This blissfully easy hike begins with a cable car ascent from Lech am Arlberg to Rüfikopf. From the Rüfikopfbahn mountain station, you’ll hike to Stuttgarter mountain hut via the Ochsengümple valley and the Rauhekopfscharte saddle. The hike continues all the way down to the village of Zürs, from where you can hop on a bus back to Lech am Arlberg.
Rüfikopf – Stuttgarter Hut – Zürs Day Hike
- Starting Point: Lech am Arlberg
- Trailhead: Rüfikopf Mountain Station
- Distance: 10.6 km point-to-point
- Minimum Elevation: 1712 m
- Maximum Elevation: 2420 m
- Total ascent: 314 m
- Total descent: 931 m
- Difficulty: Easy-moderate
- Time Needed: 3:30 hours without breaks
- When to Hike: Mid-June – end of September/early October.
- Where to Stay: Hotel Auenhof in Lech am Arlberg
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Stuttgarter Hütte Day Hike Map
Rüfikopf Cable Car
The Rüfikopf cable car valley station is located at Rüfiplatz, in the very center of Lech am Arlberg. The cable car operates every 30 minutes on the hour and on the :30, from 8:30 am until 5:30 pm.
- Open: Late June until early October. You can find the exact dates on the Lechzuers website.
- Ticket Price Ascent only: 16.10 EUR (Adults), 10.60 EUR (Children). If you’re staying several days in Lech, we recommend purchasing the regional summer Lech Card. With this card, all regional cable cars and buses are included.
Rüfikopf – Stuttgarter Hütte – Zürs Trail Description
Rüfikopf Mountain Station to Stuttgarter Hütte (2 hours)
When you exit the mountain station, follow signs to Stuttgarter Hütte.
Before starting the hike, you may want to take a quick detour to the viewing platform. Atop the platform, you can see prominent peaks of the Lechquellen Mountains, Lechtal Alps, and the Allgäu Alps.
Follow the wide hiking trail, leading east and sloping downwards. After a few minutes, a signed intersection steers you left to Stuttgarter Hütte. However, continue straight for a few meters to see a fantastic view of Monzabonsee lake.
We backtracked to the intersection, though you can also descend to the lake and continue from there.
The trail ascends only a few meters, before starting a descent to Monzabonjoch, just above the lake.
As you hike down a narrow rocky path, you’ll have excellent views of the Rüfispitze peak (2632 m) and the high-alpine landscape of Ochsengümple.
At the intersection, continue following signs to Stuttgarter Hütte, now signed 1:45 hrs.
An easy, loamy path traverses the lovely Ochsengümple, a shallow depression in a high alpine valley, flanked by the northern slopes of Rüfispitze.
The water-inundated meadows of Ochsengümple are brimming with cotton grass. Please enjoy the views of the flowers, without trampling them.
After a water crossing, the trail slowly ascends the valley towards the triangle-shaped Rauher Kopf. Below the Bockbachsattel, the trail divides. From the signed intersection, you’ll continue ascending to the Rauhekopfscharte (2419 m), the saddle between Rauher Kopf (2520 m) and Gümplespitze (2518 m).
The trail is easy, obvious, and presents no difficulty. Though the final stretch to the saddle is littered with boulders, the trail is still smooth and gentle.
From the Rauhekopfscharte, you can already see the hut. The path initially descends from the saddle, but quickly levels. You’ll follow this undulating trail to the hut, where sheep and cattle graze freely.
Stuttgarter Hütte is a friendly mountain hut. Grab a seat inside, or outside and enjoy a traditional Austrian meal.
Stuttgarter Hütte to Zürs (1:30 hours)
Backtrack a few meters to the Krabachjoch intersection (2300 m), just below the hut.
The trail descends across the southern slopes of Trittwangkopf and Rüfispitze to Pazieltal Valley.
Loose rock underfoot can make the trail a bit slippery.
As you hike down, the Pazielbach stream looks like a silver ribbon, snaking towards the impressive Lechquellen Mountains.
It takes about 40 minutes to reach the high-valley floor of Pazieltal, where there are two water crossings. After the second crossing, the trail merges with a gravel road.
Follow this road to Tritt Alpe Hut (only open in Winter). Now, you’re on a paved road. Continue descending for another 30 minutes all the way to Zürs.
When you get to the village church, cross the bridge and then head left to the bus stop, following the sign to “Bus-Haltestelle” (2 min). Zürs is a ski resort village, which is completely dead in summer. There’s no need to hang out here.
You can take the Landbus Arlberg 91, 92 or Hiking Bus 4 back to Lech am Arlberg.
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 in Lech am Arlberg
- Lech am Arlberg Summer Hiking Guide
- Formarinsee to Spullersee
- Oberlech – Göppinger Hütte – Gasthaus Älpele
More Hikes in the Lechtal Alps:
More Hikes in Vorarlberg
Learn more about hiking in Austria