© Tirol Werbung/Peter Neusser
© Tirol Werbung/Peter Neusser

Two Day Trek: Weißenbach am Lech – Tannheim

A great hike any time of year, the section across scenic Birkental Valley is especially impressive during the fall foliage season. Working its way upward, the trail passes plenty of cascades streaming down from the steep slopes and crosses several small cascading side creeks. On the way upvalley into Birkental, there are plenty of pretty resting and contemplation spots along the way. 2,431-meter Thaneller Mountain dominates the horizon in the backdrop in all its glory. On a good day, you can get a bird’s eye view of Birkental Valley and the flatlands in the north from the saddle in front of Landsberger Hut. This two day trek crosses the Vilsalpsee Nature Preserve, home to various insect-incubating wetland pools responsible for feeding protected area animals and flowers. Day two gives you a good workout. You'll need excellent endurance and a good cardiovascular system to tackle this 16-kilometer long tour through demanding terrain. Named one of Europe’s most beautiful high valleys, Tannheimertal promises hikers the opportunity to walk through old forest, meadows brimming with wildflowers, and along rocky hillsides, all while enjoying the striking scenery of the jagged and craggy surrounding peaks. Landsberger Hut with its tiny lake is tucked securely in a hidden basin. Slightly below lies Traualpsee Lake, towered by the rugged promontory of Lachenspitze Peak. Remote and breathtakingly beautiful, getting there is quite a jaunt. It requires a slog up and over to Schrecksee Lake. But the sweeping Alpine views of Rauhorn and Gaishorn Peaks . . . and shimmering Schrecksee Lake with its captivating isle. . . and the glorious views along the way all help ease the pain. This route requires some serious stamina and will tax your strength and endurance. The rewards come at a substantial price in lung and leg pain. Sure-footedness and a good head for heights are required, too. Be prepared to work for every view you get. The traverses can be very wet from dew or recent rain and might be slippery to climb.

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Starting point  

Weißenbach am Lech (885m)

Finishing point

Tannheim (1,097m)

Mountain chain

Allgäu Alps

Length

29.4 km

Duration

2 day(s)

Features

  • Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
  • Circular hike

Difficulty rating

intermediate (red mountain trails)

Altitude

1,997m 885m

Elevation uphill 1,517m
Vertical metres downhill 1,301m

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: Weißenbach am Lech – Landsberger Hut
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 1,000/200 meters | Hiking Time: 5 hours | Distance: 13 kilometers | Highest Elevation: 1,900 meters | Trail Rating: Moderate (red)

This walk has its trailhead at the Parish Church of Weißenbach, leads into the valley for a short distance, crosses Weißenbach Creek and parallels it on the right bank up to the tennis courts and “Musikantenstadel”. The trail turns right before reaching “Musikantenstadel” and continues ahead in the same direction. Soon, it crosses Weißenbach Creek on a footbridge again and then turns left onto the paved road that climbs the mountainside. Keep following signs for “Birkental” and “Landsberger Hütte” and pass the gypsum factory that is located at the right hand side of the trail. From here you climb a series of zigzags through abandoned open pit mining sites. Turn right at the timbered structure onto a forest road that gradually ascends through light woods, high above the valley of Weißenbach Creek until you reach the entrance to Birkental Valley. From here it’s a nice stroll with easy climbs into Birkental Valley on the tree-covered, southern valley side up to an elevation of 1250 meters. Here, the trail begins a steady descent through wide open terrain and takes you down to the valley bottom. At the base of the descent, cross the creek west of Höflis Hut and follow a singletrack trail that skirts the slope into the valley. This trail soon leaves the creek and winds through groves up into wide open meadows and on a plateau (parts of the ascent are rather steep). After passing the plateau, the trail climbs to the top of a saddleback and descends on its other side, passing a tiny swamp lake to the left on its way to Landsberger Hut, which can be seen from afar (you have to climb the last few meters to reach the hut).

Special Recommendation: After World War II, archaeologists have excavated the remnants of a Roman grave in Weißenbach am Lech. In the Middle Ages, the tiny commune was located on an important salt trading route.

 

Day 2: Landsberger Hut – Tannheim
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 400/1,100 meters | Hiking Time: 6¾ hours | Distance: 16 kilometers | Highest Elevation: 1,805 meters | Trail Rating: Moderate (red)

From Landsberger Hut, walk towards “Jubiläumsweg” (Anniversary Trail), and follow the path that climbs the meadows to the west. At the fork, take “Jubiläumsweg” trail that gradually ascends to Kastenjoch Saddleback, embedded between Roter Spitze and Steinkarspitze Peaks. Climb the ridge in a southern direction for a very short distance and turn right at the first fork (“Saalfelder Weg”). A gradual descent takes you down meadows studded with scree and talus (do follow the route in this section and bear right at the junction). When the trail reaches a crest, proceed ahead in the same direction. Soon, the trail begins a slight ascent through meadows and climbs another saddle that is named Kastenjoch as well. From there, follow signs for “Jubiläumsweg, Vilsalpsee” again. The trail continues ahead through very rugged terrain (tussock slopes with exposed ridges), leveling off high above the valley bottom and slightly descending later. Eventually, a short, gentle climb takes you atop Kirchendachsattel Col. Beyond the col, the trail leaves Tirol for a short while: on German territory, carry on to “Rauhhorn” and traverse the mountainside above Schrecksee Lake. Bear towards “Rauhhorn” at the next fork where the trail resumes its ascent and traverses the tussock slope up to an elevation of 2000 meters (in switchbacks here and there and through exposed and rugged terrain at the end). Continue ahead in the same direction and descend a few meters to gain the saddleback south of Rauhhorn Peak. Here, turn right onto “Jubiläumsweg” once more and enter Tirol. First, the trail descends rather steeply, later you’ll traverse the rugged tussock slopes below Rauhhorn Mountain on a well-defined trail. Bear right at the junction and descend through scree and talus slopes. Follow the signs to “Vilsalpsee” on the trail that descends to the right through meadows with scrubs (trees are growing in its lower section) to Vilsalpe. Pass Vilsalpe on your way to Vilsalpsee Lake and skirt its western shore on a level footpath until you reach the north shore. Proceed ahead and turn onto the trail that runs right of the access road. Soon, the trail crosses the road and enters the woods on a slight, gradual ascent; finally the trail merges with the road on which you walk out of the valley to Tannheim (keeping the same direction).

Special Recommendation: Visit the Parish Church of Tannheim and stand in awe in front of the 3,000-kilogram bell that has been cast in the year 1561 by Father Löffler and his sons.

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Your destination address: Weissenbach am Lech 46, Weißenbach

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