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Epic Hike to Olpererhütte and the Suspension Bridge, Zillertal Alps, Austria

Olpererhütte (2,388 m) is a mountain hut in the Zillertal Alps in Tirol (Tyrol), Austria.

Famed for its panoramic view of the Schlegeisspeicher reservoir (also called Schlegeis Stausee), this deservedly popular refuge is the ultimate hiking destination in the Austrian Alps.

Whether you’re dreaming about that Instagram-famous suspension bridge (official names: Kebema Brücke, Zillertaler Hängebrücke, or Olperer Panoramabrücke), 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 Valley, you can reach the trailhead by bus, or by car. The toll road to the reservoir is usually open between early May and late October, depending on snow conditions.

We highly recommend hiking to Olpererhütte and the suspension bridge via Friesenberghaus. Though there’s a shorter and more direct way to hike to Olpererhuette, this longer ascent route steers you to a memorable stretch of the multi-day Berlin High Trail. Along this circuit trail, there are unsurpassable views of the Schlegeis Stausee reservoir, Schlegeiskees glacier, and the Zillertal Alps. Trust us.

In this guide to visiting Olpererhütte, you’ll learn about how to get to the Olpererhütte trailhead by bus and by car, when to hike to Olpererhütte, trail options, and where to stay.

Mayrhofen, Zillertal Hiking, Austria in Summer

Olpererhütte Hiking Map

The most direct way to Olpererhütte follows trail 502. It takes 1:30 hours to hike 3.1 km to the hut. The total elevation is 600 meters. As stated in the intro, we highly recommend hiking the longer circuit trail, so you don’t miss out on the most beautiful stretch.


How to Get to the Olpererhütte Trailhead


Bus

Take bus 4102 to Schlegeisspeicher reservoir from the Mayrhofen Bahnhof Train/Bus Station.

There are 16 buses that depart each day, starting at 7:35 am. Bus schedule.

Take the earliest bus you can. You will pay 10 EUR per person for a one-way ticket (8 EUR for the ride, 2 EUR toll fee). The return ticket is 20 EUR per person.

The ride lasts about 50 minutes. The last bus leaves at 6:10 pm at Schlegeisspeicher reservoir.


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 all the way to the reservoir.

This alpine road is usually open from late May until late October, depending on snow conditions.

In Mai, June, September and October you can drive the Alpenstraße Schleigeisspeicher between 7 am and 6 pm. In July and August it opens an hour earlier (6 am – 6 pm).

There’s a 15.50 EUR toll per car (11.50 EUR per motorbike), which you’ll pay near the toll station at Gasthof Breitlahner. The toll must be paid in cash only.

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 6:10 pm. 


When Can You Hike to Olpererhütte

Hiking in the Zillertal Alps - Olpererhütte

The road to the 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.


Friesenberghaus and Olpererhütte Hike Description


Schlegeisspeicher Reservoir to Friesenberghaus (2 hours)

Hike to Friesenberghaus, Zillertal Alps, Austria
Trail 532

From the bus drop-off point at Schlegeisspeicher reservoir, head to Dominikushütte (in the direction of the tunnel).

Before reaching Dominikushütte, you’ll see a signed junction indicating the direction of 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.


Friesenberghaus to Olpererhütte (1:30 – 2 hours)

Balcony Trail to Olpererhütte, Zillertal Alps, Austria
Berlin High Trail

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 meter ascent. It looks more daunting than it is, since you’re not going all the way to the top.

The trail levels and you’ll hike along a breathtaking balcony trail to Olpererhütte (1:15 hours).

This stretch of the Berliner Höhenweg is remarkable, as you’ll have continuous views of the Schlegeis Stausee below cradled by 3000+ meter-high peaks.

Shortly before reaching Olpererhütte, you’ll hike across that Instagram-famous suspension bridge.

Suspension Bridge Olpererhütte, Zillertal Alps
Olpererhütte Suspension Bridge

The suspension bridge spans the small stream, not the reservoir. It merely looks that way, because it’s an optical illusion. To get the photo, hike up along the stream bed until the bridge appears to be bisecting the reservoir.

From the bridge, it’s a 5-minute walk to Olpererhütte.


Olpererhütte to Schlegeisspeicher Reservoir (1 hour)

Olpererhütte - mountain refuge along the Berlin High Trail, Zillertal Alps, Austria
Olpererhütte

Olpererhütte is a managed refuge. They sell food and drinks throughout the day to day hikers and accommodate hut-to-hut hikers overnight.

You can sit inside, or outside (preferably.

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

Goats at Olperer Hütte, Zillertal Alps, Austria

If you want 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. Note: the management has changed, since we last visited. So, it’s very possible that the food and portions have changed.

Rooms | The hut offers shared rooms for 4 people and shared rooms for 8 people.

Related: Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria: 10 Essential Tips


Where to Stay in Mayrhofen

Alpenhotel Kramerwirt, Mayrhofen, Zillertal, Austria
Alpenhotel Kramerwirt

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.

Midrange | 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 | ElisabethHotel Premium Private Retreat- Adults only is a luxurious hotel in Mayrhofen featuring beautiful spa facilities, outstanding cuisine, and alpine-modern furnishings. This is the best place to stay in Mayrhofen for a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway.

Look for accommodation in Mayrhofen.



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 

Summer and early Fall are our favorite seasons in Austria. 


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:

Car Rental 

We recommend using the Discovercars.com 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:

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.

Hiking Essentials


What to See & Do in Austria


Austrian Hotels

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

24 thoughts on “Epic Hike to Olpererhütte and the Suspension Bridge, Zillertal Alps, Austria”

  1. Hi, thanks for sharing this stunning experience. I’m going to Olpererhütte in early Dec and wonder if it’s still ok to visit.
    Understand that the road is closed if travelling by a private car. How about by bus?

    Thank you so very much in advance from Thailand.
    Dean

    Reply
      • When you say the road is closed, is it closed to all traffic, including pedestrians or closed to just cars?
        I was hoping to go in februray, so I’m wondering can I walk from where the road is closed off ?
        Or should I wait until May ?
        Thank you

        Sean

        Reply
        • Hi Sean,
          I recommend waiting until the road is officially open. Unless you’re equipped to hike in ice and snow, February is not a great month to attempt this.
          -Sabrina

          Reply
  2. Hi! This looks so exciting, thanks for sharing!

    Would you recommend the second route (through Friesenberghaus) also to non-experienced hikers? And if yes, what gear would you recommend we carry?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Limi,
      It depends. If you’re acclimated, fit, and are sure-footed, I recommend it. It’s considered an intermediate (red) trail. You should be comfortable hiking 6:30 hours and conquering 900 meters. If you start early and take breaks, I think it’s possible! Bring hiking poles, water (2 liters per person), sun protection (Cat 3 or 4 sunglasses, sun hat), and layers. I highly recommend doing a few warm-up hikes in the season, before hiking this trail. Also, only hike on a sunny day (with no chance of thunderstorms/rain).
      Let us know how it goes. You can tag us on Instagram @moonhoneytravelers
      Have fun,
      Sabrina

      Reply
  3. Hey, thank you for this post, contains all the details I was looking for about the hike to Olpererhutte!
    I am planning to visit here with my family in August, and have a question. Would you consider this hike as too difficult to undertake with a 5 year old kid?

    Reply
    • Hi Rameez, I don’t recommend hiking this trail (6:30 – 7 hours) with a 5-year-old. But, we don’t have any experience hiking with kids, so I recommend reaching out to the local tourist board for their insight.
      All the best and have a great summer! – Sabrina

      Reply
  4. Hi thanks for sharing this experience.
    I am planning to hike here end of july with some friends.
    Do you recommend winter hiking shoes or normal hiking shoes during this time? Should also normal sports shoes work?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Ro,
      I recommend wearing hiking boots (any grade should be fine) for this trail. Sneakers just don’t provide the same traction/support.
      All the best,
      Sabrina

      Reply
  5. Hi, is it possible to reach the suspension bridge also through Trail 502? I am not an experienced hiker, so I would also like to know if this is the best option for me. Thank you, Pamela.

    Reply
  6. Hi, I am planning to hike to the hut in November 3rd of this year. Would that be possible? I just saw that the roads were closed but just wanted to make sure that there might be some other way to hike the trail.

    Thank you

    Reply
      • Hi, thank you for sharing your experience. I would like to go on July alone. Would it be safe to hike solo to olperer? Is the hiking sign well placed?
        Thank you

        Reply
        • Hi Syifa,
          If you’re a confident hiker and the weather is stable, yes. The trail is well signed and waymarked.
          -Sabrina

          Reply
        • Hi, I was wondering if there is any possibility to go for a hike in september for any weekend? Because i m doubting there will be any sunny days left? And I would choose the easiest way 1.30h to come up. Thank you

          Reply
  7. Hi, thanks for sharing. A question: I’m very fit (so the distance is not the problem), but I have a mountain handicap: I’m afraid of heights. Is this trail suitable for people who are afraid of height (does the trail comes along abysses)?
    Thanks for answering!
    Auke

    Reply
    • Hi Auke,
      You shouldn’t have a problem. There’s no exposure along the route. The initial ascent from Friesenbergsee lake is steep and you may need to use your hands, but I don’t recall any sudden drops.
      -Sabrina

      Reply
    • Hi Jeswin,

      I do not. I recommend reaching out to the tourist office in Mayrhofen for tour guide recommendations.

      Happy hiking,
      Sabrina

      Reply
    • Hi Naomi,

      It is not possible to hike to the Olperer Hut in early May, because the Schlegeis Alpine Road doesn’t open up until mid/late May (typically).

      Kindly,
      Sabrina

      Reply

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