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The Sulzenau Hut is one of my favorite huts to hike to in the Stubai Valley. There are a few different routes to approach the hut, but on this particular occasion, we took the route that follows the WilderWasserWeg.
The route starts from the Grawa Alm at the foot of the magnificent Grawa Waterfall. As you’re facing the waterfall on the viewing platform, take the exit on the right side. Just as you step off the platform, you’ll find the trail, leading up and into the forest via a mixture of rocky footpaths and wooden ladder-like walkways. The ground here is wet and the trail is usually slippy, even more so after heavy rainfall. As you follow the trail up through the forest, you’ll reach a couple of viewing platforms for the waterfall.
If you’re not bothered about seeing the waterfall, instead of parking at the large lower parking area for the Grawa Waterfall, keep driving uphill, through the tunnel and just after the Grawa Alm you’ll see a wooden bridge. Here you can park for the alternative trail up to the Sulenzau Alm and Sulzenau Hut.
Once you reach the top of the tree line, the path flattens out and you’ll soon find yourself on a flatter, wider gravel path which leads to the Sulzenau Alm, a mountain hut that sits in the valley basin, surrounded my more dramatic waterfalls. The Suzenau Alm is open in the summer months, from June until September where you can stop for a rest and some refreshments. It’s a small mountain hut, so don’t forget to take cash with you.
At the end of the valley basin, the largest of the waterfalls on this plateau powers down the rock face, and at the top you’ll see the Sulzenau Hut. The path up to the Sulzenau Hut begins close to the base of the waterfall, and zig-zags its way up the mountainside until it reaches the flat rocks upon where the Sulzenau Hut stands.
To reach the Sulzenau Hut from the Grawa Alm, it takes around 2.5-3 hours. The Sulzenau Hut serves food and drink, and after a refuel, it’s possible to do the return hike the same day.
We stayed overnight in the Sulzenau Hut so that we could do some exploring beyond the hut and watch the sunrise in the evening, and get up early for a mountain sunrise, and carry on hiking along the route of the Stubai High Trail to the Dresdener Hütte the next morning.
If you’re a climber, around the Sulzenau Hut there are some short sport climbing routes & via ferrata practice routes, as well as a via ferrata route down the waterfall. However, I make sure you look up the topos for these (and bring the appropriate safety equipment) before attempting the climbs.
What To Pack
If you’re planning a day hike, I recommend packing the following:
- Rucksack (small daypack is enough)
- Hiking boots with rubber soles
- Refillable water bottle & snacks
- Sunglasses, hat & sunscreen
- Waterproof & windproof jacket
- Mobile phone
- Cash for drinks/food at the mountain huts
- Telescopic hiking poles (optional)
For an overnight stay in the mountain hut you’ll also need:
- Hut sleeping bag / sleeping bag liner
- Wash bag with toiletries
- Head torch (optional)
- Insulated jacket, warm hat & gloves (for cold mountain mornings)
How To Get There
Getting to the start of the hike is really easy, whether you’re coming by car or by public transport. The parking area is a 20-minute drive from Neustift in Stubaital or 45 minutes from Innsbruck.
If you’re coming by public transport, you can take the bus 590b from Innsbruck HBF (which also stops in Neustift) to the Grawa Alm which is right where the trail starts by the Grawa Waterfall.
To check the bus times visit the VVT website here.
Where To Stay
The Stubai valley has so much to offer that it’s a great place to stay, both in summer and in winter. The town with the most hotels and facilities is Neustift in Stubaital. If you would rather stay in Innsbruck, you can reach the start of the Stubai valley in just 20 minutes, and the Stubai Glacier in just 45 minutes via the A13 Brenner Autobahn.