© Tirol Werbung/Dominik Gigler
© Tirol Werbung/Dominik Gigler

Three Day Trek: Traversing the Karwendel Range

This delightful three day trek is a classic Tirol walk. On your way, you’ll traverse magnificent Karwendel Mountain Range from west to east, getting to gorgeous Karwendel Nature Reserve that sprawls over 1,000 square kilometers, an experience you won’t soon forget. The trail is filled with delights and natural wonders along the way, such as Kleiner Ahornboden. Old-growth sycamore maples dot this even pasture, which is of awesome natural beauty—perfection is no idle exaggeration. You pass through tall maples whose ages are measured in multiple centuries. The trails are excellent, however, because of distance you'll need excellent endurance and a good cardiovascular system. Immerse yourself in the awesome beauty of Karwendel Range and gather new strength over hearty local delicacies.

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Starting point  

Scharnitz

Finishing point

Scharnitz

Mountain chain

Karwendel Mountains

Length

53.5 km

Duration

3 day(s)

Features

  • Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
  • Circular hike

Difficulty rating

intermediate (red mountain trails)

Altitude

1,951m 531m

Elevation uphill 2,392m
Vertical metres downhill 2,810m

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.

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Trail description

Day 1: Scharnitz – Karwendelhaus Lodge (your optional home for the night)
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 850/50 meters | Hiking Time: 6 hours | Distance: 18 kilometers | Highest Elevation: 1,771 meters

From the railroad station of Scharnitz walk south to the parish church, passing by the Karwendel Alpine Park Visitors’ Center. Follow the road into “Karwendeltal” Valley. Past the car park, walk for around kilometer until you get to a huge wooden sign, saying “Karwendelhaus”, “Falkenhütte” where the forest road heads to the left. Keep on this forest road all the way across Karwendel Valley as it climbs gently uphill, passing Larchetalm Alpine Pasture Hut (elev. 1,173m) on its way to the valley end. At the end of the valley, you can either stay on this forest road until you reach Karwendelhaus Lodge; or, climb the path which can be taken for an optional steep shortcut to the Lodge.

 

Day 2: Karwendelhaus Lodge – Falken Hut – Lamsenjoch Hut
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 1,350/1,150 meters | Hiking Time: 7¾ hours | Distance: 19 kilometers | Highest Elevation: 1,953 meters

From Karwendelhaus Lodge, follow a dirt road that gently climbs atop Hochalmsattel Saddleback with a cross on its summit. Keep walking in the same direction until a footpath branches off to the left. The footpath winds down through Alpine pastures and across lovely Lower Filztal Valley (keep walking in the same direction). The footpath eventually merges on a dirt road that which winds down to Kleiner Ahornboden. Centuries-old sycamore maples dot this even pasture, which is of awesome natural beauty. Here you will also find the Hermann-von-Barth-Memorial, commemorating Hermann von Barth, mountaineering pioneer of Karwendel Mountains, who conquered 88 summits in the summer of 1870, twelve of which were first ascents. Leave Kleiner Ahornboden and cross the wide boulder riverbed, which is usually dry, in a south-western direction and take the dirt road that gently winds up through thinning forest to Ladizalm Alpine Pasture Hut with its historic Alpine Lodge. Continue climbing; eventually the road turns onto a singletrack that ascends wide open Alpine pastures on its way up to Falken Hut. From the hut, walk down to Spielissjoch Saddleback on a dirt road. At the saddleback, the route turns onto a singletrack that traverses Laliderer Reisen to the east, with many ups and downs. Eventually, the trail gently ascends Hohljoch Col and winds down through verdant meadows and luxuriant forest to the Alpine Pasture Village of Eng. Leave Eng on a broad dirt road that climbs up to Binsalm Alpine Pasture Hut (Niederleger); continue walking uphill on this dirt road until you reach Binsalm Alpine Pasture Hut (Hochleger) in wide open terrain. There are various opportunities for a shortcut if you take the footpaths. The route climbs atop Western Lamsenjoch Saddle and winds down through rugged terrain beneath Lamsenspitze Peak to Lamsenjoch Hut.

 

Day 3: Lamsenjoch Hut – St. Georgenberg – Stans – Scharnitz
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 100/1,500 meters | Hiking Time: 4½ hours | Distance: 12.5 kilometers | Highest Elevation: 1,953 meters

Leave the hut and walk downhill in a south-eastern direction along a dirt road for a short while, before taking the right fork onto a trail. The trail becomes increasingly rock-laden and meanders along the meadows out of the valley. At 1,700 meters above sea level, the trail merges onto the dirt road again. Stay on this road that will take you gently downhill through the scrappy forest, which is dominated by larches. This section is followed by a short and steep descent through mixed forest, before traversing an unusually large field of dwarf pines. Always keep walking downhill; leave the dirt road at a fork and turn onto a trail, following the sign for “Stallenalm”. The trail crosses the brook here, but the crossing can be very difficult, especially if the water is high. If you have difficulty crossing the brook at the designated trail crossing, continue walking on the dirt road as both routes merge a short distance ahead. Walk past Stallenalm (this is where Stallental Valley begins) and take the level path along the mountain pastures before crossing the dry and wide gravel streambed (this is where the two routes merge again). The dirt road leads towards a picnic area, called “Rastplatzl Stallenblick”. Then, the trail takes you back into the mixed forest. Take the fork that leads downhill and you will soon pass another picnic area. Here again, continue on the trail that leads downhill. Follow the signs for “Fiecht, Vomp” and stay on the old dirt trail that leads gently downhill along the steep slopes of Stallental Valley. At an elevation of 1,050 meters, take the left fork and follow the footpath towards “St. Georgen, Wolfsklamm, Stans” (the trail signs are a bit confusing here). Continue downhill through thick deciduous forest until the trail merges onto a wide dirt road. Turn left and follow the road downhill. Cross the creek and continue along the dirt road up to the pilgrimage church of St. Georgenberg. After you’ve spent some time in St. Georgenberg, retrace your steps and follow the trail back to the junction with the trail, slightly before reaching the bridge. This time, though, bear towards “Wolfsklamm” at the junction and walk out of the valley on the left bank of Stallenbach Creek. The following section, which takes you down along the ravine, is assisted by a fixed anchoring system of cables. Walking along the path, you will cross the creek from time to time. As soon as you have left the ravine, continue along the slope until you reach a dirt road. Follow the road straight ahead and you will soon arrive in the village of Stans. Walk through the village, passing by the church, until you reach the railroad station of Stans from where you take a train back to Scharnitz (you have to change trains in Innsbruck).

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Your destination address: Scharnitz

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