Winter Hiking Tour: “Rax / Heukuppe via Schlangenweg”

Hike up to the highest point of the Rax plateau (the “Heukuppe”) via the “Schlangenweg”. This tour is especially promising on a clear winter day, allowing awesome distance view on the surrounding mountain scenery.

Hike up the Rax (Heukuppe) via the “Schlangenweg”

This tour leads up to the highest point of the Rax Plateau, namely the Heukuppe. The tour is fairly easy and does not require special equipment or techniques, thus also suitable for beginners. Due to the exciting scenery and on clear days the awesome distance view on the surrounding mountain area, it is also enjoyable for experienced persons.
The tour starts at the parking Preiner Gscheid (GPS: 47.676040, 15.723129) and follows up an easy and winding forest road (which can be short-cut by walking up the slope). At the Siebenbrunnenwiese, the winding Schlagenweg trail starts which leads directly to the Karl-Ludwig Haus (partly open during Winter!). It then follows the trail towards the Raxkirchlein (small church) and then follows up the ridge to the Heukuppe (2007m) which is the highest point of the entire Rax plateau. The descent is done via the same route.

Please note that the Karl Ludwig Haus is not open during the entire winter period (click here for info). It is therefore recommended to bring proper supplies.


Tour Description

00:00 Start at the parking lot Preiner Gscheid (GPS: 47.676040, 15.723129) and follow the trail upwards (slope).
00:05 Turn left into the forest road and follow this winding road (crosses the slope several time).
00:30 At the U-turn, stay on the forest road (do not (yet) go to Waxriegelhaus!)
00:40 At the Gflotzhütte (building), leave the forest road and follow the slope upwards.
00:50 At the Siebenbrunnenwiese, find the trail (straight ahead on left hand-side) that leads directly into the Schlangenweg.
01:00 Follow the winding Schlangenweg upwards.
01:45 Depending on the conditions (snow/ice, wet) either take the easy tour (turn right) or the direct tour (straight ahead). Both end at the Karl-Ludwig-Haus.
02:00 Break at the Karl-Ludwig-Haus. If open, enjoy a delicate meal (), or enjoy a self-brought refreshment () otherwise.
02:15* Follow the trail towards the Raxkirchlein (the small church in the south).
02:16 Follow the trail following the ridge upwards to the peak – allowing impressive distance views.
02:55 Break at the peak: Enjoy the amazing mountain scenery at the Heukuppe (best enjoyed with a self-brought ).
03:55 Follow the same route downhill.
04:00 At the crossing, turn left and descent directly towards Karl-Ludwig Haus.
04:20 Descent via the Schlangenweg.
05:05 At the crossing, turn left and follow the road / trail towards the Waxriegelhaus.
05:10 Well deserved break ( ) at the Waxriegelhaus.
06:45 Follow the route back towards the car parking. You might shortcut the forest road by using the slope.
07:30 Arrival at the parking. This is the end of the tour.

*: The hut was closed so we only had a short break ().
At a glance

Level easy-moderate
Shape / Fitness
Best time in the year  

General Tour Data

Area: Rax/Schneeberg Group, Lower Austria, Austria
Distance: 12km
Ascent: 930m (2h 50min)
Descent: 930m (1h 55min)
Highest Pt: 2004m
Lowest Pt: 1074m
Duration: 5h 20min (without breaks)
7h 30min (with breaks)
Stop/Rest: Karl Ludwig Haus (1804m)
Waxriegelhaus (1361m)
Equipment: Backpack with standard hiking equipment
Snacks and enough water
Sun & Weather protection
1x “Gipfelbier” ()
If done in Winter:
Chains (“Grödeln”) or crampons
In case hut is closed:
• Food & Additional “Gipfelbier” ()
Cold-weather gear (Windstopper)

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Tour Diary

2021-04-24 09:00

Weather: Sunny, warm, perfect
Participants: Stefan, Herbert, Robert
Activity: Strava

2020-01-02 10:00

Weather: sunny, stormy at the top
Participants: Stefan, Hannes, Herbert, Robert
Activity: Suunto

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