On the Berlin High Trail you can breathe real pioneer air: up here in the secluded mountain world of the Zillertal Alps there was one of the most important germ cells of mountaineering in the early 19th century. The construction of the Berliner Hütte began as early as 1879 - making the venerable building, which would rather deserve the name Alpenpalast than Berghütte, the oldest refuge in the Zillertal Alps. Under the cooperation of the Berlin section of the German Alpine Association further huts were built. Already in 1889 the transition from the Berliner Hütte to the Furtschaglhaus was extended as a mountain path and then ceremonially opened as the first stage of the Berlin High Trail. Today you still hike from hut to hut on these old paths and enjoy the wild and romantic Zillertal mountain landscape just like back then.
In eight days and close to 85 km, it leads you through a breathtaking mountain scenery and reach an elevation gain of around 6,000 meters. On day five, you'll reach the highest point of this trail, that also features a few nice climbing passages: Schönbichler Horn, at an altitude of 3,134 m. Feel like a reward after the day's efforts? Then you've reached just the right place: the Alpine hut, Berliner Hütte, is perfect for an overnighter.
If you like it more comfortable, then you can only plan the first four stages of the Berlin High Trail. In contrast to the high alpine second half of the hike, these stages lead on narrow but well signposted mountain paths over picturesque mountain meadows. At the end of the fourth stage you can then take the bus from Schlegeisspeichersee to Mayrhofen. If you can't get enough of the barren alpine landscape at all, then, after the seventh stage, why not join the Aschaffenburger Höhenweg and thus complete the so-called Zilltertaler Runde? This hiking trail leads you from the Kasseler Hütte through dramatic high mountain scenery to the Karl-von-Edel-Hütte - and is rightly regarded as the most challenging stage of the Zillertaler Runde.
The first leg of the Berlin Höhenweg starts in the center of Finkenberg. From there it goes on the wooden Teufelsbrücke over the Tuxbach and then straight into the mountain forest. You follow the signposted hiking trail 533 in countless hairpin bends through the forest. You quickly gain in height and on individual glades you can already take a first look at the surrounding mountain landscape.
Shortly before your destination, you leave the forest and are immediately expected by an incredible mountain panorama. Only a few steps and you reach happy, but a bit out of breath the Gamshütte.
All information about Gamshütte and reservations at gamshuette.at.
Hut telephone: +43 (664) 42 82 969
With a distance of almost 15 kilometers, the second stage is by far the longest on the Berlin Höhenweg. Since only a hiking day is behind you and you can strengthen yourself with a hearty mountain climber's breakfast, this is not a problem for you.From the Gamshütte, the Berliner Höhenweg takes you along the eastern flank of the Grindbergspitze peak. Here you hike on a narrow path over steep mountain meadows, which can be very slippery after rainy weather. In this case, pay close attention to your steps and inform the hut host about the accessibility of the path.From the gray plate, a side ridge of the rear Grindbergspitze, it is now a little downhill. Until the uncultivated Kesselalm, located directly on the Kesselbach, the mountain trail runs without major differences in altitude. After you have crossed the creek, it is brisk uphill again. The landscape becomes noticeably meager and after you have passed the picturesque Wesendlekarsee, you reach the Friesenberghaus.All information about the Friesenberghaus and reservations at friesenberghaus.com.
Hut telephone: +43 (676) 7497550
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The third stage is not only quite short, there are also only small ascents and descents on the program. So you can take it easy today and stretch your legs at breakfast in the Friesenberghaus.Then it goes along the Friesenbergsee along a piece up. But do not worry, after the short serpentine section you have already made the entire ascent of the day and walk away from here with fantastic views of the Schlegeis evenly downhill.After about two hours of hiking, you will reach the luxurious Olpererhütte.Booking and information at olpererhuette.de/zillertal-huette-urlaub.html.
Hut telephone: +43 (664) 417 65 66
Your fourth hiking day is also quite moderate. As soon as you can break away from the view on the sun terrace of the Olpererhütte, it goes downhill on steep serpentines to the shore of the Schlegeisspeichersee. Even though this is just an artificial reservoir, the sight of turquoise glacier water is simply magical.Once at the bottom, you hike on a wide hiking trail along the shore towards the end of the valley. High up in the mountains you can clearly see the huge glacier area Schlegeiskees. You leave the lake behind you soon and walk leisurely up the slope of the Schlegeisbach. Soon the signposted mountain trail branches off to the left to the Furtschaglhaus.In countless hairpin bends, the trail winds its way up the steep grassy slopes until you finally reach your destination with satisfaction.All information about the Furtschaglshaus can be found at furtschaglhaus.com.
Hut telephone: +43 (676) 9646350
From the fifth stage, the Berlin mountain trail now has a pronounced high mountain character. From the barren meadows around the Furtschaglhaus the trail leads you in some bends steeply uphill to the Schönbichler Horn, the highest point of the entire hike.The landscape becomes noticeably meager and at the summit you stand in a breathtaking rock landscape. Around you, the magnificent peaks of the Zillertal Alps and the Tux Alps tower into the sky.Take a breather at the summit, because the long descent has it all in itself. Suspended and partially insured with rope insurance, the descent route winds downhill on the eastern ridge of the Schönbichler Horn.Early on you can see the Berlin hut in the valley below you. And hut is definitely the wrong name: The venerable Berliner Hütte is the oldest mountain hut in the Zillertal Alps and proudly bears her nickname "Alpenpalast". When you enter with your climbing gear, you feel misplaced - the wood paneling is reminiscent of a grand hotel of yesteryear. But do not worry, hikers and mountaineers are welcome here.All information about the Berliner Hütte can be found at berlinerhütte.at.
Hut telephone: +43 (676) 7051473
Just like the day before, it continues on the sixth stage: Here, the Berlin mountain trail spoils you with the most beautiful and secluded mountains in the Zillertal Alps. Freshly rested, you start your hike at the Berliner Hütte. The signposted hiking trail 502 leads you along the Zemmbach uphill to the Schwarzsee.Here you can take a rest in a wild and romantic landscape, before you move on up to the Mörchenscharte. The increase is long, but only moderately increases. At the saddle the highest point of today's hike and a fantastic view await you.The descent is steeper and more adventurous. On long, rope-insured passages, it zigzags downhill towards Floitengrund. Just before you reach the bottom of the valley, you climb down another several meters long aluminum ladder.Now you have done it soon. From the picturesque high valley, the last hairpin bends take you up to the Greizer Hut, today's destination.Information and booking at alpenverein-greiz.de/huetten-einrichtungen/huetten/greizer-huette.
Hut telephone: +43 (664) 1405003
On the seventh stage your high alpine finale will take place. The transition from the Greizer hut to the Kasseler hut leads over the Lapenscharte. About rocky led the trail to more than 2,700 meters high Scharte, which offers an incomparable view of the Stilluptal and Kasseler hut.From the rocky ridge, it then goes downhill in some hairpin bends to the iron gorge. Although you can expect no more height differences from this point, now one of the most exciting sections of the entire Berlin Höhenweg. On a narrow, exposed trail, it goes directly along a steep rock face. Almost the entire section is covered with wire ropes, and in some places, iron rides provide additional support - a paradise for experienced hikers.Along the slopes of the wide valley basin, you then hike on a good mountain trail to your destination, the Kasseler Hütte.Information and booking at kasselerhuette.de.
Hut telephone: +43 (664) 4016033
On the eighth day of hiking it is time to say goodbye. To make it easier for you to say goodbye, the Zillertal mountains show themselves from their most beautiful side. With a magnificent view, you first descend zigzagging from the Kasseler Hut to the Stilluptal. The Sonntagskarbach accompanies you on your way, which merges further with the Stillupbach.Once in the valley, a broad and comfortable trail leads you through one of the most beautiful side valleys of the Zillertal. Soon you will reach the Green Wall Hut. In the cozy mountain inn you can not only dine - you can also spend one night here and only the next day through the Stilluptal to Mayrhofen hike.Alternatively you can continue your hike to the Stilluper Hütte or even to the Gasthof Wasserfall on the Stillupspeichersee. From the Speichersee you can even continue by bus to Mayrhofen.Of course, if you still have enough reserves, you can already hike to Mayrhofen today. In total, a distance of about 20 kilometers and a descent of almost 1,600 vertical meters will come together.The timetable for the bus to the Stillupptal can be found at mayrhofen.at/service/fahrplaene.