Tirol

Ridge walking on the Carnic High Trail — Great walks

Muellerei

Ridge walking on the Carnic High Trail — Great walks

Hiking Collection by Tirol

9-19

days

3-6 h

/ day

92.6 mi

25,000 ft

29,275 ft

Fragrant Swiss pine forests, idyllic alpine pastures, adventurous peaks and flowery mountain meadows – the Karnisch High Trail is one of the great long-distance hiking trails in the Alps. You can expect diverse alpine landscapes combined with magnificent views of the Sesto Dolomites, the Julian Alps, the Hohe Tauern and the Gailtal Alps as you climb countless smaller summits.

In eight day-long stages, you will hike from Sillian in the west to Thoerl-Maglern in the east, following the main Carnic ridge along the Italian-Austrian border. In total, you will cover 93 miles (150 km) and climb an unbelievable 24,934 feet (7,600 metres) in altitude on this historic trail. The main crest of the Carnic High Altitude Trail was a highly contested border area during the First World War and you will alternate between Italy and Austria during your hike. Numerous information boards offer you more background knowledge about the military cemeteries, bunkers and fortified positions along the path.

Every evening, you can look forward to a cozy mountain hut or an alpine inn and enjoy the mountainous panorama. On the way, however, there are very few opportunities to stop for refreshments so make sure you pack sufficient provisions in your rucksack. Contact the huts in advance to see which can supply you with packed lunches.

If you are short on time but would like to dip your toes on the Karnisch High Trail then you can divide it into two sections. The first section from the Leckfeldalm to the Plöckenpass unveils barren mountain landscape and is the most popular part of the trail. Starting from the Plöckenpass, the second stage is quiet and secluded. You can take a bus from Kötschach station to the start of the second section.

You can reach the starting point of the Karnisch High Trail at the Leckfeldalm by foot or by taxi from Sillian. Situated on the railway line between Bolzano and Lienz, Sillian is easily reached by train. You can also return from Thoerl-Maglern by train in the same way.

The Karnisch is one of the six most beautiful long-distance hiking trails in Tyrol, the so-called ‘Great Walks’. All routes promise you three things: escape from your everyday, beautiful alpine landscapes and real adventure. As well as the Karnisch High Trail, the Tyrolean hiking trail elites include the Berlin High Trail Lechtal Mountain Trail, the Stubai High Trail, the Eagle Way, and the Inntal High Trail.

Majestic hiking along the Eagle Way – Great Walks
komoot.de/collection/899217
Discover the Zillertaler Alps on the Berlin High Trail:
komoot.de/collection/904825
Follow eagle wings on the Eagle Walk East Tyrol:
komoot.de/collection/899218
Hike at high altitudes on the Stubai High Trail:
komoot.de/collection/904824
Follow the picturesque Inntal High Trail in six stages:
komoot.de/collection/904827
Hut-Hopping on the Lechtal High Trail:
komoot.de/collection/904826

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    04:56
    7.72 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,700 ft
    1,425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Your first stage on the Carnic High Trail leads you from the green slopes of the Drau Valley up to the barren mountain meadows of the Carnic Ridge. Your companion …

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  • Difficult
    05:04
    7.31 mi
    1.4 mph
    1,650 ft
    2,825 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    With a distance of less than twelve kilometers, the second stage is the shortest hike on the Carnic High Trail. That's a good thing, because on your tour today you …

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  • Difficult
    07:59
    10.6 mi
    1.3 mph
    2,900 ft
    3,225 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Today, a real tightrope walk is on the program: almost the entire route of the third stage runs directly over the summit ridge of the Carnic ridge. In the constant …

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  • Difficult
    05:59
    8.91 mi
    1.5 mph
    3,025 ft
    2,750 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the section between the Hochweisssteinhaus and the Wolayersee hut, the Carnic ridge is extremely rocky, steep and exposed. Therefore, the Carnic High Trail leads you safely through the picturesque …

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  • Difficult
    10:19
    15.4 mi
    1.5 mph
    5,100 ft
    5,825 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The fifth stage of the Carnic High Trail is the transition from the rugged high mountain landscape of the western section to the quiet alpine landscape of the eastern part of the long-distance hiking trail. First, a long descent to the Plöcken Pass awaits you. From there it goes parallel to the main ridge on the slopes of the Angerbach valley up to the Zollnerseehütte. If the entire stage is too long for you, you can also split up the tour. You can also stay at the Valentinalm inn. This results in two partial stages of seven and 15 kilometers.From the Wolayerseehütte it goes up to the Valentintörl, which lies directly between the Rauchkofel in the north and the Seewarte in the south. From up here you can take a first look into the wide valley and even look down to the Plöcken Pass.

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  • Difficult
    07:47
    14.7 mi
    1.9 mph
    3,075 ft
    3,475 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The sixth stage takes you across the picturesque mountain meadows that characterize the landscape of the eastern Carnic main ridge. Although no steep ascents and descents await you, there are …

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  • Difficult
    08:39
    15.6 mi
    1.8 mph
    3,450 ft
    3,950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The Carnic Main Ridge runs from Nassfeld and it is no longer as clear to follow as in the rockier west. Instead, a landscape of open valleys, extensive, quiet mountain …

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  • Difficult
    07:34
    12.5 mi
    1.6 mph
    3,100 ft
    5,800 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The eighth and last stage of the Carnic High Trail is really tough again. Most of the time you hike on good and comfortable paths across the broad ridges and through quiet mountain forests, but the long descent from the Göriacher Alm to the stage goal of Thoerl-Maglern can cause trembling knees. Take a break here and enjoy the fantastic view of the Klagenfurt basin.At the Dolinza Alm you cross the border to Italy at the start of your tour and then hike through a forested brook valley to the Freistitzer Alm. In the small Almdorf you can take a break or move on.The next few kilometers lead you directly over the Carnic ridge. It is covered with picturesque meadows and you can reach the Almdorf Achomitzer Alm without major ascents and descents. From there it goes into a wide, quiet forest area. The path winds slowly down until you reach the Bartolo saddle.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    92.6 mi
  • Duration
    58:17 h
  • Elevation
    25,000 ft29,275 ft

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Tirol

Ridge walking on the Carnic High Trail — Great walks