Göppinger Hütte is a mountain hut in the Lechquellen Mountains in Vorarlberg, Austria. The fastest approach to Göppinger Hut is from Unteres Älpele in Zugertal Valley. However, a more interesting ascent route begins at Petersboden, accessible by cableways from Lech am Arlberg.
This is a point-to-point hike across a high-alpine environment. Though you’ll be hiking across scree slopes and karst terrain, this hike presents minimal technical difficulty. Nonetheless, it’s still a mountain hike, and it’s important to be surefooted and conditionally fit.
Lech am Arlberg – Göppinger Hut Day Hike, Lechquellen Mountains
- Starting Point: Lech am Arlberg
- Cableway Ascent: Lech-Oberlech cable car and the Oberlech-Petersboden Chairlift
- Trailhead: Petersboden chairlift mountain station
- Destination: Unteres Älpele / Gasthaus Älpele
- Distance: 13.3 km point-to-point
- Minimum Elevation: 1562 m
- Maximum Elevation: 2444 m
- Total ascent: 776 m
- Total descent: 1138 m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Time Needed: 5 hours without breaks
- When to Hike: Mid-June – end of September.
- Where to Eat: Der Wolf (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays), Kriegeralpe (open daily), Göppinger Hütte (open daily) and Gasthaus Älpele (closed on Mondays).
- Where to Stay: Hotel Auenhof in Lech am Arlberg.
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Göppinger Hütte Day Hike Map
How to Get to the Petersboden Trailhead
From Lech am Arlberg, you have to take the Lech-Oberlech Cable Car followed by the Oberlech-Petersboden Chairlift.
These cableways are included in the Lech Card, which we recommend purchasing if you’re spending more than one day in Lech. If you don’t have a Lech Card, purchase a one-way ascending ticket only.
Lech – Oberlech Cable Car (“Bergbahn Oberlech”)
- Opening hours: Mid June – Early October
- Operating hours: 8:30 – 12:00 and 12:30 – 18:00
- Timing: 15 min (.00, .15, .30, .45)
- Pricing: Lech Zürs Cable Cars
- Opening hours: 18.06. to 03.10.2021
- Operating hours: Mon-Sun, 8:30 – 17:00
- Timing: Continuous
- Pricing: Lech Zürs Cable Cars
Petersboden – Göppinger Hütte – Gasthaus Älpele Trail Description
Petersboden – Kriegeralpe – Butzensattel (1:30 hours)
Follow the wide gravel trail, which leads uphill from the chairlift mountain station. On your right, there’s a small modern ski hut, called Der Wolf, which tempts you to abandon your hike and just enjoy lunch with a view. Der Wolf is open Wednesdays – Sundays, 9:00 am until 5 pm.
After 130 meters (2 minutes), the trail divides. Head left, following signs to Kriegeralpe (10 minutes), Göppinger Hütte (3:45 hrs), and Butzensee (1:30 hours).
The wide path continues to the managed Kriegeralpe hut, which has an inviting, sunny terrace. When we hiked by here on a Sunday, a priest was conducting an alpine mass at the hut.
Continue hiking uphill. Looking behind you, the views of the Lechtal Alps and even the Allgäu Alps get better and better.
After a few serpentines, you’ll reach a signed intersection. Continue left onto the narrow hiking trail (Göppinger Hütte: 3 hrs), leaving the wide gravel path.
The dirt trail crosses meadows and tussock slopes below Zuger-Hochlicht, initially along a pasture fence. After about 10-minutes, the trail divides. We chose the lower track.
The trail continues easily to another unmarked intersection, near Butzensee Lake. Continue left (the right trail goes to Mohnenfluhsattel). Before reaching the Butzen saddle, you’ll pass above the Butzensee Lake, at the foot of Mohnenfluh.
Butzensattel to Göppingerhütte (2:15 hours)
The path progresses towards the ridge of the triangle-shaped Buzen Spitze. From a distance, it looks far harder than it actually is.
Ascending steadily now, the trail cuts easily though heavy karst terrain (labeled “Buzen” on trail maps).
As you near the ridge, light scrambling is needed.
When you crest the Butzenspitze ridge, continue right towards the peak.
Soon, you’ll see the descending path to Göppingerhütte. The initial descent is slippery, because of the scree. Hiking poles are very helpful.
- Recommended Hiking Poles: Unisex Black Diamond Hiking Poles
The trail levels out and you’ll continue crossing the scree slopes of Butzenspitze, Kleinspitze, and eventually Braunarlspitze. Enjoy the incredible views of the Lechtal Alps.
After 15-20 minutes, the trail splits. Take the lower track and descend to a signed intersection. Continue straight to Göppinger Hütte (1:15 hrs). The trail leading right ascends to the summit of Braunarlspitze.
Though still hiking on scree, the trail is easy and mostly flat for about a kilometer. The path then ascends 100 meters to the spur of Löffelspitze peak.
When the trail plateaus at the spur crest, it’s flat again for a while. Enjoy the views of Spullerschafberg, Pfaffeneck and Pöngertlekopf, all rising magnificently above Zugertal Valley.
Soon you’ll see Göppinger Hütte, situated on the Gamsboden high-alpine plateau. The final descent to the hut requires attention, as you navigate some rocky steps, with loose stones and scree.
Göppinger Hütte serves food until 4 pm. After 4 pm, you can only order drinks. The hut is open from late June until late September, depending on snow conditions.
Göppinger Hütte – Unteres Älpele (1:30 hours)
The trail continues to the viewpoint, overlooking Zugertal, cradled by the stunning peaks of the Lechquellen Mountains.
The hike from Göppinger Hut to Unteres Älpele is very pleasant. You’ll descend continuously for 4.5 km (683 m descending) to the alpine pastures of Upper and Lower Älpele.
From the (unmanaged) Upper Älpele pasture, the trail continues along a gravel road all the way down to the Lower Älpele pastures and your final destination: Gasthaus Älpele in Zugertal.
Bus Return: Unteren Älpele to Lech am Arlberg
The bus stop is located just across the road from the Gasthaus Älpele. You can take bus 6 or bus 7 to Lech am Arlberg. These buses are also included in the Lech Card. If you don’t have the card, the bus ride costs an exorbitant 10 EUR per person.
Current Timetable: Lech Zürs Local Buses
The bus ride to Rüfiplatz, the main bus stop in Lech am Arlberg, takes 15 minutes.
Where to Stay in Lech am Arlberg
Hotel Auenhof is a family-run, 4-star hotel in Lech am Arlberg. Located directly on the River Lech and facing Omeshorn, this welcoming hotel offers swell alpine views as well as a central location.
The family and staff work side-by-side to ensure that every guest is well looked after. During our stay, it became quickly apparent that many of the guests were return visitors, loyal to the hotel and very fond of the staff.
There’s absolutely no artifice here. It’s one of the most genuine and welcoming hotels we’ve ever stayed in.
In addition to the excellent management, we loved the gourmet dinners, afternoon snacks (“Nachmittagsjause”), the location, the wellness area and tea bar.
Each evening, a decadent 5-course dinner is served. We were blown away by the bold creativity, delightful presentation, and astounding flavors of each course. From the creme goat cheese topped with beetroot, cherry and chocolate to the chorizo and corn cappuccino, each dish is both fanciful and delicious. Kudos to Chef Matthias Fiebig and his team.
More things we loved about our stay:
- Central Location. It’s a 5-minute walk to Rüfiplatz, the main bus stop in Lech am Arlberg and the Rüfikopf cable car valley station.
- Mountain views of Omeshorn.
- Wellness area. The spa area encompasses a tea bar, indoor pool, salt steam sauna, Finnish sauna, herb sauna, Infrared Cabins, Laconium, waterbeds, and a new, modern silent area.
- Spa bag with towels, bathrobe and sauna towels.
- Complimentary afternoon snack is served between 2:30 and 5:00 pm
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More Hikes around Lech am Arlberg
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