Kaiserkrone: Nr. 1 Hut-To-Hut Tour Through the Wilder Kaiser

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Kaiserkrone: Nr. 1 Hut-To-Hut Tour Through the Wilder Kaiser
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Whether you want to go mountain biking, climb a via ferrata, or do a multi-day mountain hike, the Wilder Kaiser Mountains have it all. With as many as 400 km (248,5 miles) of hiking trails, the 65 km-long (40,4 miles) Kaiserkrone circles this mountain range. Also known as one of the most beautiful multi-day hikes in Tyrol, this tour introduces you to long distances in the mountains. If you are in good shape and feel like being on the trail all day, read on.

The popular mountain range, by locals referred to as "Koasa", towers over the region as a true emperor. That you can go there for any mountain sport was already clear but because the mountain massif is only a few kilometers/miles below the German-Austrian border, it is also very easy to reach. The Kaiserkrone is by far the best known and most popular hike, or in other words, THE hut-to-hut hike through the Wilder Kaiser. You will sleep in mountain huts, as well as mountain hotels and guesthouses during this trek. So, combined with the distances and altimeters, the Kaiserkrone is an experience not to be missed.

Kaiserkrone 6116

What and Where Is the Kaiserkrone?

The 5-day hike can be found in the heart of the Kaiser Mountains in Tyrol. This mountain range is formed by the Zahmer Kaiser in the North, the Niederkaiser in the East and the Wilder Kaiser. The latter is what it's all about during the 65-kilometer (40,4 miles) Kaiserkrone hike, and you won't lose sight of the Wilder Kaiser for a day. Beginning and ending in the cozy Going am Wilden Kaiser, you won't climb any of the mountain peaks, but with impressive elevation gains you will collectively overcome more than 5,000 altimeters (16.404 feet). Because you stay below the tree-line during this hike, you can enjoy many forests and green fields while the gray mountain massif contrasts beautifully with them.

Surrounded by the well-known vacation villages of Ellmau, Going, Scheffau and Söll, the Wilder Kaiser is a great and accessible base in summer as well as in winter. Not only do these villages provide stunning panoramic views from the mountain, but Scheffau also hosts the memorable Kaiserkrone Trail every year. This is an impressive 2-day trail running event that consists of 5 separate races and provides a unique experience. If you can be found in Austria around the end of June, don't forget to check it out and possibly complete the Kaiserkrone yourself. Running? No need - we prefer walking ourselves as well.

What and Where Is the Kaiserkrone?

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Did you know that we can book all huts and refuges for the Kaiserkrone for you? Check out all our options here.

Is the Kaiserkrone for me?

In general, there is something for everyone in the Wilder Kaiser area, but is the Kaiserkrone hike really for you? How technical is the route and what do you need to prepare yourself for? The trails of the Kaiserkrone are generally relatively easy to navigate and certainly not as technical as the Stubaier- or Berliner Höhenweg. Here and there it is wise to use your hands and hold on to cables and handrails. The climbing and scrambling is reserved for a small section of the final stage. What makes the entire Kaiserkrone a challenge are the distances and the many elevation changes you encounter during the hike. At first, 12 kilometers (7,5 miles) of hiking does not seem that far but combine it with over 800 altimeters (2.624 feet) per day, and you have a real challenge on your hands.

In short, if you are a novice mountain adventurer with good fitness and a healthy amount of perseverance, the Kaiserkrone may just be your next step. If you are not quite sure yet but would like to give it a try, then perhaps our custom package, the Kaiser’s little Crown, is for you.

Is the Kaiserkrone for me?

Kaiser’s little Crown: hut-to-hut tour for beginners

If you have never done a hut-to-hut hike before, a 5-day hike can be overwhelming to begin with. Because mountain hiking and Austrian mountain hut culture is simply not for everyone, we recommend starting with a shorter hike. This way you can quietly discover if this is your type of vacation or if you prefer day hikes. Because the hiking trails are not very technical and you sleep in both hotels and mountain huts, the Wilder Kaiser mountain range is the ideal place to get your first mountain hiking experience with the Kaiser’s little Crown.

The Kaiser Kroontje is a 3-day trek that includes the first two stages of the official Kaiserkrone. Because of this, the distances and altimeters will remain the same and these are detailed for you later in this blog. After your stay around the Hintersteiner See, however, you will not walk in a northeasterly direction. On this last day you will walk to Kufstein, the end point of this shortened tour. During the first night of this trek you will stay in a mountain hut where you can experience the real Austrian mountain hut culture together with your fellow hikers. The second night you will stay near the Hintersteiner See in a hotel or guesthouse and enjoy a private room. Interested? Then click here to learn more about our Kaiser’s little Crown.

What is the best season for the Kaiserkrone?

The season for all Austrian mountain treks, including the Kaiserkrone, falls between mid/late June and mid-September. The hiking trails become impassable during the other months due to deteriorating weather conditions. As a result, the accommodations where you will stay during your trek are inaccessible and thus closed.

In general, Austria has hot summers and because you won't get much higher than 1,600 meters (5.249 feet) on the Kaiserkrone, you should expect bright sun and heat. However, the Alps are unpredictable and the weather can easily turn. If you need a cap and sunscreen one day, the next day may call for a rain suit. Fortunately, you can possibly avoid the rain by starting the stage early, since rain often comes in the afternoon. You can already see that bringing the right gear is essential to the success of your hut-to-hut tour. To help you with this, we have compiled a packing list for you later in this blog.

Due to the European vacation seasons and the popularity of the area for families with children, July and August are the busiest months. It can also be busier in the mountains and surrounding region around the time of the Kaiserkrone Trail. The Kaiserkrone is a popular hike for many, and for good reason. Therefore, if you want to be sure of a spot in the huts, it is never too early to book your desired date with us.

What is the best season for the Kaiserkrone?

Kaiserkrone map and navigation

Because the area is so popular, many different maps and guidebooks are available that can help you find your way on the Kaiserkrone. Below is a map showing the entire route, and all the stages of our different variants.

Where do I sleep during my Kaiserkrone tour?

In case you have done a hut tour before, you know that you normally sleep in different mountain huts. Life in these mountain huts is often simple and cozy. Together with other hikers, you enjoy a historic part of Austria where you share basic facilities and dormitories. In the evening, the hut staff will cook delicious meals for you before you watch the sun set behind the mountains and seek your bed. The next morning you'll rise early for a good breakfast and then you'll be ready to start today's stage.

The Kaiserkrone may be a true multi-day hike, yet during this 5-day trek you will not only stay in these types of original mountain hut but also in local hotels and guesthouses. Here you can enjoy a private room and recharge at leisure for the next hiking day. In short, the Kaiserkrone offers the ideal combination for hikers who are ready for a real mountain hike but have yet to get used to Austrian hut life.

The two mountain huts where you do spend the night are, like many mountain huts in Austria, affiliated with the ÖAV (Österreichischer Alpenverein) and/or the DAV (Deutscher Alpenverein). Among other things, these associations are responsible for the maintenance of their member mountain huts. In addition, they are constantly concerned with the maintenance and well-being of the mountain trails, the surrounding nature and signposting. In other words, they do their utmost to make your hiking experience as flawless as possible.

At Bookatrekking.com, we not only book your huts, we also send you on your way with a comprehensive hiking guide with the most important information for your Kaiserkrone, including interactive Komoot maps. Browse all our options here and turn your dreams into reality.

Kaiserkrone program

You can start the 5-day Kaiserkrone at several places but the most common point is the parking lot at Hüttling, slightly north of Going am Wilden Kaiser. This is therefore also the starting point for our packages. Below we have set out the 5-day variant so you know what to expect. Should you find this still a bit too intense, then we also offer the Kaiser’s little Crown. Details about this route can be found here. You can also book the route with hotel accommodation before and after the tour. Click here to see all the alternatives we offer within the Kaiser Krone circuit.

Day
1

Going am Wilden Kaiser - Gruttenhütte

Duration: 06:05 h
Distance: 11.1 km
Ascent: 1140 m
Descent: 310 m

You will begin your Kaiserkrone adventure in Going am Wilden Kaiser, where you can do your final shopping to be fully prepared to set off. The Kaiserkrone is a tough tour when you look at the altimeters and that starts right on the first day. In total you have to overcome more than 1.000 altimeters (3.280 feet) but fortunately you start quietly. The first 3 kilometers (1,9 miles) you walk on a relatively flat path to Hütting, the most common starting point for the route. Right after the first steps you can already enjoy the beautiful view of the Kaiser mountains.

From Hütting begins a steady climb that, after you pass Graspoint Niederalm, slowly gets steeper. Once you reach 1.550 meters (5.085 feet), you descend to Gaudeamushütte where you can take a short break before starting today's final ascent. After 1,5 kilometers (1 mile) and about an hour and a half you will arrive at the Gruttenhütte, a real mountain hut with beautiful views of the valley. Welcome to the Austrian Alps!

Gruttenhütte

Info
Gruttenhütte
Day
2

Gruttenhütte - Kaindlhütte

Duration: 06:00 h
Distance: 13.6 km
Ascent: 520 m
Descent: 800 m

Today you will mainly descend towards the Hintersteiner See. After a good breakfast in the hut you will pack your backpack and take your first steps westward. After a short descent, you will walk for 3 kilometers on fairly level ground around the Treffauer Spitze, one of the peaks of the Wilder Kaiser Mountains that lies at an altitude of 2,306 meters.

From here it's another 2 kilometers on narrow roads, wooden steps and along steel cables until the trail begins to descend significantly. After descending 200 meters in altitude you will arrive at the Steiner Hochalm. If you have time, enjoy a break here and a delicious kaiserschmarrn. The last half of your hike takes you on trails where you constantly alternate between ascending and descending. Don't forget to look to your left to enjoy the beautiful view of the impressive Hintersteiner See. Your last 3.5 kilometers climb to the top of the Hochegg (1,470 meters). From here you have views of many peaks that make up the Wilder Kaiser Mountains. After you've had your fill here, descend toward the Kaindlhütte. In this cozy hut you will be spoiled with a good meal before you crawl into bed on time.

Kaindlhütte

Info
Kaindlhütte
Day
3

Kaindlhütte - Stripsenjochhaus

Duration: 06:00 h
Distance: 9.7 km
Ascent: 870 m
Descent: 620 m

Get ready for today with a tough challenge at the end of the stage. The first hours start quietly and 7 kilometers, narrow paths, bridges and several stairs further, you will reach the lowest point of this stage: 840 meters. You finish today with an intensive ascent of about 720 meters, spread over 3.5 kilometers.

After passing the Anton-Karg-Haus you are at the foot of this challenge. It's a tough part of the hike but luckily you can enjoy a cold beer once you've conquered the climb and arrived at the Stripsenjochhaus. Cheers!

Stripsenjochhaus

Info
Stripsenjochhaus
Day
4

Stripsenjochhaus - Gasteig

Duration: 07:05 h
Distance: 16 km
Ascent: 440 m
Descent: 1240 m

You will wake up in the Stripsenjochhaus, at 1,570 meters (5.150 feet) altitude. You will leave in a northerly direction and today you will enter the higher mountains. Because of this you will encounter mountain peaks left and right. The first one you will pass already after 500 meters (1.640 feet). The Hundskopf is at 1,730 meters (5.675 feet) and you will see it slide by on your left. Immediately after that, you will see the Stripsenkopf with a 1,807-meter summit (5.928 feet). The narrow paths continue until you reach the top of the Tristecken from where you slowly walk over the Feldberg ridge (1,813 meters/5.948 feet).

From here you walk towards the valley until, after a total of 10 kilometers (6,2 miles), you exchange the mountain paths for a wider path. Just before you arrive in Griesenau you will turn right and after 4,5 kilometers (2,8 miles) you will arrive at your accommodation for tonight. Here you can once again enjoy a private room and a wonderful shower.

Gasthof Mitterjager (Gasteig)

Info
Gasthof Mitterjager (Gasteig)
Day
5

Gasteig - Going am Wilden Kaiser

Duration: 07:00 h
Distance: 14.6 km
Ascent: 800 m
Descent: 800 m

Today is the last day of your Kaiserkrone trek and immediately one of the most challenging. Whereas during the rest of the tour you will walk on relatively easy trails, during this stage you will have to climb and scramble on some sections to get on. You start with a 1.7 km ascent on a well-traveled but steep trail up to the Bacheralm. From here you switch to a narrower mountain path that takes you up to 1,190 meters (3.904 feet).

This is where the challenge begins. With the help of ladders, steel cables and a good sense of balance, you walk along the Gscheuerkopf (1,280 meters/4.199 feet). Here you also walk parallel to the first official stage of the Adlerweg. Slowly you climb further to the Einöd Alm and here you leave the most challenging parts of today behind you. Enjoy your last stretches of Wilder Kaiser, because once you have completed a total of 8 kilometers (5 miles), the descent back to the starting point begins. Another 7 kilometers (4,3 miles) or so of walking downhill until you arrive back in Going am Wilden Kaiser. Take one last look back at the impressive mountain range before continuing your journey!

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How do I get to the starting and ending point?

The Kaiserkrone runs like a real crown around the Wilder Kaiser so you start and end in the same place; Going am Wilden Kaiser. This cozy village lies exactly between Salzburg and Innsbruck and Munich is also only about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north. Depending on how you want to travel to the starting point of the Kaiserkrone, you can use these towns as your starting point.

Plane
In case you come from overseas or simply wish to travel by plane, you have an abundance of options. Innsbruck, Munich, and Salzburg all have airports. Munich in Germany is by far the most international and therefore a good starting point. It will however take an additional 1 hour by public transport to get to Going am Wilden Kaiser, in comparison to the other two airports. This means that from Munich it will take at least 3,5 hours whereas from the other two destinations, it is roughly 2,5 hours.

Car
Going am Wilden Kaiser is easy to reach by car. From Munich, continue your route to Kufstein and there take the exit towards Going. In total it will take you approximately 1,5 hours to drive from Munich to your final destination.

Public transportation
Going am Wilden Kaiser does not have a train station and therefore the last leg always has to be done by bus. Whether you arrive by plane from Innsbruck, or by train from Munich. From Kufstein you can be in Going am Wilden Kaiser in 1.5 hours, with a change in Söll. You can also choose to travel via Wörgl, if you are coming from Innsbruck, for example. From here you can take the bus to St. Johan in Tirol and continue to the starting point of the Kaiserkrone. If you take Salzburg as your starting point you will also have to travel to St. Johan in Tirol before you can continue to your final destination.

How do I get to the starting and ending point?

Not sure yet or want to discuss your plans for the Kaiserkrone with one of our trekking experts? Get in touch today and turn your dreams into memories!

Packing List for the Kaiserkrone

It doesn't matter where you are going trekking or for how long: Carrying the right equipment with you is paramount. For a hiking trip in the mountains, you will need, first and foremost, a good backpack. Its size will depend on how many days you will be spending in the mountains, the season, and the clothes you will be taking with you. We have prepared a packing list with some essential clothing that you should include and some extras that you may find useful:
  • Essentials

  • Extras

What does the Kaiserkrone cost?

A hiking trip really doesn't have to be expensive. Huts are usually simple, but offer everything you need to recharge your mental and physical batteries for the next hiking day(s). For 5 days on Kaiserkrone where you also use hotels and guesthouses you can count on about 90 EUR/USD per hiking day. This includes route description, navigation aid, your accommodation in a mountain hut/hotel and half board where possible. For hut tours in general, we then recommend taking 40-60EUR/USD pocket money with you. This is for lunch and your drinks. Most of our pocket money usually goes to that ice cold beer at the next hut!

What does the Kaiserkrone cost?

Where Can I Book the Kaiserkrone?

At Bookatrekking.com you can book the self-guided Kaiserkrone and many other treks. We take care of all the details for you, including arranging accommodations and providing you with relevant information well in advance of your trek. Find our offers here. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to browse and compare different trekking options and find the perfect fit for your interests, abilities, and budget.

If you have any questions about a specific trek or need help choosing the right one for you, our team of trekking experts is here to assist you. Simply reach out to us and we will be happy to provide you with personalized recommendations and advice to help you plan the trekking adventure of a lifetime.

Is the Kaiserkrone not your cup of tea and are you looking for other epic adventures? Check out one of our following blog posts:

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