In August 2018, our Online Editor Alex Roddie hiked the Karwendel Höhenweg. Here are some photographic highlights from his journey.

UK backpackers might not have heard of the Karwendel Höhenweg. It’s a 63km / 39-mile hut tour in the Karwendel Mountains north of Innsbruck, Austria, and visits five superb high alpine huts: Nördlinger Hütte, Solsteinhaus, Pfeishütte, Bettelwurfhütte, and Hallangerhaus. The route traverses some of the finest mountain landscapes in the area.

This is the first in a series of online articles about this trail. Look out for the rest over the coming weeks!

Header image above: On the first day, the trail climbs to just beneath the summit of Reither Spitze (2,374m). The scrambly peak is a short detour and a superb vantage point from which to view the next day’s challenges.


On the second day, I walked with a group of Germans over one of the hardest passes on the route: black-graded Alpine trail in the mist and rain. Atmospheric.
Image © Alex Roddie


Alpine salamanders were abundant in the wet weather.
© Image Alex Roddie


Hut life. The group of German hikers made me welcome. They come to the Alps every year for a group trek.
© Image Alex Roddie


Huge views over the Karwendel Mountains.
© Image Alex Roddie


A sort of dense pine scrub, no higher than around 2m, covered much of the mountains. I was pleasantly surprised by the diverse upland forests I walked through.
© Image Alex Roddie


I encountered more mature woodlands too. The old-growth forests near Pfeishütte were as magnificent as any I’ve seen.
© Image Alex Roddie


The trail often climbs up into a barren and striking wasteland of scree and rock. Top-quality Alpine walking.
© Image Alex Roddie


The final section, starting from Hallangerhaus, takes you up close and personal with a dramatic landscape of sheer rock walls and pinnacles.
© Image Alex Roddie