Olpererhütte hike in the Zillertal

“Go hiking!” they said. "It's going to be wonderful," they said. Ok, to be honest, nobody said it to us 😀 but for some reason I really wanted to do a little alpine hike last year. First it should go to the Schrecksee in the Allgäu. However, after we found out that this hike is not exactly suitable for beginners, we changed our mind and wanted to start with a slightly easier hike.

Countless photos of a small suspension bridge in front of the spectacular Zillertal panorama have been haunting my Instagram feed for a long time. I wanted to get to the bottom of this popular excursion destination in Austria. And so I quickly decided on one Hike to the Olpererhütte close. You can find out how wonderful a weekend in the Zillertal can be and what awaits you there in my article Weekend trip to another world.

Olpererhütte Hike to the famous suspension bridge in the Zillertal
On this hike, not only is the destination breathtakingly beautiful, but also the way to get there

Hike to the Olpererhütte and the famous suspension bridge in the Zillertal

The rustic Olpererhütte is enthroned in the midst of the imposing mountains at an altitude of 2.389 m. With its unforgettable panoramic view of the Alps and Lake Schlegeissee, the hut attracts numerous outdoor lovers and hiking fans every year. So also me? The hike begins through an idyllic forest, past small waterfalls, over hill and dale, always further up. At first we were in good spirits and still full of power and vigour.

From about half of the ascent it slowly got exhausting. It should be added that it was our very first alpine hike and the incline is not to be underestimated, especially for beginners. Nevertheless, the ascent is definitely manageable, both with children and with dogs. On the way we met many families. Completely sweaty and a bit out of breath, we finally arrived at the hut after about 2 hours. The time that you need from the bottom to the hut is given as 90 minutes, although there are probably no photo breaks included.

Happy at the Olpererhütte, even without hospitality

Unfortunately, the hut was already closed in October, so our euphoria after the ascent was limited. But after we sat down on one of the benches and could look down into the valley, we were just overwhelmed and proud of ourselves. Proud that we didn't turn around and made it to the hut (with no prospect of a warm meal or hot tea to warm you up). And to be honest, we didn't miss it either. As modern city dwellers, we sometimes underestimate our own ability to not have to consume something every few hours. Especially hikes like this, where I leave my comfort zone, show me what our body and mind are capable of. Well, I did eat a muesli bar after all. I would also recommend everyone to pack enough water, glucose and some provisions. The hardest part was still ahead of us.

Olpererhütte Hike to the famous suspension bridge in the Zillertal
Made! Arrived at the Olpererhütte

Tip & Instagram - Photo spot in the Zillertal: The spectacular Zillertal suspension bridge

Far from being an insider tip, but still worth seeing

But before that, it went even further to a true Instagram spot. A few meters above the Olpererhütte in a northerly direction is the small social media celebrity: the Zillertal suspension bridge.

Olpererhütte Hike to the famous suspension bridge in the Zillertal
Small sensation, big: suspension bridge at the Olpererhütte

Since the Olpererhütte was out of order, the rush for the photos on the bridge was fortunately limited. Good for us! Photographed at the right angle, an optical illusion is created. What looks like a metre-deep, dizzying abyss beneath me is actually just a cleverly chosen perspective. The photos of the Olpererhütte and on the suspension bridge in the Zillertal are definitely remarkable. However, I find that there are even more breathtaking photo spots to be found along the entire hiking route, especially at the beginning of the hike.

When is the best time for a hike to the Olpererhütte?

The best time for a hike to the Olpererhütte is from June to October, then the Olpererhütte is usually open and you can look forward to a well-deserved treat. We hiked up in the middle of October in the best weather, but unfortunately the Olpererhütte was already closed. Of course, you should always pay attention to the weather conditions and not start this hike in pouring rain. Even if we live by the motto in Germany: "There is no such thing as bad weather, there is only the wrong clothing." When it rains, it can quickly become slippery. As soon as the toll road is open and snow-free, you can also hike up in April or May.

You can find detailed information on the weather and climate data in the Zillertal in my article Zillertal: A weekend in beautiful Tyrol.

Hike in the Zillertal Olpererhütte
Canada? Nope, Austria

Descent from the Olpererhütte to the Schlegeissee

Now we come to what is probably the most strenuous part of the hike: the descent. In accordance with the motto "descent is not an option for me", I think that you should be reasonably physically fit for the ascent and that you can quickly get out of breath, especially as a beginner. Nevertheless, I find the descent far more uncomfortable, especially for the knees. So I'm glad I did this relatively easy hike to get a feel for what a descent that's twice as long must feel like.

Here are the dates of our hike to the Olpererhütte (there and back)

  • Hiked on 12.10.2019/XNUMX/XNUMX
  • Start of the hike: 12:30 p.m
  • Distance: 3,8 km
  • Duration of ascent: 2 hours
  • Minimum altitude: 1791 m
  • Maximum altitude: 2389 m
  • Ascent (total): 598 m
  • Gradient (total): 0 m
  • Duration of descent: 1:30 h
Excursion to the Zillertal
In truth, the suspension bridge isn't quite as dizzying as it first appears

Hike to the suspension bridge in the Zillertal: my conclusion

Although the Olpererhütte hike to the suspension bridge in the Zillertal was quite exhausting for me as a beginner, I am very happy that I did it because I can now better assess how challenging a few kilometers with an existing incline can be. Also, this hike reminded me again that I don't have to travel far to land in paradise.

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