Majestic, rugged, unbelievably vast: This is the mountain range of the Wild Kaiser, a name which translates to the 'Wild Emperor' — a name these mountains wear like a well-fitting crown. Pictures of their precipitous limestone faces and deep canyons have been the stuff of Alpinists' dreams for centuries. Here, in these epic mountains, two of the best multi-day hiking trails in the Alps have their starting point: The 3-day hut hike on the sunny south face of the Kaiser and the popular Emperor's Crown comprising five stages.
Whichever trail you choose, both will give you the opportunity to dive deep into the Emperor's mystic realms. And as you go, you'll be able to sample the famed hospitality of the people who call this region home. To make sure you have a place to rest your head after a day on the trails, all legs have been planned in such a way that they start and end at a recommended hut/hotel. So, all you need to do to get going is... get going. Are you ready?
Tip: Experience Mountain Sports Week in the Wilder Kaiser from 29 June to 6 July 2019! The programme includes a spectacular via ferrata, a mountain bike ride with an epic mountain run, an eventful mountain hike, a day rock climbing on pristine rock walls and a fun canyoning trip. All trips can be arranged individually with a 3-day package being available from €99 (without accommodation). See wilderkaiser.info/bergsportwoche for more info.
The first stage of the three-day hut hike leads from Hüttling, a district of Going, along beautiful alpine meadows along the southern slope of the Wilder Kaiser. With every step, the rugged, majestic cliffs of the Kaisergebirge rise above you. A real highlight of the hike is the Felskluft Klamml - the trail leads right through it. On the way several alpine huts invite you for a leisurely break before you finally reach the stage destination Gruttenhütte.From Hüttling, the signposted forest trail 817 leads you through the forest up to the Graspoint-Niederalm snack station - if you have not yet had breakfast, this is the perfect time. Here the trail 817 changes from a forest path to a forest path and winds upwards until you meet above the Stiegenbachwasserfall on the Wilden-Kaiser-Steig.Over meadows and directly below the rugged peaks, you hike without great differences in altitude with a magnificent view to the Gaudeamus hut. Here you have made well over half of the track and therefore you have earned a break honestly. Strengthened it can then go on with the Klammlweg.The trail leads through a steep rocky gulf in a dramatic backdrop - over steps, steps and along cable insurance you climb up in the direction of Gruttenhütte. Sure-footedness and a head for heights are compulsory at any time of the year - after the rain, an extra dose of caution is required. Although the Klammlweg is the most demanding part of the stage, the prospects and the thrill are worth every step. Right at the end of the Klamml, the cozy Grutten hut awaits you with its sensational panoramic terrace.Arrival: The Wanderparkplatz in Hüttling is only for short-term parkers, so you can park your car at the free parking lot next to the fire department in Going. From here it is a one-hour walk to the starting point. Alternatively you can take the free hiking bus "KaiserJet" to the bathing lake Going. From here it is only about 30 minutes on foot.
With a manageable 180 meters ascent, the second stage of the three-day hut hike presents itself as a real pleasure trip - and in every respect. In the morning, a glorious sunrise at the Gruttenhütte, then it goes comfortably over wide meadows past quaint alpine pastures and finally the Seespitzpfad leads you around the glittering Hintersteiner lake.After your mountaineer's breakfast on the Grutten hut, you will be strengthened and well-rested. First you follow a wide track for a few meters until the already well-known Kaisersteig branches off the gravel road. The beautiful mountain hiking trail leads you through light mountain forests and across wide meadows - the backdrop of the mighty cliffs of the Wilder Kaiser accompanies you at every turn.In the gentle downhill you reach after about six kilometers, the Kaiser-Hochalm, which is, however, only managed sporadically. Even though there is nothing to eat here, the ancient wooden huts are a nice place for a break and a souvenir photo. A little later you come to the Steiner-Hochalm, where you at least get cold drinks and a glass of fresh buttermilk.After a rest you follow the signposted hiking trail 821 down to Hinterstein. Here you wander through dense forests, but in several places you can take a first look at the picturesque Hintersteiner lake. Arrived on the shores of the lake, you can finally pamper yourself with a hearty snack in the Café Seestüberl. Then it goes on the quaint Seespitzpfad on the south bank of the lake along to Pension Hagenhof, today's stage destination.
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The third stage is the culmination of your hut hike on the Wilder Kaiser. From Hintersteiner See, you will go up again to the Stöfflhütte and from there, gently up and down the Jägersteig. The leads you through natural forests and beautiful lookout points along the Rehbachklamm. On a rooty path, it finally goes along the Rehbach through the romantic gorge to Scheffau, the destination of your tour.Starting point of the hike is the Scheffauer district Hagenhof. From here you hike up a wide forest road until you reach the mountain pastures of the Walleralm. With a beautiful view, it goes a bit further and you reach the Stöfflhütte and the neighboring Berggasthof Walleralm - a good time for a refreshment.Now the signposted Jägersteig leads you in the direction of the Steiner Hochalm. The narrow hiking trail runs directly below the rock walls of the Scheffauer through romantic mountain forest. At various points you can enjoy beautiful views of the peaks of the Wilder Kaiser, the Hintersteiner lake deep below you and the surrounding mountains of the Söllandl.At the end of Jägersteig you come out at the Steiner Hochalm. From here, the tour winds through meadows downhill to Hinterschiesslinger Alm and on to Rehbachklamm. In the shade of the trees it goes on root paths, over stairs and bridges along the brook to the stage destination Scheffau. After a bit of strolling through the village, you can take the free hiking bus "KaiserJet" back to the starting point in Going.
This stage begins your panoramic tour of the famous Kaisergebirge. From Going, the route leads you on forest roads and climb past pastures and up to the hut Grutten. In addition to magnificent views of the mountains of the Wilder Kaiser, the Klamml awaits you on this stage - an exciting rocky gorge, which is crossed on the hike to the Gruttenhütte.Starting point of your tour is the trail parking lot in Hüttling, a district of Going. From here you follow a wide forest path up to the snack station Graspoint Niederalm. Here the forest slowly becomes lighter and the views accordingly more impressive. After about one and a half hours, a narrow hiking trail branches off to the right to Stiegenbachwasserfall. If you like, you can make a detour to the waterfall before continuing your trek.Only a little later you leave the mountain forest completely behind you. On wide mountain meadows you will meet the Wilden-Kaiser-Steig. At first gently uphill, then winding downhill, the trail leads you to Gaudeamushütte. Now you have already managed a large part of the route and can first enjoy the great panoramic view during a snack.From the Gaudeamushütte you then hike on a wire rope insured trail through the Klamml to Gruttenhütte. Metal steps and ladders make for a bit of thrill on this section - giddiness and sure-footedness are essential here. After this exciting passage you will reach the Gruttenhütte, your today's destination.Arrival: The Wanderparkplatz in Hüttling is only for short-term parkers, so you can park your car at the free parking lot next to the fire department in Going. From here it is a one-hour walk to the starting point. Alternatively you can take the free hiking bus "KaiserJet" to the bathing lake Going. From here it is only about 30 minutes on foot.
After the demanding climb of the first stage, you can take it a little easier on the second day. On the program are just under 200 vertical meters in the ascent and at the same time over 800 meters in descent - a nice change for your calves. On the way you expect rustic pastures and especially the Hintersteiner lake. On hot days you can look forward to a dip in the crystal clear water.Freshly rested, you can enjoy your breakfast with a wonderful view, then you leave the cozy Gruttenhütte. With a beautiful view of the rugged peaks of the Kaisergebirge, you cross light mountain forests, mostly scree slopes and watch peaceful cows grazing. The path leads gently downhill and as if in flight you reach the Kaiser-Hochalm. The is rarely farmed, but luckily the Steiner-Hochalm is only a short distance away.If you are lucky, you can listen to the harp sounds of the host here with a cool drink. When the weather is nice he sits on the terrace and lets old folk tunes sound - a wonderful experience. On a comfortable hiking trail, signposted with the number 821, it goes down to Hinterstein. Even on the descent, you can always take a look at the sparkling lake.Arriving at its shore, cafés and inns attract visitors for a break. Strengthened, you walk along the southern shore to Hagenhof, where several guesthouses are suitable for overnight accommodation.
The third leg of the Kaiserkrone has it all: in two long ascents, a proud 1,400 vertical meters come together. It goes straight into the nature reserve Kaisergebirge and you will be rewarded with truly unique views. On the way you pass several alpine pastures and mountain huts, so you can plan several breaks for this stage - so you can enjoy nature much better anyway.From your guesthouse on the west bank of the Hintersteiner lake you first climb on a forest path and then on a meadow path up to the Waller Alm. Treat yourself here on the alp or in the Stöfflhütte quietly a short break, because immediately after that it is steep again. Through the light mountain forest, it goes up to the Hocheck, a promising mountain saddle on the northern slope of the Scheffauer.After this first long climb, the stage meanders gently downhill - a real treat. On wide meadows it goes past the quaint Kaindlhütte and on to Bettlersteig. This leads as a narrow trail through steep mountain forest down to the Kaiserbachtal and thus to the Anton Karg House.Now follow the last and steepest climb up to Stripsenjoch. As you climb up the signposted hiking trail 801, the cliffs of the Ellmauer Halt and the rear Karlsspitze tower majestically into the sky above you. But this sight is not a comparison to the mountain panorama on Stripsenjoch. At the highest point of the stage, it will make you speechless: Under you go down steeply into the Kaiserbachtal and on both sides rise the gray summits of the Wilder Kaiser. The Stripsenjochhaus, your destination for the day, is enthroned in the middle of the narrow mountain saddle itself.
Already at breakfast on the terrace of the Stripsenjochhaus you have a fantastic view and also during the subsequent tightrope walk over Stripsenkopf, Feldberg and Schneebichl you will be accompanied by a wonderful panorama. Even if tightrope sounds pretty adventurous at first, the paths over the mountain ridges are well developed and can be mastered for every mountain hiker. The bigger challenge of this stage is the long descent to the valley - just plan a few breaks, then you arrive in good spirits at the finish.From the Stripsenjochhaus, the tour starts at the beginning of the day to the Tavona Cross and then on the hiking trail 825 high above the rock walls up to the summit ridge. Here, a hiking trail branches off to the left to the Stripsenkopf - the short detour is worthwhile, because it offers you again a great view of the Stripsenjochhaus.But now it finally goes out onto the broad summit ridge. On well-marked trails you hike high above the Kaiserbachtal. On the opposite side of the deep valley, the peaks of the Wilder Kaiser present themselves from their best side. In the gentle downhill you hike across open meadows and through sparse woodland to the Schneebichl.A little later you will find yourself on a quiet forest road, which you follow on some bends down to the Kaiserbach. Along the stream you walk out of the valley of the same name and follow our route into the valley of Engetbach. Through flat, broad hiking trails you will reach the quiet valley to the village Gasteig, the destination of the fourth stage. Incidentally, if you only want to be on the road for four days, you can jump into the bus here and drive back to Going via Kitzbühel.Tip: At this stage you will not find any stops along the way. So grab enough provisions or ask the landlords for a packed lunch in the morning.
Finally, with the fifth and final leg of the imperial crown, you complete your circumnavigation of the Wilder Kaiser. On your farewell hike, the mountain again shows its most beautiful side: You walk across wide mountain meadows, look up to the peaks of the Kaisergebirge and enjoy the view of the opposite Kitzbühel Alps.The tour begins in the tranquil hamlet of Gasteig. From there you hike on a quiet gravel road up to the snack station Bacheralm and over open mountain pastures on to Ursulablick. This viewpoint towers high above a rugged cliff face and spoils you with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.On a partly secured with wire ropes and metal rides trail, it goes up to the Gscheuerkopf. Less difficult you hike on connection on soft forest roads on. Soon the forest opens and you pass the unmanaged, but romantically situated alps Kaiser Niederalm, Einödalm and Granderalm.At the grassy Hochalm, which is also unmanaged, the hiking trail 817 branches off, which you already know from your first hiking day. After a short walk through the forest, the Grasause Niederalm snack bar will appear on your doorstep - a good time for a last break. From here a gravel track takes you down to the hiking car park Hüttling, the starting point of your five-day hike. If you turn around again and look up at the rugged peaks of the Wilder Kaiser, you will remember the most beautiful moments and most exciting places of your hike.