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Hochiss Peak Hike in the Rofan Mountains, Tyrol, Austria

Hochiss Peak (2299 m) is the highest mountain in the Rofan Mountains in Tyrol, Austria. The Rofan mountains, which form part of the Brandenberg Alps, is the range that bounds Lake Achensee to the east, opposite the Karwendel Mountains. 

The hike to Hochiss Peak is a varied and highly satisfying excursion, because it ties together sweeping views of Lake Achensee, a panoramic summit, lunch at the delightful Dalfaz Alm, and an enjoyable forest descent. 

We recommend hiking to Hochiss in summer, between June and September (October). We hiked to Hochiss twice in October. If you hike in autumn, the trail can be slippery, due to lingering snow and frost.

Lake Achensee View from Erfurter Hütte, Tyrol, Austria

Hochiss Hiking Map


Hochiss Trail Difficulty 

Rotes Klamml, Hochiss Hike, Rofan Mountains, Austria

The trail is well-signed and easy to follow.

95% of this trail is moderate. 

However, there is a single difficult secured passage, which makes this very moderate hike “moderately-difficult.” No special equipment is needed, but hikers should be sure-footed and not afraid of heights. 

The difficulty lies in descending the steep secured chimney called Rotes Klamml (Red Gorge). The whole passage is about 10-15 meters in length. 

In autumn after snowfall, this section has the potential to be slippery. 

If you’re concerned about this stretch, we recommend reversing the route, in order to ascend it. From the cable car station, hike to Dalfaz Alm first. 


Where to Start the Hike to Hochiss Peak


Rofan Seilbahn Mountain Station / Erfurter Hütte

Lake Achensee, Rofan Cable Car, Tyrol, Austria

The hike to Hochiss begins with a cableway ascent to Erfurter Hütte with the Rofan Cable Car (Rofan Seilbahn in German). 

The Rofan Cable Car is located in Maurach, the village located on the southern end of Lake Achensee. The cable car valley station is accessible by bus, or by car. 

There’s a paid car park at the valley station. You will get your parking refunded when you purchase any Rofan cable car ticket, so make sure to save and show your parking receipt. 

If you follow the trail described below, you only need to purchase a one-way ticket. If, however, you want to shorten the hike and avoid the long (albeit gentle) descent, purchase a round-trip ticket. From Dalfaz Alm, you can circuit back to the cable car mountain station. 

Location | Maurach, Achensee, Tyrol | Google Maps 

Ascent Ticket | Purchase a one-way ticket to Erfurter Hütte. 

Summer Opening Times | May – early November. Consult Rofanseilbahn.at 

Operating Hours | Check exact times: Rofanseilbahn.at


Erfurter Hütte – Hochiss – Dalfaz Alm Trail Description 


Rofan Cable Car Mountain Station – Erfurter Hütte – Spieljoch Saddle (1:15 hours)  

Erfurter Hütte - Spieljoch Saddle hiking trail, Rofan Mountains, Austria

Before starting the hike, detour to the terrace of Erfurter mountain hut (1834 m) for the bird’s-eye view of Lake Achensee. Cloud inversions are common, especially in autumn. 

Follow trail 413 to Hochiss, signed 1:30 hours. 

Notice the Air Rofan skyglider, the eagle-shaped amusement ride that soars for 200 meters from Gschöllkopf (2039 m) summit.

Trail 413 ascends in the direction of Gschöllkopf. 

A fixed cable stabilizes the ascent across the rugged, eastern flank of Gschöllkopf. The trail crests and continues to a high meadow.

Continue following trail 413, in the direction of Spieljoch saddle (1 hour) and Hochiss peak (1:15 hours). Hochiss Peak is the pyramid-shaped summit straight ahead. 

The path crosses the meadow and leads to the east (right), wrapping around the basin. 

There’s nothing tricky about this stage of the hike. However, if you hike in autumn, there may be frost, or lingering snow along the path. 

Spieljoch Saddle lies between Hochiss and Spieljoch (2236 m).


Spieljoch Saddle to Hochiss Peak (30 minutes)

Spieljoch Saddle, Rofan Mountains, Tyrol, Austria

Continue left, follow the narrow path west. 

The trail crosses the southern flank of Hochiss. Ignore the via ferrata route (grade C/D), which branches off to the right, and maintain the same direction.

The timber-reinforced path wraps around the rock face and ascends steeply to the ridge. 

At the signed junction, swing right and follow the rocky ridge to the Hochiss Gipfelkreuz, or summit cross (2299 m, 5 minutes). 

Hochiss Ridge, Rofan Mountains, Austria

The path braids to the summit, so you can choose exactly how close you want to hike to the ridge. 

The panorama is well worth the effort. Layers of mountains converge in every direction. 


Hochiss Peak to Dalfaz Alm (1:20 hours)

Secured  Rotes Klamml, Hochiss Hike, Rofan Mountains, Austria

Retrace your steps back to the junction below the ridge. 

Continue in the direction of Dalfazalm, signed 1:15 hours (trail 413). 

The path continues along the ridge towards the knob-shaped Streichkopf peak (2243 m). 

Soon, you’ll arrive at the beginning of the fixed cable route through the Rotes Klamml (Red Gorge). This is the only tricky section of the circuit trail. 

The secured way descends steeply for 10 meters through a red-limestone chimney. 

From the foot of the secured passage, the narrow, mostly level path cuts across steep grassy slopes to the Streichkopfgatterl (saddle), which lies between Streichkopf and Dalfazer Wände. 

Trail 413, Rofan Mountains, Austria

Ignore the left “black” trail which follows the Dalfazer Wände ridge. Follow trail 413, which crosses the saddle and drops down in serpentines. The path is rocky, but there’s good traction. 

Eventually, the trail eases across a high valley and leads to the Kotalmsattel (1978 m) signed junction, near Steinernes Tor. Continue in the direction of Dalfaz Alm (45 minutes). 

Hochiss Peak to Dalfaz Alm Hiking Trail, Rofan Mountains, Tyrol, Austria

The pleasant descending path follows the high valley between the Dalfazer Wände and Kobenjoch.

As you near the Dalfaz Alm, views open up to Lake Achensee. 

Hiking to Dalfaz Alm, Lake Achen, Tyrol, Austria

Dalfaz Alm (1693 m) is a managed hut, which operates from early May until the end of October, or even early November.

Always bustling with hikers, this charming spot above Achensee is a lively gathering place for hikers of all ages. We recommend eating lunch here.

Dalfaz Alm mountain hut, Achensee, Tyrol, Austria

The daily menu items are listed on the “Tagesgericht” chalkboard. Order at the “Selbstbedienung” counter outside. Bring cash. 

Lunch at Dalfaz Alm mountain hut, Achensee, Tyrol, Austria

Dalfaz Alm to Rofan Cable Car Valley Station, Maurach (2 hours)

Lake Achensee, Hochiss Hike, Austria

Follow trail 13 to the Rofan Cable Car valley station (970 m) in Maurach. The trail descends to the unmanaged Durraalm (1428 m) amid larch and later spruce forest. 

After about 1:15 hours, the trail intersects with a gravel forest road. Turn left. About 5 minutes later, turn right, following the sign to Rofanbahn. 

The trail runs along the meadow and brings you to the Rofan cable car valley station. 


Where to Stay around Lake Achensee

We recommend staying in Pertisau, or Maurach. Achenkirch is also another option, but further away from the lakeshore. Most accommodations in Achensee are midrange to luxury.

If you’re looking for a budget stay, check out nearby Camping Inntal and Gästehaus Waldrand Garni in Wiesing.


Pertisau

Pertisau, Lake Achensee, Tyrol, Austria

Pertisau is the main tourist center of Lake Achensee. The village is located on the southwestern bank of the lake along the border of Karwendel Nature Park.

Pertisau is also the gateway to three alpine valleys that lead into the Karwendel Mountains: Gerntal, Tristenautal, and Falzurntal. These valleys serve as trailheads, cycling paths, and grazing areas. 

Midrange | Seehotel St. Hubertus is a top-rated hotel with a private beach, on-site restaurant, and wellness area. 

Midrange | Hotel Bergland is a traditional Tyrolean hotel with an on-site restaurant. All rooms have balconies. Guests love the location, the friendly staff, and the food. 

Adults-only Luxury | The 4-star Hotel Auszeit pampers guests with its relaxing spa facilities, scenic setting, and excellent breakfast. Read our Hotel Auszeit Hotel Review.

Adults-only Luxury | Seehotel Einwaller – adults only impresses with its stylish rooms, lake-facing wellness area, à la carte restaurant, and scenic lakeside location. In summer, guests can enjoy the hotel’s private pier, furnished with comfortable sunbeds and umbrellas. Expect an excellent breakfast.  Read our Seehotel Einwaller Hotel Review.

Luxury | NOVA Moments Boutique Hotel is a 4-star hotel with 34 air-conditioned rooms and suites, all tastefully furnished in an elegant, alpine-modern style. The hotel is set in a quiet location, 900 meters away from the lakeshore. Hotel facilities include an outdoor natural pool (open in summer), infinity whirlpool (open all-year-round), sauna, steam-bath, wellness relaxation room, garage parking with electric car charging stations, and fitness room. 

Family-friendly Luxury | Hotel Wagnerhof is a half board (breakfast and dinner included) hotel with traditional Tyrolean-style rooms as well as plush, modern suites. Surrounded by meadows, this lovely accommodation boasts 3 swimming pools, a spa, and fitness center. 

More accommodations in Pertisau | Das Karwendel (luxury) and Travel Charme Fürstenhaus am Achensee (lakeside luxury). 

Look for accommodation in Pertisau.


Maurach 

Maurach, Achensee, Tyrol, Austria

Maurach is located on the south side of Lake Achensee, 4.5 km away from Pertisau (8 minute drive).  Home to the Rofanbahn cableway, Maurach is the main starting point for excursions in the Rofan mountains. 

Budget-Midrange | Hotel-Café-Restaurant Klingler is a family-run hotel in the heart of Maurach village with an on-site café, fitness center, and newly renovated rooms.  

Midrange | Hotel-Pension Huber-Hochland is a traditional half board hotel. Guests have access to a small wellness area, which includes an indoor pool, steam bath, Finnish sauna, and infrared cabin. 

Luxury | The 4-star Hotel St.Georg zum See is an alpine-chic hotel with spacious rooms, modern wellness facilities, and a gourmet half-board offering (rich breakfast buffet and 5-course dinner). 

More options | Arthur’s Hotel und Apartments am Achensee (Midrange) and Frühstückshotel Margret (Midrange).

Look for accommodation in Maurach.


Lake Achensee and Tyrol Guides

Lake Achensee:

Tyrol:



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 | 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 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:

Tyrol | Innsbruck 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


How to Hike Hochiss Peak, Rofan Mountains, 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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