If you have been dreaming of hiking in the high alps of Austria and don’t know where to begin, you may want to check out the Tyrol region, with the town of Innsbruck being the capital. The exquisite Austrian Tyrol is one of the best ski destinations in the winter, but in the summer, you will find excellent hiking trails with magnificent views of the surrounding lakes and valleys. A wonderful place to start your Austrian Tyrol hiking adventure is in the Zillertal alps and more specifically being based in the picturesque village of Mayrhofen.
If you have researched the Zillertal Alps, there is a good chance you’re familiar with the well-known hiking trail called the Berlin High trail. This route is rated as a difficult 8-day hike and is a true hut-to-hut trekking route high in the Alps; traversing over 52 miles. However, if the sound of this makes you nervous and you’re not sure you want to make that kind of commitment, you can still enjoy part of the route’s scenery by hiking to some of the mountain hüttes as day-hikes from Mayrhofen. Here are a few of our favorite hikes to some of these prominent hüttes of the Zillertal Alps.
Berliner Hütte (See featured image)
The Legendary Berliner Hütte (elevation: 6706 feet) was built in 1879 and is the oldest and most well-known Alpine hut in the Zillertal Alps and is also protected as a building of historical significance. The impressive Berliner mountain hut is quite elegant with chandeliers and original wood paneling and decorative features throughout. While at the hütte, you will find yourself surrounded by the peaks and glaciers of Zemmgrund and offers panoramic views of the Hornkees and Waxeggkees Glaciers. From Mayrhofen, take the bus toward the Schlegeis Reservoir and get off at the Guesthouse Breitlahner stop to start your hike up to the Berliner Hütte. The roundtrip hike is about 6 hours.
The Edelhütte (elevation: 7342 feet) sits below the Ahornspitze mountain and can be reached easily from the top of the Ahorn cable car. This hut was first built in 1889 but has been destroyed by avalanches and rebuilt several times. It is a popular day hike from Ahorn and typically the starting point for the Berlin High Trail. From Mayrhofen, ride the Ahorn cable car to the top and walk to lake Ahornsee where you will find the trail going directly to the hütte. This roundtrip hike is only about 2 hours but there are several other short hikes you can also enjoy at the top of Ahorn for additional hiking. Return to Ahorn and take the cable car back to Mayrhofen or you can continue walking all the way down to the valley. For a much more challenging hike, you could continue hiking from the Edelhütte to the Ahornspitze (elevation: 9754 feet) and a roundtrip hike of 6 hours.
The Olpererhütte (elevation: 7838 feet) opened in 1881 and is one of the oldest mountain huts in the eastern Alps. Shortly before reaching the Olpererhütte, you’ll hike across a small suspension bridge that makes for some spectacular pictures above the reservoir. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Schlegeis Basin with its vibrant emerald green water surrounded by the impressive mountains and glaciers of the Zillertal Alps. From Mayrhofen, take the bus to the Schlegeisspeicher Dam. (additional toll fee of about 3 euro to get to the reservoir on the bus). Just beyond the bus stop you will see signs to hike to the Olpererhütte. This roundtrip hike is about 3 hours. For a longer and more challenging circular hike, you may consider hiking up to Friesenberghaus first and then to the Olpererhütte and back down to Schlegeis reservoir in about 6 hours.
The Zillertal Alps offers a wide variety of fantastic hiking in the Tyrol region of Austria. In addition, you can experience any of these hikes listed above on Alpenwild’s Self-guided Austria Zillertal Alps hiking tour.