With unforgettable views of the Schlegeisspeicher reservoir (also written Schlegeis Stausee), the Olpererhütte (Olperer Mountain Hut) is a deservedly popular destination in the Zillertal Alps. Whether you’re dreaming about that Instagram-famous suspension bridge or having an epic lunch view, Olperer mountain hut will likely exceed your already high expectations. This hike to Olpererhütte begins at the Schlegeisspeicher reservoir. From the town of Mayrhofen in Zillertal, Tyrol (Tirol), you can reach the trailhead by bus, or by car.
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Hiking to Olpererhütte in Austria
In this guide to visiting Olpererhütte, you’ll learn about:
- How to Get to Olpererhütte Trailhead by Bus
- How to Get to Olpererhütte Trailhead by Car
- When to hike to Olpererhütte
- Trail Options to Olpererhütte (there are 3)
- Top Hike: Friesenberghaus and Olpererhütte Loop Trail
- Overnighting in Olpererhütte
- Where to Stay in the Zillertal Alps: Mayrhofen
How to Get to the Olpererhütte Trailhead by Bus
Take bus 4102 to Schlegeisspeicher reservoir from the Mayrhofen Bahnhof Train/Bus Station. There are about 7 buses that depart each day, starting at 7:55 a.m. (as of Summer 2019). Take the earliest bus you can. We paid 9.20 EUR per person for a one-way ticket. The ride lasts about 50 minutes.
How to Get to the Olpererhütte Trailhead by Car
You can also drive directly to the Schlegeisspeicher reservoir. From Mayrhofen, drive in the direction of Ginzling. You’ll drive the 13.3 km Alpenstrasse Schlegeis road to the reservoir. This alpine road is usually open from late-may until late-October. There’s a 12.50 EUR toll per car (8.50 EUR per motorbike), which you’ll pay near Gasthof Breitlahner. Note: there’s no additional fee for parking. I recommend driving if you don’t want to worry about catching the bus back to Mayrhofen, as the last one leaves at 18:00 (as of Summer 2019).
When can you hike to Olpererhütte
The road to Schlegeisspeicher reservoir is open from late-May until mid-October. Depending on the weather conditions, the start of the season or the end of the season may be postponed. If you’re traveling here during the shoulder season, check this website for updates. The best time to visit Olpererhütte is in summer and early Fall. In Spring, you will likely encounter snow on the trail.
Which Trail to Take to Olpererhütte
There are three ways to hike to Olperer mountain hut:
- Schlegeisspeicher – Olpererhütte (1.5 hours to the hut via Trail 502)
- Schlegeisspeicher – Friesenberghaus – Olpererhütte (4.5 hours to the hut via Trail 532 )
- Schlegeisspeicher – Olpererhütte (4.5 hours to the hut via Neumarkter Runde)
Friesenberghaus and Olpererhütte Loop Trail
We recommend hiking to Olperer mountain hut via Friesenberghaus (Option #2) along trail 532. Though there’s a shorter and more direct way to the hut, this approach rewards you with magical views of the reservoir, Schlegeiskees glacier, and many photogenic peaks along a memorable balcony trail that forms part of the multi-day Berlin High Trail.
- Route: Schlegeis Stausee (1,785 m) – Friesenberghaus (2,500 m) – Olpererhütte (2,389 m) – Schlegeis Stausee (1,785 m)
- Distance: 13 km total
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Altitude: Difference: 820 meters ascending, 854 meters descending
- Time Needed: 7 hours
From the bus drop-off point at Schlegeisspeicher reservoir, head to Dominkushütte (in the direction of the tunnel). Before reaching Dominikushütte, you’ll see a signed intersection indicating right towards Friesenberghaus (signed 2 hours) along Trail 532.
The narrow trail ascends gently. You’ll cross a river via a wood plank and continue through the forest. Eventually, you’ll cross a marshy meadow over wooden planks. The views open up and you’ll see Schlegeis Stausee. The trail continues to ascend to Friesenberghaus.
Atmospheric and cozy, Friesenberghaus is a perfect place for lunch. The hut staff is swift and friendly, and the food is very good. After lunch, you’ll descend a few meters from the hut in the direction of Friesenbergsee lake. After a water crossing, you’ll start a steep 170 m ascent. It looks more daunting than it is – you’re not going all the way to the top.
The trail levels and you’ll hike along a breathtaking balcony trail to Olpererhütte (1 hour and 15 min). This stretch of the Berliner Höhenweg is remarkable, as you’ll have continuous views of the Schlegeis Stausee below cradled by 3000+ m peaks. Shortly before reaching the Olpererhütte, you’ll hike across that Instagram-famous suspension bridge.
After sufficiently enjoying the food, wine (their wine list is phenomenal), the resident goats, and epic views of Olperer hut, descend back down to Schlegeisspeicher via the direct path (signed 1 hour).
Staying the Night in Olpererhütte
If you wanted to extend your Zillertal Alps experience, you could also stay the night in Olpererhütte. This allows you to enjoy the hut at sunset when most day visitors are already gone. You’ll be sharing the hut with hikers who are trekking the Berlin High Trail, as well as visitors who are planning 2, or 3-day hiking tours in the Zillertal Alps. As beautiful as Olpererhütte is, it’s first and foremost a mountain refuge for hikers. So, sleeping and bathroom quarters are shared.
- Showers: 3 EUR for a 4 min shower
- Drinking Water: Tap water is safe to drink
- Electronic Charging Stations: Readily available in rooms
- Payment: Credit cards and cash are accepted
- Food: Really good.
- Half Board or à la carte: We recommend opting for à la carte. The half-board portions were really small.
- Rooms: The hut offers shared rooms for 4 people and shared rooms for 8 people.
Where to Stay in Mayrhofen
If you’re planning on hiking to Olpererhütte as part of a road trip, or a summer holiday in the Zillertal, we recommend staying in Mayrhofen. Here are three excellent options:
Budget | Landhotel Rauchenwalderhof is a cozy and traditional guesthouse in Mayrhofen with an attractive price point. Guests love the location, outdoor swimming pool, and hospitality. Breakfast is included.
Mid-Range | We stayed in the 4-star Alpenhotel Kramerwirt, a family-run hotel in the center of Mayrhofen. This traditional Austrian hotel exhibits a high standard of hospitality, food, and comfort. We loved the spaciousness, light, bedding, and design of our “Superior Room.” In the evenings, guests are treated to live music by local bands and ensembles. Another reason to stay at Alpenhotel Kramerwirt is their generous breakfast buffet. We’re still dreaming about it.
Luxury | Alpin Lodge das Zillergrund is a stunning family-run hotel with a marvelous spa and wellness center and an on-site Tyrolean restaurant. Bedrooms are spacious, extremely comfortable, and immaculately clean. Your breakfast and dinner (half board) are included in the room rate.
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