The Berlin High Trail is a must-do high Alpine walking tour right through the heart of the extraordinary Zillertal Alps, visiting one of the crown jewels of Tirol’s park system, Zillertal Nature Park. The terrain is moderate to difficult, the trail is steep in some places and rugged in most and can be done end-to-end or in day trips: The Berlin High Trail is broken up into seven segments with an access point at each mountain hut, making it easily accessible for day hikers along the length of the Trail. Keep a pace of roughly 10 kilometers per day, and you’ll complete the trail in a little over a week, climbing 6,700 meters.
- Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
- Circular Hike
difficult (black trails)
Elevation uphill 5,340 m
Vertical metres downhill 5,030 m
Gams Hut is accessed from Finkenberg. From the village center, take Teufelsbrücke Bridge to cross Tuxbach River and walk through the hamlet of Dornau toward Brunnhaus. Pass the soccer field, turn left and climb onto Hermann-Hecht Path (Trail #533) that zigzags its way up through lush forest to Kraxentrager. Eventually, leave the trees and enter the alpine, wide open world of Gams Hut. The ascent takes around three hours to complete. Optional, you can leave the grade for a steeper climb with switchbacks that ascends the forest from Gamsgrube Inn and emerges onto Hermann-Hecht Path slightly below Gams Hut.
Day 1: Gams Hut – Friesenberghaus Lodge
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 1,130/575 Meters, Hiking Time: 9 Hours, Distance: 14.8 Kilometers
From Gams Hut, situated at an elevation of 1,921 meters, the trail runs to Vordere Grinbergspitze Spire (2,687 meters), 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 meters). The route continues to Pitzenalpe (1,874 meters) 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 Wesendlekarsee, a glacier-fed lake. Follow the trail toward “Breitlahner - Friesenberghaus” that will bring you to Friesenberghaus Lodge at an elevation of 2,477 meters.
Day 2: Friesenberghaus Lodge – Olperer Hut – Furtschaglhaus Lodge
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 690/875 Meters, Hiking Time: 6 Hours, Distance: 15.4 Kilometers
From Friesenberghaus Lodge, the trail ascends shortly to the west before climbing in steep switchbacks to an elevation of 2,602 meters and on to Friesenbergscharte Notch. From there, proceed southwards through the verdant and lush green fields of Gamsleiten until you reach spectacular Olperer Hut at an elevation of 2,389 meters. From the hut, it’s a steep descent in the beginning, before the terrain flattens and traverses meadows southwards high above Riepenbach Brook. Eventually, the trail zigzags down to 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 Jausenstation Zamsgatterl, a trailside snack bar. Proceed walking high above the brook until the road branches off. Follow the trail that gradually climbs toward Schlegeiskees Glacier and take the left fork eastward. Climb the steep slope between Wasserleklamm Gorge and Furtschaglbach Creek in switchbacks until you reach Furtschaglhaus Lodge.
Day 3: Furtschaglhaus Lodge – Berliner Hut
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 850/1,100 Meters, Hiking Time: 6 Hours, Distance: 8.9 Kilometers
Departing from Furtschaglhaus Lodge, this day trek travels toward Schönbichler Scharte Notch (3,060 meters) 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 meters climb to the top of 3,134-meter Schönbichlerhorn Peak. From there, the trail follows the ridgeline up some stepping stones to a wonderful lookout at an elevation of 2,763 meters. Pause here to take in the stunning view of Berliner Hut. It will be visible for much of your hike. Continue down the south side of the ridge top, passing the floor of 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 Berliner Hut (2,044 meters).
Day 4: Berliner Hut – Greizer Hut
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 1,235/1,050 Meters, Hiking Time: 7 Hours, Distance: 10.8 Kilometers
From Berliner Hut, Trail #502 traverses the boggy terrain of Schwarzstein Moor en route to Schwarzsee Lake, located at an elevation of 2,472 meters. A few steep switchbacks will take you up to Rosskar Cirque and on to Mörchenscharte Notch (3,872 meters). A steep rock scramble section with cables to protect you from a sheer vertical drop takes you to Floitengrund and crosses Floitenbach Creek. From there, follow Trail #502 to Greizer Hut (2,227 meters).
Day 5: Greizer Hut – Kasseler Hut
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 690/740 Meters, Hiking Time: 5.5 Hours, Distance: 10.1 Kilometers
From Greizer Hut, Trail #502 gently ascends stone slabs in the beginning. Then, the trail steepens and climbs Lapenscharte Notch, embedded between Gigalitzturm Spire and Lapenspitze Peak. From the notch, it’s a one hour descent to Grüne-Wand Hut. The final section through Eisenklamm Gorge, which has permanently fixed cables for protection, will bring you to Kasseler Hut.
A challenging and strenuous one-day trek travels from Kasseler Hut to Karl-von-Edel Hut and down to the valley to Mayrhofen (Hiking Time: 9 Hours, Distance: 14 Kilometers).