Long-Distance Hike
Carnic High Trail

The Carnic High Trail follows the Austrian-Italian border heading from west to east along the main ridge of the Carnic Alps. With a total distance of 168 kilometres, this high-altitude hike is a challenge even for experienced hikers and generally takes up to eleven days to complete. It is popular with walkers in the summer months thanks to its fine views of the Dolomites. The trail begins in Sillian in the High Pustertal Valley and ends in Unterhörl in the neighbouring province of Carinthia.

The highlight of the hike comes right at the start. The first third from the Hollbrucker Spitze mountain takes hikers along the first section of the Peace Trail leading through the Dolomites all the way to the Swiss border. This trail traces the Austrian-Italian front during the First World War and includes passages along trails created over 100 years ago to move troops and equipment. Each stage features a number of mountain huts or inns serving local food. All in all there are no fewer than 30 peaks along the trail such as the Großer Kinigat (2,689 metres) and the Pfannspitze (2,678 metres), the highest point of the hike. The information boards along the Geo Trail give visitors an insight into the geological diversity of the Carnic Alps between Sillian and Nassfeld. There is the option of shortening the route by taking a transfer along the roads over the mountain passes at Plöcken (stage 7) and Nassfeld (stage 9).

Hiking the Carnic High Trail
The Obstanserseehütte hut on the Carnic High Trail
The Obstanserseehütte hut on the Carnic High Trail
The Obstanserseehütte hut seen from the air
The Obstanserseehütte hut seen from the air
On the Peace Trail
On the Peace Trail
View of the Carnic High Trail
View of the Carnic High Trail
The Carnic High Trail
The Carnic High Trail
Evening sky over the trail
Evening sky over the trail
Open interactive map

Starting point  

Sillian, second bridge west of the railway station

Finishing point

Unterhörl / Arnoldstein

Mountain chain

Gailtal Alps

Length

168 km

Duration

11 day(s)

Features

  • Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
  • Circular hike

Difficulty rating

difficult (black trails)

Altitude

2,659m 646m

Elevation uphill 9,604m
Vertical metres downhill 10,047m

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.

Parking

Sillian, pay-and-display car park at the "Marktplatz" square and next to the "Gemeindehaus" building

 

Places serving food and drink

  • Day 1: Leckfeldalm, Sillianer Hütte 
  • Day 2: Obstanserseehütte, Filmoor-Standschützenhütte 
  • Day 3: Porzehütte 
  • Day 4: Hochweißsteinhaus 
  • Day 5: Obere Wolayer Alm, Wolayerseehütte 
  • Day 6: Gasthof untere Valentinalm 
  • Day 7: Gasthaus Plöckenhaus, Zollnersee Hütte 
  • Day 8: Straniger Alm, Rudnig Alm 
  • Day 9: Alpenhof Plattner, Garnitzenalm 
  • Day 10: Dellacher Alm, Feistritzer Alm
  • Day 11: various locations in Unterthörl

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Trail description

Day 1: Sillian –  Leckfeldalm (1,900 metres) – Sillianer Hütte (2,447 metres) / Obstanserseehütte (2,300 metres)
Elevation gain/loss: 1,373/0 metres, hiking time: 6.5 hours, distance: 13.5 kilometres, highest point: 2,448 metres, difficulty: difficult (black trail)

In Sillian, west of the railway station, cross the second bridge over the Drau river towards Wichtelpark. Continue in a westerly direction following the river, then head up along a series of switchback corners in a southerly direction. Follow the trail east around the Heimkehrerkreuz mountain (2,373 metres) as far as the Leckfeldalm (1,900 metres). Continue in a southerly direction uphill to the Sillianer Hütte (2,447 metres).

Important! In summer 2018 the Sillianer Hütte is closed. That means hikers must either continue to the Obstanserseehütte, an extra stretch of trail which requires an excellent level of fitness (22.3km, 1,870 vertical metres), or stop early at the Leckfeldalm. In that case the second stage will, of course, be longer.

Day 2: Sillianer Hütte – Obstanserseehütte (2,300 metres) – Filmoor-Standschützenhütte (2,350 metres)
Elevation gain/loss: 856/950 metres, hiking time: 6.5 hours, distance: 13.6 kilometres, highest point: 2,659 metres, difficulty: intermediate (red trail)

From the Sillianer Hütte head in a south-easterly direction to the Hochgräntensee lake (2,428 metres), then follow the curved trail up to the Demut mountain (2,592 metres). Continue in an easterly direction to the Schöntalhöhe (2,635 metres), Eisenreich (2,665 metres) and the Obstansersee lake – below the hut of the same name (2,300 metres). Walking in a south-easterly direction pass the Pfannspitze (2,678 metres) and the Großer Kinigat (2,689 metres) all the way to the Filmoor-Standschützenhütte (2,350 metres).

Day 3: Filmoor-Standschützenhütte – Porzehütte (1,942 metres)
Elevation gain/loss: 218/628 metres, hiking time: 3 hours, distance: 6.3 kilometres, highest point: 2,350 metres, difficulty: intermediate (red trail)

Follow the trail in a south-easterly direction, then in a north-easterly direction to the Oberer Stuckensee lake (2,040 metres), past the right shore of the lake in a north-easterly direction until the trail turns off sharp right. Continue uphill here until the trail turns off again. Then follow the trail to the Porzehütte hut (1,942 metres).

Day 4: Porzehütte – Hochweißsteinhaus (1,868 metres)
Elevation gain/loss: 1,028/1,094 metres, hiking time: 8 hours, distance: 17.3 kilometres, highest point: 2,488 metres, difficulty: difficult (black trail)

Follow the trail along a series of switchbacks up to the Tilliacher Joch ridge (2,093 metres). Then head east via Bärenbadegg (2,431 metres), Kesselscharte (2,250 metres) and in a southerly direction to the Winkler Joch ridge (2,235 metres). Continuing east, go past the Hochspitz (2,583 metres) and the Steinkarspitz (2,524 metres) to the Luggauer Sattel (2,385 metres). From here, all that remains is the descent to the Hochweißsteinhaus hut (1,868 metres).

Day 5: Hochweißsteinhaus – Obere Wolayer Alm (1,708 metres) – Wolayerseehütte (1,960 metres)
Elevation gain/loss: 1,069/983 metres, hiking time: 7.5 hours, distance: 14.3 kilometres, highest point: 2,011 metres, dificulty: intermediate (red trail)

Follow the trail for a long time in an easterly direction as far as the Giramondopass (2,009 metres), then in a downward arc to the Obere Wolayer Alm (1,708 metres) and the Wolayersee lake, located next to the Wolayerseehütte hut (1,960 metres).

Day 6: Wolayerseehütte – Obere Valentinalm (1,540 metres) – Gasthof Untere Valentinalm (1,221 metres)
Elevation gain/loss: 185/949 metres, hiking time: 3.5 hours, distance: 6.4 kilometres, highest point: 2,141 metres, difficulty: intermediate (red trail)

From the Wolayerseehütte hut head in an easterly direction to the Obere Valentinalm hut (1,540 metres), then via a series of switchbacks down to the Gasthof Untere Valentinalm (1,221 metres). From here there are fine views of the Plöcken mountain pass and into the Angerbach Valley.

Day 7: Gasthof Untere Valentinalm – Gasthaus Plöckenhaus (1,213 metres) – Zollnersee-Hütte (1,750 metres)
Elevation gain/loss: 1,448/905 metres, hiking time: 9 hours, distance: 19 kilometres, highest point: 2,155 metres, difficulty: difficult (black trail)

Follow the trail down from the Gasthof Untere Valentinalm to the Gasthaus Plöckenhaus (1,213 metres). Hikers who wish to can terminate the walk at the road up over the Hier Plöckenpass. At the right shore of the Grünsee lake follow the Angerbach river until the trail heads uphill in a northerly direction to around 1,800m. There then follows a zigzag section up to the Zollnersee-Hütte (1,750 metres).

Day 8: Zollnersee-Hütte – Straniger Alm (1.501 Meter) – Rudnig-Alm (1.619 Meter)
Elevation gain/loss: 820/926 metres, hiking time: 7.5 hours, distance: 20.1 kilometres, highest point: 1,990 metres, difficulty: intermediate (red trail)

Head past the Zollnersee lake and continue in an easterly direction for a long time, then down along a series of switchbacks to the Straniger Alm (1,501 metres), on to the Trogkopfel (2,279 metres) and the Rudnig-Alm (1,619 metres).

Day 9: Rudnig-Alm – Kofelalm (1,600 metres), Alpenhof Plattner (1,600 metres) – Garnitzenalm (1,645 metres)
Elevation gain/loss: 658/639 metres, hiking time: 5 hours, distance: 11.8 kilometres, highest point: 1,901 metres, difficulty: difficult (black trail)

From the Rudnig-Alm hut follow a series of switchbacks to the Madritsche-Nassfeld ridge (1,902 metres). Here hikers have the option of taking the Millennium-Express cable car towards Tröpolach. Those who wish to continue on foot instead head to the Kofelalm (1,600 metres). From the Madritsche-Nassfeld ridge take the trail in an easterly direction past two lakes to the Alpenhof Plattner (1,600 metres). Then, finally, head across the Sonnealpe Nassfeld to the Garnitzenalm hut (1,645 metres).

Day 10: Garnitzenalm – Dellacher Alm (1,382 metres) – Refugio Nordio-Deffar (1,430 metres) – Feistritzer Alm (1,725 metres)
Elevation gain/loss: 1,177/1,094 metres, hiking time: 10 hours, distance: 26.9 kilometres, highest point: 1,861 metres, difficulty: difficult (black trail)

From the Garnitzenalm the trail continues for a long way with no hut or restaurant to the Egger Alpe; follow this trail – past the Egger-Alm-See lake – all the way to the Dellacher Alm (1,382 metres). The hut offers a good opportunity to stop off for a snack and a drink or, alternatively, even stay the night and divide this stage into two. Those who wish to complete the whole stage in one day should continue to the Refugio Nordio-Deffar (1,430 metres). Follow the trail along the southern slopes of the Oistering (2,052 metres) to the Feistritzer Alm (1,725 metres).

Day 11: Feistritzer Alm – Unterthörl (646 metres)
Elevation gain/loss: 613/1,693 metres, hiking time: 8 hours, distance: 18.8 kilometres, highest point: 1,754 metres, difficulty: difficult (black trail)

From the Feistritzer Alm the route leads down into the valley (no huts or restaurants along the way) as far as Unterthörl (646 metres).

Return to Sillian: Unterthörl Süd – Villach railway station (bus), Villach railway station – Lienz (S1 train), Lienz – Sillian (REX train)

Places along the route

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Your destination address: Marktgemeinde Sillian 86, Sillian

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