It’s 3pm on a beautiful late summer day in Tyrol, Austria. You look down over the long valley below, surrounded by countless mountain peaks in every direction. You are now on the final summit of the Paznauner High Trail. Nine days, 135 kilometres (83 miles) and over 9,000 metres (29,500 feet) of altitude difference lie behind you. When you think about it now, you were not so aware of these impressive figures on the way. The magnificent nature, the constant switch from lofty heights to gentle alpine meadows and glistening lakes left kept you distracted.
And then, you stopped at the cozy huts along the way, complete with typical Tyrolean hospitality, of course. If you booked in advance, they provided you with a comfortable bed to rest your legs at the end of each hike. Not to mention the delicious dishes and pastries you devoured, keeping you energized for your unforgettable days in the mountains.
Welcome to the Paznauner High Trail, a well-known circular hike which every passionate mountain hiker should take on at least once. You can take on the high alpine stages through the varied Paznaun region all at once or one at a time. One thing is certain: this path is an adventure, a story waiting to be written by yourself that you will remember forever.
The starting point of the first stage can be reached the environmentally friendly way – by public transport. First take the train to Landeck-Zams station and then the bus line 260 to See. You should come prepared with alpine experience and the appropriate equipment. If you decide to hike stages 3 and 6, the more demanding sections, bring ice axes and crampons as a minimum. It’s also a good idea to bring a helmet. For the easier hikes, make sure you have good shoes, waterproof clothing, snacks and water.
Get up close and personal with the most beautiful peaks of Tyrol and enjoy an incredible adventure – the Paznauner High Trail is waiting.
Section 1 of the Paznaun Höhenweg is the perfect start for your eventful circular hike through the mountains of Tyrol. From the heart of the dreamy village of See, it leads you to the Ascher hut at 2,256 meters above sea level.From the beautiful parish church in See, which you can easily reach by public transport (from Landeck-Zams station by bus 260), you start to hike along a paved path to the easternmost hamlet of Oberfrödenegg. Before you know it, more specifically after only about 35 minutes, you will find yourself at a proud 1,270 meters above sea level. And it goes uphill.The Giggler-Tobel-Steig leads you past a former snack station called Almstüberl and a little later to a fork in Giggl. Here you stick to the sign pointing towards the Ascher hut and enjoy the ever more romantic nature as you continue to ascend. Finally you come to a small chapel and also reach the Giggler Alm.Romantic larch forests take you into the valley, you cross the Gigglbach and enjoy numerous magnificent views. Until you finally reach the Ascher Hut via marked trails and thus reach your first stage goal. You can first settle down on the sun terrace, regain your strength with a regional dish and then make yourself comfortable in one of the hut beds.
Section 2 of the Paznaun Höhenweg leads you through the Untertal. Accompanied by a fantastic panorama and through unspoilt nature, you can go to the Tyrolean town of Kappl. To do this, you have to wake up a little downhill - woken up in the Ascher hut.You can start right at the top station of the 6-seater chairlift at Bergbahnen See. It is only a few minutes away from the Ascherhütte. After the descent you reach the Furglertal and hike from there to the so-called Bergli.Alternating uphill and downhill. You will pass the Fisser Jagdhütte, hike to the lonely Stial Alm at 2,050 meters above sea level and make your way down to the wild and romantic Flathtal. For a while you walk here along the bubbling Flathbach and let the untouched nature of this wild valley work for you.Then there is a final ascent to the Gamperthun Alm past the Gamperthun chapel and into the Grübeletal. You finally reach your second stage destination Kappl via a panorama path, which welcomes you with some nice accommodation.
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
Stage 3 of the Paznaun Höhenweg is also affectionately known as the smuggler stage and takes you to the Tyrolean hotspot Ischgl in two different ways depending on your skill level, mood and mood. The tour is not only characterized by beautiful nature, but also takes you briefly over to Switzerland.You start the hike from yesterday's stage destination and climb up to the Rotweg chapel for now. Up here you have another nice view down to Kappl. We continue - steadily uphill - to the Visnitz Alm, which you can reach after about an hour and a half. You hike further into the Visnitztal, at the end of which you first reach the lower, then the upper customs hut.Now you are at the national border. A narrow path takes you to the eastern Visnitzjoch in Switzerland. Above Alp Bella - which you are welcome to stop for a refreshment - you hike along a narrow path below the Muller saddle towards the lakes and Flimjoch. Back on Austrian soil it goes over the upper Velillalpe and the marked paths into the valley towards Ischgl.Tip: If you have tired muscles when you arrive at the Flimjoch, you can hike towards Idalp. You can reach it in about an hour and from there take the Fimba or Silvrettabahn to Ischgl.Variant for experienced alpinists: If you know your way around the mountains and the weather permits, you can also hike from the eastern Visnitzjoch over the ridge along the state border to the western Visnitzjoch. Then over steep, pathless and rocky grass slopes and 200 meters of block structure down to the lakes and to the marked trail towards the Flimjoch. Attention: Please only do this if the weather is fine and if you are an experienced mountaineer. There are no official routes on the descent to the lakes!
Stage 4 of the Paznaun Höhenweg is a real dream stage: it leads you past numerous highlights and magnificent views. The effort that it demands from you is definitely worth it.It starts fresh and lively at the gates of the parish church in Ischgl. You hike steadily uphill over the spectacular Kitzloch suspension bridge to the Tschamatschkopf. This is not the only head that you climb on this demanding tour: the 2.478 meter high Raue Kopf will soon follow. Then you have the strenuous part of your tour behind you and hike first over the ridge, then over beautiful paths through untouched nature.You reach the Innerbergli via the Aussergli and finally pass the Larein Alpe. Here you can stretch your legs and treat yourself to a tasty strengthening. Or you can hike a little further to the Stafali pond, where there is also a barbecue area. If you have brought your own provisions, a break is worthwhile.Then the Galtürer Höhenweg takes you to the center of Galtür. The small but nice community in the Landeck district of Tyrol is known for its cultivated tourism. A night in one of their numerous accommodations will do you good.
It's time for a little relaxation: the fifth stage of the Paznaun Höhenweg is therefore more relaxed. You will get to know the nature and landscape of the Paznaun region even better over a period of just over three and a half hours.It starts in Galtür: from the town center you walk towards Austschafein and then soon start to climb. Passing gorgeous viewpoints, over colorful alpine meadows and framed by a magnificent mountain panorama, you make your way up to the Friedrichshafener hut.Arrived at 2,151 meters, you can see how the hut is reflected in the lake right in front of its door. Some trout swim in it. Inside or on the terrace you make yourself comfortable, admire the great view and let yourself be spoiled with local delicacies. Then you fall into bed. Because tomorrow there will be a slightly longer tour.
Time for stage 6 of your Paznaun adventure: It is not as long as some other sections of the high trail, but it has it all. It's a good thing that you can choose between two options depending on your mood, your ability. Attention: For the first variant (which I describe to you in this collection) you have to be an experienced alpinist and also have ice ax and crampons with you in late summer!Variant 1 leads you from the Friedrichshafener Hütte via the famous Ludwig-Dürr-Weg to the Matnaljoch at 2,670 meters. Then continue along a marked path over the Schönpleis crossing to the Zwischengrat and over snow fields and downhill passages to the Rautejoch at 2,750 meters above sea level. You can already see the Darmstadt hut here and finally reach it after about an hour and a half via the glacier foothills of the Küchelferner.Because this variant is more than demanding and requires alpine experience, there is of course an alternative route up to the Darmstadt hut. To do this, you first hike from the Friedrichshafener Hütte to the Schafbicheljoch at 2,636 meters. There is a descent through the Fasultal to the wooden bridge over the Fasulbach and finally the Apothekerweg leads you over the Kuchenjoch at 2,384 meters to the Darmstädter Hütte.Whichever variant you choose - both have a great goal: The Darmstütte hut is located in an impressive high mountain range at 2,384 meters. Here you will be provided with delicious food and will find a cozy place to sleep after your exciting tour.
Stage 7 is waiting and you have no plans yet to hike back down towards the valley. On the contrary: you prefer to sniff some mountain air and climb a decent peak over the upcoming kilometers. But more on that later.First you throw your backpack over your shoulders and leave your cozy milestone of yesterday. You use boulders and blocks to make your way - the lawyer’s path, to be precise - through the rear cartel.What follows is a very steep, two-hour climb that is not for the faint of heart. It goes to the Schneidjöchl, which towers with its proud 2,841 meters of altitude between the top of the hem and the sea heads. Via the Hoppe-Seyler-Weg you hike further into the Großes Kar and finally on a narrow path to the Kieler Wetterhütte, a well-camouflaged refuge.An alpine path, partially secured with fixed ropes, leads you downhill to the Niederelbe Hut. This last part of the hike in particular is in high alpine terrain. Stone chips are therefore always to be expected. If you have a helmet with you, you may want to put it on. But then you have already made it. Arrived safely and securely in the Niederelbe hut. As always, a cozy bed and the friendly hut staff are waiting to provide you with a delicious dinner.
The penultimate stage of the Paznaun Höhenweg is coming up. It leads you past crystal-clear mountain lakes, over lush green meadows and to some stony viewpoints.You slept well at the Niederelbe Hütte on the way. Some grandiose views, including the first, are more enjoyable: always out of the valley along the Kieler Weg. But that will soon be over. Once you have reached the Kappler ski area, a steep, strenuous climb follows to the - very promising - Schmalzgrubenscharte at 2,697 meters above sea level.The Rifflerweg takes you a little further to the beautiful Schmalzgrubenseen. Treat yourself to a refreshing cold water when you feel like it. You can warm up in your milestone, the Edmund-Graf-Hütte, which opens up not far ahead of you. As always, the motto here is: make your legs long and soak up the mountain air again. Because tomorrow is the final stage and will reliably bring you back to the valley.
The day of your final Paznaun Höhenweg stage has come - can you believe it? You can be really proud of yourself now, that much is certain. And you will also master today's tour with links.You start, how could it be otherwise, in yesterday's stage goal, the Edmund-Graf-Hütte. From here you make your way to the 2,672-meter-high Kappler Joch and then begin to descend past the Blankaseen to the Durrichalpe. The wonderfully placed but not populated alp offers you a great view of the Paznaun valley and also proves to be the perfect resting place for hungry self-caterers.You will need the strength, because there is another ascent. The last one, I promise. You reach the Niederjöchl via the Spidur Alpe and from there across the ridge to the 2,250 meter high Peziner peak. From up here you have a wonderful view of the valley and the surrounding mountain peaks. Let him really work on you again. Because now you are getting off again - over the Kleingfall Alpe to Falgeneier and on to the already known municipality of See.Done! Nine challenging days are behind you. Check-in at one of the local hotels or treat yourself to a delicious meal at sea is something you have earned. A swimming lake is also at your service during the warmer months. Otherwise you can travel home by bus line 260 and via the Landeck-Zams train station.