OverviewThe Karhorn is a fairly exposed mountain at the very north east corner of the Lechquellengebirge range. To the east, there are the villages of Warth and Lech at it’s base, towards the north and west the Hochtannberg pass and the village of Schröcken. It is accessible from the south by an easier scramble; from the west and from the east one has to tackle more demanding via ferrata routes, for which adequate climbing equipment is needed.
Even though this mountain is not one of the highest in this area with it’s 2416 meters, one gets great views in all directions from it’s summit due to it’s slightly isolated position.
Getting ThereNearest airports: Zürich, Munich, Innsbruck.
Here are the three simplest ways of getting to Lech am Arlberg by car:
Coming by car from Zürich: Take the motorway to St. Gallen and continue on the motorway, following the signs to St. Margrethen-Chur, as far as Diepoldsau. Here, turn left and follow the road to Hohenems (Austria). Now take the A14, following the signs to Innsbruck, past Feldkirch until Bludenz. Then follow the E60 (Arlberg-Schnellstrasse) as far as Langen am Arlberg (Langen a. A.). In Langen, turn off and follow the road leading through the village of Stuben up towards the Arlberg pass. 3 km before the top of the Arlberg, there is the turn-off towards Flexenpass-Zürs-Lech. Follow this road to Lech. Distance: 196,8 km, duration: 2h 13min.
Coming by car from Innsbruck: Head for the A12 direction Bregenz and follow it until it ends in Landeck. In Landeck, follow the signs to Bregenz and continue on the road through the Stanzer Tal as far as St. Anton. Then take the road to St. Christoph-Arlbergpass, go over the pass and 3 km down the other side. At crossroads, turn right and follow the road leading over the Flexenpass to Zürs and Lech. Distance: 116,8 km; duration: 1h 32min.
Coming by car from Munich: Follow the E533 towards Garmisch-Partenkirchen, then, in Oberau, just ca. 5 km before reaching Garmisch, turn right, following the signs to Reutte (Austria). Upon arrival in Reutte, stay on the road (no. 198) leading up the entire tyrolean Lechtal valley and in Warth, turn left onto the road to Lech. Distance: 188,7 km; duration: 2h 45min.
Coming by means of public transportation: All fast trains commuting between Zürich (Switzerland) or Bregenz (Austria) and Vienna stop in Langen am Arlberg. In Langen, change to the postal car that commutes regularly between Langen and Lech. Coming from Munich: Take one of the international trains bound for Italy via Innsbruck, alight in Innsbruck and change to one of the fast trains bound for Bregenz or Zürich. Alight in Langen am Arlberg or St. Anton am Arlberg, then take the postal car to Lech.
Red TapeNon that I know of.
Routesa) From Lech: Start at Bodenalpe. Follow the steep direct trail leading to Bürstegg. About half a mile short of Bürstegg, turn left at crossroads and follow the trail that rises to the left, away from Bürstegg. After little over half a mile, the trail of ascent towards Karhorn begins. Follow this trail moderately steeply through grass intersparsed with rocks to a shoulder on about 2240m. From here, follow the markings leading through rock and occasional via ferrata passages up the south ridge to the Karhorn’s highest point.
Overall mileage: 5 km or 3.1 miles
Lowest point: Bodenalpe, 1417m (4649 feet)
Highest point: Karhorn, 2416m (7927 feet)
b) From Warth: Follow the steep trail to the top of Wannenkopf (1931m), follow the trail leading past the beautiful little Wannensee pond to Steffisalpe (there is also a chairlift leading here from Warth), rise following the signs to Warther Horn and at the saddle separating Warther Horn from Karhorn, follow the via ferrata (B+) leading to the Karhorn’s summit. Or follow the trail along the east slope of Karhorn to the shoulder at the foot of the south ridge and then proceed as indicated above.
Overall mileage: 6 km or 3.7 miles
Lowest point: Warth, 1494m (4902 feet)
Highest point: Karhorn, 2416m (7927 feet)
One other way to do Karhorn would be as a half-day trip. Take the chairlift from Warth to Steffisalpe, follow the signs to Warther Horn as far as the col separating Warther Horn from Karhorn, follow the via ferrata along the east ridge to the summit, descend the easier south ridge, follow the trail leading from it’s foot back to the saddle between Warther Horn and Karhorn, and go back down the same way as you came to Steffisalpe. If you intend to make use of the chairlift, keep in mind that they close already at 3:30 p.m.!