Eagle Walk Stage 2, © Tirol Werbung/Jens Schwarz
Eagle Walk Stage 2, © Tirol Werbung/Jens Schwarz
Eagle Walk Stage 2, © Tirol Werbung/Jens Schwarz
Eagle Walk Stage 2, © Tirol Werbung/Jens Schwarz

Eagle Walk Stage 02: Gaudeamushütte - Hintersteinersee

Is it about the journey or the destination? You decide. There is nothing like a pristine mountain lake for relief from summer's heat. You might find it incomparably refreshing to cool off in lovely Hintersteinersee Lake at the end of your hiking day. With that in mind, and surrounded by the mesmerizing peaks of Kaiser Range, you will walk across mountain meadows, dwarf pine areas, beech and mixed woodlands as well as rock scrambles, passing Grutten Hut on your way to picture-postcard Hintersteinersee Lake. This is the cleanest and most beautiful mountain lake in the whole of Tirol. The pristine lake covers 56 hectares of spring-fed waters and measures 36 metres at its deepest point. Hintersteinersee Lake is private property; swimming is allowed at its north-western beach. Before taking a plunge, why not dip your finger in holy water? The Baroque ceiling frescos by Matthias Kirchner at Bärnstatt Chapel opposite Bärnstatt Inn are well worth seeing.

Interesting Facts

Eagle View ·Rugged and lofty Kaiser Range is named after “Kaiserkopf” Peak (“Kaiser” meaning Emperor in German). Legend has it that the rock shows the noble profile of a peacefully sleeping Charlemagne. The large imperial crown, formed by the spikes of Ellmauer Halt, slips from his head. The profile of the sleeping emperor can best be admired from Going. However, you will still need to use your imagination a bit!

Eagle Kick ·Take a dip in the crystal-clear and ice cold water of spring-fed Hintersteinersee Lake. There’s nothing more refreshing on a hot day spent hiking in the high-altitude sun… With temperatures ranging from 18 to 20 degrees Celsius, it’s the perfect place to cool off. If ice cold refreshment is not exactly your idea of fun, the exceptionally beautiful lakeside scenery provides a wonderful opportunity to simply stand and stare. Or, take a walk along the five kilometre long lake walkway that circles the pristine mountain lake and ascends for stunning views over Wilder Kaiser Mountain Range.

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Starting point  

Going, Gaudeamus Hut

Finishing point

Lake Hintersteinersee

Mountain chain

Kaiser Mountains

Length

14.5 km

Approximate hiking time

6h

Features

  • Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
  • Circular hike

Difficulty rating

intermediate (red mountain trails)

Altitude

1,630m 880m

Elevation uphill 800m
Vertical metres downhill 1,130m

Fitness level

Technique

Best time of year

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun

Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

* 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.

Eagle Walk

This is a stage of the Eagle Walk, Tirol's most famous long-distance hiking trail.

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Trail description

Starting Point: Gaudeamushütte

From Gaudeamus Hut, a steep path winds through fascinating Klamml Gorge, gaining 400 metres of elevation and bringing you to the highest-lying mountain lodge of Wilder Kaiser Mountain Range, Grutten Hut at an elevation of 1,620 metres. Head towards Ellmauer Tor first and turn onto Trail #824, 813 that winds westward through scree and talus slopes and dwarf pine fields. Cross a dry creek bed until a signed (“Gruttenhütte über Klamml”) track branches off; you must be sure footed and have a good head for heights to negotiate this section. The trail becomes increasingly rock-laden, slowing your pace as you clamber up and around large boulders, offering occasional views of Gaudeamus Hut below. You’ll make your way around and up the cliffs assisted by a fixed anchoring system of cables and a two-metre iron ladder. Follow the narrow, rocky trail bordered by towering rock faces to the right and a talus slope to the left. Traverse a debris-filled chute on your way to the entrance of Klamml Gorge. This is where your vertical adventure is just beginning. The via ferrata with bolted handholds and footholds heads off to the right from Gruttenkopf Peak—it's steep and requires use of hands in one short section going over a headwall. The trail is not dangerous, but hikers skittish on ledges may want to opt for another trail. Bear left at the end of the via ferrata, from where it’s only a short walk to Grutten Hut.

Trailside Eateries: Gruttenhütte (Important! Despite construction work to adapt and expand the hut, the Gruttenhütte remains open. Please contact the hut if you wish to stay the night. Alternatively, hikers can also stay at the Gaudeamushütte.)

From Grutten Hut (1,620m), follow Gruttenweg Trail No. 14 and head southwest. At Krummbachegg, at an elevation of 1,400 metres, “Höhenweg” (literally, ‘high altitude trail’) No. 823 branches off from Gruttenweg Trail and runs westward (“Hintersteiner See”). Keep walking along the high altitude trail, which is as well called “Wilder-Kaiser-Path“, taking you through thin mixed woods and dwarf pines and cirques south of Treffauer Mountain and right around it. Continue hiking towards “Kaiser Hochalm”. From Kaiser Hochalm (1,417m), surrounded by wide open Alpine meadows, head downhill on the marked trail. Follow signage to “Steiner Hochalm” and hike down across mixed forest along Trail No. 823. At the end of the forest you'll reach a fork – bear right and follow the sign-posted trail that skirts the slope on the left hand side and takes you up to Steiner Hochalm. This quaint Alpine Pasture Hut is a great place to gather new strength over hearty culinary delicacies and quite often the harp is played here to sing-along. Southeast of the Alpine Pasture Hut, take the dirt road that runs down to “Hintersteiner See”. You’ll soon get a glimpse of this scenic, spring-fed aquatic jewel. Continue walking along a forest road that descends quickly (keep walking downhill). The route merges with the road that leads to Hintersteinersee Lake at Bärnstatt Inn/Bärnstatt Chapel. Walking along this road you’ll pass flower-strewn meadows and homes on your right hand side before reaching the eastern shore of Hintersteinersee Lake. Apart from the first and last section of this walk (Gaudeamus Hut & Grutten Hut in the beginning; Bärnstatt Inn at the end), there are no trailside eateries so be sure to pack plenty of water and food

Finishing Point: Hintersteinersee

Information on place

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How to get here by plane, train, bus or car.

Your destination address: Scheffau am Wilden Kaiser

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