This challenging three-day hike is packed full of action, including five via-ferrata fixed-rope climbing routes and six summits. Hikers must be experienced in the technique and safety equipment needed for via ferratas in order to enjoy this adventure. The modern Klettersteig Klamml via ferrata leads up to the highest refuge in the Wilder Kaiser Mountains, the Gruttenhütte. The highest peak in the range – the Ellmauer Halt at 2,344 metres – is the next sporting challenge on this adventure. The rewards for all that climbing and hiking are fabulous views of not only the Wilder Kaiser Mountains themselves but also the Kitzbüheler Alps, the Hohen Tauern Mountains to the south and the glistening Chiemsee lake to the north.
Swimming lake in Going
Gruttenhütte, Ellmauer Halt, Hans-Berger-Haus, Sonneck
Village centre of Scheffau
- Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
- Circular hike
difficult (black trails)
Elevation uphill 3,990m
Vertical metres downhill 3,960m
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.
- Accessible using public transport
Car park at the swimming lake in Going (free)
Places serving food & drink
- Stage 1: Graspoint Niederalm (mid-May until October), Gruttenhütte
- Stage 2: Hans-Berger-Haus
- Stage 3: Anton-Karg-Haus, Gasthof Weberbauer, Hotel Kaiser, Gasthof zum Wilden Kaiser
Stage 1: Goinger Badesee - Ellmauer Tor – Gruttenhütte
Uphill/downhill: 1,290/415 vertical metres, walking time: 6 hours 20 minutes, distance: 9.8 kilometres, highest point: 1,663 metres, difficulty: difficult (black)
From the free car park of the swimming lake in Going, take the forest road number 817 past Graspoint-Niederalm (1,075 metres) up to the Obere Regalm hut at an elevation of 1,313 metres. From there, follow the Wilder-Kaiser-Steig (trail number 827) as it climbs steeply uphill across alpine pastures. As you climb you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountain scenery. A steep path leads to the summit of the 1,572-metre-high Brennender Palven peak, which is also sometimes called the Baumgartnerköpfl. From the peak, take the Wilder-Kaiser-Steig trail number 823 that winds towards Ellmauer Tor through scree and talus slopes and dwarf pine fields. At the junction to Ellmauer Tor, beneath the southeast faces of the Vordere Karlsspitze mountain, take the fork onto the rugged and exposed Jubiläumssteig trail. At the next junction, head southeast and follow trail number 824. A short descent through the Klamml gully brings you to the start of the via ferrata, which was built here in 2013. The lower section is rated B/C (intermediate), while the upper part accessible via a spectacular zipline is rated C/D (difficult). Absolute surefootedness and a good head for heights are essential here. From the end of the via ferrata it is only a short walk to the highest mountain lodge in the Wilder Kaiser Mountains, the Gruttenhütte, perched at an elevation of 1,620 metres.
Stage 2: Gruttenhütte – Ellmauer Halt – Hans-Berger-Haus
Uphill/downhill: 1,195/1,850 vertical metres, walking time: 8 hours 30 minutes, distance: 6.5 kilometres, highest point: 2,344 metres, difficulty: difficult (black)
The Gruttenhütte hut is the perfect base for summiting the Ellmauer Halt, the highest summit in the Wilder Kaiser Mountains at 2,344 metres. Rated B/C (intermediate), the Gamsängersteig via ferrata ascends the Jagerwand rock face by means of 74 irons handholds and footholds. It takes you directly to the summit of the mountain, from where climbers can enjoy uninterrupted panoramic views. The long descent begins with the Kaiserschützen via ferrata (820) rated B/C (intermediate). The climbing path has begins slightly beneath the summit and heads northwest to a deep hollow between the Ellmauer Halt and the Gamshalt. For fit hikers there is an optional detour to the 2,291-metre-high Gamshalt and/or 2,116-metre-high Kleine Halt peaks, both good viewpoints for Wilder Kaiser Mountains. From the Kleine Halt walk down to Oberer Scharlinger Boden and follow trail 813, walled by jagged rock faces, to the Hans-Berger-Haus lodge or continue for another 20 minutes until you get to the Anton-Karg-Haus lodge. The chilly waters of the Kaiserbach stream are perfect to cool off your feet after a long day of hiking.
Stage 3: Hans-Berger-Haus – Untere Gamskarköpfl – Scheffau
Uphill/downhill: 1.505/1,695 vertical metres, walking time: 10 hours, distance: 14.1 kilometres, highest point: 2,157 metres, difficulty: difficult (black)
Day 3 begins with the Kufstein Klettersteig via ferrata. The difficulty rating is between A and C (easy to intermediate), with some short sections rated D (difficult). To top it all, this via ferrata has a very steep middle section, followed by a very exposed traverse right beneath the summit of the 1,975-metre Unterer Gamskarköpfl peak, which marks the end of this climbing route. From the peak, return onto the Güttlersteig path (821) and follow it for one hour to Sonneck (2,260 metres). The south-facing descent runs from Kopfkraxen to Wiesberg and down along the foot of the Sonnenstein mountain to the Kaiser-Hochalm hut (closed). Take the Eagle Walk trails 821 and 823 until you get to the junctions towards the south and walk past the Kaiserniederalm hut to the Hinterschießlingalm hut. A final walk across the awesome Rehbachklamm gorge takes you to Scheffau, the final stop on this three-day hike through the Wilder Kaiser Mountains.
There is a free shuttle bus called the KaiserJet which hikers can catch back to the starting point of the hike in Going.