hike across some scenic high alpine pastures, before descending through the Knappenwald forest. When you reach the valley floor (Grosskristental), it’s one final ascent to Solsteinhaus.

Luckily, it’s not as painful as it would seem. Shortly before arriving at the hut, you’ll pass the Erlalm alpine pasture. The Solstein hut (1806 m) is directly behind it.


Stay in Solsteinhaus

The Solsteinhaus (1806 m) is an absolutely phenomenal Tyrolean mountain hut. The food is outstanding. The management is excellent. And, we’d love to return someday.

Reservation | Online Reservation Request Form

Payment | Cash only

Showers | 3 EUR for 3 minutes (90 seconds of hot water, 50-second “soap break,” followed by 90 seconds of hot water). Token operated.

Drinking Water | Tap water is safe to drink

Electronic Charging Stations | Ask the staff. You’ll hand over your device (phone, etc…) to the staff and they’ll give you a laminated card. To retrieve your device, hand back the card.

Food | Excellent

Half Board or à la carte |  Half-board recommended. Wonderful salad buffet included.

Rooms | Private and dormitory available.

Solsteinhaus, Karwendel High Trail, Austria

Karwendel High Trail Stage 5: Solsteinhaus – Nördlinger Hütte


Stage 5 Trail Stats

Distance | 6.2 km

Time Needed | 3:30 – 4 hours

Elevation Gain | 829 meters

Elevation Loss | 391 meters

Difficulty | Moderately Difficult. In a few areas, the trail is washed out and very narrow. 

Minimum Elevation | 1760 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2243 meters

Route | Solsteinhaus (1806 m) – Eppzirler Scharte (2102 m) – Breiter Sattel (1794 m) – Ursprungsattel (2087 m) Nördlinger Hütte (2239 m)

Lunch Option | None. We ate lunch at Nördlinger Hütte.


Karwendel High Trail Stage 5 (east to west) is supposed to be glorious. Unfortunately, we had poor weather conditions (fog and rain) throughout the day, so we didn’t see very much.

From Solsteinhaus, it’s 1 hour (200-meter ascent) to Eppzirler Scharte. Initially, you’ll follow a level trail north-east.

After crossing the Ehnbach stream, the trail continues across talus slopes, bringing you to a signed trail intersection, bolted to the mountain.

Head right to Eppzirler Scharte (20 minutes) and climb up the steep talus slope of Höllkar, flanked by impressive vertical spires.

From Eppzirler Scharte (2102 m), the trail initially descends along a few switchbacks in the direction of Eppzirler alm, before crossing the scree slopes of Kuhljoch.

When the trail divides, stay to the left, following trail 74 to Breiter Sattel (1794 m).

When you reach Breiter Sattel, the trail sign indicates 2:30 hours to Nördlingerhütte over Ursprungsattel.

The trail horizontally crosses grassy slopes and then makes a rigorous ascent to Ursprungsattel, secured with cables and wooden steps.

From Ursprungsattel (2087 m), it’s 1 km (~ 160 meters ascending ) to Nördlingerhütte (2239 m).


Stay in Nördlingerhütte

We loved Nördlingerhütte (2239 m). Even though we didn’t see anything, we were happy to spend hours here, eating and reading. At night, the hut manager gives a briefing on the weather forecast and answers all trail-related questions.

Reservation | Online Reservation via Alpsonline

Payment | Cash Only

Showers | None

Drinking Water | Buy Bottled Water. You can’t drink the tap.

Electronic Charging Stations | By the stairwell (upstairs).

Food | Excellent

Half Board or à la carte | Choose between 3 entrées. You can opt for a 1-course or 2-course meal.

Rooms | Private and Dormitory

Chamois, Karwendel High Trail, Austria

Karwendel High Trail Stage 6: Nördlinger Hütte – Reith bei Seefeld


Stage 6 Trail Stats

Distance | 5.6 km

Time Needed | 3 hours

Elevation Gain | 0 meters

Elevation Loss | 1121 meters

Difficulty | Moderate

Minimum Elevation | 1120 meters

Maximum Elevation |  2241 meters

Route | Nördlinger Hütte (2239 m) – Reith bei Seefeld (1130 m)

We opted for the alternative route down to Seefeld via a cableway and a funicular, because the weather conditions were still poor:

Nördlinger Hütte (2239 m) – Kuntersteig Trail – Härmelekopfbahn Mountain Station (2034 m) – Härmelekopfbahn Cableway – Rosshütte Funicular Mountain Station (1751 m) – Rosshütte-Seefeld Funicular – Seefeld in Tirol (1180 m). 

This alternative stage is 1.8 km and takes 45 minutes. 

To reach the Härmelekopfbahn Mountain Station, follow the Kuntersteig trail. The cableway should start running at 9:15 am, but please confirm that with the staff at Nördlingerhütte.

When we arrived, it wasn’t operating, and we waited 45 minutes in the rain.

Also, we needed exact change to pay for the descending ticket to Seefeld in Tirol.

You’ll get 2 EUR back when you return the reusable ticket at the ticket counter.


Stay in Seefeld

If you finish the trek in Reith bei Seefeld, you can take a train back to Seefeld in Tirol (5-minute train ride). Otherwise, you can descend to Seefeld directly with the cableway and funicular (explained above), or hike down to Seefeld directly.

Budget | Lifestylehotel dasMAX

Midrange-Luxury | Princess Bergfrieden

Midrange-Luxury | Summit Seefeld

Look for accommodation in Seefeld in Tirol.



Explore the Karwendel Mountains


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Karwendel High Trail Trekking Guide, Tirol, Austria

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Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails,

Sabrina & Kati

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