Imagine enjoying panoramic views, standing atop Austria’s highest peak, the Großglockner. Picture hiking through the stunning landscapes of the Hohe Tauern National Park on your way to the 3,798-meter (12,460-feet) summit. With a wide variety of routes, mountain lovers are drawn to this region again and again, and you will easily understand why.
However, the Glockner Trek is not a walk in the park. You should come prepared with a good fitness level, sure-footedness and alpine experiences for the high passes. You’ll hike over rocky paths and snow-covered glaciers, always accompanied by incredible views. Less experienced climbers can explore the region around the Großglockner, like Kals, with a mountain guide
The circular hike starts at the Lucknerhaus in Kals where you can also stay overnight if you arrive the day before you begin walking. On the first day, you will hike over gentle mountain slopes to the Glorer Hut and on to the Salm Hut. You can split the Glockner Trek into three stages by spending the night at one of the huts. From the Salm Hut, the path leads you over steep scree fields and rope-lined paths up to the Adlersruhe. There you spend the night in the exposed Erzherzog-Johann-Hut before climbing to the Großglockner’s summit on the second day. Ridges with great views and sections of climbing will bring you to the top.
Back at the Adlersruhe the route leads over the Koednitzkees Glacier into the idyllic Koednitz Valley. Here, you can look forward to refreshments at the Stuedl Hut and Luckner Hut where you will be spoiled with homemade delicacies such as apple strudel. After 22 kilometers (13.6 miles) of pure adventure you will return to the starting point at the Lucknerhaus.
To summit the Großglockner, you must be sure-footed and have a head for heights, as well as alpine experience. Check the weather in advance and bring any necessary equipment (hiking boots, crampons, helmet, ropes, etc...). You should also book a place to sleep in one of the huts in advance. In summer, the bus line 952 runs between the Lucknerhaus, the start and end point of the circular hike, and the villages of Kals and Huben. More information about the timetables can be found here: vvt.at/page.cfm?vpath=aktuelles/alle-news&genericpageid=1626
Your Glocknertreck adventure starts at the rustic Lucknerhaus, which is a popular starting point for climbing the Großglockner. You can also stay here if you want to arrive the day before. A good 1,600 vertical meters have to be mastered up to the Erzherzog-Johann hut on the first day. First you hike through a sparse forest, but soon you have reached the tree line and continue uphill over open slopes.The first stop and refreshment with curd cheese strudel is offered at the Glorer Hütte, which sits at 2,642 meters above the Berger Törl. With new strength you climb further up to the Upper Glatzsee, in whose clear water the surrounding mountains are reflected. With the Großglockner in view, it goes through the beautiful landscape of the Hohe Tauern National Park.Not far from the summit of the Glatzberg you cross the babbling Leiterbach and at the same time the border between the federal states of Tyrol and Carinthia. The Glocknertreck leads you over green overgrown slopes to the Salmhütte. There you can take a break and enjoy a wonderful view of the Grossglockner from the terrace.Then the demanding, last stretch up to the Archduke Johann hut begins. You hike over steep scree fields along mighty rock walls. For this section you need surefootedness and alpine experience, because there are also some climbing passages. After more than eleven kilometers uphill you finally reach the exposed Erzherzog-Johann hut, which awaits you with a delicious snack (or two). The summit of Austria's highest mountain is already very close and before you fall into bed you can enjoy a breathtaking sunset.
Already at breakfast the summit of the Großglockner looks into the window and you start climbing from the Erzherzog-Johann hut. Equipped with crampons, you take the approximately one and a half hour walk to the exposed summit cross. It goes over rocky paths and snow fields first to the Kleinglockner and from there to the Großglockner.The view from the 3,798 meter high summit is simply fantastic and the entire Austrian mountains are at your feet. After you have thoroughly enjoyed the panorama, the Glocknertreck will take you back to the Erzherzog-Johann hut in the same way. After a break, the descent follows to the Ködnitzkees glacier, which is flanked by the more than 3,000 meter high peaks of the Luisenkopf and the scissors.With precise steps you hike across the icy surface and soon reach the modern Stüdlhütte. The hut lies like a UFO in the Fanatscharte and offers you a large selection of Tyrolean delicacies. The idyllic Ködnitz valley continues downhill and the next stop for refreshments is already waiting for you - the newly renovated Lucknerhütte spoils you with homemade cakes and schnapps.On a wide gravel path you march down into the valley and look back at the mighty Großglockner. After a good ten kilometers you will reach the starting point of the Glockner route at Lucknerhaus and bus 952 will take you back to Kals or Huben. Before that, you can take a well-deserved rest on the terrace of the Lucknerhaus and review your unique hiking adventure.
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