In mid-July I went with a friend on a three-day hut tour along the famous Eagle Walk – the 31-stage, 280-km trail through Austria’s Tirol region. One area that has always attracted me in particular are the very magical, Lech Valley Alps. The rugged peaks of the Limestone Alps and the secluded valleys exude both peace and strength. Equipped with a detailed hiking map of the Lech Valley Alps and a compass we eagerly planned out our hike, opting for a more challenging route starting in the heart of the Lech Valley. And because most of the trails are graded black – the hardest for hiking – it requires a certain level of confidence and sure footedness.
Day 1: Boden – Hanauer Hütte (red trail) (2 hours walk) summit tour to Kogelseespitze Mountain (3 hours walking)
Day 2: Hanauer Hütte (black trail) to Steinseehütte (3 hours walking) Steinseehütte – Württemberger Haus (4 hours walking time)
Day 3: Württemberger Haus via the Bittrichseen Lakes and Gufelsee Lake back to Hanauer hut and Boden (black trail, 6 hours walking time)
The tour offers:
– Great views of numerous mountain lakes and rugged peaks
– Seclusion and tranquility – inviting cabins available with double or standard rooms
– Numerous swimming opportunities for hardened lake swimmers
– Alpine roses, and other mountain flowers
The tour requires:
– Good physical condition
– Planning – pre-booking of huts is essential!
– Proper kit! Don’t forget good shoes or hiking boots, head gear, sun protection, a nice sleeping bag, snacks and drinks, good hiking map and way-finding equipment (compass or GPS)
Detailed description of the tour
Day 1: Boden (1,356m) to Hanauer Hütte(1,922m) – Duration: 2 hours
We start our tour in the mountain village Boden, located on the Hahntenjochstraße. There are plenty of free parking spaces available. The trail starts just by the Angerle Valley and is surrounded by the mighty Parzinner mountains leading into the valley. The end of a wide walkway leads through mountain pines up to Hanauer hut. It’s almost like a hotel amidst the Alpine landscape. A spacious cabin with large dining room, terrace, large washrooms, showers, conference rooms, storage areas and fortunately double rooms. The cottage is lovingly run by the Kirschner family and offers a wide selection of regional dishes. The pancakes and Lech Valley Cheese Spaetzle are especially recommended.
On towards Kogelseespitze Mountain (2,647m) the tour is decorated with alpine flowers we pass Gufeljoch and continue onto Kogelseespitze. In total it’s about 4-hours for the ascent and descent to Hanauer Hütte. The breathtaking views of the lakes, impressive Lech Valley Alps and the sea of flowers make the trip more than worthwhile.
Day 2: Hanauer Hütte(1,922m) to Steinseehütte (2,061m) – Duration: 3 hours – and Württemberg House (2,220m) – Duration: 4 hours
We set off early in the morning, thankfully still in the shadows, and headed up to the western Dremelscharte (2,470 m). The path concludes with a scramble over boulders and snowfields to the Western Dremelscharte with unique views of the Steinsee Lake. From there it’s a safe but steep decline down to the Lake, which for hardened swimmers is an inviting finish.
You can also access the Steinsee Lake from the eastern Dremelscharte route but it will take you half an hour longer. From Steinsee Lake it’s another half an hours walk to the very picturesque Steinseehütte, which is situated on a hill with great views of the Lech Valley Alps. It’s absolutely perfect for a well earned lunch stop.
We climbed three ascents, each at 2,400-metres to the Württemberger House. The panorama was breathtaking and you could get a clear view of the return route back down to Steinseehütte. And for the entire trek we only bumped into a total of six fellow nature lovers. The Roßkarscharte is the most demanding ascent with snow fields and a steep chute with climbing sections to finish off.
Day 3: From Württemberg House (2,220m) via Bittrich- and Gufelsee Lake to Hanauer Hütte . Walking time: 7,5 hours
After a hearty cottage breakfast of jam and bread, cereal, cheese and good chocolate, we set off to climb up to Bittrichscharte to about 2400-metres where we expected to see the beautiful Bittrichseen Lakes on the plateau. After a short rest with some brief and brisk swimming in the lake we headed towards Gufelsee Lake. After a cooling beer back at Hanauer Hütte we descended back down to where we had started, exhausted and happy to finish our epic tour.
For more information about the route, try:
www.tyrol.com/eagle-walk (Stages A 19 and A 20 a and b). If you need tour suggestions and advice from our Alpine expert Michael Rutter, feel free to call t + 43 512 587828-25 or email Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have fun out there!