This section of the Dreamway starts in the Bavarian village of Lenggries and ends in Hall near Innsbruck. It leads you through the pre-Alps and the Karwendel and features some of the best hiking found in the Northern limestone Alps. It also features some of the hardest hiking found in the Alps so make sure that you’re up for it. This sections takes about five days of hiking to complete and is described in detail below.
Lenggries to Tutzinger Hütte
Going up from Lenggries is a great way to start the hike. It is a short hike, taking only 4,5 hours to complete so even if you arrive late in the morning there should be plenty of time to complete the hike before nightfall. If you feel lazy or if you’re short on time you can take the cablecar up from Lenggries to Brauneckhaus but this is not recommended as it is important to get used to steep uphill hiking before you enter the Karwendel.
As this hike ends with a long ridgewalk along the Benediktenwand it is important to watch out for thunderstorms. There is also some scrambling with steel cables and a ladder. If you’re new to Alpine hiking it is wise to team up with a more experienced hiker to see how you deal with the scrambling.
Tutzinger Hütte to Vorderriß
This is an easy though somewhat long day and sees you cross the hilly area between the magnificent Benediktenwand and the Karwendel. The day starts out with climbing to the shoulder of the Benediktenwand followed by a long descent through a wild valley towards the Hamlet of Jachenau (which has a shop not mentioned in the English guidebook. The shop is closed during the siësta.). There is an obvious swimming hole in this section. After Jachenau you’ll find yourself hiking along boring and steep jeeptracks through the wood for several hours until you reach a small Alm which sometimes sells milk. After this there is more hiking through forest before a steep descent is made to the small hamlet of Vorderriß.
Vorderriß to Karwendelhaus
This day starts with a 10km roadhike before you finally enter the Karwendel mountains just after the village of Hinterriß. If you’re not concerned with hiking an unbroken line through the Alps you could take the bus or hitch a ride to Hinterriß. The climb into the Karwendel is mostly on jeeptracks and despite the awesome scenery not the most inspiring. Luckily, the Karwendelhaus itself is a great hut with good food and amazing views. At 19:00 the Warden of the hut gives a weatherforecast and advices hikers about the condition of the route. Don’t miss this!
Karwendelhaus to Hallerangerhaus
This is a long day with hard scrambling on steep terrain and loose stones. Early in the season steep snowfields can complicate the ascent and descent to the Schlauchkarsattel. It takes most people about 10 hours to complete the hike to the Hallerangerhaus. If you had trouble with the scrambling on the Benediktenwand this stage might be too much for you. At any rate, it is wise to team up with other hikers and look out for eachother.
The scenery itself is top notch and once you’re safely down on the valley floor you can enjoy the view of the many surrounding rock faces.
Hallerangerhaus to Hall
Although this stage sees you descend to the busy Inn Valley it still features some great scenery. It is easy hiking and downhill most of the way. Don’t forget to eat an Apfelstrüdel at the ancient St Magdalena cloister. Once you reach the Inn Valley you follow a busy road down to the village of Hall. Alternatively, you can try and catch a bus or hitch a ride.
Once you enter Hall you have three options:
- You stay in Hall. Hall is very expensive however and doesn’t even have a good outdoor shop.
- You take the train to Innsbruck where you can find cheaper accommodations and a great amount of outdoor shops. Innsbruck itself also has a great swimming pool and a very charming city center. Innsbruck also has an airport and train connections to Munich.
- You continue by taking the bus to Tulfes from where you can take the chair lift all the way up to Tulfein Alm. From Tulfein Alm it’s only 1,5 hours of hiking to the Glungezer Hütte. This saves you a day of hard uphill hiking and allows you to avoid expensive accommodations in the valley.