Tirol Alpinist Association Refuges for an Early Season Hut Adventure

15.05.2019JannisJannis
Splendid Berliner Hut is set up in a wonderful landscape surrounded by jagged summits and peaks.

Hiking season is near and fortunately the eager beavers out there don’t need to wait too long to lace up their hiking boots: Numerous Alpinist Association shelters and refuges throughout Tirol are ready for the new season and open in early summer 2019, making it easy for hikers and mountain bikers to do an overnighter that will be perfect for witnessing the change in seasons…

As the weather continues to warm (goodbye winter, you were great!), we look forward to days spent on the trails. In the spring and early summer, Tirol’s stunning sceneries come to life: foliage is in bloom and you have good odds of seeing cattle grazing up on the Alpine pastures. If you can’t wait to start planning your summertime treks, here’s a guide to early season mountain shelters and refuges to get you wishing for the warmer days ahead.

At this early time of hiking season, most open huts can be found in Tirol’s Unterland Region and north of Inntal Valley. However, in some areas along the Alpine Main Ridge you can even embark on a multi-day hut-to-hut trek in spring and early summer. Ready to strap on your rucksack and get to hiking? Check out these Alpinist Association shelters and refuges throughout Tirol perfect for an early season hike and hut-style adventure.

Kitzbühel Alps

Start your hiking season off with an early season jaunt to three Alpinist Association refuges in the gently rolling grassy foothills of the Kitzbühel Alps. As of June 08, a trip to Wildsee Lake and Wildseeloder Peak can be rounded out with an overnight stay at Wildseeloderhaus Lodge. Or, use the lodge as your base for the rewarding Two Day Trek from Kitzbühel to Fieberbrunn. Bochumer Hut and Neue Bamberger Hütte are also open for delightful backcountry escapades.

Alpinist Association Refuges for Overnighters in Spring & Early Summer – Kitzbühel Alps

Wildseeloderhaus Lodge on the shores of Wildsee Lake.

Kaiser Mountain Range

A classic among Tirol’s hut-to-hut trips is the amazing “Kaiserkrone” Multi-Day Trek, which translates to ‘The Emperor’s Crown’. Thanks to early opening times, this wonderful hut-style adventure can be enjoyed as of late May. Another worthwhile shelter is Vorderkaiserfelden Hut at Zahmer Kaiser Range, which offers jaw-dropping over Inntal Valley and of the rugged and jagged peaks of Wilder Kaiser Range and gives access to wonderful trails.

Alpinist Association Refuges for Overnighters in Spring & Early Summer – Kaiser Mountain Range

Grutten Hut at the heart of Wilder Kaiser Range.

Rofan Mountain Range

Rofan Mountain Range delivers stunning views and some of Tirol’s most memorable peaks. In early season, hikers can rest their bodies at three Alpinist Association refuges. Strongly recommended is a Mountain Bike Ride to Bayreuther Hut, followed by an enjoyable walk to picture-postcard Zireinersee Lake or to the summit of Vorderes Sonnwendjoch. Erfurter Hut is a wonderful base for exploring the great outdoors at Rofan Range. Strongly recommended: Link up these two huts for the wonderful Two Day Trek of Rofan Range!

Alpinist Association Refuges for Overnighters in Spring & Early Summer – Rofan Mountain Range

Bayreuther Hut amid Rofan Mountain Range.

Karwendel

Karwendel Mountain Range is a truly magical place during the spring, when the hiking and biking trails are (mostly) dry and wildflowers paint the hillsides, flanked by snow-dotted peaks. A number of Alpinist Association shelters here open early and make for perfect places to refuel over hearty local delicacies or to spend the night. A very rewarding option is the Mountain Bike Tour from Scharnitz across Karwendeltal Valley to Karwendelhaus Lodge. And although the early season may limit options for hikers because of too much snow, spring is the perfect time to warm up your mountain legs with a walk to a mountain hut above Inntal Valley, which open early due to their south-facing location.

Alpinist Association Refuges for Overnighters in Spring & Early Summer – Karwendel

Tux & Zillertal Alps

Some huts in the Tux and Zillertal Alps open early in the season, even those that are situated at elevations above 2,000 meters, such as Berliner Hut and Olperer Hut. As its name suggests, the Berlin High Trail is definitely at high elevation, thus it will take longer for the snow to disappear. The Inntal High Trail, however, is among the first altitude trails to open up, and it’s a great place to wander while the snow melts up high. Because of the elevation, which reaches up to 2,500 meters above sea level at some sections, the route will not be completely snow-free, so please use caution. Please note that the spring opening of huts along the high altitude trail is weather dependent. To avoid disappointment, please check before journeying, especially with Kellerjoch Hut. Located on the mountain of the same name in the backyard of Innsbruck, Patscherkofelhaus Lodge is readily accessible on two feet, two wheels or by a scenic ride on the new Patscherkofelbahn Gondola and is a wonderful destination in early summer, as well as is Meißner Haus.

Alpinist Association Refuges for Overnighters in Spring & Early Summer – Tux & Zillertal Alps

Olperer Hut high above Schlegeis Reservoir.

Tannheimer Mountains

Scenic Tannheimer Tal Valley is another one of Tirol’s best early summer hut-to-hut walk destinations. It truly feels like you’re deep in the mountains, but it’s at a low enough elevation that it’s typically snow- and mud-free early in the hiking season. Two Alpinist Association shelters open in early May here – you can easily link them for a multi-day trip and there are trails out the door of both huts: Bad Kissinger Hut is the perfect base to bag the peak of nearby Aggenstein Mountain, while Otto-Mayr-Hut gives access to the striking and jagged summits of Rote Flüh, Gimpel and Köllenspitze. On the other side of Tannheimer Tal Valley, the wonderful Three Lakes Walk takes you to Landsberger Hut, which opens on June 09, 2019.

Alpinist Association Refuges for Overnighters in Spring & Early Summer – Tannheimer Mountains

Lechtal Alps

The gorgeous Lechtal High Trail is at such a high elevation that snow tends to linger a little longer – it’s typically snow- and mud-free very late in the hiking season (the higher you get, the more likely you are to encounter snow here even in June and July). For a little foretaste of the beautiful Lechtal Alps, but without the long-lingering snow, take a walk to Muttekopf Hut, which opens on June 01, 2019.

Alpinist Association Refuges for Overnighters in Spring & Early Summer – Lechtal Alps

Muttekopf Hut has a stunning location and is an inviting and friendly place.

Ötztal Alps

In the far end of Tirol Oberland Region, close to the village of Pfunds lies Hohenzollernhaus Lodge. Waldner Family will welcome hikers to this remote refuge as of June 02, 2019. Hiking the wonderful trails of pristine Radurschtal Valley is a journey straight into serenity. The lush meadows are scattered with wildflowers in spring and early summer and the lodge serves as perfect base for scaling the surrounding peaks and summits.

Alpinist Association Refuges for Overnighters in Spring & Early Summer – Ötztal Alps

East Tirol – Villgratner Mountains

High above Lienz in East Tirol, Hochstein Hut opens its doors in early May. It’s a worthwhile destination for mountain bikers and hikers and serves as perfect base for nabbing the pinnacle of “Böses Weible”.

Alpinist Association Refuges for Overnighters in Spring & Early Summer – East Tirol

Tirol has no shortage of excellent hut-to-hut hikes in May and June. Have a great time enjoying many beautiful early season treks. See you out there!

Jannis

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” This compelling quote says it all for outdoor lover Jannis Braun. His passion for hiking and mountain biking inspired him to move from Germany to Innsbruck. Finding pleasure in the mountains, Jannis continues to embrace the beauty and culture around him.

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