The Allgäu Alps, on the German-Austrain border, are a magnificent mountain range. On a hike, you will get to know the mountains well and will no doubt be amazed by their exciting ridges, phenomenal peaks and heavenly mountain lakes. This route takes you to some of the most exciting and famous mountains in the group – including its highest, the Großer Krottenkopf at 2,656 metres (8,714 ft).
The so-called Steinbocktour (Ibex Tour) has many different variants. My version is rather demanding and longer than most others, but can easily be shortened and in some cases made easier. Would you like to go hiking for a long weekend or a whole week? After three nights, for example, you can descend from the Kemptner Hütte via the Spielmannsau to Oberstdorf. The route can be done over five days if you hike directly from the Kemptner Hut via the Rauheck and the Himmelecksattel to the Prinz-Luitpold-Haus instead of stages 4, 5 and 6.
The trails lead into the high mountains and are mostly narrow and alpine in character. They require surefootedness and a head for heights as well as experience in mountain hiking. Again and again, sections are secured with ropes and you may need your hands. From time to time there are steps, bridges and ladders, for example on the famous Heilbronner Weg on the third stage.
Some of the daily stages are quite long and involve a lot of ascent. As such, you’ll need a good level of fitness and stamina. However, several of the stages include optional summit ascents, which you can simply skip if you wish.
You’ll spend the nights in mountain huts, which usually start their season at the beginning of June and end it again at the beginning of October, which is the period to do this route. Don’t be surprised if there’s still some lingering snow in early summer. I recommend booking accommodation as far in advance as possible. On popular weekends, some of the huts book up quickly.
The Allgäu Alps are located at the southernmost tip of Germany and extend into Vorarlberg and Tyrol. In the middle of the mountain ridges lies Oberstdorf and its railway station, which makes this hiking region easy to access. The mountain village is the start and end point of this hike.
My version of the Ibex Tour shows you some of the most beautiful corners of the Allgäu Alps. You share the famous trails with many other hikers, but you also explore less frequented paths far away from the valleys. This way, you can combine cosy conviviality with solitude.
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Last updated: December 20, 2022
Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.
The first stage on your crossing of the Allgäu Alps takes you from Oberstdorf directly up into the mountains. This means that many meters of altitude are coming at you right at the start. However, you have two options to skip most of the strenuous ascent by using a mountain railway.
It starts at the Renksteg…
On the second stage, the paths are already more exciting. On rocky paths you climb to the Fiderescharte, behind which you first descend steeply, and then cross the slopes on the Krumbacher Höhenweg quite comfortably and with great views.
You pass the Mindelheimer Hütte and then descend steeply again to…
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On this day, the challenging Heilbronner Weg over the main ridge of the Allgäu Alps is on the agenda. Many passages with ropes and also ladders and bridges await you in this rocky peak landscape. You can also pick up some optional peaks along the way. If you skip this, you will save a few meters in altitude…
On this day you climb the highest peak in the Allgäu Alps: the Großer Krottenkopf at 2,656 meters. For this it goes over the Oberes Mädelejoch, first with short breaks on quite flat sections and then very steeply to the Krottenkopfscharte.
This is where the ascent to the summit begins, which runs up and…
On this stage, the first two thirds of the route for the high mountains make do with very few meters in altitude. The path leads along steep slopes with fantastic views.
Behind the Luxnacher saddle, the path is a little easier on you until you reach the very steep ascent to the Schwärzer Scharte. Once…
This stage has it all, because at first you climb quite steeply all the way down into the valley, only to then climb back up just as steeply. If necessary, you can split this day into two sections with an extra night in the valley in Hinterhornbach. Even then, the ascent remains the same.
Once at the…
The last stage begins quite comfortably and descending while you hike around the valley head of the Bärgündeletal. Then it goes uphill to the Laufbacher Eck, which gives you a magnificent view.
The path continues alpine, with great views, sometimes on the ridge and sometimes along a little below. On the…
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