Hiking Tour: “Rax Plateau Tour (2 days)”

Two days hiking tour on the Rax plateau, starting from the eastern end and hike towards western end. When the ascent and descent is done via the Raxseilbahn (cable car) and the overnight stay at the Karl-Ludwig-Haus, the tour is fairly easy but allows promising surrounding views.

Round-Tour on the Rax Plateau visiting 5 huts

The tour starts at the parking of the valley station of the Raxseilbahn (cable car, GPS: 47.715538, 15.804411), whereas the ascent and descent will be done via the cable car (buy a return ticket). At the mountain station, hiking really starts and first the tour leads towards the promising Höllentalaussicht view point. The tour then descents towards the Wolfgang-Dirnbacher-Hütte (no service) and then ascents a bit steeper to the Scheibwaldhöhe (1900m) and then descends again towards the Habsburghaus.
After a strengthen meal, the tour leads via the Ochsenhaltweg towards the Bärengraben. Sportive persons can then continue the tour hiking up towards the Heukuppe (highest point of the Rax), the easy route is however through the Bärengraben towards the Karl-Ludwig-Haus. (overnight stay).
After a refreshing overnight stay in one of the 2-bedrooms of the Karl-Ludwig-Haus the tour continues the next morning by hiking up to the Predigtstuhl (1899m) and then via the Trinksteinsattel to the Neue Fischerhütte. There, a small but promising detour can be done towards the Eishöhle, a cave that keeps snow and ice throughout the year. The tour then leads via the Preiner Wand (1783m) and the Hohe Kanzel (1699m) towards the Ottohaus. After a refreshing break, an easy hike is done back to the mountain station of the cable car which is then used for the final descent.
Tour Description

00:00 Purchase a return-ticket and ascent with the Rax cable car (approx. 15 min).
00:00 Start the tour at the mountain station of the cable car and follow the road towards Praterstern / Ottohaus.
00:20 At the Praterstern, turn right into the second trail (do not follow the first trail which leads to the Wachthüttelkamm) and follow the blue-marked mountain road.
00:35 Short break to enjoy the awesome view at the Höllentalaussicht.
00:40 Turn around and then turn right into the small trail (marked white-blue-white) descending towards the Wolfgang-Dirnbacher-Hütte.
01:00 Short break at the Wolfgang-Dirnbacher-Hütte (unserved mountain hut). Enjoy a self-brought drink ().
01:10 Continue on the trail upwards (marked white-red-white) becoming steeper at the end.
01:30 Break at the crossing. A perfect place to enjoy self-brought snacks and drinks ().
01:50 Continue the tour. You can then either continue on the white-red-white marked tour around the Scheibwaldhöhe or turn left to hike up to its peak (1945m) along the ridge. In the later case you have to turn left at the next crossing to come back to the original route.
03:00 Well deserved break at the Habsburghaus. Enjoy the good food and beware of the “beggar” (the very nice and friendly dog begging for food).
04:00 Continue the tour following the Ochsenhaltweg (red marked tour).
04:10 Turn right and stay on the Ochsenhaltweg (red marked tour).
04:40 At the crossing with the Bärengraben, turn left and follow the trail through the Bärengraben (marked green). If you are sportive and still have power, you might want to consider to stay on the red-marked track and hike up to the summit of Rax, the Klosterwappen.
05:00 At the Ebnerhütte (not serviced), turn left and follow the Bärengraben trail.
05:10 Follow the mountain road upwards.
05:30 Check-in at the Karl-Ludwig-Haus and enjoy a refreshing drink during check-in ().
You might want to consider doing the short walk towards the Raxkirchlein (the small church) or a trail-run up to the Klosterwappen and enjoy the sunset at the summit.
Day 2
After a strengthen breakfast and check-out, follow the trail ascending up to the Predigtstuhl.
00:50 Pass by the stone ship and follow the route towards Trinksteinsattel / Neue Seehütte.
00:55 Descend from Trinksteinsattel towards the Neue Seehütte.
01:25 Break at the Neue Seehütte, enjoying some home-made cake and warming up with coffee ().
01:50 Walk back and directly at the crossing, go straight into the small trail (Alex-Foki-Steig) that leads towards the ice cave. GPS is recommended since the cave is not easy to find.
02:00 Short break at the Eishöhle (ice cave). On hot days, enjoy the refreshing cold breeze coming out from it.
02:10 Hike back on the same trail till reaching again the Neue Fischerhütte.
02:25 Continue on the mountain road (Seeweg) hiking up towards towards the Preiner Wand.
02:30 Turn right into the Kammweg and hike up (steeper) towards the Preiner Wand.
02:50 Short break at the Preiner Wand summit cross (1783m). Continue on the trail Follow the trail passing the Hohe Kanzel.
03:45 Turn left and hike up towards the Jakobskogel summit cross. After a short break descend by turning right and follow the trail that brings you back on the original track towards Ottohaus.
04:05 Well-deserved break at the Ottohaus (). You might want to have here lunch or continue the tour and break at the Rax Berggasthof (mountain station at the cable car).
04:05# Follow the mountain road (turn right at Praterstern which leads directly to the mountain station of the cable car.
04:30# Break at the Berggasthof (). Since the descent is done using the cable car, the tour officially ends here.

*: Due to bad weather conditions, we decided to walk around the peak using the Pehofer-Almweg
#: Due to being crowded, we decided to continue the tour and break at the Rax Berggasthof

Tip: When purchasing a return ticket for the cable car, you are requested to make a reservation for the descent. This reservation can be changed to an earlier time (subject to availability), but the cable car is booked out on weekends pretty fast. I recommend to reserve for a later timeslot and either spent the time at the Berggasthof or try to change it to an earlier time when arriving back at the mountain station.


General Tour Data

Area: Rax/Schneeberg Group, Lower Austria, Austria
Distance: 24km
Ascent: 1129m (3h 50min)
Descent: 1128m (3h 45min)
Highest Pt: 1904m
Lowest Pt: 1463m
Duration: 8h 30min (without breaks)
09h 45min (with breaks)
Stop/Rest: Habsburghaus (1785m)
Karl-Ludwig-Haus (1804m)
Neue Seehütte (1643m)
Ottohaus (1644m)
Berggasthof Rax (1545m)
Equipment: Backpack with standard hiking equipment
Comfortable hiking shoes (Cat. A)
Snacks and plenty of water
Sun & Weather protection
2-3x “Gipfelbier” ()

Whole tour:
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Day 1 (Mountain Station – Karl-Ludwig-Haus)
  Download GPX
O   Tour at outdooractive.com
Day 2 (Karl-Ludwig-Haus – Mountain Station)
  Download GPX
O   Tour at outdooractive.com

Tour Diary

Tour Date: 2018-10-19 10:00
  Weather: Mostly cloudy
  Participants: Stefan, Debora
  Activity: Day 1, Trailrun Klosterwappen, Day 2

At a glance

Level easy
Shape / Fitness
Best time in the year  
Be aware that some huts may be closed starting mid October till mid May (e.g. Habsburghaus).

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