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Liechtenstein Panorama Trail Stage 3: Steg – Rappenstein – Pfälzer Hut

Stage 3 of the Liechtenstein Panorama Trail (Liechtenstein Panoramaweg) is an interesting and varied alpine hike from Steg (or Sücka) to Pfälzer Hut (2108 m).

Route 66 ascends a succession of summits, descends across blooming meadows, and then ascends once again a remote valley to the idyllically-situated, saddle-straddling Pfälzer mountain hut. 

We opted for the high mountain route, which follows the main ridge that rises between the Valünatal Valley and the Rhine Valley. Though there’s no technical difficulty, it’s a demanding hike with significant elevation gain. 

If the weather isn’t stable, you can take the lower route through Alpelti, or even the valley route along the Valünerbach stream. 

This stage takes 6:50 hours without breaks. With breaks and marmot-watching, it took us 8 hours.

More Stages:

Pfälzerhütte sunset, Rätikon Alps, Liechtenstein
  • Starting Point: Steg Tunnel Bus Stop | Google Maps
  • Ending Point: Pfälzerhütte
  • Distance: 14.1 km point-to-point
  • Time Needed: 6:50 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 1476 meters
  • Elevation Loss: 642 meters
  • Difficulty: Difficult 
  • Minimum Elevation: 1275 meters
  • Maximum Elevation: 2217 meters
  • Route: (Malbun) – Steg – Bergasthaus Sücka – Chrüppel – Wanghöhe – Goldlochspitz – Rappensteinsattel – Rappenstein – Rappensteinsattel – Obersäss – Naaftal – Pfälzerhütte
  • Lunch Option: None
  • Where to Stay: Pfälzerhütte

Liechtenstein Panorama Trail Map

Stage 3 is highlighted in yellow.

Steg – Bergasthaus Sücka – Chrüppel – Rappenstein – Pfälzerhütte Trail Description 

Bus to Steg Tunnel (8 minutes)

From Malbun, take bus 21 in the direction of Vaduz to the Steg Tunnel bus stop (8 minutes).

If you stayed at Hotel Turna Malbun, the Malbun Zentrum Bus Stop is located at the hotel’s doorstep. 

Steg – Berggasthaus Sücka – Old Tunnel (25 minutes)

Steg to Berggasthaus Sücka hiking trail, Liechtenstein

Cross the bridge over the Samina river, following the sign to Sücka. 

You’ll immediately see several trail signs. If you’re following the lower valley route to Pfälzerhütte, you can turn left here in the direction of Naaftal, Pfälzerhütte, and Rappastein. 

However, in order to continue the Liechtenstein Panorama Trail (high route variation), you must first hike back up to Berggasthaus Sücka and then further up to the old tunnel (the one you hiked through yesterday – stage 2). 

Turn right.

Soon, a footpath branches off the road on the left side. You can hike this trail, or continue on the road. The forest path leads to the pasture below Berggasthaus Sücka and then merges with the road. Turn right and continue up the paved road to the old tunnel. 

In front of the old tunnel, turn left in the direction of Heubühl and Rappenstein. 

Now, you’re on the high route. 

Old Tunnel to Chrüppel (1 hour)

Old Tunnel to Chrüppel hiking trail, Liechtenstein

The trail traverses a grassy slope in a southerly direction. In a few minutes, the path divides, before the forest. Take the upper path and pass through the turnstile. 

The trail ascends along the Valünatal side of the forested ridge, crossing pastures along the way. There’s always a turnstile at the entrance and exit of each grazing area. 

The trail crosses over to the Rhine-Valley-side of the ridge. Part of the path is reinforced with a timber platform and railing. 

Old Tunnel to Chrüppel hiking trail, Liechtenstein, Rätikon Alps

The forest ascent continues to Chrüppel (1707 m), a grassy summit marked with a private hut, bench, and cross. 

 Chrüppel is also spelled Krüppel. 

Chrüppel to Wanghöhe  (1 hour)

Forest ascent, stage 3, Liechtenstein Panorama Trail

Continue hiking up the forested ridge. 

The narrow path alternates between steep ascents and undulating stretches. 

The forest floor is carpeted in alpenrose bushes, which start to bloom at the very end of June. I imagine it’s vibrantly pink in July. 

 Chrüppel to Wanghöhe hiking trail, Liechtenstein

With time, views open up to the mountains. Straight ahead, you’ll be able to spot Rappenstein peak (where you’re headed today) and Naafkopf (the peak you’ll summit on stage 4). 

After about an hour from Chrüppel, the trail descends steeply. 

Chrüppel to Wanghöhe ridge trail, Liechtenstein Panorama Trail

Follow the fence along the grassy ridge to Wanghöhe (1884 m). 

Wanghöhe – Goldlochspitz –  Rappensteinsattel (55 minutes)

Wanghöhe - Goldlochspitz hiking trail, Liechtenstein

At the Wanghöhe junction, continue towards Rappensteinsattel (50 minutes).

The ascent continues. 

After wrapping around a wildflower slope, you’ll crest the wide, rolling, treeless ridge. 

Follow the short timber posts with white-red-white waymarks.

The ridge trail dramatically narrows as it approaches the summit of Goldlochspitz (2110 m). 

Goldlochspitz -  Rappensteinsattel ridge trail, Liechtenstein

Hike over Goldlochspitz and descend to the Rappenstein mountain saddle.

In dry conditions, this trail is easy. But, in rain, it’s treacherous. 

Rappensteinsattel – Rappenstein Peak – Rappensteinsattel (40 minutes out-and-back)

Rappenstein Peak hiking trail, Liechtenstein

The ascent to Rappenstein is a detour. It only takes 20 minutes one-way. Initially, the route is secured with cables. 

The summit overlooks the Rhine Valley and the Rätikon Alps. 

Rappenstein summit, Liechtenstein

Return to the Rappenstein saddle trail junction to continue the Liechtenstein Panorama Trail. 

Rappensteinsattel to Gapfahl-Obersäss (25 minutes)

Hike to Gapfahl-Obersäss, Liechtenstein

Continue in the direction of Gapfahl-Obersäss, signed 25 minutes, and Pfälzerhütte, signed 2:35 hours. 

The trail twists down the mountainside and then joins a wider track to the unmanaged Gapfahl-Obersäss mountain pasture hut (1879 m). 

Gapfahl-Obersäss Alm to Undersäss Alm farm road, Liechtenstein

It took us at least 45 min to hike this part of the trail, because the wildflowers were so mesmerizing. 

Gapfahl-Obersäss Alm to Undersäss Alm (30 minutes) 

Cows of Undersäss mountain pasture, Liechtenstein

Follow the gravel road in the direction of Naaftal (1:30 hours) and Pfälzerhütte (2:10 hours). 

The road gently descends amid larch trees and mountain pastures. 

When you see the Undersäss mountain pasture hut (three buildings), turn right. 

Undersäss – Valünerbach stream – Naaftal – Pfälzerhütte (1:45 hours)

Marmot, Liechtenstein

Route 66 continues behind the farm buildings. Cross the creek and follow the narrow path across verdant slopes. 

Stick to the upper path, following the route 66 sign in the direction of Naaftal. 

Keep your eyes out for marmots. From here on out, you’ll likely see dozens of these fluffballs and their burrows. 

You’ll hear the Valünerbach stream before you see it. Route 66 descends to the rocky stream bed and crosses the Valünerbach stream. 

Naaftal hiking trail, Liechtenstein

When you emerge from the stream bed, turn right. 

The Liechtenstein Panorama Trail gently ascends the high valley of Naaftal, a marmot haven, all the way up to Pfälzerhütte. 

Pfälzer hut, Liechtenstein Panorama Trail, Route 66

Stay in Pfälzerhütte

Pfälzerhütte (2108 m), Raetikon Alps, Liechtenstein

Standing on the Bettlerjoch saddle, the historic Pfälzerhütte (2108 m) straddles the Austria-Liechtenstein border. 

This Liechtenstein Alpine Club hut is one of the best mountain huts we’ve ever stayed in. We loved the scenic location, the hospitality, and our private room. 

René Keel manages this high-alpine refuge with ease, flexibility, and a sense of humor. And so, the atmosphere is naturally laid-back and jovial. 

There aren’t 101 rules posted about the hut. But, please respect mountain hut etiquette. Before entering the hut, remove your shoes in the Trockenraum (Dry Room).  Do not consume any of your food, or beverages on hut premises.

Pfälzerhütte sunset views, Liechtenstein

Reservation: Call, or email the hut.

Pricing: See pricing. Discount is administered to guests with Alpine Club ID cards on which the logo of the reciprocal rights agreement is printed. Learn more about alpine club membership in Tips for Hiking in the Alps

Payment: Cash only in EUR or CHF (Swiss Francs). The hut manager collects payment in the morning. 

Showers: None. 

Running Water: Yes, there are wash basins and indoor flush toilets. 

Pfälzerhütte tea water, Liechtenstein

Drinking Water: The water in the hut isn’t potable. You have to purchase drinking water. In the morning, a huge pot of boiled water is set out on one of the dining tables. You can take this water for free, though it’s best if you have a thermos. 

Electronic Charging Stations: There are a few outlets in the hallways. Make sure to bring a Type J adaptor

Dinner at Pfälzerhütte (2108 m), Liechtenstein

Food: Excellent and generous. When we stayed, dinner consisted of three courses: a beet salad, sausage (or sautéed fennel and tomato) with mashed potatoes, and ice cream. Breakfast includes a basket of bread, a plate of sliced cheeses and meats, butter, jam, coffee, or tea. 

beet salad at Pfaelzer mountain hut, Rätikon Alps, Liechtenstein

Half Board or à la carte: Half board only. Please note: it’s not allowed to consume your own food and drinks on hut premises. 

Pfälzer hut breakfast, Rätikon Alps, Liechtenstein

Rooms: This hut has several private, dormitory, and lager (mattress dormitory) rooms. You need to bring a sleeping bag liner like this Sea to Summit liner in order to stay overnight in this hut. 

Check-in: Flexible, though you should arrive before dinner. 5 pm is a good time.

Check-out: Flexible, though be reasonable.

Sunset at Pfälzer Hut, Rätikon Alps, Liechtenstein

Dogs: Dogs and other pets are not allowed in Pfälzerhütte.

Keep Reading about the Liechtenstein Panorama Trail

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Read our Liechtenstein Panorama Trail hiking guide for a complete overview of this outstanding trek in the Rätikon Alps.

Hut Hiking Packing List

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Mountain Hut Essentials

Pack these mountain hut essentials in addition to sufficient cash, your alpine club membership card, Kindle, sun protection, cosmetics, and ear plugs.

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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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