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 Rüfikopf Valley Station | Google Maps
- Trailhead: Rüfikopf Mountain Station
- Ending Point: Zürs
- Distance: 10.6 km point-to-point
- Time Needed: 3:30 hours
- Elevation Gain: 314 meters
- Elevation Loss: 931 meters
- Difficulty: Easy
- Minimum Elevation: 1712 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 2420 meters
- When to Hike: Mid-June – end of September/early October.
- 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 Map: WK 5504 Arlberg 1:35 000 (Freytag + Berndt)
This post links to products and services we love, which we may make a small commission from, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our blog!! – Sabrina and Kati
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 0:30, from 8:30 am until 5:30 pm.
Open | Mid June until early October. See Current Opening Times.
Ticket Price Ascent only | See Current pricing. 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.
Bus stop Trittkopf | Google Maps
Where to Stay
Lech am Arlberg
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, Oberlech to Göppinger Hut, 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 conviviality. 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.
If you thought this post was helpful, follow us on Instagram @moonhoneytravelers
Austria Trip Planning Essentials
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:
- 2 Week Austria Road Trip – starting in Vienna
- 1 Week Austria Road Trip – starting in Salzburg or Munich
- 10-Day Bavarian Alps & Tyrolean Alps Road Trip – starting in Munich
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.
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:
- Salzburg Hiking Guide
- Filzmoos, Salzburg Hiking Guide
- Schladming, Styria Hiking Guide
- Lech am Arlberg, Vorarlberg Hiking Guide
- Vorarlberg Hiking Guide
- Vienna Mountains Hiking Guide
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.
- Day Pack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B/C high-cut hiking boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- Backpack Camera Clip: Peak Design Camera Clip
What to See & Do in Austria
- Visit a gorge like the Liechtenstein Gorge in Salzburg.
- Bathe in the thermal pools of an Austrian Therme like Aqua Dome in Tirol
- Stay in a thermal spa hotel like Rogner Bad Blumau in Styria, EurothermenResort Bad Ischl in Upper Austria, or the Aqua Dome Hotel in Tirol.
- Hike to a mountain lake like Lake Tappenkarsee in Salzburg or Lake Drachensee in Tirol.
- Go Wine Tasting in South Styria.
- Marvel at the culture, music, and architecture of Vienna.
- Eat heartwarming mountain food in an Almhütte at Grosser Ahornboden in Tirol or Ursprungalm in Styria.
- Drive the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Hohe Tauern National Park.
- Visit the castles, monasteries, and wine taverns of the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.