The hike to the Olpererhütte – thanks to Instagram, has become the most popular in the Austrian Alps. Travelers are attracted by the epic photos from the suspension bridge.
As for me, I personally love the inaccessibility of this place. Yes, it is popular, photos have scattered all over Instagram, but like any mountain view, you must earn it by climbing the mountain. That is, you get not just a view and a photo, but also incredible emotions and a cool active day in nature.
This hike was one of the highlights of our trip to Tyrol, another highlight was the James Bond museum and Ice Q restaurant – the place, where was filmed James Bond movie “Spectre”. In this article I’m sharing my experience – Ice Q restaurant and “007 Elements” museum – a must-visit place in Tyrol.
The Olpererhütte itself is located just a hundred meters from this very bridge at an altitude of 2388 meters. An ideal place to relax after an intense hiking.
Most people hike up to Olpererhütte, have lunch (the restaurant serves delicious lunch with traditional Austrian dishes) and descend back into the valley. But there are those who continue the hike further to the Friesenberghaus. Locals describe this hike as one of the most beautiful long hikes in the mountains. I will write about it below as one of the hiking options here.
I must say right away that this is exactly hiking, not a walk. You will need good physical fitness and probably special hiking boots. But you will be rewarded with truly amazing views.
How to get to the Olpererhütte?
All trails start from the parking lot at Schlegeisspeicher reservoir.
- By car: Drive to Schlegeisspeicher reservoir. You will drive along the Alpenstrasse Schlegeis road, a landscape mountain trail. It is open from late May to mid-October. The road is toll, at the entrance you will pay 14 euros for a car. But there is no additional fee for parking.
- By bus: There is a regular bus № 4102 from Mayrhofen Central Station. A one-way trip will take about an hour and cost 11.50 euros.
Hiking options to the Olpererhütte
The trails in the mountains are open from late May to mid-October. Check this website for exact dates and information. As I said, all trails start from the parking lot at Schlegeisspeicher reservoir.
You have 3 trails to choose from:
1. Schlegeisspeicher reservoir – Olpererhütte
Marked green on the map. This is the most unpopular route. 4.5 hours to the hut and 45 minutes back to the valley. Trail 502 starts at the very end of the parking lot on the right. To go back down take the blue trail.
2. Schlegeisspeicher reservoir – Friesenberghaus – Olpererhütte
Marked red on the map. 4.5 hours to the hut and 45 minutes downhill with a blue trail. This is exactly the most beautiful route in these mountains. Therefore, if you have the time and energy, then it is better to choose it.
Trail 532 starts from the bus stop on the lake. First you need a sign to the Friesenberghaus. The way to the hut and the mountain lake will take 2 hours. You will pass through the forest and mountain valleys with a river. We were not there, so I am posting photos from the Internet.
After resting in the hut, continue on to Olpererhutte. This is another 1.5-2 hours.
To go back down take the blue trail. But you can also take the hike in the opposite direction.
Such a hike will take the whole day, so it is better to start no later than 10 am in order to have time to descend before dark.
3. Schlegeisspeicher reservoir – Olpererhütte
Marked blue on the map. 1.5 hours one way and 45 minutes back. The disadvantage of this trail is that you won’t have a loop hike taking the same way up and down.
However, it’s the shortest and fastest route, so we chose it this time.
Trail 502 starts in the middle of the parking lot. On the sign, someone corrected the designation 1.5 hours to 3 hours, but our ascent took exactly 1.5 hours.
The path goes up sharply. During the first hour, you will climb the steep boulder stairs all the time until you reach a waterfall and a mountain river. The last 30 minutes will be a little easier, the stairs will become less steep and later turn into a mountain trail.
Beautiful views of the lake will begin in the middle of the route, but if our goal is an Instagram photo from the bridge, then we go up to the hut and go a little further.
In just a couple of minutes you will see a bridge and a line of people who want to capture it.
In fact, the bridge is not stretched over an abyss, but only a couple of meters above the river. Photographers sit side by side on a stone ridge, with the right angle they get a wow shot.
Relax in the hut after the photo session. They serve delicious local cuisine lunches with affordable price for such a popular place.
What I love about the Alps is that during a tiring hike in the mountains, you can always relax in a cozy mountain hut with modern service, wifi and delicious coffee. In outdoor recreation in many countries there is a lack of such a service.
Go back along the same path. The descent will take 45 minutes. Or, as I said, continue the route to Friesenberghaus and only then down to the lake, it will take another 4.5 hours.
Regardless of which path you choose, you are guaranteed a stunning day in the mountains with spectacular views! Enjoy!
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