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Hiking from Gaistal Valley to Rotmoosalm and Wetterstein Hut in Tyrol, Austria

Hike the circuit trail from Gaistal Valley to Hämmermoosalm, Rotmoosalm, Wangalm, and Wettersteinhütte, and you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable day in the Wetterstein Mountains. 

This day hike epitomizes what we love about hiking in the Austrian Alps: imposing walls of limestone, welcoming mountain huts, and varied trails. 

Straddling the Tyrolean-Bavarian border, the Wetterstein Mountains stand across the Gaistal Valley from the Mieminger Chain, the range that harbors the sparkling Drachensee and Seebensee Lakes

Though the Wetterstein Mountains are mostly associated with Upper Bavaria, this particular day hike starts in Gaistal Valley in Tyrol, Austria.

We recommend hiking this route when staying in Seefeld in Tirol (25-minute drive), Innsbruck (45-minute drive), Mittenwald (30-minute drive), or Garmisch-Partenkirchen (45-minute drive).

The best time of year to hike this Wetterstein trail is between June and September (October). We hiked the Rotmoosalm circuit in late October.

Wetterstein Mountains, Tyrol, Austria

Rotmoosalm Circuit Trail Map

Rotmoosalm Trail Difficulty 

Wetterstein and Mieming Mountains, Rotmoosalm, Austria

This is a moderate day hike in terms of technical difficulty, however it’s long (17.6 km circuit).

Hikers should be in good condition and sure-footed, as paths are rarely smooth. Expect some very steep ascents. There is no exposure along this trail.

The trail is signed and waymarked with Austrian red-white-red trail blazes and timber poles.

Where to Start the Rotmoosalm – Wetterstein Hut Hike

Gaistal Valley in Leutasch, near Seefeld in Tirol 

The hike to Rotmossalm starts at the Parkplatz Salzbach P5 car park in Gaistal Valley. Exact Location: Google Maps.

From Leutasch, drive west through Gaistal Valley to the last car park: Parkplatz Salzbach im Gaistal (P5). There are public toilets at the car park. 

All parking in Gaistal Valley is subject to a parking fee. You can buy a parking ticket at the car park, or at the pay station up the road. 

Payment | EasyPark mobile app, or parking machine 

Parking | 5 EUR for 1 day (when we visited)

Gaistal – Rotmoosalm – Wangalm – Wettersteinhütte Circuit Trail Description

Salzbach Car Park in Gaistal (P5) to Hämmermoosalm (45 minutes)

Gaistal to Hämmermoosalm hiking trail Wetterstein Mountains, Leutasch, Tyrol, Austria

Trail signs indicate 45 minutes to Hämmermoosalm and 3 hours to Rotmoosalm. 

Cross the bridge and follow the wide forest road uphill. At the junction, bear right to Hämmermoosalm along the Ganghoferweg

After about 500 meters, the gravel track divides. Take the right path. The left trail is the biking and baby stroller path. 

The hiking trail ascends larch meadows to the Hämmermoosalm mountain pasture, home to a managed alpine pasture hut (1417 m), which is blessed with grandiose mountain views of both the Mieminger and Wetterstein mountains in every direction. 

Hämmermoosalm to Rotmoosalm (2 hours)

Rigeleweg Hiking Trail, Wetterstein Mountains, Tyrol, Austria

Pass by the Hämmermoosalm hut and continue along the forest road admiring the mixed forest of spruce, larch, fir, and pine. This trail is called the Rigeleweg (trail 41). 

About 20 minutes from Hämmermoosalm, the road ends. Continue straight to Rotmoosalm. After crossing a stream bed, there’s a junction. Bear left. 

The rocky forest trail steepens, following the contours of the Salzbach stream. After crossing the stream, the ascent continues steeply up a gully.

Rotmoosalm hike, Wetterstein Mountains, Tyrol, Austria

When you emerge from the forest line, follow the short timber posts across the high meadow. Grand vistas of the Wetterstein South Wall await. 

A wooden boardwalk steers hikers left across a boggy area.

Next, the trail weaves through dwarf pine and boulders and then ascends a grassy slope along a timber-reinforced path. Part of this path is washed out.

Rotmoosalm mountain pasture hut, Wetterstein Mountains, Austria

From the hilltop, walk to the junction and then veer left to Rotmoosalm, which stands on the southern slope of Schönberg.

From the Rotmoosalm hut’s happy perch, you can Predigstuhl (2234 m), Hochwand (2719 m), Hohe Munde Westgipfel and Ostgipfel (2662 m and 2592 m), and many more peaks. 

Rotmoosalm Hut Views, Wetterstein Mountains, Austria

Though closed during our visit, we took a long break here to savor the captivating mountain views.

Rotmoosalm to Wangalm (2 hours)

Rotmoosalm to Wangalm hiking trail, Wetterstein Mountains, Tyrol, Austria

Return to the signed  junction above the Rotmoosalm hut and turn left in the direction of Wangalm (trail 12/817), signed 2 hours, and Wettersteinhütte, signed 2:15 hours. 

The trail leads north over the grassy spine of Schönberg (2143 m) directly towards the towering wall of limestone, the natural border between Austria and Germany.

The path dips down to a saddle and curves to the right along the Südwandsteig (trail 12). This narrow trail runs along the foot of the Wetterstein massif’s south wall, beneath Hinterreintalschrofen, Oberer Hundstallkopf, Teufelskopf, and Oberreintalschrofen. 

Südwandsteig hiking trail, Wetterstein Mountains, Austria

The spectacular Südwandsteig traverses chamois territory, crossing stream and avalanche ditches (“rock rivers”). It reminded us of the Hofpürglhütte – Sulzenschneid – Sulzenalm hike in the Dachstein mountains in Salzburg.

The undulating trail leasts east across grass and boulder-studded slopes of Schafleger all the way to the Scharnitztal (1710 m) signed junction. 

Turn right and hike down the high Scharnitztal valley to Wangalm along trail 9/817, signed 30 minutes. Several footpaths braid down the mountain pasture to the Wangalm hut.

Scharnitztal valley to Wangalm hiking trail, Wetterstein Gebirge, Austria

Wangalm (1753 m) is a managed alpine pasture hut, situated at a slightly higher elevation than Wettersteinhütte.

Fortunately, this hut stays open until Austrian National Day (October 26), so long as the weather is stable. We savored the Kaspressknödel mit Sauerkraut on Wangalm’s sunny terrace. 

Lunch at Wangalm mountain pasture hut, Wetterstein Mountains, Austria

Views extend to the Seefeld Plateau, backed by Reither Spitze, and Nockspitze and the Kalkkögel mountain range.

Wangalm – Wettersteinhütte – Hämmermoosalm (1:45 hours)

Wetterstein Hütte mountain hut, Tyrol, Austria

Continue the descent for 15 minutes to Wetterstein Hütte (1717 m), following the gravel road. Shortly before reaching the hut, turn right onto the Wurziger Steig hiking trail (trail 41).

The sign reads “Hämmermoosalm über Wurziger Steig” (1:30 hours). 

Wurziger Steig hiking trail, Wetterstein Mountains, Austria

The pleasant Wurziger Steig leads west through forest and ultimately back down to the Hämmermoosalm mountain pasture. 

Hämmermoosalm to Salzbach P5 Car Park in Gaistal (45 minutes)

Follow the familiar trail back down to Gaistal Valley. 

Where to Stay near Gaistal Valley

Mösern on Seefeld Plateau

Nidum Casual Luxury Hotel suite, Tyrol, Austria

Luxury | Nidum Casual Luxury Hotel is incomparable in its design, service, and cuisine. This stylish Tyrolean hotel is located in Mösern, on the edge of the Seefeld plateau, a short drive away from Seefeld in Tirol. Read our Nidum Casual Luxury Hotel Review to learn more about this hidden mountain retreat.

Seefeld in Tirol

Hotel Klosterbräu Seefeld in Tirol, Tyrol, Austria
Hotel Klosterbräu

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, an 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 | Oasis 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.

Luxury | The 5-star Hotel Klosterbräu, housed in a former 16th-century monastery, is the grande dame of Seefeld hotels. Guests enjoy access to a luxurious spa with various saunas, an indoor pool, and outdoor pool. Half board is available. 

Luxury | The 5-star Alpin Resort Sacher is a dazzling property with rustic elegant interiors, a 4700-m² spa complex, indoor and outdoor pools, and an on-site restaurant. Half board recommended.

Look for accommodation in Seefeld in Tirol.

Tyrol Travel and Hiking Guides


Day Hikes:

Austria Trip Planning Essentials

Use our Austria Travel Guide and Austria blog archive to plan a unique and memorable trip to Austria. 

When to Visit Austria 

We recommend visiting Austria between June and October for hiking and between December and March for skiing and winter adventuring.

Summer Travel | Summer in Austria

Autumn Travel | Autumn in Austria

Winter Travel | Winter in Austria, Salzburg in December, Vienna in December, Vienna in January, Skiing in Schladming

Getting around Austria

Austria has an excellent public transit system. We’ve used it extensively to travel throughout the country. We highly recommend using transit if you’re visiting cities (Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz, etc…), and/or doing hut-to-hut hikes. 

Some areas like Mayrhofen, Schladming and Lech am Arlberg have wonderful seasonal transit systems in place (e.g. summer hiking buses). However, if you’re not visiting during the high season, bus frequencies are significantly reduced and it’s far easier to get around with your own vehicle. 

If you’re planning on visiting multiple destinations across Austria, we recommend renting a car. 

Use these road trip itineraries for trip planning inspiration:

Start in Vienna | 2 Week Austria Road Trip

Start in Salzburg, or Munich | 1 Week Austria Road Trip

Start in Munich | 10-Day Bavarian Alps & Tyrolean Alps Road Trip  

Car Rental 

We recommend using the car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.

Check car rental rates here

If you’re driving into Austria from a neighboring country, don’t forget to purchase a vignette at/near the border. 

Hiking in Austria

Where to Hike in Austria

Read Austrian Alps Hiking Destinations for an overview of where to hike in Austria, with tips on specific trails and where to stay. Also check out Best Day Hikes in Austria and these region-specific hiking guides:

Tyrol | Innsbruck Hikes, Lake Achensee Hikes

Salzburg | Salzburg Hikes, Filzmoos Hikes

Styria | Schladming Hikes

Vorarlberg | Vorarlberg Hikes, Lech am Arlberg Hikes

Lower Austria | Vienna Mountains Hikes

Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria 

Austria is a premier hut-to-hut and long-distance hiking destination. The quality of the mountain huts are superb. We particularly love the high-alpine trails, which are called Höhenwege in German. We’ve summarized our favorite multi-day hikes in Trekking Austria. If you’re new to hut hiking, read this in-depth guide to Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria.

What to See & Do in Austria

1. Visit a gorge like the Liechtenstein Gorge in Salzburg, or Wolfsklamm Gorge in Tyrol.

2. Bathe in the thermal pools of an Austrian Therme like Aqua Dome in Tyrol

3. Stay in a thermal spa hotel like Rogner Bad Blumau in Styria, EurothermenResort Bad Ischl in Upper Austria, or the Aqua Dome Hotel in Tyrol.

4. Hike to a mountain lake like Lake Tappenkarsee in Salzburg or Lake Drachensee in Tyrol.

5. Go Wine Tasting in South Styria.

6. Marvel at the culture, music, and architecture of Vienna.

7. Eat heartwarming mountain food in an Almhütte at Grosser Ahornboden in Tyrol, or Ursprungalm in Styria. 

8. Drive the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Hohe Tauern National Park. 

9. Visit the castles, monasteries, and wine taverns of the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

10. Watch a Krampus Run: Krampus Parade in December.

Austrian Hotels

Gaistal to Rotmoosalm and Wetterstein Hut Hike, Tyrol, 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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