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.
On this day it is only uphill - and the whole 1,400 vertical meters. So take your time and enjoy the beautiful Verwall on the way. The last one and a half kilometers sweeten a few picturesque mountain lakes.You quickly gain height between trees in the south of Silbertal. You will soon reach the Inner Chapel Alp above the tree line. Now it gets rockier and you walk across the Schwarzsee and the Herzsee to the Wormser hut.
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The Montafon Hüttenrunde not only ends with a long descent, but also a few small counter climbs. For the last stretch into the valley you can - if you want - be lazy and take the lift or a bus.In the morning you descend into the Rellstal to climb up to Alpe Platzis on the other side. A little further uphill you reach the top station of the Golmer Bahn. There the descent to Latschau begins.