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From Lake Constance to the Alps – Min Weag long-distance hiking trail

Udo S (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Lake Constance to the Alps – Min Weag long-distance hiking trail

Hiking Collection by Mareike

“Min Weag” means “my way” in the local dialect. On the Min Weag long-distance hiking trail, you will follow the border of Vorarlberg in Austria. Your journey takes you 250 miles (400 km) from the shore of Lake Constance through rolling hills blanketed in forests to rocky mountains in the high Alps. Setting off at 1,300 feet (400 m), you will hike above the tree line up to 8,200 feet (2,500 m), where icy glaciers lie amongst the rocky landscape. With 65,600 feet (20,000 m) of climbing in total, this route is not for the fainthearted.

In this Collection, you hike along the border of the Austrian state of Vorarlberg with short sections in Germany, Tyrol, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. From Bregenz, the capital of Vorarlberg on Lake Constance, you roam through Bregenz Forest and drop into the Kleinwalsertal (Little Walser Valley). The only way to reach the Vorarlberg Valley from this side is on foot. To drive, you have to come from Germany.

Next, you explore around Warth, Schröcken, Lech and Zürs, beautiful mountainous areas known for skiing. In summer, you find magnificent mountain lakes and unique geology here that will distract you from the altitude difference. You skirt around the stunning Montafon Valley and hike through the Verwall, Silvretta, and Rätikon mountains. When you reach the border to Liechtenstein, you reach the medieval city of Feldkirch, which marks the start of flatter terrain. Here, you find wild gorges and views over the Rhine Valley and the Swiss mountains. After a whole month of hiking, you will reach the shores of Lake Constance once more.

This long-distance trail is divided into 31 stages. If you are fit, you can also combine some of the stages. However, you will most likely need just under a month to complete this adventure across the Vorarlberg’s varied landscapes. The route can also be divided into shorter sections so you complete the Vorarlberg in several visits or just walk a part of it. You can reach Bregenz, Sibratsgfäll, Zeinisjoch, Bielerhöhe, Gargellen, and Brand by bus or train. The last stages between Feldkirch and Bregenz also have possibilities to use public transport. You can hike the path in both directions. For more information about where to stay (in German), visit: vorarlberg.travel/aktivitaet/ihre-gastgeber_innen-auf-min-weag

You hike the first and last stages in the flatter areas during spring or autumn. For the section through the high mountains, however, you should wait until the middle of summer or you may still find snow blocking your way. Research hut opening hours and where you will be staying in advance. The paths in Bregenz Forests are gentle, but otherwise, expect challenging, exciting alpine paths through spectacular scenery.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Intermediate
    02:38
    4.13 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,150 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The first stage is the ideal start to your way through Vorarlberg. It is short, cozy and there is a lot to see along the way. So you can take it easy today or go the route on the day of your arrival.You start your long hike at Bregenz train station. In town you can still get supplies for the next few days. The path leads you along the shores of Lake Constance. The path takes you along the shores of Lake Constance until you turn in the direction of the city center towards the valley station of the Pfänder cable car. This is where your ascent to the well-known panoramic mountain begins, on which there is a lot to discover. In addition to several inns, there is also a wildlife park here. At the end of the day you will marvel at the sunset over Lake Constance.

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    Difficult
    05:24
    10.4 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,250 ft
    2,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The demands of the way are slowly increasing. On the second stage you have a few kilometers more to go. But the effort is still limited with a moderate amount of altitude and you can extensively enjoy the beautiful views of the day.You walk through the forest and across alpine meadows from the Pfänder down to the east into a valley. From there you climb up to the Hirschberg and down again on the other side. At Scheffau you cross the border to Germany. The detour to the neighboring country remains a short one: after two and a half kilometers you are hiking on Austrian soil again. The ascent to Sulzberg follows, where you have a wonderful view of the Bregenzerwald.

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  • Intermediate
    04:14
    7.70 mi
    1.8 mph
    2,350 ft
    1,625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The first part of the third stage is pretty easy. First you descend from Sulzberg to the picturesque Weißach valley. You cross this without much difference in height. After Riefensbach, the climb towards Hochhäderich begins.The end of the steep ascent marks the Steinerne Tor, through which you can see the idyllic valley below the Hochhäderich. Today's stage ends below its summit at the valley station of the mountain railway. You can find your way there between streams, cows and the white cotton grass that populates the raised bog.

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    Difficult
    05:59
    9.63 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,700 ft
    3,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    On the fourth stage of your way through Vorarlberg it gets alpine, although the really high mountains are still a few kilometers away. That is why surefootedness and a head for heights are required today. First you climb to the top of the Hochhäderich. Now you always stay on the ridge of the Nagelfluh chain, on which you pass several peaks. Definitely take a little time to enjoy the view to the north and south.The ridge also marks the border between Vorarlberg and Bavaria until just before the Hohenfluhalpkopf. After that you are on the German path. The last ascent of the day takes you to the Hochgrat, which is the highest mountain in the Nagelfluh chain at 1,834 meters. Then you go back a bit on the same path until you turn left above the Staufner house. Here you follow the path in many hairpin bends down to Lecknertal, where you cross the border into Vorarlberg again.

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    Intermediate
    03:02
    5.39 mi
    1.8 mph
    1,450 ft
    1,700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After the exciting day yesterday, the path lets you catch your breath today with the best views and delicious alpine food. On the fifth stage you don't have to go far and the altitude is also limited.Shortly after the Lecknersee you start the ascent on the left over the alpine meadows. You hike over the mountain range into the Bolgenach valley. With the saddle you have reached the highest point of the day. Here you can enjoy a wide view of the steep cliffs under the Hohen Ifen. Then it goes down to Sippersegg.

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    Difficult
    05:07
    9.94 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,125 ft
    2,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The sixth stage starts on the valley road to the east. But in Gerisgschwend you say goodbye to civilization again. You hike past the Bibersteinalpe along the south side of the valley floor and then uphill to the Burgl hut. Here you have the option to climb to the right over the Feuerstätterkopf (1,645 meters) or to walk more gently to the left over the saddles.On both versions you get out of Bereuters Neualpe. The descent to Sibratsgfäl begins here at the latest. It always goes roughly to the east, past the Bergries Wildries and Alpe Hochegg down into the valley.

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    Intermediate
    02:22
    4.87 mi
    2.1 mph
    900 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today you can sleep in peace and take it easy at breakfast, because the seventh stage is short and relatively flat. You hike over roots and rocks on beautiful paths through the picturesque landscape of the Bregenzerwald.From Sibratsgfäl you go down to the Rubach, which you cross to ascend again on the other side. Then you follow the quite flat paths over fragrant alpine meadows until you enter a forest. Here you meet the Subersach, the course of which brings you almost to your stage destination Schönenbach.

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    Difficult
    07:44
    11.4 mi
    1.5 mph
    3,925 ft
    3,350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    It's good that you rested yesterday, because today a sporting stage is waiting for you. The best thing to do is to get up early so that you have enough time for breaks on the way. From Schönenbach you go east and have a good kilometer to warm yourself up before the long day's climb begins. Following the course of mountain streams, you climb up to the stately summit of the Hohen Ifen.You then hike below its cliffs to the valley station of the mountain railway. Here you go a bit eastwards out of the valley and then climb the next mountain range. A promising path then takes you down to Mittelberg.

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    Difficult
    04:30
    7.35 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,775 ft
    1,200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The ninth stage starts off very comfortably with the scenic high-altitude trail that leads from Mittelberg on the northern slope of the Kleinwalsertal to the last village in the valley to Baad. The ascent through the picturesque Bärgunttal begins here. How to get closer to the rocky peaks of the Allgäu Alps.You climb almost up to 2,000 meters below the striking Großer Widderstein. The descent to the Hochtannberg Pass begins here. Where you meet your back, which takes you down into the valley, you can take a detour to the Höferspitze. That would be another 250 vertical meters extra.

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    Intermediate
    04:40
    9.41 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,900 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today a particularly beautiful stage is waiting for you. You hike most of the route comfortably up and down through a wonderful landscape. It goes past deep blue mountain lakes, in which the rock peaks are reflected, and over picturesque meadows with lots of flowers along the way.First you stay in the valley and bypass the mountain range on which the lifts of the Warth-Schröcken ski area run in winter. At the end of the floodplain you climb up to the Gaisbühelalpe and pass the Gipslöcher nature reserve. Take a little time here and take a closer look at the natural phenomenon before you hike down to Lech.

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    Difficult
    04:46
    6.32 mi
    1.3 mph
    3,600 ft
    825 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Rüfikopf, whose summit is your first goal on today's stage, rises in the southeast of Lech. You keep to the right of the mountain railway and first ascend through the forest and then across meadows. The view of the rocky Rüfispitze, which you pass north, is impressive. At a crossroads, you then turn south and climb the Raukopfscharte. After a short descent on the other side, the Stuttgarter Hütte awaits you.You can shorten this route considerably if you use the cable car to the Rüfikopf. In this way, it can also be combined with the stage before or after. If you want to stay overnight at the Stuttgarter Hütte, it is best to reserve your sleeping space in advance.

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    Difficult
    07:19
    10.2 mi
    1.4 mph
    2,700 ft
    3,400 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    From stage 12 on your way through Vorarlberg it will finally be alpine. Today and the next few days, the path demands sure-footedness and fitness. From the Stuttgarter Hütte you start south through the beautiful alpine landscape. Then the climb to the east follows to the highest peak in the Arlberg area, the Valluga. If you want, you can also save the last meters of altitude to the summit and continue straight away, because there is a long descent. Here you move on the border between Vorarlberg and Tyrol. The famous winter sports resort of St. Anton am Arlberg is located east of you in the valley.To the south of the Valluga, you will pass the Ulmer hut, which is ideal for a long lunch break. Then it goes downhill almost to St. Christoph. On the outskirts of the village, however, you turn right to ascend again and hike west to the Kaltenberghütte, your today's destination. Incidentally, the Arlberg tunnel runs deep below you. On the Stubingeralpe you can even discover a ventilation shaft for the underground street.

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    Difficult
    05:12
    6.28 mi
    1.2 mph
    2,300 ft
    3,650 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The thirteenth stage leads you through the beautiful landscape of the Verwall Group. Lovely meadows, which are decorated with colorful flowers, alternate with rugged rocky landscapes. To the south, the path starts relatively leisurely, then the slope soon increases and the path becomes increasingly rocky under your feet. To the west of the Krachelspitze, whose summit you can also climb as a detour, you hike down over a saddle to the Kaltenbergsee.Here you cross the Kaltenberg moraine, on the other side of which you climb up to the Gstandsjöchli. Then the descent into the Verwall Valley to the Constance Hut awaits you. Here the landscape becomes more lovely and green again.

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    Intermediate
    04:51
    9.60 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,100 ft
    1,650 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    From the Konstanzer Hütte it is leisurely uphill, always along the idyllic Rosanna. After about six and a half kilometers you follow the path to the right, which now leads steeply uphill to the Scheidsee. The Neue Heilbronner Hütte is located here - perfect for a lunch break.Then it goes slowly downhill through a river valley under the steep walls of the Valschaviel mountains. You pass the Verbella Alpe and then stick to the slopes of the Fluhspitze. South of this peak is the Zeinisjoch with the wonderful Zeinissee and the huge Kopsstausee.

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    Difficult
    06:03
    8.99 mi
    1.5 mph
    2,650 ft
    1,925 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Today you hike from the Verwall into the Silvretta and thus go into a mountain range that is even higher and more original. You can marvel at several glaciers high up in the next few days, but today the way up to the Bielerhöhe is pending. To do this, you cross the wall of the Kops Reservoir and climb up to the Vallülaseen. On the left and right side you go around some rugged rocky mountains. You can climb the peaks of the Breitspitze and also the mighty Vallüla along the way.The descent begins on the saddle between Vallüla and Kleiner Vallüla. On the way down you can enjoy great views of the Silvretta reservoir. The third peak option is the Bielerspitze on the way.

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    Difficult
    03:01
    4.35 mi
    1.4 mph
    1,875 ft
    300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This stage lets you catch your breath with seven kilometers and only 600 meters of altitude. And that's just as well. Because the landscape is breathtaking and you can take a lot of time to enjoy.The path begins to the east on the slope above the pass road. At first the route is still cozy, but soon it will be steeper and you will hike towards the Kromertal. Here you cross the course of the river and on the other side climb to the stage destination, the Saarbrücker Hütte. After two more kilometers you have reached today's end of the path and thus also the southernmost point of your hike through Vorarlberg. This also marks approximately half of the total distance.If you are not yet busy for this day, you can climb the Kleinlitzner right behind the hut. This is designed as a via ferrata and requires the appropriate equipment. You can easily borrow everything you need in the hut.

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    Intermediate
    04:32
    6.58 mi
    1.4 mph
    1,900 ft
    2,925 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today you descend a bit from the Saarbrücker Hütte on the same path that you came yesterday. Before the path crosses the course of the Kromerbach, however, turn left and walk along the other side of the valley. You hike towards the Vermunt reservoir, but turn a good way to the left before its bank. Here the path rises steeply and takes you to the next valley, the course of which you follow to the west.It doesn't get any less steep and you keep turning more and more meters below you until you reach the yoke under the Hochmaderer. On the other side it goes a bit downhill, then you cross the slope southwards to the Tübinger Hütte.If you want, you can climb the Hochmaderer from the yoke. A narrow and exposed path, on which you sometimes need your hands, leads to its summit.

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    Intermediate
    04:30
    7.60 mi
    1.7 mph
    950 ft
    3,550 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage 18 is your last day in the Silvretta. Today it's mainly downhill to the beautiful Montafon valley town of Gargellen. The first one and a half kilometers you stay at the same height and can immigrate comfortably. Then the ascent to the Mittelbergjoch follows and after a short breather the same as to the Vergaldner Joch. That's it with the ascents for today.Now you descend into the beautiful Vergaldental. Slowly it is getting greener around you again. The stones under your feet make room for grass and herbs. On the way you stop at a traditional alp and strengthen yourself with what is produced up here. In Gargellen you can easily replenish your supplies, because tomorrow morning you will go back to the mountains.

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    Difficult
    04:38
    6.20 mi
    1.3 mph
    3,350 ft
    750 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The mountain calls! One night in civilization must be enough, because today your path leads you into the enchanting landscape of the Rätikon. Over the eastern slopes of the Gargellner valley you penetrate ever higher into the new mountain range.At the Sarotla Pass you cross the border into Switzerland. But you only stay here for a very short time, because you will be returning to Austria at the Plasseggen Pass. After all, you want to hike through Vorarlberg and not through Graubünden. A long descent through rock and stone begins here until you come back to the green alpine area at the Tilisuna hut.

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    Intermediate
    02:17
    2.95 mi
    1.3 mph
    550 ft
    2,125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Another milestone on your way through Vorarlberg. Today you start your twentieth stage. It is not long, but it makes it all the more beautiful. From the Tilisuna hut it goes briefly uphill to the Schwarze Scharte. With a wonderful view in all directions, you descend from there over the Bilkengrat. Now a bit through a sparse forest and you have reached the Lindauer hut.But what to do with the rest of the day? Either you relax around the hut and visit the lovingly landscaped garden. Or you are planning a summit ascent. From the Tilisuna hut you can climb west on a ridge and follow it to the summit of Sulzfluh. The descent is through the very steep, rocky north slopes.

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    Difficult
    07:32
    12.2 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,275 ft
    4,775 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Today it means: Get up early! Because you are facing a further descent into deeper realms. But of course the Rätikon is not entirely without ascent. You walk straight to the west on the Öfapass. After a short descent you shouldn't miss the view through the Swiss gate. Then it goes uphill one last time to the Verajoch.Your long descent will soon be sweetened by the bright blue Lünersee, on the banks of which your legs can relax briefly. To the left of the cable car - which you can of course also use - a steep path with rope protection leads down to the Brandnertal. You do not need to be unsettled by his name "Evil Kick", but you should walk the climb carefully and with concentration. Down in the valley you follow the course of the Alvier river to Brand.

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    Difficult
    05:52
    9.62 mi
    1.6 mph
    3,525 ft
    2,325 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Your destination today is heaven - namely the Nenzingen sky. This is a quaint settlement high above the village of Nenzing in the Gamperdonatal. To get to heaven, you hike over the mountain range that borders the Brandnertal in the west. Many hairpin bends take you up to the Alpe Parpfienz where there is a ski area in winter. Alternatively, you can take the mountain railway. Now you have the choice: either you go straight through the picturesque Lorenzital or you climb south of the hut on the ridges of the Golma and continue to move west.With the Amatschonjoch you reach the highest point of the day. From here you descend southwards under the Windeggerspitze and the Blankuskopf to the Setschalpe. Now follows a short piece through a forest and you're in heaven.

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    Difficult
    06:08
    10.3 mi
    1.7 mph
    3,250 ft
    2,600 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today you cross another national border, namely that of Liechtenstein. Again, it is important to overcome a mountain range. The stage begins with a steep climb, after which it is only a little flatter on the other side to Malbun. Your path leads past the picturesque mountain village and then northwards up to Sassfürkle.The last crisp climb of the day takes you to the Mattlerjoch, which also marks the border with Austria. Then it goes downhill over the Alp of the same name. Only at the very end of the path is it a few meters uphill to the Gampalpe.

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    Difficult
    04:54
    6.93 mi
    1.4 mph
    1,725 ft
    3,850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    With this stage you say goodbye to the rocky mountains. So that you can fully enjoy the landscape again, a lot of ups and downs is waiting for you. First you descend into the Galina valley, where you follow the water upstream. Then you turn to the right and bypass the foothills of the high heads without losing much height.Take a deep breath at the Sattelalpe, because there is a steep climb. If you have this behind you, the path takes you through a beautiful mountain forest to the Bazoraalpe. Take your time to admire the view of the rock faces of the Three Sisters to the west. The day ends with the descent to Gurtis.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    31
  • Distance
    252 mi
  • Duration
    151:33 h
  • Elevation
    68,850 ft
Mareike

From Lake Constance to the Alps – Min Weag long-distance hiking trail