Climbing Alpine peaks on the Route to the Top – Allgäu hiking trilogy
© Allgäu GmbH, Susanne Baade
Would you like to explore the mountain world of the Allgäu Alps, climb rocky peaks, visit crystal-clear lakes and admire the valley from up high? Then the Route to the Top of the Allgäu hiking trilogy is just right for you. This multi-day hike starts at the wonderful royal castles in the east of the region and takes you through the southern Allgäu in a loop. You will hike undulating, beautiful paths through the high peaks, visiting charming huts on the way.
The hiking trilogy in Allgäu combines three routes over 54 stages through the diverse landscapes and culture of the region. All three routes are signposted with the same mark in different colours. The Meadow Walker’s Route follows green signs through the picturesque northern Allgäu. The Watercourse Route follows blue signs along rivers to wonderful lakes through the Alpine foothills. The Route to the Top follows red signs as it climbs up to the high peaks of the Allgäu Alps where you can enjoy incredible views over the mountains. The routes overlap with one another so some individual stages are part of two different routes.
The Route to the Top is the most demanding route of the Allgäu hiking trilogy. As you will hike at alpine heights, you should be sure-footed and an experienced hiker. On some days, you will find traditional huts and inns where you can stop for refreshments, but you will have to carry your own provisions on other days. Many stages end in a village in the valley where you can stock up on supplies. Usually, you can choose from a range of accommodation, but some stages end in a hut in the mountains. Make sure you book in advance, especially in summer, as spaces are limited and there is often no alternative accommodation available. We also recommend reserving your accommodation in the valley in advance.
In our Collection, the Route to the Top runs 226 miles (364 km) in an anti-clockwise loop from Halblech. You hike through the pre-Alps and up to the highest peaks of the Allgäu. The total route is divided into 24 stages with additional so-called “connections.” The connections take you to a village with a train station so you can use them as an alternative start and end point if you only want to walk part of the route. Many of the stages also end in a town with public transport connections so you can easily choose to just hike for a few days.
If you would like to walk part of the route, you can reach these start and end points by train:
– 6 days from Füssen to Sonthofen
– 5 days from Sonthofen to Oberstaufen
– 7 days from Immenstadt to Fischen
– 7 days from Oberstdorf to Pfronten
The hiking trilogy in the Allgäu is a wonderful long-distance hike to walk bit by bit or in one go. The mountains are waiting for you.
For more information on the other hiking trilogy routes, see:
Meadow Walkers’ Route: komoot.de/collection/977787
Watercourse Route: komoot.de/collection/977785
On this and also on the next stages, the water striders and heavenly climbers share their path on the Allgäu hiking trilogy. You can also see this from the marking: Here it is highlighted in blue and red. While the water striders have come a long way, the sky-strikers begin their journey on this day. No matter which route you are on, you can definitely look forward to beautiful paths and views.
Today it's going to be alpine. This means that there are wonderful mountain paths and great views, but also a few more meters in altitude on the program. The day begins with a crisp ascent to the Kenzensattel, where you are immediately rewarded with a view of mighty rock peaks. After a short break on fairly flat paths, the next ascent to the highest point of the day is already waiting. There follows a long descent with only short counter-climbs.
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This stage is a special day of hiking that is peppered with many highlights. First you master the descent from Tegelberg over exciting paths. On the way you can already see what you still have in front of you: the royal castles of Füssen. Up here on the mountain, it's best to stop again and enjoy the view of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. The view is no longer undisturbed!
The ninth stage begins as the previous one left off. You climb the Alpspitze via the waterfall path. Even today you have the opportunity to replace this route with a train ride. Or you choose one of the other variants on Nesselwang's local mountain. Passing the mountain station, you will have reached the summit in a good quarter of an hour. Enjoy the view from here, because the main ascent of the day is already done.
This stage is like a day off. It's not far to Sonthofen - you can already see the neighboring town on the outskirts of Burgberg - and you don't even feel the few meters of altitude today. The stage is also suitable if you only want to walk part of the hiking trilogy and want to go to Sonthofen train station.
Today you will discover the Nagelfluhkette, which extends beyond the Austrian border. It got its name from the typical Nagelfluh rock. This is a conglomerate, so it consists of many individual, small stones that are connected by another rock. First you leave Gunzesried again along the Ach towards the valley. At the third bridge, however, turn left and climb the slope just below the summit of noon.
Today is a really hearty stage - but you will be spoiled with wonderful views of the foothills of the Alps and the Allgäu Alps. On the east bank of the Großer Alpsee, you hike north, cross the tracks and immediately start the ascent towards Zaumberg. You have enough time to enjoy the view over the water and the Nagelfluhkette. So stand still again and enjoy the panorama.
This connection is the "Route of Heights". This is the name of the elevations along the ridge that you are migrating today. Many viewpoints invite you to take short breaks along the way. From Missen-Wilhams it goes back up to the Pfarralpe and then always along the ridge to the west. This is how you reach the first height, the Thaler Höhe.
Since you stayed directly under the highest peak of the Nagelfluhkette, there can only be one way this morning - and that leads down. To the east you descend partly on paths, partly on roads into the next valley. Take a look at the map. Here you are at the very back of the Gunzesried Valley, where you may have been to visit on stage 34.
This alternative stage from Staufner Haus to Balderschwang is technically easier than the main route. But it is longer and requires a few more meters of altitude from you. There are several Alps on the way, where you can take a leisurely break with a snack. Follow the main route to Alpe Scheidwang. Then you first hike further downhill through the valley, and then climb steeply below the Tennenmooskopf. You can reach the Obere Wilhelmine Alpe via a saddle.