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The Glocknerrunde: The most beautiful long-distance hike in Austria

The Glocknerrunde is perhaps the most beautiful long-distance hike in Austria. In seven days you go from hut to hut, on about 135km route, around the highest mountain of the Alpine Republic. Experience one of the most impressive views of the Hohe Tauern and marvel at the Großglockner from all sides. I found the tour terrific. Chapeau!

Glocknerrunde

Contents

1. Arrival

2. Route

3. Accomodation

4. Weather and best time to travel

5. Further information

6. Recommended stages

7. Hiking gear

8. GPX and map information

9. Conclusion


General: In the heart of the Hohe Tauern National Park, the Glocknerrunde offers a unique nature and hiking experience. Between the impressive high mountain landscape and the mountain farming cultural landscape that has been cultivated for centuries, this great mountain hike takes you around the massif of the Großglockner. The daily stages of the Glocknerrunde are well marked and you do not have to cross a glacier, nor overcome difficult rock passages. Nevertheless, you should not underestimate the route, because it leads into high alpine terrain. At the end of each stage you will find refuges or inns where you can rest, fortify yourself and spend the night. The alpine refuges are equipped and managed to meet simple needs. The often long approaches make more comfort almost impossible. This is a good thing, as it preserves the original character of the huts. The circumnavigation of the majestic Grossglockner connects the three provinces of Carinthia, Salzburg and Tyrol and guarantees you an unforgettable nature and mountain experience.


As always, I recommend my video of the tour:

Arrival

Plane: The best way is to take a flight to Innsbruck or Vienna and then continue by train to Zell am See.

Train: Of course, you can also just take the train to Zell am See. Then take bus 660 in the direction of Stausee Mooserboden.

Car: You can arrive with your car and park it in the free parking garage in Kesselfallstraße.


Start options: You can start the tour at the free parking garage in Kesselfallstraße or at the mountain restaurant Mooserboden. Leave the bus at the appropriate stop. If you start at the parking garage, you can expect an extremely beautiful ascent over a very adventurous mountain path to the Mooserboden mountain restaurant. You have to climb up to the Heinrich Schwaiger house at the Mooserboden mountain restaurant and spend your first night there. Unfortunately, it is not possible for you to spend the night at the Mooserboden mountain restaurant. However, it is worth it!


If you take the bus directly to the Mooserboden mountain restaurant, then you spend your first night in the Rudolfshütte mountain hotel. My experiences refer to the start at the parking garage.

long-distance hike in austria

Route

On this tour you can alternately stay in mountain huts and hotels. In total, you have to cope with about 120 km and a good 7000 meters of altitude. I completed the tour in seven days, which is very sporty. For the connoisseur I would recommend at least 8 days.


Day 1: The hike starts at the parking garage in the Kesselfallstraße. There is a bus station nearby where you can get off. You can park your car there for free for the duration of your entire hike. I hope you are highly motivated right at the beginning, because the hike starts with a sweaty climb. First through the forest and then along steep rock faces, as well as through numerous tunnels. to the green alpine meadows of the Fürthermoaralm. There you will find numerous viewpoints with benches and tables where you can rest. You must then continue to follow the paths to the Mooserboden mountain restaurant. Now you have to grit your teeth once again. The final climb up to the Heinrich Schweiger House follows. Enjoy the Austrian cuisine and the beautiful sunset at 2750m.

long distance hike in austria

Since there is practically no shade and you are also exposed to the movements of the air all day, I would like to recommend you at this point immediately my beloved and specially designed for mountaineers Piz Buin Mountain sunscreen, as well as my ultra light sun cap and wind blocker

Furthermore, I would like to recommend my beloved Salewa trekking shoes because of the challenging mountain trails:

"Only where you have been on foot have you really been". Quote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
austria hiking

Day 2: In order not to miss the sunrise, I got up very early. The first morning light was already slowly penetrating through the windows of the mountain hut and illuminated the room. I had to be careful not to wake anyone up when I started walking. The air was cool and fresh, and I heard only the chirping of birds and the rustling of the wind. The colors in the sky were slowly changing from dark blue to pink and orange, and the mountains and the landscape were shining in golden light. I remember feeling really happy when I experienced this magical moment. This moment of silence and hope will hopefully give you strength, because you have a day full of adventure ahead of you on day two. You start with an easy descent back the same way to the mountain restaurant Mooserboden. There you keep left and follow the path along the reservoir. There is also a rope-secured passage, which was reasonable for me with vertigo. Then follows the first big highlight. The adventurous crossing of the Kapruner Törl. Up there, an incredible panorama of the surrounding glacier with the sounding name "Unteres Riffkees" awaits you. Then follow the path to the Berghotel-Rudolfshütte. Attention: There have been some path changes. Keep to the markings and look out for signs.


Don't forget to take an emergency bivouac with you. It consists of an emergency blanket that is cold-resistant, a whistle and a mini compass. It should be in your rucksack on every hike anyway.

As the old Scottish saying goes: "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes!"
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Day 3: The Berghotel Rudolfshütte did me really good. In addition to the wonderful Carinthian cuisine, there was also an infusion in the sauna. I think you will also recover well there. on this day, an incredibly beautiful high-altitude trail awaits you. It goes along the Silesia-Höhenweg to the Sudetendeutschen-Hütte. The high trail was signposted with the trail classification RED. If you have enough energy reserves, I would recommend an early start, then you can still take the surrounding "Medelzkopf 2762m". It is practically on the way and is a magnificent panoramic peak. Your day ends at the rustic Sudetendeutsche Hütte.


On the high trail I was surprised by a thunderstorm. One second lay between lightning and thunder. Fortunately: The time between thunder and lightning increased, however, that thunderstorm turned off! Thunderstorms can be dangerous especially in the mountains. So pay attention to the basic rules about how to behave during thunderstorms.

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Day 4: I was very moved by the atmosphere of departure at the hut. Everywhere you saw hikers and climbers. A great feeling! The hut was surrounded by a barren mountain landscape and green slopes. The deep views into the valley were breathtaking. Your hike then continues through the alpine landscape, passing mountain lakes and alpine pastures, until you finally reach the day's destination, the Glorehütte. You can take a break in Kals am Großglockner. It is a really nice little village. You will also find a supermarket there. If you have enough strength, I would recommend you to cross the "Kastenegg 2821m". Your day will end at the Glorerhütte or alternatively at the Salmhütte.


As there is hardly any shade on your trip and you are also constantly exposed to the air currents, I recommend my beloved "Piz Buin Mountain Sun Cream", which was specially developed for mountaineers, as well as my ultra-light sun cap and wind protection!

Sun cap 

"The sun also shines behind the clouds." Quote from Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Wander
glocknerrunde austria

Day 5: The fifth day will be a special one. You will pass the Pasterze. With a length of about 8 km, it is the largest glacier in Austria, as well as the longest in the Eastern Alps and is located at the foot of the Großglockner. Your path then continues through a barren mountain landscape until you reach the lower Pfandlscharte at 2663m. If you still have energy reserves left, you can still take the nearby Spielmann 3027m. The summit is only a few hundred meters away from the lower Pfandlscharte. Afterwards, a beautiful descent route to the Trauneralm awaits you.


Day 6: It is probably the most unspectacular of the entire long-distance hike. You hike forever in the valley until you finally reach Fusch an der Großglocknerstraße. From there you hike back up into the mountains until you reach your destination for the day, the Gleiwitzer Hütte.


Day 7: From the Gleiwitzer Hütte you hike in a zig zag course to the Brandlscharte which lies at 2371m. The path is somewhat exposed in places and you must also use your hands. Then follows a beautiful descent route back to the parking garage in the Kesselfallstraße. Have you reached your goal? Then congratulations on this achievement! I would be happy about a feedback and photos.

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Accommodation

On this tour you can alternately stay in mountain huts or hotels. I would recommend the following:

- Heinrich-Schwaiger-Haus (alternative, see arrival)

- Berghotel Rudolfshütte (alternative, see arrival)

- Sudeten German hut

- Glorer hut

- Trauneralm

- Gliwice hut


Wild camping: Is unfortunately not allowed in the whole national park.


For optimal preparation for any tours I recommend the workouts on my Youtube channel:

Weather and best time to travel

The best time for the Glocknerrunde is from July to September. Especially in July, however, there can still be fields of old snow.


It is also important to point out that weather conditions at this altitude can often be extreme. Be it because of cold and wind or because of the strong sunlight. I therefore recommend you to bring appropriate clothing, suitable footwear and sunscreen.


Windchill: Windchill describes the feeling of coldness caused by wind. The higher the wind speed and the lower the air temperature, the greater the feeling of cold.

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Further important information

Thunderstorms: Note the behavior during thunderstorms!


Old snowfields: It is a peculiarity of the spring season that trails at altitude are often still peppered with steep snowfields. Basically, alarm bells should ring before entering a snow or firn field. A hiking trail that ends in a steep old snow field can be reason enough to abort a tour. If you still want to continue on the trail, you should at least have internalized a few safety recommendations. To cross a snowfield, at least the upper ten centimeters of the snow cover should be softened so that you can really set footsteps. Furthermore, good mountaineering boots with dumplings (spikes) or, even better, crampons are a prerequisite!


Safety note: Less experienced mountain hikers should walk the Glocknerrunde in the company of a mountain guide. Until summer (July!), crossing hard fields of old snow, especially in steep gullies, can be a great danger. Crampons or Grödel should be in this time absolutely with in the backpack!


Surefootedness: The daily stages of the Glockner circuit lead on existing paths and climbs, however, in places up to high alpine terrain. In addition to good equipment and close observation of the weather situation, alpine experience, fitness and surefootedness are basic requirements for an enjoyable and safe Glockner circuit. The daily stages include altitude differences of up to 3,000 meters (ascent and descent) and walking times of up to 8 hours.


Water: There is always water along the way. Either at wells, streams or huts. A water filter I would recommend as always.

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Wild & adventurous: these are the most beautiful long-distance hiking trails in Europe.


Safety advice

All the safety rules of mountain sports also apply to hiking and trekking! You can find the safety rules in the link below:

most beautiful long distance hike in austria

Recommended stages

1st stage: Kaprun reservoir Mooserboden- Berghotel Rudolfshütte

2nd stage: Berghotel Rudolfshütte- Kalser Tauern- Gradötzsattel- Sudetendeutsche Hütte

3rd stage: Sudetendeutsche Hütte- Hohes Tor- Kals

4th stage: Kals- Peischlachtörl- Glorer hut- Salm hut

5th stage: Salm hut- Leiteralm- Heiligenblut

6th stage: Heiligenblut- Schareck-Hochtor- Fusch

7th stage: Fusch- Gleiwitzer Hütte- Brandlscharte- valley station Gletscherbahn Kaprun.


Alternative (longer, more beautiful but also more difficult):

1st stage: Kesselfallstraße parking lot - Heinrich-Schwaiger-Haus

2nd stage: Heinrich-Schwaiger-Haus - Berghotel Rudolfshütte

3rd stage: Rudolfshütte mountain hotel - Sudeten German hut

4th stage: Sudeten German hut - Glorer or Salm hut

5th stage: Glorer- or Salmhütte - Trauneralm

6th stage: Trauneralm - Gleiwitzer hut

7th stage: Gleiwitzer Hütte - Kesselfallstraße parking lot

On the way you will cross the following peaks:

Kapruner Törl (2.636 m) Mountain saddle

Kalser Törl (2.515 m) Mountain saddle

Gradötzscharte (2.826 m) Mountain saddle

Sudetendeutsche Hütte (2.650 m) Schutzhütte

Dürrenfeldscharte (2.823 m) Mountain saddle

Brunnerkogel (2.607 m) Peak

Hohes Tor (2.477 m) Mountain saddle

Großdorf village

Glor-Berg village

Kals am Großglockner village

Peischlachtörl (2.484 m) Mountain saddle

Kastenegg (2.821 m) Peak

Berger Törl (2.651 m) Mountain saddle

Berger Törl Mountain saddle

Stockerscharte (2.442 m) Mountain saddle

Untere Pfandlscharte (2.663 m) Mountain saddle

Trauneralm (1.522 m) Schutzhütte

Fusch an der Großglocknerstraße village

Hirzbachwasserfälle Waterfall

Brandlscharte (2.371 m) Mountain saddle

Rosskopf (1.998 m) Peak

most beautiful long distance hike in austria

Hiking gear

Here I recommend the most important hiking equipment that I own, have tested myself and have also bought myself. I pay a lot of attention to the weight and quality of my equipment. The equipment should simply feel good on longer tours and also be light. I can recommend the equipment for women because my wife uses it and it is basically the same as the equipment for men.


Note: Please keep in mind that the packing list is general and you will have to adapt it depending on the season and your needs!


Advertising note: These product links are affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, I will receive a small commission without you having to pay more. This is for the maintenance of my blog and you support me with my project, for which I am very grateful. Thank you very much!


Clothes

Hiking boots

Hiking shorts


Long hiking pants


Functional shirt


Hybridjacket


Fleece-jacket


Rain jacket


Functional underwear


Hiking socks


Other hiking equipment:

Sun cap


Hiking backback (approx. 60 litres or as required)

by EXPED - unfortunately not available on Amazon.

Backback - Ospray (was my old one and is also good)


Technology and orientation:

Compass

• GPS device or GPS watch if necessary

• Binoculars if necessary


Catering:

• Sweets to keep up morale :)


Health & first Aid:

First Aid (small and light)

Tape

Bivouac

• Toilet paper


Other:

• Passport/Insurance certificate

• cash

• Gas cartridge


Film equipment:

Drone

Tripod

Clip

long distance hike in austria

GPX and map information

The GPX files are available for download from the following providers:


Outdooractive: https://out.ac/vmPUp



Here is the route on the map:

Glocknerrunde trailmap

Conclusion

The Glocknerrunde is a fantastic long-distance hike that offers an incredible amount. It shows a cross-section of the beautiful landscape of the Hohe Tauern National Park. I especially liked the sunsets and the glaciers. I really enjoyed the tour! I wish you a great time and much success ;)


As always, I would be very happy about a feedback on one of my channels.



Also feel free to leave me a comment.

 
HikingFex

Hello, I am Christian, the chief globetrotter of this Site and an enthusiastic adventurer, hiker and filmmaker. I love to explore new paths and inspire people with them, and I love to share my hiking knowledge with you! You can also find my videos on YouTube! On my blog you can find tips for beginners and professionals on the greatest and most beautiful hiking tours there are. I want to encourage people to explore the world as a hiker, whether in the countryside, through the forest or in the mountains. True to the motto: If you haven't hiked, you haven't seen the world,


On my blog, I also write about hiking gear, the right summit training and nature conservation, as well as tips and information about hiking.


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