Seven days of fantastic landscapes and unspoiled nature can be experienced on this hut adventure through the beautiful Gesäuse. You will hike hut to hut on this loop in the Styria National Park, Austria. The route runs along well-surfaced trails and forest roads to rippling mountain streams, gentle alpine pastures and impressive vantage points. The rugged mountain world of the Gesäuse is guaranteed to take your breath away.
Your hike starts and ends at Admont Abbey, home to the world's largest abbey library and various museums. On the first stage, you will climb over 3,280 meters (1,000 feet) to the Mödlinger Hut, enjoying breathtaking panoramas the whole way. On the second, you pass the Wolfbauer waterfall on the way to the Heß Hut whilst the third stage takes you to the shimmering Sulzkar Lake.
On the final stages, you can experience a spectacular sunset at the Haindlkar Hut at the foot of the mighty Hochtor group. Stage five is divided into two sections: you’ll take the Gesäuse shared taxi to cover distance before spending the night at 5,577 feet (1,700 meters) in the Admonter Hut. From there, you’ll return to the starting point in Admont via the Rohrrauer Hut.
For this hut adventure, you should have good stamina and sturdy shoes. The paths are easy to walk and the huts will keep you filled up with sufficient food. In the high season, you should book your overnight stay well in advance. You can find more information about booking in the individual highlights.
To reach the start point in Admont take bus 902 from Liezen station or bus 912 from Weißenbach/St Gallen. The Gesäuse hut adventure – seven days of unspoiled nature and impressive views await you.
The starting point of the hut tour is at the impressive Admont Abbey. The world's largest abbey library, a wonderful garden and various museums make the Benedictine monastery so worth seeing. You leave the village southwards and after a short distance on the country road turn into the forest. Here the path leads into the Veitlgraben, a deep green brook valley. It goes steadily uphill to the Kaiserau plateau, where you will pass the castle of the same name and a lift.From the car park of the Kaiserau lifts, the path alternately leads over flower-filled meadows and through quiet forests. The historic Colonel Klinke Hütte is the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat: the sunny outdoor dining area, behind which the mighty rock faces of the Gesaeuse mountains, seems to have sprung from a local film.Strengthened you tackle the last part of the first stage. You reach the Flitzenbach via the Vordere Flitzenalm. You follow the course of the stream and from there you climb to your destination today, the Mödlinger Hütte. It lies impressively on the back of the Treffneralm and the view of the Großer Ödstein and the Admonter Reichenstein is fantastic.
From the Mödlinger Hütte you descend the first kilometers of the second stage to the mountain climbing village of Johnsbach. You will be accompanied by the rippling of the Winterhöllbach. In Johnsbach you can take a break in the cozy Gasthof Donner and then take a detour to the church of St. Egydius and the mountaineering cemetery there.It continues on the Schattseitenweg along the Johnsbach. This section leads you parallel to Johnsbachstraße to Kölblwirt. From there you first hike through meadows to the Wolfbauer waterfall. A steep section in the forest follows, which is called "Zacher Schuach".Then you walk alternately through shady larch groves and over gentle alpine pastures. At Gamsbrunn, below the Sulzkarhund rock formation, you can already see the Heßhütte and thus your daily goal. It lies under the impressive rock walls of the Hochtor group and spoils you with Styrian delicacies.
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From the Hesshütte you go back yesterday's path to the Gamsbrunn and turn there to the Sulzkarhund. You can enjoy a fantastic panorama from the edge of the rock formation. You follow the route of the hut tour, which takes you to the idyllic Sulzkaralm and Sulzkarsee. Here you can experience the Gesäuse in all its beauty and with a little luck you can observe marmots.From the alp you hike downhill and come to the wildly romantic Hartelsgraben. On curved paths you follow the course of the stream through deep forest, the water keeps falling in small waterfalls. After about ten kilometers you will come to Gesäuse Straße, which you will follow a bit.Shortly before the road crosses the Enns, the hiking trail branches off to the left and you dive deep into the beautiful nature again. You march up the sometimes steep path to the beautiful Hochscheibealm, which is a really picturesque place for a break. The last section of this stage takes you to the promising Ennstaler hut. You can end the day with a Kaiserschmarrn on the terrace of the rustic accommodation.
From the Ennstalerhütte you hike down through the wonderful mixed forest to the Hörantalm. The run of the crystal-clear Niedercheibenalm stream brings you through shady forest to Gstatterboden. In the small village, a visit to the extraordinary National Park Pavilion is worthwhile. In the visitor center of the Gesaeuse National Park you can find out more about the surrounding nature and stop off in the modern café. Another attraction is the small Hubertus chapel.
From Gstatterboden you march along the Rudolfsbahn tracks through the forest. With wonderful views of the Enns and the Hochtor group, it goes to the Johnsbach train station. There you cross the green Enns on the Johnsbachsteg. On the opposite bank, follow the Leierweg to the east before turning right at Haindlkarbach.The path becomes narrower and winds up the mountain in countless hairpin bends. You will first reach the old Haindlkarhütte via gravel surfaces and a few minutes later to the new Haindlkarhütte. The primitive hut crouches at the foot of the gigantic north walls of the Hochtor group and is your destination today. You can experience a special spectacle at sunset when the rock walls turn red gold
The fifth stage consists of two parts: First you have to descend back to the banks of the Enns, from where the Gesäuse shared taxi takes you to the Buchau saddle. From there you hike up to the Admonter Haus. After a relaxing night at the Haindlkar hut, you can start the day with a detour to the Haindlkar. Surefootedness is necessary for the rocky ascent, but the fantastic view pays off for it.Back at the hut you walk down yesterday's path to Johnsbachsteg. The Weidendom visitor center is just a few meters away. Before you get in the taxi, you can give yourself a break: the willow dome is a living structure made of trees and surrounded by a beautiful park. The labyrinth of the ecological footprint is also worth seeing and islands of calm invite you to linger. The Gesäuse shared taxi will then take you to the starting point of the second part of this stage in 15 minutes.
The second part of the fifth stage begins at the Buchauer Sattel car park, where the shared taxi will get you out. The path rises steadily and winds through the deep forest. After about three kilometers, the rows of trees clear up and you come to a promising alpine pasture. On a steeper back you hike to the beautifully situated Grabneralm at 1,395 meters. If you want to fortify yourself before the last climb to the Admonter Haus, then this is the place for you: The Grabneralm is known for its excellent curd cheese strudel.To the west of the alpine pasture, you then cross the gentle meadows of the Forchneralm, from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Gesäuse, the Dachstein and the Glockner. The last section of this stage leads you under the rocks of the Admonter Warte to the Admonter Haus, which will soon be visible. At 1,723 meters, it is the highest mountain hut in the Gesäus and spoils you with delicious dishes.
After a hearty breakfast you hike south from the Admonter Haus and soon turn right to follow the Rabengrabenbach. Accompanied by the lapping of the water, you hike across flower meadows and through a beautiful beech forest down to Hall. In the small town there is an outdoor swimming pool, a bakery and an inn, making Hall very suitable for a break.You walk through the flat valley and cross the stony bed of the Schwarzenbach. Then it goes along the Eßlingbach to Mühlau, there the path begins to climb gently and you make up a few meters of altitude. On the banks of the Esslingbach you march through the picturesque landscape. You pass a barrier below the Pyhrgas gate and follow the forest road to the Rohrauerhaus. In the cozy garden of the rustic hut you can enjoy delicious home-style cooking and a fantastic view of the valley.
The last stage of the hut tour through the beautiful Gesäuse begins with a breathtaking view from the Rohrauerhaus. One last time you can look forward to a varied hike through the alpine landscape. You follow the path downhill and reach the idyllic Ardningalm via the Bacheralm. Here you are very close to the mighty rock walls of the Frauenmauer and the Bosruck. First across open alpine pastures and then through a quiet forest, we continue downhill to Ardning. In the village you will find some places to stop for refreshments and a supermarket for a well-deserved refreshment.On secondary roads, the route leads you through residential areas to Frauenberg. There you can visit the famous pilgrimage church and a calvary on a hill. At Frauenberg you cross the Enns and walk the last stretch to Admont along its natural bank. In Admont you have reached your destination and can stop off in one of the inns in the center.