Measuring at least 85 kilometres in length and generally staying at between 2,000 and 2,500 metres above sea level, the Lech High Trail is an outdoor adventure for fit and experienced mountaineers in search of a real challenge. The route follows the main ridge of the Lechtal Alps and is divided into 18 stages which can be completed in between 10 and 19 days depending on the fitness level of the group. The shortest of the several variations available has 7,000 vertical metres of climbing and descending along technical trails.Along the way there are 13 huts run by the Austrian Alpine Club offering not only accommodation but also hearty food and good company in the evenings. The biggest attraction from a landscape perspective is the Steinsee lake, a shimmering green-blue pearl located to the east of the Steinseehütte hut in a natural rock amphitheatre capped by the imposing Dremlscharte ridge. The Lechtal High Trail is part of the North Alpine Long-Distance Trail 01 and the European HikingTrail E4. The majority of the route leads through high alpine terrain. That means hikers must be very fit, experienced in the mountains, sure-footed, not afraid of heights and familiar with the basics of rock climbing. Depending on the snow conditions, some stages of this hike may require a rope, ice pick and crampons. Among the most difficult sections is the Roßkarscharte ridge between the Steinseehütte and the Württemberger Haus huts and the traverse of the south-eastern face of the Vorderseespitze mountain between the Ansbacher Hütte and Kaiserjochhaus huts.
"Wild, majestic and powerful are some of the best words to describe the Lechtal High Trail. One of the undoubted highlights is the natural amphitheatre around the Steinsee lake."
Irene Rapp, nature editor at the "Tiroler Tageszeitung" newspaper
Steeg (Lechtal Valley) / Stuttgarter Hütte hut
Anhalter Hütte hut / Elmen (Lechtal Valley)
- Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
- Circular hike
difficult (black trails)
Elevation uphill 6,950m
Vertical metres downhill 6,736m
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.
Ascent from the valley: Steeg (Lechtal Valley) – Stuttgarter Hütte (2,305m)
Uphill/downhill: 1,166/61 vertical metres, walking time: 5.5 hours, distance: 12.4 kilometres, difficulty: intermediate
The ascent to the Stuttgarter Hütte hut is best tackled from the Lechtal Valley. Hikers can either leave from the village of Steeg or take the bus to the "Bockbach/Krabach" bus stop. From the bus stop, head south through the Krabachtal Valley and up onto the Krabachjoch ridge with the Stuttgarter Hütte hut perched at the top.
Stage 1: Stuttgartter Hütte (2,305m) – Leutkircher Hütte (2,261m)
Uphill/downhill: 578/619 vertical metres, walking time: 4 hours 15 minutes, distance: 8.8 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
Trailhead of the Lechtal High Trail is the Stuttgarter Hütte, located atop the Krabachjoch ridge in the Lechtal Alps. From the hut, walk eastward to the 2,430m Erlijoch ridge located between the twin summits of Erlispitze and Fanggekarspitze mountains. Continue walking past Erlachalpe in the Almajurtal Valley, below the summit of the Valluga mountain to get to the Stapfe-Tobel gorge. This section can be treacherous in snow or adverse weather conditions and intimidating to an unseasoned hiker. In early season and after heavy rainfall you may opt for the alternative route past Erlachalpe and Bodenalpe. Check conditions and proceed accordingly. At the end of the day, the Leutkircher Hütte extends a warm welcome and a sincere invite to call it a day.
Stage 2: Stuttgart Hut (2,305m) – Ulm Hut (2,288m)
Uphill/downhill: 418/439 vertical metres, hiking time: 3 hours, distance: 5.8 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
The stage from the Stuttgart Hut to the Ulm Hut is short but very enjoyable. Proceed along the Robert-Bosch-Weg trail to the Trittscharte ridge (2,580m). Catch your breath and scan the horizon. How many of the summits can you identify? The Silvretta and Verwall mountain ranges and 3,056-meter Patteriol peak dominate the skyline. From the Trittscharte ridge, follow the trail down to Ulmer Hut, situated below the prominent Valluga mountain. This popular shelter provides a perfect rest stop for hikers and a good night’s sleep in comfy beds.
Stage 3: Ulm Hut (2,288m) – Leutkirch Hut (2,261m)
Uphill/downhill: 464/488 vertical metres, walking time: 3.5 hours, distance: 7 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
As you travel from the Ulmer Hut across the Matunjoch ridge (2,569m) and through the famous ski resort on Valluga mountain, the incredible Weißschrofenkamm ridge makes its presence known. If you're feeling ambitious, consider scaling the demanding via ferrata here, negotiating roughly 500 iron handholds and footholds 1,050 iron staples and a 200-metre-long network of fixed steel cables. The High Trail itself provides some thrills, too, on its traverse of the rugged terrain below the Bacherspitzen peaks. Eventually you will reach your base for that night: the Leutkircher Hut on the Almajurjoch ridge.
Stage 4: Leutkirch Hut (2,261m) – Kaiserjochhaus Hut (2,310m)
Uphill/downhill: 327/279 vertical metres, walking time: 2 hours 10 minutes, distance: 4.4 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
Roam the slopes of Stanskogel Peak that are carpeted in vivid greenery. At 2,757 meters this is the highest point on this trek and it takes roughly one hour to nab its pinnacle. Then, walk through meadows brimming with brilliant wildflowers, all while enjoying the striking scenery of the jagged and craggy Lechtal Alps. Teaser views are granted along the way, look to the opposite valley to take in an excellent view of cloud-piercing, snow-catching 3,168m Hoher Riffler peak which forms part of the Verwall Mountains. As the terrain on this short yet demanding walk becomes more rocky and wind-exposed you will soon reach the Kaiserjochhaus Hut located deep in a sheltered hollow of Kaiserjoch between the summits of Grießkopf and Bergleskopf mountains.
Stage 5: Kaiserjochhaus Hut (2,310m) – Ansbach Hut (2,376m)
Uphill/downhill: 558/488 vertical metres, walking time: 4 hours, distance: 8.3 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
Follow the ridge-top track as it sidles south and north across cretaceous shale formations carpeted in vivid greenery. Eventually, the trail meanders across the dolomite scree and talus slopes of Grießkopf mountain on its way atop Kridlonscharte ridge. Up there you are rewarded with a high view of the Hintersee lake far below. From here the trail gains Hinterseejoch ridge and traverses the south flank of Vorderseespitze mountain on its way to the Alperschonjoch ridge (2,303m); this section is assisted by a fixed anchoring system of cables. Another climb brings you atop Flarschjoch to the Ansbach Hut, the highest-lying shelter in the Lechtal Alps.
Stage 6: Kaiserjochhaus Hut (2,310m) – Frederic-Simms Hut (2,002m)
Uphill/downhill: 555/859 vertical metres, walking time: 4.5 hours, distance: 8 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
Leaving the Kaiserjochhaus Hut eastward, the trail to the Frederic Simms Hut branches off below the Hinterseejoch ridge. From here the trail runs northward. Having traversed the Kridlonkar ridge you’ll get to “Klämmle”, a short descent through a steep gully on the northern slope of Vorderseespitze mountain (permanently fixed cables are provided here for safety purposes). Below the reddish Feuerspitze mountain the trail climbs atop the Kälberlahnzugjoch ridge. From there the trail zigzags down to Frederic Simms Hut, tucked beneath a towering mountain, 2,895m Holzgau Wetterspitze mountain, which is one of the loftiest peaks of the Lechtal Alps.
Stage 7: Frederic Simms Hut (2,002m) – Ansbach Hut (2,376m)
Uphill/downhill: 892/519 vertical metres, walking time: 5 hours, distance: 7.9 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
From the Frederic Simms Hut, retrace your steps to the Kälberlahnzugjoch ridge and take the left fork towards Stierlahnzugjoch (2,596m). The trail sidles below the rugged limestone faces of Feuerspitze mountain. Hardy hikers aim to bag the summit of the Feuerspitze, which is a non-technical one-hour climb. The High Trail traverses the north-eastern slopes of Vorderseespitze mountain and emerges onto the route coming from Kaiserjochhaus Hut at Knappenböden. From there, the route brings you to the Ansbach Hut.
Stage 8: Ansbach Hut (2.376m) – Memming Hut (2,242m)
Uphill/downhill: 888/1,024 vertical metres, walking time: 6 hours 15 minutes, distance: 10 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
This day trek takes you to Memming Hut, one of the most popular shelters in the Lechtal Alps offering 140 beds. Make your way across the Kopfscharte ridge, the Winterjöchl col and the Grießlscharte ridge. From there it’s down into remote and pristine Parseiertal Valley towered over by mighty 3,036m Parseierspitze, the highest peak in the Lechtal Alps. Having crossed the Parseierbach river the trail continues climbing on its way up to the Memming Hut. Experienced peak baggers may want to nab the pinnacle of Parseierspitze, at 3,036m the highest summit in the Northern Limestone Alps.
Stage 9: Memming Hut (2,242m) – Augsburg Hut (2,289m)
Uphill/downhill: 1,211/1,297 vertical metres, walking time: 8 hours, distance: 12 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
Crossing through the stunning Lechtal Alps’ wilderness, this rugged section follows the “Augsburger High Trail” and leads through the most beautiful and diverse surroundings along the Lechtal High Trail. Simply put, this is one of the most beautiful hikes in all of Tirol. On your way you’ll have to scale Winterjoch col (2,528m) and Parseierscharte ridge (2,604m), where there’s a bivouac which you can use to stay overnight in case of an emergency. This grand tour of the Lechtal Alps further includes the Dawinscharte ridge (2,650m) and view-granting 2,968m Dawinkopf peak, the Lechtal Alps’ second-highest summit. The Augsburg Hut has a stunning location perched atop the south flank of the Gatschkopf mountain.
Stage 10: Augsburg Hut (2,289m) – Memming Hut (2,242m)
Uphill/downhill: 665/716 vertical metres, walking time: 4.5 hours, distance: 6.3 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
The peak-packed, view-granting and technical Spiehlerweg Trail links Augsburg Hut with Memming Hut. First, the trail gains the Gatschkopf mountain (2,945m) and continues atop Patrolscharte ridge and Wegscharte ridge. Eventually you will reach secluded Seewiseen lakes. Tucked in a cleft high on the mountain, these little lakes’ setting is awesome. Gaze into turquoise waters reflecting sheer cliff faces spiraling to the heavens and walk down to Memming Hut. The scramble section taking you down to the hut can be treacherous in snow or adverse weather conditions and intimidating to an unseasoned hiker. The footing is very loose in places, and rockfall is a real risk. Situated on the shores of sparkling Unterer Seewisee lake, Memminger Hut is flanked by rocky peaks.
Stage 11: Memming Hut (2,242m) – Württemberg Hut (2,220m)
Uphill/downhill: 633/652 vertical metres, walking time: 4 hours 15 minutes, distance: 7 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
This stage begins with a ramble through flower-studded meadows - a multitude of blossoms proliferate along this walk on your way past the Unterer Seewisee lake. Shortly before reaching the Mittlerer Seewisee lake the trail branches off to Seescharte ridge (2,599m) and winds between rugged and rocky outcroppings before it traverses Großbergscharte ridge. Once aloft on the ridgetop, the trail gains the 2,612m Großbergkopf peak and 2,657m Großbergspitze peak, the highest point on the entire Lechtal High Trail. The surrounding summits are even more sky-scraping, such as Leiterspitze, for example, topping out at 2,750 metres. The destination end of this trek, Württemberg Hut, is nestled into the glacier-scoured Medriol and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountain scenery.
Stage 12: Württemberg Hut (2,220m) – Steinsee Hut (2,061m)
Uphill/downhill: 464/631 vertical metres, walking time: 3 hours 40 minutes, distance: 6.7 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
The Gebäudjoch ridge soon reveals the shelter that is your destination, but don't be fooled. From your first sighting of the Steinsee Hut it’s still about four hours to go. Along the south side of the main ridge you will gain the Rosskarscharte ridge (2,400m) where the trail is assisted by a fixed anchoring system of cables. From the ridge it’s a gentle walk down to the Steinsee Hut tucked between rugged and jagged peaks. The environs of the hut are a popular rock climbing terrain, with the Parzinn peaks and Steinkarspitze mountain nearby.
Stage 13: Steinsee Hut (2,061m) – Württemberg Hut (2,220m)
Uphill/downhill: 819/655 vertical metres, walking time: 5 hours, distance: 7.7 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
Stage 13 is not exactly hiking the route of stage 12 counter-clockwise; in fact it’s a scenic and diverse route across two easier ridges – the grassy Gufelgrasjoch col and the Bitterscharte col. Hikers are assisted by a fixed anchoring system of cables. The climb atop the ridge begins at the splendid Bittrichsee lake. If there is still snow on the ground this section can be treacherous and slippery. It’s a long and physically demanding hike down to Württemberger Hut. On the way you may have to cross snowfields.
Stage 14: Württemberg Hut (2,220m) – Hanauer Hut (1,922m)
Uphill/downhill: 750/1,047 vertical metres, walking time: 5 hours 45 minutes, distance: 9.4 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
Climbing steeply from the Württemberg Hut, the trail works its way up to a tiny lake. There the steep grade lessens for a short while before it continues upward with 300 vertical metres of elevation gain atop the Bitterscharte ridge (2,550m). The exposed and rugged trail down from the col is assisted by a fixed anchoring system of cables. Having traversed a steep talus slope, the rewards are many. After that, the trail rambles along high meadows and Alpine pastures and areas of awesome natural beauty. Eventually, the trail climbs Gufel up to the Gufelsee lake and continues across the Guflseejoch ridge (2,375m). From the col hikers descend to the Hanauer Hut that is towered over by he majestic Dremelspitze mountain in the background.
Stage 15: Steinsee Hut (2,061m) – Hanauer Hut (1,922m) (via Vordere Dremelscharte)
Uphill/downhill: 400/539 vertical metres, walking time: 3 hours, distance: 3.8 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
From Steinsee Hut below Schneekarlespitz mountain the trail climbs grazing pastures on its way up to picturesque Steinsee lake. The section up the Westliche / Vordere Dremelscharte ridge (2,434m) is assisted by a fixed anchoring system of cables. Walking in this direction the descent from the other side of the ridge is less steep. It winds down over scree and talus first before entering the wide open Alpine world of Parzinn. All in all it takes roughly 1.5 hours to get down to Hanauer Hut. Ambitious peak baggers might want to summit 2,73m Dremelspitze mountain from the Westliche / Vordere Dremelscharte ridge. Dremelspitze is considered the most beautiful mountain in the Lechtal Alps.
Stage 16: Hanauer Hut (1,922m) – Steinsee Hut (2,061m) (via Hintere Dremelscharte)
Uphill/downhill: 606/472 vertical metres, walking time: 3.5 hours, distance: 4.4 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
This route from Hanauer Hut to Steinsee Hut takes in the Östliche / Hintere Dremelscharte ridge and skirts the left side of Dremelspitze mountain on its way to the Steinsee lake. Somewhat below lies the hut of the same name that is quite popular with rock climbers. The very ambitious can press on to scale the rocky walls of the unique climbing terrain that surrounds Steinsee Hut. Climbing courses are available for all abilities.
Stage 17: Hanauer Hut (1,922m) – Muttekopf Hut (1,934m)
Uphill/downhill: 1,067/1,053 vertical metres, walking time: 7 hours, distance: 9.8 kilometres, difficulty: difficult
The penultimate stage of the Lechtal High Trail gains two more mighty ridges. To start with, climb the Galtseitejoch ridge (2,421m) before scaling the steep flanks below Muttekopf mountain to conquer the Muttekopfscharte ridge (2,630m). From there it’s a steep way down to Muttekopf Hut. The rustic shelter has been restored to full splendor and is a very charming place to take a rest. Close to the hut you will find a popular terrain for rock climbing. Hardy hikers aiming to bag another summit are recommended to nab the pinnacle of 2,774m Muttekopf peak, one of the most scenic and easiest vantage points in the Lechtal Alps.
Stage 18: Muttekopf Hut (1,934m) – Anhalter Hut (2,042m)
Uphill/downhill: 853/752 vertical metres, walking time: 5 hours 15 minutes, distance: 7.8 kilometres, difficulty: intermediate
From Muttekopf Hut the route heads northward. You will have to traverse the rugged terrain of the Scharnitzkar saddle on your way to the Scharnitzsattel col (2,441m). It’s a steep and challenging descent from the col down to Hahntennjoch saddle (1,894m), taking you through an area of awesome natural beauty. Cross the Hahntennjoch Pass Road and follow the popular hiking trail that ascends leisurely up to 2,198m Steinjöchl saddle. A gentle stroll down through emerald carpets laden with dazzling wildflower bouquets brings you to Anhalter Hut. Towered over by the flower-studded Tschachaun mountain (2,334m), the hut is a deserving end to the awesome Lechtal High Trail.
Descent into the valley: Anhalter Hut (2,042m) – Plötzigtal bus stop (1,370m)
Downhill: 729 vertical metres, walking time: 2 hours 20 minutes, distance: 6 kilometres, difficulty: intermediate
The descent from the Anhalter Hut into the valley heads in a westerly direction through the Plötzigtal Valley to the Hahntennjoch Pass Road, where there is a bus stop at one of the tight switchbacks in the road. Take bus 4266 back to the village of Elmen in the Lechtal Valley (see current bus timetable for details).