The challenging Berlin High Trail is a must-do high Alpine hike starting in Finkenberg and leading right through the heart of the extraordinary Zillertal Alps Nature Park, one of Tirol's crown jewels. Among the highlights of the hike is the Berliner Hütte, the largest hut in Tirol to be run by the Austrian Alpine Club and the first hut in the region to become a listed building. With its wood-panelled rooms, five-metre-high dining hall and chandeliers on the ceiling, it is a true pearl of the Alps. The Berlin High Trail is a challenging hike for experienced walkers. It takes around a week to complete the full trail from start to finish with 85 kilometres and 6,600 vertical metres. The route can, however, also be shorted: from each hut there is the option of descending down into the valley.
Finkenberg / Gamshütte hut
Mayrhofen / Kasseler Hütte hut
- Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
- Circular hike
difficult (black trails)
Elevation uphill 6,605m
Vertical metres downhill 6,840m
Best time of year
* These are approximate values and recommendations. Please take your personal fitness level, technical ability and the current weather conditions into account. Tirol Werbung cannot guarantee that the information provided is correct and accepts no liability.
Options include car park at the Finkenberger Almbahnen cable cars.
Places serving food & drink
- Day 1: Gamshütte, Pitzenalm, Friesenberghaus
- Day 2: Olpererhütte, Zamsereck, Fischereck, Furtschaglhaus
- Day 3: Berliner Hütte
- Day 4: Greizerhütte
- Day 5: Kasseler Hütte
- Day 6: Edelhütte
Ascent from the valley: Finkenberg – Gamshütte hut
Uphill/downhill: 1,084/0 vertical metres, hiking time: 4.5 hours, distance: 6.8 kilometers, highest point: 1,918 metres, difficulty: intermediate
The Gamshütte hut is accessed from Finkenberg. From the village centre, take the Teufelsbrücke bridge across the Tuxbach river and walk through the hamlet of Dornau toward Brunnhaus. Pass the soccer pitch, turn left and climb onto the Hermann-Hecht-Weg path (trail number 533) that zigzags its way up through lush forest to Kraxentrager. Eventually, leave the trees and enter the alpine, wide open world of the Gamshütte hut. The ascent takes around three hours to complete. Alternatively, you can swap the trail for a steeper ascent with switchbacks that climb through the forest from the Gasthaus Gamsgrube inn and emerges onto the Hermann-Hecht-Weg path slightly below the Gamshütte.
Day 1: Gamshütte hut – Friesenberghaus lodge
Uphill/downhill: 1,130/575 vertical metres, hiking time: 9 hours, distance: 14.8 kilometres, highest point: 2,513 metres, difficulty: difficult
From the Gamshütte hut, situated at an elevation of 1,921 metres, the trail runs to the Vordere Grinbergspitze (2,687 metres), where the Berlin High Trail branches off to the left. Climb tussock slopes and rugged terrain with scattered dwarf pine fields on your way to Feldalpe (1,885 metres). The route continues to Pitzenalm (1,874 metres) and climbs to Milchanger in a series of steep switchbacks. From Milchanger, walk through a rugged upland plateau until you reach the south shore of the Wesendlekarsee, a glacier-fed lake. Follow the trail toward “Breitlahner - Friesenberghaus” that will bring you to Friesenberghaus lodge at an elevation of 2,477 metres.
Day 2: Friesenberghaus lodge – Olpererhütte hut – Furtschaglhaus lodge
Uphill/downhill: 690/875 vertical metres, hiking time: 6 hours, distance: 15.4 kilometres, highest point: 2,624 metres, difficulty: difficult
From the Friesenberghaus lodge, the trail ascends briefly to the west before climbing in steep switchbacks to an elevation of 2,602 metres and on to the Friesenbergscharte ridge. From there, proceed southwards through the lush green fields of Gamsleiten until you reach the spectacular Olpererhütte hut at an elevation of 2,389 metres. From the hut, it’s initially a steep descent before the terrain flattens and traverses meadows southwards high above the Riepenbach stream. Eventually, the trail zigzags down to the Schlegeis reservoir. Turn right at the lakeshore road and cross the bridge right after the car park. Turn left and continue walking until you reach the Jausenstation Zamsgatterl, a trailside snack bar. Continue walking high above the stream until the road branches off. Follow the trail that gradually climbs toward the Schlegeiskees glacier and take the left fork eastward. Climb the steep slope between the Wasserleklamm gorge and the Furtschaglbach stream in switchbacks until you reach the Furtschaglhaus lodge.
Day 3: Furtschaglhaus lodge – Berlinerhütte hut
Uphill/downhill: 850/1,100 vertical metres, hiking time: 6 hours, distance: 8.9 kilometres, highest point: 3,106 metres, difficulty: difficult
Departing from the Furtschaglhaus lodge, this day trek takes you initially towards the Schönbichler Scharte ridge (3,060 metres) and continues on the south side of the ridge through a gully that has permanently fixed cables for protection. From the east flank, it’s a few metres' climb to the top of 3,134-metre-high Schönbichlerhorn peak. From there, the trail follows the ridgeline up some stepping stones to a wonderful lookout at an elevation of 2,763 metres. Pause here to take in the stunning view of the Berlinerhütte hut. This majestic alpine refuge will be visible for much of your hike. Continue down the southern side of the ridge, passing through the Garberkar cirque and the northern lateral moraine of Waxeggkees glacier. Keep to the right and take the fork to the bridge, from where the trail climbs steadily over rocks polished and scratched by glaciers on its way to the Berlinerhütte hut (2,044 metres).
Day 4: Berlinerhütte hut – Greizer Hütte hut
Uphill/downhill: 1,235/1,050 vertical metres, hiking time: 7 hours, distance: 10.8 kilometres, highest point: 2,875 metres, difficulty: difficult
From the Berlinerhütte hut, trail number 502 traverses the boggy terrain of Schwarzstein Moor en route to the Schwarzsee lake, located at an elevation of 2,472 metres. A few steep switchbacks will take you up to the Rosskar cirque and on to the Mörchenscharte ridge (2,872 metres). A steep rock scramble section with cables to protect you from a sheer vertical drop takes you to Floitengrund and crosses the Floitenbach stream. From there, follow trail number 502 to the Greizer Hütte hut (2,227 metres).
Day 5: Greizer Hütte hut – Kasseler Hütte hut
Uphill/downhill: 690/740 vertical metres, hiking time: 5.5 hours, distance: 10.1 kilometres, highest point: 2,703 metres, difficulty: intermediate
From the Greizer Hütte hut, trail number 502 gently ascends stone slabs in the beginning. The trail then steepens and climbs Lapenscharte ridge, embedded between the Gigalitzturm rock spire and the Lapenspitze peak. From the ridge it is a one-hour descent to the Grüne-Wand Hütte hut. The final section through the Eisenklamm gorge, which has permanently fixed cables for protection, will bring you to the Kasseler Hütte hut.
Day 6: Kasseler Hütte hut – Karl-von-Edel-Hütte hut
Uphill/downhill: 799/743 vertical metres, hiking time: 6 hours, distance: 12.9 kilometres, highest point: 2,457 metres, difficulty: difficult
This long and challenging stage leads along the Aschaffenburger Höhenweg trail to the Karl-von-Edel Hütte hut.
Descent into the valley: Karl-von-Edel-Hütte hut – Mayrhofen
Downhill: 1,614 metres, hiking time: 4 hours, distance: 8.8 kilometers, highest point: 2,235 metres, difficulty: easy
The descent from the Karl-von-Edel-Hütte hut into the valley heads in a northwesterly direction via the Fellenbergalm-Niederleger all the way down to Mayrhofen. The trail contains many switchbacks and is generally easy, though there are a lot of vertical metres to descend from start to finish.