Sonnenkopf, Heidelbeerkopf, Schnippenkopf and Rubihorn seen through the valley fog from Altstädten
is the central summit of Sonnenköpfe
, a three summit ridgeline which rises between the Iller Valley
in the west and Retterschwanger Tal
in the east. The ridgeline with Sonnenkopf
rises just across the timberline so that on either of the summits only part of the vista is free. The Sonnenköpfe Ridge
is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Allgäu Alps in summer, and certainly an even more popular tour-ski and snowshoe destination in winter. While in summer the whole traverse is usually climbed in winter, most skiers and snowshoers stop at the lowest summit Sonnenkopf
, from which ski descents are possible in many directions. Heidelbeerkopf
, due to a steep and exposed (at least in winter it feels exposed) north ridge is far less often visited and Schnippenkopf
sees only a few ascents, almost all from the south.
In summer things look different. Here Schnippenkopf is the main location, which thanks to its elevation is high enough to offer unobstructed views. The other two summits are climbed en route. All three are typical Allgäu Alps summits, steep, grass-covered with deep ruts where the paths go. Howver, the ridges are rather broad so that the only exposure you get is during the steep ascents themselves.
The mountains are usually climbed from either Schöllang
, all on the western side of the ridge. Though the ascent cannot be called difficult, thanks to the elevation gain, it is rather demanding. From Altstädten you have to scale more than 1200m to reach Heidelbeerkopf. Still, also thanks to the fact that the web pages of Oberstdorf and Fischen advertise the traverse, many people set out to do it. Mountain Inns on either side of the traverse (Gaisalpe, Altstädter Hof) make sure you can refuel after the traverse.
Summit panorama towards the north and east
can be reached from the dead end Iller Valey in the Allgäu Alps. Trailheads are at Schöllang, Hinang and Altstädten. The closest airports are at Stuttgart and Munich, both cities being connected by motorway A8
- Take motorway A8 to the intersection Kreuz Ulm-Elchingen.
- Turn onto motorway A7 south, direction Kempten and Füssen.
- At the intersection Dreieck Allgäu switch to A980.
- A few km later turn onto B19, direction Oberstdorf.
- At Sonthofen switch to OA4, direction Altstädten. All trailheads are located on this road.
Kleiner Daumen, Großer Daumen, Wengenköpfe, Nebelhorn and Entschenkopf
is located on the western boundary of Naturschutzgebiet Allgäuer Hochalpen
, a nature preserve which includes the majority of the German part of the Allgäu Alps
. The usual restrictions apply.
Altstädter Hof and Hörnergruppe above the foggy Iller Valley
You can choose between campgrounds, farm holidays, vacation homes and hotel rooms on most of the sites of the Allgäu villages. A Good starting point for your search is:
Maps & Books
- Allgäuer Alpen / Kleinwalsertal
Kompass Map WK 3
- Alpenvereinskarten : Allgäu-West
- Allgäuer Alpen und Ammergauer Alpen Alpin
- Allgäu 1 - Oberallgäu und Kleinwalsertal