The Gruttenhütte hut in the Wilder Kaiser Mountains, © Tirol Werbung/Peter Sandbichler
The Gruttenhütte hut in the Wilder Kaiser Mountains, © Tirol Werbung/Peter Sandbichler

Three-Day Hike: Kufstein - Kaisertal - Wilder Kaiser - Kufstein

This demanding three-day hike takes you to the heart of one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the Alps. Day one leads from the town of Kufstein through the idyllic Kaisertal Valley up to the Stripsenjochhaus hut (1,580 metres). Day two passes the rugged Ellmauer Tor (1,981 metres) with its fabulous views. The steep trail here has sections at risk of rockfall and demands that hikers be sure-footed, a head for heights and equipped with a helmet. After passing the Gruttenhütte hut (1,620 metres) hikers reach the Wilder-Kaiser-Steig trail and descend through open meadowland to the Hintersteiner See lake, the perfect place to cool off on a hot day. The third and final day heads via the Walleralm and Kaindlhütte huts to the Brentenjochalm hut (1,208 metres). From there it is just a short walk to the chairlift leading back down to Kufstein.

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Starting point  

Kufstein, Kaisertal car park

Hike to

Kaisertal, Stripsenjochhaus, Gruttenhütte, Hintersteiner See, Brentenjoch

Finishing point

Kufstein, Kaisertal car park

Mountain chain

Kaiser Mountains

Length

34.6 km

Duration

3 day(s)

Features

  • Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
  • Circular hike

Difficulty rating

difficult (black trails)

Altitude

1,995m 495m

Elevation uphill 2,870m
Vertical metres downhill 2,020m

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.

Public transport

  • Accessible using public transport

Parking

Kaisertal car park

 

Places serving food & drink (day 1)

  • Stripsenjochhaus (May until October)
  • Hans-Berger-Haus (May until October)
  • Anton-Karg-Haus (May until October)
  • Gasthof Veitenhof (open all year Wed to Sun)
  • Pfandlhof (open all year, closed Thursday)

 

Places serving food & drink (day 2)

  • Gruttenhütte (Whitsun until mid-October)
  • Kaiser-Hochalm (food not always served; second half of June until mid-September)
  • Steiner-Hochalm (only open in summer)
  • Gasthof Bärnstatt
  • Seestüberl (open every day May until October, limited opening times in autumn and winter)

 

Places serving food & drink (day 3)

  • Walleralm (early April until late autumn)
  • Kaindlhütte (1 May until All Saints Day)
  • Brentenjochalm (late May until late September)
  • Weinbergerhaus (summer and winter, closed Monday)

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Trail description

Day 1: Kufstein – Kaisertal Valley – Hans Berger Haus – Stripsenjochhaus
Uphill/downhill: 1,150/90 vertical metres, walking time: 5.5 hours, distance: 11 kilometres, highest point: 1,580 metres, difficulty rating: intermediate (red)

Trailhead of this hike is the start of so-called “Kaisertalaufstieg” (‘Kaiser Ascent’). A broad footpath begins opposite the parking area and briskly climbs the forest via steps in switchbacks (over 100 vertical metres to climb; follow signs for “Stripsenjoch” and “Stripsenjochhaus”). Beyond the steps, turn onto a footpath/dirt road (which is paved for a very short distance) that begins with a climb, then levels off and traverses relatively level terrain, with some minor ups and downs on the northern side of the valley (north of the valley floor). At a fork, which is not marked by a trail sign, the trail bears left and resumes its climb, passing some inns and crossing groves and open terrain. Shortly after the Pfandlhof inn turn right towards “Stripsenjochhaus” at the fork. After a level stretch through open terrain (meadows) and groves in turn, the trail crosses two tunnels and loses some altitude for a very short distance. Soon, the route resumes its climb, parallels a brook, and passes Anton-Karg-Haus. From there, a footpath that is well marked by trail signs runs to Hans-Berger-Haus (an alternative route follows a dirt road). The footpath winds through forest in the first and begins a long and steady, strenuous climb in switchbacks (steps) and through woods at Hans-Berger-Haus. On the last portion of the walk, the trail ascends more gradually through wide open alpine terrain until you reach the Stripsenjochhaus lodge.

Day 2: Stripsenjochhaus – Ellmauer Halt – Gruttenhütte – Wilder Kaiser Path – Hintersteinersee Lake
Uphill/downhill: 950/1,620 vertical metres, walking time: 8 hours, distance: 14 kilometres, highest point: 1,995 metres, difficulty rating: difficult (black)

From the Stripsenjochhaus lodge, follow signage for “Eggersteig, Ellmauer Tor”. The trail initially winds down in switchbacks until the signposted Eggersteig trail heads to the right at an elevation of 1,400 metres. Follow this trail towards Ellmauer Tor and Gruttenhütte. The path traverses a cirque and very rugged terrain with many ups and downs to the mid part of the Steinerne Rinne gully. The climb through the flanks of the gully is steep at some points and there is a danger of falling rocks (wearing a helmet is strongly recommended). From the highest point on this walk, Ellmauer Tor, the route descends over talus and scree to an elevation of 1650 metres and branches to the right onto Jubiläumssteig trail. Follow this trail through rugged terrain with many ups and downs to Gruttenhütte hut. From the hut, follow the access road for around one kilometre until the signed Wilder-Kaiser-Steig (trail number 823) heads to the right towards the Hintersteinersee lake. Keep walking along Wilder-Kaiser-Steig, taking you through thinning forest and dwarf pines and cirques south of the Treffauer mountain and right around it. Continue hiking towards “Kaiser Hochalm”. From Kaiser Hochalm (1,417 metres), surrounded by wide open alpine meadows, head downhill on the marked trail. Then follow the signs for “Steiner Hochalm” and hike down across mixed forest. At the end of the forest you will reach a fork – bear right and follow the signposted trail that skirts the slope on the left hand side and takes you to Steiner Hochalm. West of the buildings, take the trail down to “Hintersteiner See”. You’ll soon get a glimpse of scenic, spring-fed Hintersteinersee lake. The path turns onto a dirt road and later onto a forest road and descends quickly (keep walking downhill). The route merges with the road that leads to Hintersteinersee lake at the Gasthof Bärnstatt inn and Bärnstatt chapel. Walking along this road you’ll pass meadows and homes on your right hand side before reaching the eastern shore of Hintersteinersee lake.

Day 3: Hintersteinersee Lake – Kaindlhütte – Brentenjoch Col – Kufstein (by chairlift)
Uphill/downhill: 750/400 vertical metres, walking time: 4.5 hours, distance 9.6 kilometres, highest point: 1,470 metres, difficulty rating: intermediate (red)

Starting at the eastern shores of Hintersteinersee lake, opposite the car park or next to Seestüberl Cafe, follow the signs for “Kaindlhütte” and/or “Walleralm”. The trail towards Walleralm will gently take you up through the forest. The path merges into a broad forest road. Follow this road and change to another path to your right after a short downhill section (follow the sign for “Walleralm - 30 Minuten”). This rock laden path takes you through the forest before merging onto the forest road again as soon as you have reached the wide open alpine pastures. Follow the forest road to the tiny settlement of Walleralm and further to Alpengasthaus Walleralm. Walk along the way-marked footpath to Kaindlhütte (follow the sign “Kaindlhütte – 1 Std.”). An easy climb through the woods takes you to Hochegg (1,470 metres) with the summit cross next to the footpath. From there it’s a gentle downhill stroll to alpine meadows until you reach Steinbergalm and Kaindlhütte. Past the hut, the forest road takes you down through alpine pastures leading past (closed) Steinberghütte hut. There is a short ascent towards Brentenjoch col. Follow the sign to your left and you will soon reach the top terminal of the Wilder Kaiser chairlift. The two-section lift ride takes you down to Sparchen, a district of Kufstein. Leave the car park of the chairlift in northern direction on a gravel road that emerges onto the main road and continue walking for a short distance until you get to the Kaisertal car park.

Information on place

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

Your destination address: Kaiseraufstieg 19, Ebbs

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