Horseshoes are supposed to bring good luck. If that’s the case, then the U-shaped Montafon Hut-to-Hut Hiking Trail must also be lucky. Looping to the south, this long-distance alpine hike takes you through the Montafon Valley along three different mountain ranges. You’ll wander through the green Verwall, before climbing the Silvretta’s rugged rocks, marveling at its glaciers, and finally conquering the Rätikon’s limestone peaks. Expect to hear marmots whistle as you hike at high altitudes. If you’re lucky, you may even catch sight of an ibex.
This round trip is not a classic high-altitude trail. You will repeatedly descend into the valley and climb back up again, collecting a lot of altitude difference. On some stages, you’ll climb more than 1,000 metres (3,280 feet) and hike up to 20 kilometres (12.4 miles). So, you need to be in good shape to take on this adventure. You’ll hike 150 kilometres (93 miles) in total.
As you’ll often hike at alpine heights, you should have experience in the mountains, be sure-footed and not suffer from vertigo. The trail is usually open from July until September, although there may still be snow even in the height of summer. During the open season, you can stay at one of the huts along the route. Make sure you book in advance though, as spaces fill up fast. Some stages require you to bring your own packed lunch.
There are opportunities to shorten the route if you don't want to walk the whole distance at once. You could, for example, begin at stage 7 which ends in Gargellen in the valley. If you start here, you can either walk towards Rätikon, or hike to the east to walk stages 7 to 1 backwards, finishing in Schruns. The whole route can actually be walked anti-clockwise. If you would like to begin higher up, you can start from Bielerhöhe and ascend to the Wiesbadener or Saarbrücker Hut. Many of the other mountain huts also offer alternative ascents from the valley.
You can get to the starting point in Schruns easily by train. The last stage ends at the Golm cable car’s middle station. From here, you can either take the gondola or the bus down into the valley. You can also descend to one of the valley train stations Tschagguns, Kaltenbrunnen or Vandans. If you only want to walk one part of the hike, you can take the bus from Schruns to Gargellen or to Bielerhöhe.
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Last updated: November 4, 2021
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On the first stage you get used to the environment for the next few days. The path from Schruns to the Kristberg slowly leads you from the inhabited valley into the mountains. You can easily take the train to the starting point in Schruns. Information on the connection can be found at oebb.at.
On this day it's all uphill - and the whole 1,400 meters in altitude. So take your time and enjoy the beautiful Verwall on the way. The last one and a half kilometers sweeten you a few picturesque mountain lakes.
You quickly gain height between trees in the south of Silbertal. You will soon reach Alpe…
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You start this 20-kilometer stage well rested. There are also 1,000 vertical meters of descent, but all of them want to be walked up again. But the path is easy to walk and as a reward you advance further and further into the lonely mountain world.
Right at the beginning of the stage you climb over the…
This stage involves the crossing from Verwall to Silvretta. The beautiful Vallülaweg begins behind the Kops reservoir, leading you into the new mountain range.
First you descend to the Verbella Alpe and then further down to the Kops reservoir. Now, after a steep ascent, you cross a rocky high mountain…
In the morning, the beautiful Bieltal is on the program, which you follow from the lake along a stream. At the end of the Bieltal you climb onto the Radsattel. Here you can enjoy the view of the Silvretta glacier. From there it is more leisurely to the Wiesbadener Hütte.
You could also skip this stage…
On stage 6 you climb through two high valleys to below the main ridge of the Silvretta. There you get very close to the rocky three-thousanders.
From the Wiesbadener Hütte you walk through the Ochsental back down to the Silvretta reservoir. After a short stretch along its southern shore, it goes uphill…
Stage 7 is one of the shortest on the Montafoner Hüttenrunde. On this day you descend into a valley on the Swiss side of the Silvretta. Where there used to be a glacier, climbers can now climb a rocky path without any special equipment.
From the Saarbrücker Hütte you climb the Seelücke and cross the border…
On your last day in the Silvretta you descend into the valley to Gargellen. With the village you make a short detour into civilization and you can stock up on provisions in the supermarket.
With the Mittelbergjöchli and the Vergaldner Jöchli you have to overcome an increase at the beginning of the route…
After you slept in the valley last night, stage 9 is of course again waiting with a long climb. This takes you to the next mountain group, the Rätikon.
First you leave Gargellen to the northwest. It's uphill from the start. This is how you cross the Ronggbach and the Röbibach. In between you will pass…
The comparatively short stage 10 takes you right into the Rätikon. The path on the Bilkengrat is wonderful. From here you have a great view of the Gauertal with the Three Towers and the Black Scharte at the end of the valley.
The ascent towards the Schwarzhorn is the beginning. This got its name because…
Guess what comes after the descent into the Gauertal on stage 10? The rise again, of course. This leads you to the impressive rock gap at the Schweizer Tor and to the beautiful view of the Lünersee.
Over the Öfapass you come to the Schweizer Tor. Here, on the border with Switzerland, there is also a small…
On this stage you can once again enjoy the view of the Lünersee from several perspectives. The route is not too far, so you can take your time.
After breakfast it goes back down to the Lünersee. For this you choose the direct path to the bank on the left. Then you walk left past the Douglass hut and over…
The Montafoner Hüttenrunde not only says goodbye with a long descent, but also a few small counter climbs. For the last stretch down into the valley, you can – if you like – be lazy and take the lift or a bus.
In the morning you descend into the Rellstal valley to climb back up to Alpe Platzis on the…
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