Taking walkers from Hopfgarten to St. Ulrich, the KAT Walk is a great experience. This 106-kilometre-long walk across the gorgeous Kitzbühel Alps is broken up into six segments and offers a wide range of elevations and levels of difficulty, accommodating a variety of skill levels and hiking preferences. A number of places and experiences along the trail are so special that you’ll have the images etched into your memory for years to come: from quaint farmsteads and the world's most notorious, dangerous, blood-curdling downhill ski course for men, called the "Streif", to mouth-watering “Dumpling Tris” specialties served at the Labalm hut. If you prefer hiking in the knowledge that your luggage transfers have all been pre-arranged, this service is offered by the local tourism association.
Hopfgarten (railway station)
St. Ulrich am Pillersee
- Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
- Circular hike
intermediate (red mountain trails)
Elevation uphill 6,299m
Vertical metres downhill 6,057m
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.
Car park at bottom of lifts in Hopfgarten (free from 8:00 until 18:00)
Places serving food & drink
- Stage 1: Various locations in Hopfgarten im Brixental & Kelchsau, Gasthof Leamwirt (open all year)
- Stage 2: Gasthaus Steinberg (open all year)
- Stage 3: Alpengasthaus Labalm (mid-May until October), Schaukäserei Kasplatzl (mid-May until early October), various locations in Aschau
- Stage 4: Bergrestaurant Pengelstein (open all year when the Pengelsteinbahn lift is running), Hochbrunn-Alm (June until October), various locations at Hahnenkamm (open all year when the lifts are running) and Kitzbühel, Seidlalm (open all year)
- Stage 5: Adlerhof and Restaurant Adlerhütte (mid-May until early October), Alpenhaus Kitzbüheler Horn (early May until early November), Hornköpflhütte (early June until early October), Gipfelhaus am Kitzbüheler Horn (mid-May until early October), Berggasthaus Harschbichl (late May until early October), Alpengasthaus Stanglalm (mid-may until early October), Alpenhotel Müllneralm (open all year), Baßgeiger-Alm (mid-May until early October), Alpengasthof Hirschberg (late May until mid-October), Hochfeldalm (open all year), various locations in St. Johann in Tirol
- Stage 6: Winterstelleralm (mid-May until mid-October), various locations in St. Ulrich am Pillersee
Stage 1: Hopfgarten – Kelchsau
Vertical ascent/descent: 839/629 metres, walking time: 6 hours, distance: 16.9 kilometres, highest point: 1,335 metres, difficulty: intermediate
Day one of this wonderful long distance trail begins from the railway station in Hopfgarten with a gradual climb through groves and meadows, passing the quaint farmsteads of Penningberg. A short, level section runs toward Innerpenningberg, where the trail starts to climb to Haagalm. The ascent is moderately steep; from Haagalm it’s a gentle stroll with a few easy ups and downs to Höhenbrandalm. From there, it’s a long way down to Kelchsau on a forest road.
Stage 2: Kelchsau – Windautal Valley
Vertical ascent/descent: 1,128/1,056 metres, walking time: 7.5 hours, distance: 15.5 kilometres, highest point: 1,920 metres, difficulty: intermediate
Stage two begins in Kelchsau, more specifically in the settlement of Unterdorf, and leads in an easterly direction along the main village road uphill. Crossing meadows, hikers pass the hamlet of Wurzrain and pass through forests heading in a south-easterly direction until the road turns into a forest trail at around 1,100 metres above sea level. Continue uphill past the Vorderölbankalm and the Hinterölbankalm huts at about 1,500 metres. Shortly after crossing a stream, hikers pass the Unteren Lodronalm hut and then the Lodronalm at 1,700 metres. It is here that a trail begins in a southerly direction. After a series of switchbacks and 200 vertical metres of climbing through rocky terrain you will reach the top of the Lodron mountain. Just a few metres from the ridge, the descent begins and continues left down into the valley to Steinberg. Pass the Leitner Niederalm hut gently downhill through thick forest and continue past huts and meadows until you reach Windautal and the Gasthof Steinberg.
Stage 3: Windautal Valley – Aschau
Vertical ascent/descent: 1,012/883 metres, walking time: 7 hours, distance: 19 kilometres, highest point: 1,831 metres, difficulty: intermediate
From the Gasthof Steinberg the route heads flat and south along the banks of the Windauer Ache river. After just a few minutes it heads left to the Pastaualm hut. After a series of corners it leads east through forests and meadows up to around 1,400 metres above sea level. Passing the Scheibenschlag-Almen it heads into more rocky terrain and up to the Hintenkarscharte ridge, the most challenging part of this stage. Then it is time to head back downhill again via the Hintenkar-Hochalm and the Hintenkar-Niederlam into the valley. A series of switchback corners take hikers down to the Gasthof Labalm and down to Aschau.
The trails of this segment are generally easy; the section on both sides of Hintenkarscharte Notch is intermediate. Because of distance (19 kilometers), the rating on this day trek is strenuous.
Stage 4: Aschau – Kitzbühel
Vertical ascent/descent: 1,044/1,307 metres, walking time: 8.5 hours, distance: 16.9 kilometres, highest point: 1,931 metres, dificulty: intermediate
From Aschau, walk a few metres back along the village road in an easterly direction and then onto a trail heading uphill. The trail crosses the wider forest road on several occasions. Hikers walk up to the Schwarzkogelscharte ridge. Then at around 1,800 metres above sea level, head along the ridge in a northerly direction past two reservoirs to the Bergstation Pengelstein. There is a panoramic trail to the left heading to the Speicherteich Brunn reservoir over the Jufenkamm ridge to the Hahnenkamm. It is here that the descent into the valley begins, down via a series of switchbacks to the Seidlalm reservoirs through alpine meadows and forests in an easterly direction. After passing the Ganslern-Alm hut you will reach the first houses in Kitzbühel. The route leads via the Hahnenkammstraße road straight into the centre of the village.
Stage 5: Kitzbühel – St. Johann in Tirol
Vertical ascent/descent: 1,269/1,356 metres, hiking time: 9 hours, distance: 17.9 kilometres, highest point: 1,988 metres, difficulty: intermediate
Day five begins at the Hornweg road in Kitzbühel, just a few metres to the east of the Hornweg bus terminal. The route leads over a bridge onto the eastern side of the Großache river and through the town to the settlement of Going. Here there is a trail which heads through the forest and two more hamlets to the top of the Hornbahn lift and the Adlerhütte. From the top of the lift, turn right and head uphill on a trail leading east. This trail first leads through thick forests and then in a northerly direction through alpine pastures to the Kitzbüheler Horn mountain and the 102-metre-high mast at almost 2,000 metres above sea level. It is here that the descent to St. Johann begins, along a trail which turns off the main trail in a right-hand bend just before the huge mast. Head downhill to Harschbühel and through meadows left of the reservoir to Angerer Almboden and past the Speicherteich Schlosserberg reservoir. Keep heading north as you pass the settlement of Berglehen and then, shortly after, the first buildungs in St. Johann in Tirol. The road takes you to Oberes Dorf over the railway tracks and via the Speckbacherstraße road to the square in the centre of St. Johann in Tirol.
Stage 6: St. Johann in Tirol – St. Ulrich am Pillersee
Vertical ascent/descent: 999/817 metres, duration: 7.5 hours, distance: 18.9 kilometres, highest point: 1,544 metres, difficulty: intermediate
The sixth and final stage of this hike begins at the main square in the centre of St. Johann in Tirol and leads along the Dechant-Wieshoferstraße road onto the northern side of the Fieberbrunner Ache river. Follow the river in an easterly direction for around one kilometre until you reach the next bridge. Here there is a road on the left running uphill to Oberhofen. It merges into a walking trail that heads into a forest after just a few metres. The ascent continues through forests and fields in an easterly direction, past the hamlet of Scheffau to ther Rote Wand. It is here that the climb up onto the Kalkstein at around 1,400 metres begins. Follow the ridge past the Bruggwirtsalm hut to a crossroads. There, take the wide trail on the left and continue through pastures to the Gasthof Alderspoint and, gently uphill, almost all the way to the Gerstbergalm hut. Just before you reach the Gerstbergalm hut at around 1,500 metres there is a turn to the south and the trail continues to the Winterstelleralm hut and then via a series of steep switchbacks down into the Lindtal Valley. Cross a small stream heading east and walk on until you meet a road. Take this road (Kirchweg) into the centre of St. Ulrich am Pillersee, the finishing point of the hike.