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Oberlech – Göppinger Hütte – Gasthaus Älpele Day Hike, Lechquellen Mountains, Austria

Göppinger Hütte (2245 m) 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. The trail traverses scree slopes and uneven karst terrain.

Göppinger Hut, Gamsboden, Lech, Austria
  • Starting Point: Lech am Arlberg, Lech-Oberlech Cable Car Valley Station | Google Maps
  • Cableway Ascent: Lech-Oberlech cable car and the Oberlech-Petersboden Chairlift
  • Trailhead: Petersboden chairlift mountain station
  • Ending Point: Unteres Älpele / Gasthaus Älpele
  • Distance: 13.3 km point-to-point
  • Time Needed: 5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 776 meters
  • Elevation Loss: 1138 meters
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum Elevation: 1562 meters
  • Maximum Elevation: 2444 meters
  • 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:  Lech Hostel (budget), Hotel Garni Schneider (midrange), Hotel Auenhof (4-star), or Hotel Der Berghof (4-star superior) in Lech am Arlberg
  • Recommended Trail MapWK 5504 Arlberg 1:35 000 (Freytag + Berndt)

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”)

Season | 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

Petersboden Chairlift 

Season | Mid June – Early October 

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)

View of the Lechtal Alps, Gamsboden Hike, Lech, Austria

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.

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)

Butzensattel to Göppingerhütte hiking trail, Lechquellen Mountains, Austria

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.

Lechquellen Moutains Karst terrain hiking path, Austria

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 PolesUnisex 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. 

Theodor-Prassler-Weg, Lechquellen Mountains, Austria

After 15-20 minutes, the trail splits. Take the lower track and descend to a signed intersection. Continue straight to Göppinger Hütte (1:15 hours).

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, Lechquellen Mountains, Austria

Göppinger Hütte (2245 m) 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 Hut, Gamsboden, Austria
Göppinger Hut

Göppinger Hütte – Unteres Älpele (1:30 hours)

Gamsboden, Lech am Arlberg, Austria

The trail continues to the viewpoint, overlooking Zugertal, cradled by the stunning peaks of the Lechquellen Mountains.

Göppinger Hut to Unteren Älpele hiking trail, Lech, Austria

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.

 Älpele pasture, Lech, Austria

Bus Return: Unteren Älpele to Lech am Arlberg

The bus stop is located just across the road from the Gasthaus Älpele.

Bus stop Unteres Älpele: Google Maps

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

Der Berghof, Lech, Austria
Der Berghof

Lech am Arlberg is an alpine village in the Arlberg region of Vorarlberg. It’s situated at an elevation of 1444 meters, between the Lechquellen Mountains and the Lechtal Alps. This darling destination is one of our favorite places to hike in Austria in summer.

You can take advantage of the regional summer busses to tackle a number of point-to-point hikes like Spuller Schafberg to Zug, the first stage of the Lechweg, the Rüfikopf to Stuttgarter Hütte Trail, and our favorite Formarinsee to Spullersee Trail.

Budget | Lech Hostel is a budget-friendly accommodation in Lech am Arlberg, offering clean and cozy single, double, and triple rooms. Guests have access to a shared kitchen and shared lounge. Bathrooms are shared as well. The room rate is unbeatable. 

Midrange | Hotel Garni Schneider is a top-rated, affordable bed and breakfast, situated next to Rüfikopfbahn in the center of Lech. Bedrooms are nicely decorated, spotless, and comfortable. Guests also have access to a wellness area (Finnish sauna, steam bath, Kneipp basins, and relaxation room) and free private parking.

Luxury | Hotel Auenhof is a family-run 4-star superior hotel, situated along the River Lech, facing Omeshorn. With its dreamy location and extraordinary staff, Hotel Auenhof outshines other Lech accommodations in terms of its hospitality and atmosphere. The highlight of staying here is the gourmet multi-course dinners, which delight with their creative ingredient combinations, flavors, and presentations. Many hotel restaurants strive to be innovative, but none so successfully as Hotel Auenhof. As a guest, you’ll also enjoy the generous, complimentary afternoon snacks and a very nice wellness area.

Luxury | Der Berghof is a sophisticated, 4-star superior hotel in the center of Lech. This hotel delivers an unparalleled experience in terms of style, comfort, wellness and cuisine. Bedrooms are designed with premium materials and furnished with extraordinary attention to detail. The wellness area features five modern saunas, a cold water basin, and a foot bath. The breakfast was extraordinary.

Luxury | Hotel Arlberg Lech is a top-rated, upscale hotel in the very heart of Lech village. Stay here for their award-winning spa and wellness area, an oasis comprising a heated pool, 6 saunas, a cold plunge pool, ladies-only area, and hydrotherapy showers. Half board available.

Look for an accommodation in Lech.

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.

Hiking Essentials

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.

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 and Kati

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