Österreich Alps 2019 Itinerary

9 days of hut-to-hut (or hotel) hiking in Austria in the Vorarlberg and Tyrol states, through the Silvretta and Zillertal alps.


Silvretta Alps

Zillertal Alps

Zoom in to the map above using the map controls at top left (or double-click; drag to reposition). Once you zoom in far enough, the huts will become visible in blue.

Friday, July 12

Depart LAX in the afternoon for an overnight flight to London Heathrow.

Saturday, July 13

Depart Heathrow on a connecting flight to Zürich Switzerland followed by a train ride to the hamlet of Gaschurn in Vorarlberg, and spend the night at a local hotel.

Sunday, July 14

Begin a five-day hike through the Silvretta Alps along ridgetops, over high passes, and up close to big glaciers.

Ride the Versettla Bahn up from Gaschurn to the Erich Endriss Weg (trail) and begin hiking 7 miles up to the Tübinger Hütte. Might be able to run sections of this trail as it’s only 1,500 feet of elevation gain.

Monday, July 15

The first “big” day with options for multiple levels of difficulty. My preferred route is 1,800ft up and over the Plattenjoch down into Switzerland, back up 800ft over the Seelücke into Austria, and down to the Saarbrücker Hütte after 3 miles of steep rocky alpine hiking.

If there is too much snow on the Plattenjoch route, there is the option of ascending the Hochmadererjoch in the other direction instead, which is 700 feet lower then the Plattenjoch. However, this would require another 2,000ft ascent back up to the Saarbrücker Hütte over a total of 6 miles (with nowhere to stop for lunch) for a total 3,000ft of elevation gain.

Tuesday, July 16

There is an option today of ascending a more difficult alpine route up and over the Litznersattel and then descending 2,300 feet over 5 miles down to Bielerhohe for lunch. There is also an easier and more direct route down to Bielerhöhe. After lunch there is a 4-mile 1,700ft ascent up to the Wiesbadener Hütte, with an option to ascend the Hohes Rad along the way.

Wednesday, July 17

Another “big” day today, attempting to cross over the Getschnerscharte – a couple of thousand feet up a steep rocky trail and then down to the Jamtalhütte for a total of 6 miles. Weather and snow are potential showstoppers for the Getschnerscharte, with the alternate route being the long way around: back down to Bielerhohe, over to Galtür, and then up the Jamtal valley to the Jamtalhütte for a total 10 miles (not counting another 6 miles of road between Bilerhohe and Galtür).

Thursday, July 18

Begin the day with a 5-mile jaunt (hike/walk/run) down the Jamtal to Galtür in the morning. After lunch and a little sight-seeing in Galtür, take a train and bus ride over to Ginzling to spend the night at the Hotel-Gasthaus Schwarzenstein in the Zillertal valley.

Friday July 19

Do a less-challenging nearby day hike, enjoy the local cuisine, and spend one more night in Ginzling.

Saturday, July 20

Begin a three-day hike through the Zillertal Alps via the Berliner Höhenweg with a moderate 4-mile 1,500-foot hike up to the Furtschaglhaus.

Start by taking a bus from Ginzling up to the Schlegeiss Stausee where the trailhead is located. The trail follows the lakeshore down to the south end of the lake, and then climbs up to the hut. I hope to arrive around lunchtime and have the afternoon (and energy after this morning’s ascent) available to explore terrain above the hut.

Sunday, July 21

The last “big” day, continuing on the Berliner Höhenweg and climbing up and over the highest point on this trip, the Schönbichlerhorn at over 3,000 meters (over 10,000 feet). It’s only 5 miles to the Berliner Hütte from the Furtschaglhaus, but up a very steep 2,500ft ascent followed by a steep 3,500ft descent. The Berliner Hütte is the oldest and grandest hut in the Zillertal.

Monday, July 22

Today begins with an easy 5.5 miles from the Berliner Hütte down the valley to the road and catch a bus back to Ginzling, and then on to Vienna.

Tuesday – Wednesday, July 23 – 25

Two days of feasting on the fine cuisine, music, and architecture in one of the greatest capitals of Europe.

Thursday, July 25

Depart Vienna (VIE) for a flight back to New Orleans, via Heathrow again.