This demanding route takes you to the heart of one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the Alps. The modest ascent through Kaisertal Valley is a nice stroll that climbs gradually. You will then conquer and cross Wilder Kaiser Mountain and pass by remote Hintersteinersee Lake, which has a picture-postcard setting encircled by this rugged and lofty mountain range. The awesome views from Ellmauer Tor will reward you for the efforts of this trek. Giving you a good workout, this strenuous tour requires sure footing and endurance; acrophobes will not appreciate this route. Wearing a helmet is recommended on day two for danger of falling rocks.
Kufstein, Kaisertal Car Park
Kufstein, Kaisertal Car Park
- Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
- Circular hike
difficult (black trails)
Elevation uphill 2,870m
Vertical metres downhill 2,020m
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.
Day 1: Kufstein – Kaisertal Valley – Hans Berger Haus Lodge – Stripsenjochhaus Lodge
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 1,150/50 meters | Hiking Time: 4½ hours | Distance: 11 kilometers | Highest Elevation: 1,577 meters | Trail Rating: Moderate (red)
Trailhead of this walk is the start of so-called “Kaisertalaufstieg” (‘Kaiser Ascent’). A broad footpath begins opposite to the parking area and briskly climbs the forest on steps in switchbacks (with over 100 vertical meters to climb; follow signs for “Stripsenjoch” and “Stripsenjochhaus” which you’ll be following for the remainder of the hike). 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 bottom). 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. Behind 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-House. From there, a footpath that is well marked by trail signs, runs to Hans-Berger-House (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-House. On the last portion of the walk, the trail ascends more gradually through wide open Alpine terrain until you reach Stripsenjochhaus Lodge.
Day 2: Stripsenjochhaus Lodge – Ellmauer Halt – Grutten Hut – Wilder Kaiser Path – Hintersteinersee Lake
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 950/1,650 meters | Hiking Time: 7½ hours | Distance: 13.5 kilometers | Highest Elevation: 1,995 meters | Trail Rating: Difficult/Expert (black)
From Stripsenjochhaus Lodge, follow signage for “Eggersteig, Ellmauer Tor”. The trail winds down in switchbacks in the beginning, until signed Eggersteig track heads to the right at an elevation of 1400 meters. Follow this track towards Ellmauer Tor and Gruttenhütte. The path traverses a cirque and very rugged terrain with many ups and downs to the mid part of Steinerne Rinne gully. The climb through the flanks of the gully is vigorously 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 meters and branches to the right onto Jubiläumssteig Trail. Follow this trail through rugged terrain with many ups and downs to Grutten Hut. From the hut, follow the access road for around one kilometer until signed Wilder-Kaiser-Path (Trail No. 823) heads to the right towards Hintersteinersee Lake. Keep walking along Wilder-Kaiser-Path, taking you through thinning forest and dwarf pines and cirques south of Treffauer Mountain and right around it. Continue hiking towards “Kaiser Hochalm”. From Kaiser Hochalm (elev. 1,417m), 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'll reach a fork – bear right and follow the sign-posted trail that skirts the slope on the left hand side and takes you to Steiner Hochalm. West of the Alpine pasture 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 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.
Strongly Recommended: Take some time to get an eagle's eye view of the mountains at the Eagle View Overlook, a special sightseeing telescope viewer that is installed at Grutten Hut. It will leave your head spinning as you try to identify a seemingly infinite array of peaks spread out before you.
Day 3: Hintersteinersee Lake – Kaindl Hut – Brentenjoch Col – Kufstein (by chair lift)
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 700/350 meters | Hiking Time: 3¾ hours | Distance: 10.5 kilometers | Highest Elevation: 1,470 meters | Trail Rating: Moderate (red)
Starting at the eastern shores of Hintersteinersee Lake, opposite the car park or next to Seestüberl Cafe, follow the posted 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 Mountain Inn. Walk along the way-marked footpath to Kaindl Hut (follow the sign “Kaindlhütte – 1 Std.”). An easy climb through the woods takes you to Hochegg (elev. 1,470m) with the summit cross next to the footpath. From there it’s a gentle downhill stroll to Alpine meadows until you reach the Alpine Pasture Village of Steinbergalm and Kaindl Hut. Past the hut, the forest road takes you down through Alpine pastures leading past (closed) Steinberg Hut. There is a short ascent towards Brentenjoch Col. Follow the sign to your left and you will soon reach the top terminal of Wilder Kaiser Chair Lift. The two-section lift ride takes you down to Sparchen, a district of Kufstein. Leave the car park of the chair lift in northern direction on a gravel road that emerges onto the main road and continue walking for a short distance until you get to Kaisertal Car Park.