Stubaier Höhenweg: Austria's most beautiful hut-to-hut tour

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Stubaier Höhenweg: Austria's most beautiful hut-to-hut tour
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The Stubai High Trail is perhaps the most beautiful hike in Austria. Discover this stunning path that circumvents the entire Stubai Valley. Complete the entire circuit or take it easy with the kids and do only three or four days. On the Stubai High Trail, you can stay in the friendliest huts you can find in the Austrian Alps. An unforgettable hiking vacation in Austria awaits you. Read our blog post, check out the stages, get information about the huts, weather, and difficulty, find a map, get tips from Michael Gstrein, and make the most of your time.

The beauty of the Stubaier Höhenweg is that it doesn't have to be hiked all at once. It can, of course, be tackled in stages. The unique feature of the Stubaier Höhenweg is that there are ascent and descent options to and from each hut. With a good network of public buses, you can easily reach the ascents to the huts on the high-altitude trail. After the descent, you can effortlessly return to the starting point using public transportation. This makes the Stubaier Höhenweg suitable not only for mountain goats but also for families with young goats.

What is the Stubai High Trail?

The Stubai High Trail starts in Neustift in Stubaital, Tyrol, and passes through almost all the famous Stubai mountain huts. The Stubai High Trail is known for its diversity. From lovely, almost flat alpine meadows, the 7-day tour also leads past sharp peaks with steep paths. With a total of 8670 meters of altitude, it is a challenging hike. A [hut tour with the kids](https://bookatrekking.com/en/blog/hut-to-hut-hiking-kids/)? Fortunately, you can also tackle only some sections of the hike. This makes it suitable for families. However, according to Michael Gstrein from the Stubai Tirol Tourism Association, it should not be underestimated: "Children should already have some experience in the mountains, such as surefootedness and good condition - sometimes the stages are several kilometers long with some meters of altitude and can also take several hours - and, of course, bring good equipment. Especially shoes are important, even for the little ones." Further down in this blog post, you'll find some more insights and tips from Michael.

The hike is not technically difficult, but one should not have a fear of heights. There are steep paths accompanied by steel ropes. In terms of scenery, you encounter glaciers and steep peaks along the way. The trail is often only open from mid-June onwards, as there may still be snow on the path before that. The huts are almost always full, so it is a must to reserve in advance, especially if you are not traveling alone.

What is the Stubai High Trail?

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How is the Stubai High Trail organized?

The huts along the Stubaier Höhenweg are owned by subsections of the Alpine Club and are maintained by them. For example, the Bremer Hütte is the section hut of the Alpine Club in Bremen, Germany, just like the Innsbrucker Hütte is for the Innsbruck section. If you want to hike the Stubaier Höhenweg, you need to make reservations at the various huts you plan to reach. You book accommodation and can also reserve meals.

Half-board, where a meal awaits you in the evening and you have breakfast in the morning, is the most popular option. It can be challenging to book all the huts yourself, but if you keep reading, we can simplify this process. Also, become a member of the Alpine Club. This will significantly reduce the cost of your Stubaier Höhenweg. Here you can see all offers, including half-board.

Stubai High Trail stages at a glance

There are various ways to tackle the Stubaier Höhenweg. You can complete the entire Stubaier Höhenweg, which results in approximately 8000 meters of elevation gain over 8 days, or you can choose to do, for example, only two, three, or four of the stages. This depends on your experience and fitness level. Here's an overview of all stages of the Stubaier Höhenweg, starting both from the Starkenburger Hütte and the Innsbrucker Hütte in reverse direction, as you can traverse the entire route in both directions.

Stubaier Höhenweg Stages - Starting Point Starkenburger Hütte

- Ascent to Starkenburger Hütte from Neustift.

Stage 1) Starkenburger Hütte – Franz-Senn-Hütte

Stage 2) Franz-Senn-Hütte – Neue Regensburger Hütte

Stage 3) Neue Regensburger Hütte – Dresdner Hütte

Stage 4) Dresdner Hütte – Sulzenau Hütte

Stage 5) Sulzenau Hütte – Nürnberger Hütte

Stage 6) Nürnberger Hütte – Bremer Hütte

Stage 7) Bremer Hütte – Innsbrucker Hütte

- Descent to Neustift

Stubaier Höhenweg Stages - Starting Point Innsbrucker Hütte

- Ascent to Innsbrucker Hütte from Neustift.

Stage 1) Innsbrucker Hütte - Bremer Hütte

Stage 2) Bremer Hütte - Nürnberger Hütte

Stage 3) Nürnberger Hütte - Sulzenau Hütte

Stage 4) Sulzenau Hütte – Dresdner Hütte

Stage 5) Dresdner Hütte - Neue Regensburger Hütte

Stage 6) Neue Regensburger Hütte - Franz-Senn-Hütte

Stage 7) Franz-Senn-Hütte - Starkenburger Hütte

- Descent to Neustift

Stubai High Trail stages at a glance

Stubai High Trail Weather and season

The season for the Stubaier Höhenweg is short but rewarding. If you miss the main season, be aware that there are also plenty of winter sports opportunities in the pre-season and winter season. The huts usually open in June, and it becomes possible to complete the entire trail from early July. In June, you might still encounter some snow on certain stages. The optimal months for the Stubaier Höhenweg are July, August, and September.

The mountain weather can be unpredictable, and at times, it might be too hazardous to continue the trail. This could necessitate an extra night at the hut where you are staying, prioritizing your safety. A phone call to the next hut ensures you can resume your journey in clear weather.

Stubai High Trail Map

Although the routes on the Stubai High Trail are clearly marked, nothing beats an old-school map. Fortunately, these maps are also available in interactive form nowadays. In the map of the Stubai High Trail below you will find the route and the various stages. The route can be covered in both directions.

All Stubai High Trail stages and huts

The following is a full program of the entire Stubai High Trail, starting from the Starkenburger Hütte, the most popular direction.

Day
1

Neustift - Starkenburger Hütte

Duration: 04:10 h
Distance: 5.7 km
Ascent: 1230 m
From Neustift, your day begins with a steep climb toward the Stubai Mountains. In total, you have to overcome approximately a height difference of more than 1,200 meters. Steadily the path leads uphill until you reach the Starkenburger Hütte almost 6 kilometers later. In this hut we have reserved a place for you but the payment takes place on the spot as this has to be done in cash. Make sure you bring enough.

Starkenburger Hütte

Info
Starkenburger Hütte
Day
2

Starkenberger Hütte - Franz-Senn Hütte

Duration: 07:45 h
Distance: 15.5 km
Ascent: 530 m
Descent: 610 m
Stage 1 of the Stubaier Höhenweg guides you over the path between the Starkenburger and Franz Senn Huts. There is a height difference of 970 meters to overcome over a distance of 14.9 km - the highlight of the tour: From the Kalkkögeln, known as the Dolomites of the Stubai you reach the granite mountains of the Stubai main ridge.

Franz-Senn Hütte

Info
Franz-Senn Hütte
Day
3

Franz-Senn Hütte - Neue Regensburger Hütte

Duration: 05:30 h
Distance: 9.2 km
Ascent: 600 m
Descent: 480 m
The second stage on the Stubaier Höhenweg takes you from the Franz Senn Hut to the Regensburger Hut. There is a difference in altitude of 1,150 metres to be overcome over a distance of about 7.9 km. Despite the high number of meters of altitude difference on a short distance, this stage is considered one of the easiest of the trail. The view from the Basslerjoch to the Stubaier main ridge is unparalleled and is the highlight of this stage.

Neue Regensburger Hütte

Info
Neue Regensburger Hütte
Day
4

Neue Regensburger Hütte - Dresdner Hütte

Duration: 07:30 h
Distance: 13.5 km
Ascent: 930 m
Descent: 910 m
Stage III of the circular hike through the Stubaital guides you between Regensburger Hütte and Dresdner Hütte. There is a difference in altitude of 1,750 meters to be overcome over a distance of approx. 11.4 km - the highlight of the tour is undeniably the impressive glacier landscape, which you are steadily approaching.

Dresdner Hütte

Info
Dresdner Hütte
Day
5

Dresdner Hütte - Sulzenau Hütte

Duration: 03:20 h
Distance: 5.1 km
Ascent: 410 m
Descent: 510 m

Today is a day with few miles but beautiful views. Enjoy the stony surroundings as you slowly balance over the loose rocks here. Hold on to a cable here and there until you take a break at the Sulzenau See. Then continue walking toward the Sulzenau Hütte and enjoy the glacier-touched rocks.

From the Sulzenau Hütte, it is worth taking an additional hike and visiting the "blauen Lacke." This lake is one of the locations of the Wild Water Trail in the Stubai Mountains. Because the lake is filled with meltwater from the upper glacier, the lake is usually a distinct blue-turquoise color. More information on how to get here can be found in the walking guide.

Sulzenau Hütte

Info
Sulzenau Hütte
Day
6

Sulzenau Hütte - Nürnberger Hütte

Duration: 03:10 h
Distance: 4.5 km
Ascent: 440 m
Descent: 340 m
Many hikers describe this stage as the most beautiful stage of the Stubai Höhenweg. From green mountain meadows with rushing streams, to stone fields with impressive mountain lakes, to snow-white glacier giants, everything is there. 2 kilometers (1,2 miles) after you leave the Sulzenau Hütte you can already take a brief break at the clear blue Grünausee; you are almost halfway. Branch off north until 500 meters (1.640 feet) further on you are faced with a choice. Do you choose to hike via the Niederl and encounter the climbing and scrambling that makes the Stubai Mountains so special, or do you want to take it easy today. If so, walk the extended route along the top, via the Mairspitze. Whichever choice you make, the paths will meet again shortly before the Nürnberger Hütte and merge as you cover the last meters to your final destination.

Nürnberger Hütte

Info
Nürnberger Hütte
Day
7

Nürnberger Hütte - Bremer Hütte

Duration: 03:50 h
Distance: 5.8 km
Ascent: 540 m
Descent: 410 m
During this stage you will see how the glaciers have impressively shaped the landscape and rock formations. The panoramic views and unique landscape are simply impressive, and it is not for nothing that part of this stage is called "paradise." You will find this breathtaking piece of scenery after hiking 2.5 kilometers (1,5 miles) through the rugged, stony mountain area. Shortly after passing through ‘paradise’, the challenge begins to increase and you balance over loose rocks toward the Bremer Hütte. Hang your hiking poles on your bag as you climb along the mountainside through steel cables and ladders. Once you reach the Bremer Hütte, rest your feet in the small mountain lake and enjoy the peaks that surround you.

Bremer Hütte

Info
Bremer Hütte
Day
8

Bremer Hütte - Innsbrücker Hütte

Duration: 05:55 h
Distance: 10.4 km
Ascent: 680 m
Descent: 730 m

The next stage of the Stubaier Höhenweg lies before you. However, this stage is tough and should not be underestimated. The transition from the Bremer Hütte to the Innsbrucker Hütte is one of the most demanding stages of the Stubaier Höhenweg. Calculate for hiking times of 6 to 7 hours, plus 3 steep climbs with an altitude difference of about 200 to 300 altimeters. This section of the hut tour through the Stubai Valley is for experienced mountain hikers a "nice weather route". So be careful, especially when the weather is not optimal.

It may be a challenging stage where the right mindset and perseverance are indispensable, but then this makes for a real mountain goat experience. Because you have to ascend and descend 3 times, impressive rock formations and green plains alternate. This provides a continuous variation in scenery as you climb along the mountain sides. After a long day you will arrive at the Innsbrucker Hütte where you can celebrate today's victory with a cold beer.

Innsbrücker Hütte

Info
Innsbrücker Hütte
Day
9

Innsbrucker Hütte - Elferlifte - Neustift

Duration: 04:45 h
Distance: 8.8 km
Ascent: 410 m
Descent: 750 m
The last day of your Stubai adventure has arrived. Enjoy your breakfast before setting off in the direction of the Elferlifte. After almost 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) you will arrive at the Karalm. Enjoy a delicious Austrian Kaiserschmarrn or Apfelstrudel here. From here it is another 5 kilometers (3,1 miles) through the beautiful mountains with impressive sculptures. At 2,000 meters (6.561 feet) you will find the Elferhütte, which leads you by ski lift to the Elferlifte. This is a cable car that takes you back to Neustift, where you started your adventure 5 days ago. Once you are back in the valley, your hike through the Stubai Mountains is over and you can relax. Gut gemacht!
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Stubai High Trail in 5 days or less

If you cover only half of the Stubaier Höhenweg, you can experience the Stubaital without too much sweat. Eight days of hiking, with such elevation, would be quite challenging even for a family. However, if you visit only a few huts, you can create a program suitable for both young and old. If you aim to complete the Stubaier Höhenweg in four days or less, keep in mind that each hut is accessible from the valley.

From Neustift, the starting point for all adventures in the Stubaital, you can easily take a bus down to the valley and hop off at the starting point of your respective hut. For example, if you want to start at the Dresdner Hütte and cover half of the Stubaier Höhenweg, you can take the Gamsgartenbahn, which takes you up to 1750 meters in altitude. From here, it's a short hike to the Dresdner Hütte. Note: Only the Bremer Hütte is not accessible from the valley.

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

Stubaier Höhenweg Difficulty

The Stubaier Höhenweg is one of the most beautiful high-altitude hiking trails in the Alps, but it also places corresponding demands on mountaineers. The route exclusively traverses alpine terrain and is partially secured with steel cables. These, although short climbing sections, are akin to simple via ferratas and should only be tackled by sure-footed mountaineers with several years of mountain hiking experience and equipment suitable for the demands of the route.

Especially in bad weather, the difficulty of the high-altitude trail increases significantly. Glaciers need neither be entered nor crossed throughout the route, but particularly at the beginning of the season, steep old snow fields can be expected. Crampons and an ice axe can be very helpful on these old snow fields. Meanwhile, most of the exposed sections are equipped with steel cables. A three- or four-day Stubaier Höhenweg can be managed by families, but if you want to complete the entire circuit, it's best to be fully prepared. Only attempt this if you have previously undertaken a shorter hut tour.

Tips for the Stubai High Trail by Michael Gstrein

Earlier in this blog post, Michael Gstrein from the Stubai Tirol Tourism Association already shared some tips for hiking the Stubaier Höhenweg with children. Of course, Michael has much more to say, so we gave him the microphone.

Michael, what is your favorite hut on the Stubaier Höhenweg?

"The huts on the Stubaier Höhenweg are all so beautifully situated and unique that it's really hard for me to choose one as a 'favorite hut.' They are all special, and each hut has its own charm and appeal."

Your favorite food during multi-day hiking?

"Typical for the huts on the Stubaier Höhenweg, as well as in the Stubai region in general, is that they offer hearty, savory, and sweet dishes that provide energy for the next hike. Highly recommended are the various dumpling variations, such as bacon, cheese, or spinach dumplings, which are served with either soup or salad. And, of course, what should never be missing from any meal is a warm, sweet-smelling Kaiserschmarrn with applesauce or plum compote."

And do you get a beer at every hut on the trail?

"On every hut on the Stubaier Höhenweg, there is, of course, a cold beer to drink."

How many times have you been on the Stubaier Höhenweg?

"Every summer, my wife and I hike one stage of the Stubaier Höhenweg. In the summer of 2020, we tackled our last stage and went through the entire trail for the first time."

Do you prefer the Stubai Valley in winter or summer?

"The Stubai Valley has something to offer all year round. It's an active pleasure destination that has something for every type and age. With its four ski and hiking areas (Stubaier Glacier, Schlick 2000, Serlesbahnen Mieders, Elferbahnen Neustift) and the many attractions in the valley, it's easy to engage in nature and the mountains every day."

Which of the Seven Summits have you already climbed?

"I still need to climb Zuckerhütl, the highest peak of the Seven Summits. Otherwise, I have been to all the others at least once."

Tips for the Stubai High Trail by Michael Gstrein

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 Stubaier Höhenweg, including interactive Komoot maps. Browse all our options here and turn your dreams into reality.

Stubai High Trail and the Seven Summits

When talking about the Seven Summits, one immediately thinks of Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, or Mount Everest. Hold on! Stubaital also has its own Seven Summits. Unlike the real Seven Summits, the Seven Summits in Stubai are meant for most people who want an introduction to climbing high peaks in the Alps. Although you can only reach Hohe Burgstall directly from the Stubaier Höhenweg, it will be worthwhile to spend more time in Stubaital and climb some peaks.

Zuckerhütl (3,507 m)

Wilde Freiger (3,418 m)

Habicht (3,277 m)

die Rinnenspitze (3,003 m)

Serles (2,717 m)

Hohe Burgstall (2,611 m)

der Elfer (2,505 m)

For those who manage to see all the peaks, there are some interesting souvenirs. The office in Stubai can issue you a passport for the Seven Summits. When you successfully summit a peak, you can mark it in your passport.

Sleeping facilities in the huts

The huts along the Stubaier Höhenweg are well-equipped and can accommodate the entire family. The huts have either double rooms, rooms for four or more people. These come with their own standard beds, in some cases, a double bed.

The most budget-friendly option is staying in the mattress or bunk beds dormitory. This gives you a real mountain hut experience, where you share a larger space with more people. The above picture was taken at the Innsbrucker Hütte.

Sleeping facilities in the huts

Packing List for the Stubaier Höhenweg

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

Eating on the Stubai High Trail

Since all the huts are accessible directly from the valley, you can expect a certain level of comfort in the huts. Meals are readily available, and you can get most drinks that are also available in the valley. So, if you thought you could have a Wiener Schnitzel and a wheat beer at 2,500 meters, you're right. It's possible. The most convenient option for you and the hut keeper is to book your accommodation with half-board. This way, the host can calculate how much food needs to be carried up to the hut, and you have the opportunity to get fresh food during the hike. The food in the huts along the Stubaier Höhenweg consists of typical Austrian and Tyrolean cuisine, is nutritious, and caters to vegetarians and vegans as well.

Coffee, tea, and other drinks can be purchased, and they may also be included in half-board. Most huts have a fully equipped kitchen, meaning you don't have to have the same meal every day. Meals can be prepared in various ways, and as you can see in the above picture from the Neue Regensburger Hütte, you can even enjoy a fresh piece of cake for dessert. Here is the menu of the Dresdner Hütte for an idea.

Eating on the Stubai High Trail

Safe hiking tips for the Stubaier Höhenweg

When you go on walking holidays it is wise to be aware of a few points. Even if this is not your first time, you should never underestimate the mountains. Good tour planning and compliance with the regulations on the mountains will significantly increase safety. To ensure that your hiking holiday is a safe and enjoyable experience, here below you can find a list of 8 recommendations for safe hiking in the mountains:
  • Know your limits

    Hiking the Stubaier Höhenweg is the perfect outlet to escape from daily life. It is an endurance sport along with a beautiful nature experience with a positive effect on body and mind —as long as one is in good shape and has a realistic picture of one's possibilities and limits—. Never overestimate yourself or underestimate the route. Don't overdo it! Always choose the slower variant and take more time for your plans. Hiking under time pressure is not fun and at too fast a pace it can be dangerous. Be wise!

  • Plan carefully

    Good planning is half the work! Hiking maps, literature, the Internet and expert advice are invaluable when planning the route in the Stubaier Höhenweg and enable you to determine the length, altitude difference, difficulty and conditions of the hike. When planning group treks, the itinerary should always be planned for the weakest member of the group! The weather in the mountains can change incredibly quickly and rain, wind and cold all increase the risk factor. For this reason, always check the weather forecast beforehand and contact our trekking experts to find your way around before you start.

  • Be fully equipped

    Equipment is everything. In the most extreme case, it makes the difference between life and death, and in any case, it definitely makes the difference between having fun and having a bad time. Food and water, sunscreen and waterproof and warm clothes must always be in your backpack, as well as a first aid kit and a mobile phone with a full battery (in case there is an emergency). However, packing light makes walking easier, so don't take too much extra luggage with you. Your equipment should always be suitable for the terrain you'll be hiking on in the Stubaier Höhenweg.

  • Wear suitable footwear

    Good walking shoes protect your feet and provide a better fit. Shoes with a good fit, with non-slip soles, water-resistant and lightweight are a must for additional walking pleasure during the Stubaier Höhenweg. Trail running shoes are great for a weekend in the mountains, but on longer hikes or more technical trails, you'll want at least A/B hiking boots. That means it is recommended wearing high mountain shoes that are water-repellent with extra ankle support to prevent sprains.

  • Stay on marked trails

    Stubaier Höhenweg has endless marked hiking trails, which are controlled and maintained and should not be deviated from. It may be tempting, but it's not a good idea to take shortcuts or alternative routes through unmarked terrain. It increases the risk of disorientation and you're more likely to get lost and have accidents or fall in the mountains. Even steep slopes of packed old snow are often underestimated and dangerous. Are you in doubt? Better don't do it. For easy navigation we work with our trusted partner Komoot, whose interactive maps, also available offline, provide you with the necessary digital means to get from A to B. As a backup, make sure to bring a hiking guide or a paper map with you. FYI, 75% of stumbles occur due to carelessness on marked paths or roads, not in open terrain!

  • Take regular breaks

    Remember you're on a hiking holiday. Timely and regular breaks not only provide welcome relaxation but also make it possible to enjoy the Stubaier Höhenweg. The body needs a regular food and drink intake to maintain performance and concentration. Our advice is that if you have little time, it's better to follow the short itinerary than to speed up the long one.

  • Stay reachable

    If you are hiking solo or in small groups it is advisable to inform people back home about your plans, what route you are taking and when you plan to return. Even small incidents can lead to unpleasant emergencies so make sure you are available at all times. Bring a charged phone containing at least the phone numbers of immediate family members, your accommodations en route and the emergency phone numbers operating in the Stubaier Höhenweg.

  • Respect nature

    Leave no rubbish behind, prevent noise, stay on the marked trails, do not disturb wildlife or grazing animals, and respect protected areas.

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

Where Can I Book the Stubaier Höhenweg?

At Bookatrekking.com you can book the self-guided Stubaier Höhenweg 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 Stubaier Höhenweg 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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