The "little brother" of the long distance hiking trail "Karnischer Höhenweg"
Located between the Carnic Alps to the south and the Drau Valley to the north, the Gailtal Alps stretch approximately 90km from the village of Kartitsch in East Tyrol to the Windische Höhe in Carinthia. The "Gailtaler Höhenweg" (nr. 229) long-distance hiking trail follows the ridge of this mountain range and is a great insider tip for hiking enthusiasts.
Despite the fact that this trail not the facilities like the "Karnische Höhenweg" leading along the Carnic Alps, the untouched landscape, natural beauty and lonely mountain peaks of the "Gailtaler Höhenweg" make it just as spectacular and rewarding. Because of the few high-alpine huts and shelters for the night, an ascent and descent is necessary at the start and finish of a stage or, alternatively, you stay in a tent overnight.
This route is therefore very demanding but hikers are amply rewarded: because you experience a region so different from the long-distance hiking trails developed for tourists where it is very difficult for hikers to find space in a hut."
Stages of the Gailtal Valley High Route
The Gailtal Valley High Route can be divided into individual day stages with well-marked and signposted ascents and descents. Apart from a few summit crossings, there are no significant difficulties along the Gailtal Valley High Route.
Walter Mair, a mountaineer and lover of nature, has written a detailed hiking guide about the Gailtal Valley High Route in the area around the Lesachtal Valley and the Gailtal Valley. In the 128-page publication, Mair describes the high route in three sections:
- Section I: from St. Oswald to the Gailberg Mountain (Lesachtal Valley area)
- Section II: from the Gailberg Saddle to Weißbriach
- Section III: from Weißbriach to Windischen Höhe
Apart from information about the course of the route, the hiking guide also contains notes on the flora and fauna as well as culture and includes options for the approach and the descent from the high route into the Gailtal Valley or Lesachtal Valley.