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Olpererhutte Hike and Hanging Bridge - The best hiking in Austria

Olpererhutte Hike and Hanging Bridge

The Olpererhutte Hike stands out as one of the most popular hiking trails in Austria, attracting adventurers with its stunning features. The hike gained its popularity primarily for its iconic hanging bridge, which offers a breathtakingly picturesque crossing with panoramic views. Beyond the bridge, the entire trail is a visual feast, presenting hikers with outstanding views of the surrounding alpine landscape and lake Schlegeis. During our adventurous road trip through Austria, the Olpererhütte Hike was an experience we couldn't afford to miss.

Olpererhutte Hike and Hanging Bridge

Olpererhutte Hike Options

When hiking to Olpererhütte, you have two route options to choose from, each varying in length and difficulty. Both hikes start and end at Schlegeis Reservoir where you can leave your car at the free parking.

Point to Point: Schlegeis Reservoir to Olpererhutte

🥾 Difficulty: Moderate

⛰️ Total Distance: 3.5 KM (point to point)

📈 Incline: 600M

⏱️ Total Duration: 1-2 hours

Olpererhutte Loop Trail

🥾 Difficulty: Moderate

⛰️ Total Distance: 14 KM (loop)

📈 Incline: 950M

⏱️ Total Duration: 5-6 hours

Why to choose the Olpererhütte Hike?

+ Perfect option for a day hike,

+ Unique views during entire hike,

+ Picturesque hanging bridge,

+ Interesting area around Schlegeis Reservoir to explore,

+ Lunch in Olpererhutte,

- Steep and long approach,

How to get around Austria

Austria is a very convenient country for traveling using public transportation, such as local buses and trains. If you can afford to sacrifice some time to save money and help the environment, we suggest you do so. However, if your time in Austria is limited, we recommend renting a car to make the most of your visit. Although we used our own car to travel around Austria, we usually book cars through Discover Cars, our go-to place for finding the best car rental deals worldwide.

To drive on highways in Austria, you must purchase a Vignette. You can buy it at any gas station near the Austrian border or online.

Olpererhutte Hike and Hanging Bridge

Where's the hanging bridge at Olpererhutte hike in Austria

Many visitors are particularly drawn to the famous hanging bridge, and it's no wonder—this spot is truly impressive. The bridge is located above Olpererhütte. To reach it, follow the trail towards Friesenberghaus for a few hundred meters along the loop trail. Despite its dramatic appearance in photos, the bridge actually spans a small stream and is not as exposed as it seems. If you prefer, you can easily walk around it.

The bridge is very popular among tourists, so expect lines of people waiting to take photos. Remember, the bridge is part of the trail, so whether you're a hiker crossing to the other side or simply waiting to take a picture, be respectful and give others a moment to enjoy the experience.

For the best photo opportunities, it's advisable to arrive early. We reached the bridge at 9 AM. Although there were already some people, we were able to take a few pictures without causing much disruption.

Olpererhutte Hike and Hanging Bridge

The Hike to Olpererhutte

The toughest part of the trail begins right from the start, where you'll need to climb 600 meters in a short distance. Luckily, you'll be treated to incredible views of the alpine landscape and Lake Schlegeis, so don't forget to glance behind you from time to time. Along the way, you'll also encounter a few larger boulders that are perfect for climbing and posing for some nice hiking pictures.

On the final plateau before reaching the hut, there's a small pond. It's not visible from the trail, so it's easy to miss. But if you climb above the hut, you'll catch a partial glimpse, just like in the picture above where the man is pointing towards it. This pond is positioned in a way that it reflects the mountains in its water, making it a perfect spot for taking some impressive photographs.

Olpererhutte Hike and Hanging Bridge

Olpererhütte is an ideal place to stop for breakfast or lunch and take a moment to soak in the beautiful scenery of the Austrian Alps that surround you. Just a few hundreat meters further, the trail towards Friesenberghaus will lead you to the hanging bridge, after which you can continue onto the loop trail.

Olpererhutte Loop Trail

As you pass the bridge, you'll continue towards Friesenberghaus, another mountain hut along the way. Friesenberghaus isn't exactly on the trail, so to stop there, you'll have to add a couple of hundred meters to your route. After the hanging bridge, the trail changes from a dirt road to a boulder field, where you'll need to navigate over large rocks. It's easy to lose track of the trail, so pay attention to the red markers painted on the larger boulders.

Olpererhutte Hike and Hanging Bridge

The rocky terrain doesn't make the trail more difficult, but it might slow you down a bit as you have to watch your step while progressing. As long as you can see the lake in the background, you'll encounter many viewpoints perfect for adventurous photographs. Although the view of Lake Schlegeis is truly incredible, it's the only one you'll see on this hike. However, don't let it bore you, as in the last part of the trail, when you start to see Friesenberghaus in the distance, Lake Schlegeis will disappear behind the hill, and you won't see it again until the end of the hike. The last few kilometers don't lead through a scenic area, but if you climb up to the hut, you can catch one last glimpse of the lake. We decided to hike straight down to our car as we were quite tired from the hike.

Our Experience

Hiking the Olpererhütte loop trail was one of the coolest experiences we had during our visit to Austria. The location is incredibly unique, and calling the views impressive is an understatement. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the area around Olpererhütte in search of photo opportunities. I wouldn't want to miss this hike during our visit to Austria, and neither should you!

Other Articles about Austria

In the summer of 2023, we spent two weeks road-tripping around the most incredible outdoor locations in Austria. We didn't have high expectations, but Austria made a huge impression on us, and we fell in love with the leisurely vibe at Austrian lakes and adventurous hikes in the Alps. Spending so much time in Austria allowed us to write these detailed guides, which we hope will help you plan your own trip to Austria.



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