The Berliner Hohenweg, or as it is often referred to in English –The Berlin High Trail , is one of the most well-known and alluring trails in Austria.
Located in the Tyrol region in Austria, near the italian border, it passes through the heart of the Zillertal alps and offers astounding and untamed alpine scenery.
The circuit trail is often toured clockwise, starting at the picturesque town of Mayrhofen and ending in Finkenberg. (about 4.5 kilometers west of Mayrhofen) During the trip you will staying in 8 mountain cabins along the trail, starting with Edel hutt and ending with Gams hut. The hike can also be taken the other way around.
Length: 70 kilometers/ 44 miles
Accumulated incline: 6700 meters/ 21,981 Feet
Maximal altitude: 3086 meters/ 10,108 feet
Difficulty: moderate – difficult
Season: mid June up until mid September
Map from Cicerone guide
Costs: half board including dormitory boarding, a basic breakfast and A Dinner that includes first course and dessert for 50 euro. The price is comprised of accommodation costs of 22-25 euro and food costs of 25-27 euro.
cabins: the cabins belong to the DAV (German alpine club), this club is also the world’s largest climbing society and maintains over 300 active mountain cabins in the alps, it also collaborates with many other European alpine clubs. Club membership is 44 euro per adult per year and grants you a minimum accommodation discount of 10 euro.
Each cabin will provide you with great hospitality and between good excellent meals. The trail’s best cabins are the Olperer hut and the Berliner hut.
Most cabins offer shower but no beddings. They do however supply woolen covers. It is advisable to pack bed lining or light sleeping bags.
The deliberate lack of bedding saves laundry costs and helps protect the environment in the heart of a national park.
Most cabins aren’t credit card friendly and the trail crosses mostly uninhabited areas. It is crucial to stock up on cash in advance.
Gear: The rule of thumb is to keep a lightweight backpack, you’ll enjoy yourself more. In addition to bed lining you will need rain resistant gear and a light coat. At least one trekking pole is necessary, No sleeping bag needed. Your backpacks weight, not counting for water, should be no more than 9 kg/ 20 lb.
The trail’s starting point can be arrived at using public transportation. Innsbruck and Munich both provide the require transit.
If departing from Innsbruck, take the train to Munich and stop at Jenbach station.
If departing from Munich, take the train to Innsbruck and stop at Jenbach station.
Travel time is 1.5 hours on the express, and 2.5 hours on the regular train.
Upon arriving at Jenbach station, head towards the platform furthest to the train terminal and take a local train known as the “ Zillertal bahn” which links various towns in the lovely Zillertal valley. The train’s final station is the town Mayerhofen. The trip’s duration is 50 minutes.
In order to begin the trail, travel up Mayrhofen’s main street towards the Ahronbahn cable car. You will cross a river bridge and then take a left to ascend the mountain via cable car. Then follow the signs indicating towards Edel hut which is the trail’s starting cabin.
While the route is not that long relative to other well-known hiking trips in Europe, parts of it are tough and demanding, and some parts can even be dangerous in bad weather. A large portion of the route consists more of rocky areas than country roads but the trail is clear and well marked if in large part scattered with rocks and in some places requiring you to walk over boulders. This means the hiker must pay close attention to the trail rather than the view – you’ll want to keep your eyes on the ground to avoid stumbling.
The second day, from Edel Hut to Kasseler Hut, is a long one (14 km), ascending a number of ridges with the help of pegs and metal cables. Part of the route involves walking a narrow path that slopes dangerously on both sides and other parts require making your way across rocks. If the weather is wet, there is a real risk of stumbling or slipping – even in dry weather the trail requires great concentration. The official time from hut to hut is about 9 hours so it is advisable to get started early.
-Experienced travellers could complete the hike in about 7 hours while taking short breaks. If you are fit and able to, you may skip the stay in Eddel hut and continue straight to Kessler hut. Provided the weather is fine, this should take roughly 8 starting after the cable car ride.
The path between Berliner hut and Furtfanglhohs on the fifth day of the trail is of the highest altitude on the trail (3081 meter/ 10,108). Traversing it requires using a metal cable suspended between boulders. It is ill advised not to cross it in rainy or snowy weather (light snow is a possibility even in the midst of summer.)
Cabin managers receive a daily weather update and can be consulted if bad weather is expected.
There are a number of alternate routes descending into the valleys and avoiding tall peaks when weather is problematic. Again, consult the cabin managers.
Mayerhofen’s visitor’s center offers maps scaled 1:35,000 and weather advice.-
Advanced maps, scaled 1:25,000 are available too, but we think they’re unnecessary.
The following link offers a lot of scheduling, weather and map information: https://www.mayrhofen.at/en/
A booklet of DAV with a lot of information on the trail (in German):
Those who do not have 9 days to do the whole route can shorten to 5-6 days and still enjoy an extraordinary experience that includes the heart of the trip and the 2 high mountain passes in it.
Start at Edel hut and then on to Kasller hut, Greizer hut, Berliner hut and Furtschggel hut
At the last day and in a dry weather, you will arrive at Furtschggel hut by 14:00 where you may stay the night or continue towards the Mayerhofen bus station that located by the nearby lake, Schlegels restaurant and Dominikus hut. The walk is roughly two hours long. For those who prefer continuing the trip for another day, an easy two hours climb from the lake and through route number 502 will take you to Olperer hut where you will enjoy an astounding view. The morning after, A different scenic route ( number 535) will take you back to the bus station after an easy 3 hour hike.
What we loved:
powerful and awe inspiring natural landscapes, jagged peaks, glaciers and streams. The trail crosses a paved road only once and feels completely detached from civilization.
What we loved less The trail is dotted with boulders and requires at times intense concentration. We think that is somewhat detrimental to the experience.
Overall: Beautiful cabin track in the charming Tyrol region, valleys, mountains, rustic cabins and.. plenty of strudel.