One of the most incredible hiking areas in Austria to start with if you’re a beginner and would rather not spend an extended period on the route is the Rakiton High Trail. We believe this favorite hiking area in Austria has a wonderfully gorgeous mountain range.
In addition to just taking five days to complete, this route is free of storms and other hazards, making it easy to ride the entire way. This track, which starts in Vorarlberg and descends to Graubünden, winds through a spectacular setting and lets you see magnificent sights. The Ratikon High Trail passes through Liechtenstein, Austria, and Switzerland.
Rätikon is a beautiful location for day treks, hut-to-hut excursions, and challenging climbing because of its rocky peaks and descending pastures.
In this article, you will learn about the history of the Ratikon High Trail, the sight description, when to go, accommodation arrangements, and possible dangers (not to scare you, but it is worth knowing).
Brief History of Rakiton High Trail.
The history of this trail has to do with an increase in hiking and climbing in the area.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Alps became a popular destination for travelers and climbers seeking adventure and breathtaking scenery. As more and more people visited the mountain, hiking and climbing associations were formed, and trails were built to support these activities.
The Laticon Mountains have always attracted hikers and mountaineers with their rugged peaks and lush alpine meadows. The first huts in the area were built in the early 20th century to provide shelter for hikers, and paths were laid to connect these huts. Karl Brodig, an Austrian climber and guide who lived in Laticon Hehenweg from 1878 to 1956, contributed to its development. Brodig was responsible for the construction of various mountain huts, as well as several of his hiking trails and climbing routes in the Laticon Mountains.
The modern Laticon High trail was created in the 1970s by constructing numerous new huts and expanding existing trails. The trail is now famous for hikers worldwide with its spectacular scenery and challenging terrain.
Despite its popularity, the Rakiton High trail is a remote and challenging destination with few amenities and an emphasis on self-sufficiency. Hikers venturing into the Laticon Mountains are rewarded with some of the most stunning scenery in the Alps and a sense of adventure and exploration that recalls the early days of mountaineering in the region.
Description of the Sight
Ratikon might serve as a stand-in for the iconic Sound of Music moments where the Von Trapp family enjoyed the alpine meadows’ wildflowers, with its towering peaks up to 9,724 feet and descending lush pastures inhabited by cattle and goats.
The four phases of the 77-kilometer (48-mile) Prättigau High Trail take you through the breathtaking mountain landscape of Rätikon. Around every corner, you’ll find breathtaking vistas of the lovely Prättigau and impressive peaks like the Sulzfluh, Drusenfluh, and Schesaplana. The peaceful Partnunsee encourages you to unwind on its banks, while the panoramic Cavelljoch offers views of Austria and Lake Lünersee.
The Schesaplanahütte and the Carschinahütte, two well-known Swiss mountain huts with stunning views, are where you spend the first two nights. As you traverse flower-filled alpine meadows and gravel while hiking from hut to hut, climbers ascend endless climbing paths above the sheer limestone cliffs. You finally scale a peak on the final stage. You enjoy a fantastic view over the whole high-altitude trail, the summits of the Rätikon, and the Plessur Alps from the Jägglisch Horn. You might be lucky enough to see marmots or golden eagles.
This high-altitude trek has two very long and taxing sections, but you can cut some distance by taking a bus or cable car. Although most path of trails are simple to follow, you should be cautious and wear solid shoes.
As you proceed to the Carschina hut, pay close attention to the loose rocks. You appear to be flying down the amazing calc stone walls as the course becomes easier once you’ve completed the day’s most challenging stretch. The route ends in Austria after a brief but highly exposed portion known as the Schweizertor. Take on the day’s final ascent before enjoying a thrilling descent along a stream that flows into the pristine Lünersee with Schesaplana in the distance. The next distance is primarily level as it follows a mountain road and takes you to Douglas Hut, where you may spend the night and have dinner while overlooking the lake.
Details on hiking Rakiton High Trail
When to Go: Weather and Season
The months of late June through late September are the most favorable for this route. Before your trip, research the trail conditions and make reservations for your lodging. Snowfields can last into the summer at high altitudes. Before leaving, look up the weather prediction and pack appropriate attire. You walk through a herd safety zone.
Visitors and hikers can get a taste of the actual remoteness of this alpine environment on less than 60 kilometers of hiking paths. The hiker pauses at seven staffed mountain huts along the way; each one is unique, with its own offer, history, and staff. Shelter, relaxation, and hearty meals with plenty of liquids are offered to hikers. Keeping hydrated is crucial on this tour!
The stages (hiking days) on the crossing should be planned such that the hiker spends the night in a mountain hut each day, equipping him with all he needs at the start and finish of each stage.
It is crucial that you schedule lodging for an overnight stay at least two weeks in advance. In most huts, you can sleep in a private room or a shared dormitory (called a “lager”). With an exemption of Mannheimer Hütte, you can book all of these Rätikon huts online.
Food and Water
You can stop at one of the mountain cottages on the walk indicated for refreshments. Of course, you need to bring your own supplies for the actual hike (snacks, chocolate, and lots of water; you may buy these items at the huts). Locating drinking water in some regions of the journey can be challenging because they are rocky and have sheltered high mountain lakes, particularly in the drier summer months.
Water can be obtained from the mountain springs and occasionally the huts, which have pure water that does not require filtration. A 3-liter bag should be adequate for each hiker or traveler.
Challenges When Hiking Rakiton
True, Ratikon High Trail is a sight to behold, but it can be very challenging due to several factors explained below.
The Ratikon High Trail is physically challenging and renowned for its rocky, rugged terrain. Hikers must move over challenging terrain, including loose rocks, constricting pathways, and challenging climbs and declines.
In addition to that, the weather along the Ratikon High Trail is erratic and subject to unexpected changes, such as rain or thunderstorms. Hikers must be equipped with the right supplies to battle the shifting weather, such as waterproof clothing and layers.
Another challenge is the expert climbing abilities. Expert mountaineering abilities, requiring ropes and harnesses, are necessary for Ratikon High Trail. Hikers who attempt these paths should have the requisite training or prior expertise to negotiate these treacherous parts successfully.
The Ratikon High Trail is more mountainous and isolated than other hiking areas; hence the path network can be more complicated and poorly maintained. Hikers must be strongly aware of their intended route and adept at map reading and navigation.
The Ratikon High Trail is a comparatively undeveloped hiking location compared to more well-known mountain ranges. As a result, there might not be many amenities available to hikers along the trail Planning and packing extra supplies are crucial.
Several summits along the Ratikon High Trail rise above 3,000 meters (9,800 ft). If they rise too quickly without adequate adjustments, hikers may encounter sickness symptoms such as headaches, nausea, or vertigo. Getting enough rest and ascending gradually is imperative to reduce the implications of altitude.
Animals, including Ibex, chamois, and marmots, live along the Ratikon High Trail. While contact with wildlife can be intriguing, hikers must use caution, show these animals respect, and keep their natural habitats undisturbed. Hikers should also be mindful of potential environmental hazards, such as toxic or allergic plants.
Tips to know when Hiking Rakiton High Trail.
Below are some tips to consider when hiking Ratikon.
- Consider the environments that plants and animals inhabit. It is forbidden to pick or move rocks, flowers, or other living things.
- The use of drones is forbidden.
- Back everything up to the valley with you. Don’t leave a trace.
- Follow the prescribed hiking trail exclusively.
- Avoid making excessive noise, such as by playing loud music.
- Animals should be kept a safe distance away. This journey passes through pastureland with roaming cattle most of the way. Please don’t pet the cows or attempt a selfie with one (yes, people do this, and it isn’t very smart). Electric fences surround meadows and alms. Sometimes all you have to do is cross the fence. Sometimes you have to take the fence off its hook. Ensure you close the electric fence after you pass through it and only touch the handle.
The Ratikon Range is traversed by the challenging and exposed Ratikon High Trail, additionally referred to as the Ratikon Höhenweg. Hikers should be conscious of the following potential risks in addition to the spectacular vistas and unique experiences it offers:
1. Exposed areas: The Ratikon High Trail frequently travels over rocky and exposed steep areas, including narrow ridges. A fall and fatal injuries could result from a single tiny error. While navigating these paths, hikers must use caution and maintain their balance.
2. Rockfall: The Ratikon High Trail is highly susceptible to rockfall because of its rocky terrain. Those below may be at risk if loose rocks are moved by other trekkers or by natural forces. Hikers should be cautious and aware of potential rockfall hazards, particularly in steep slopes or regions with loose rock.
3. Weather: The Ratikon High Trail is susceptible to dramatic weather changes, including storms, fog, and severe winds. Navigation may be difficult in fog or heavy rain conditions, and exposed areas may become even more hazardous in the presence of high winds. In severe weather, hikers should consider turning around or finding shelter, check the weather forecasts, and be equipped appropriately.
4. Snow storms: The Ratikon High Trail can be vulnerable to snow storms in some places throughout the winter and early spring, particularly on steep slopes or couloirs. During these seasons, hikers should exercise caution and confirm local snowstorm forecasts before setting out on the Ratikon High Trail.
5. Altitude and Adjustments: Parts of the Ratikon High Trail reach high altitudes and hikers who ascend too quickly without enough acclimatization risk experiencing the effects of altitude sickness. If symptoms worsen, it’s critical to allow time for adjustment, stay properly hydrated, and move to lower heights.
6. Distant and Limited Facilities: Because the Ratikon High Trail is a more undeveloped and distant hiking path, there may be few or no facilities along the way, such as mountain huts or emergency services. Hikers should have a well-planned route, be self-sufficient, and carry the necessary equipment.
7. Animal and Flora: As was already noted, various animal species call the Ratikon High Trail home. Hikers might encounter Ibex and Chamois; they need to be aware of this and show respect for their territory. Additionally, some plants in the area could be dangerous, so it’s critical to be familiar with the flora to prevent any potential injury.
To reduce these risks, hikers should have prior mountain hiking experience, be in good physical shape, carry the necessary equipment, and thoroughly know the trail’s location and potential dangers. Before trying the trek, verifying the conditions and speaking with local authorities or manuals is a good idea.
With breathtaking mountain scenery, the Ratikon High Trail provides a challenging and rewarding hiking experience. It does, however, have certain possible risks. The exposed areas, risk of rockfall, erratic weather, the likelihood of health difficulties, and remoteness of the path must all be considered by hikers. These hazards can be reduced by being cautious, well-prepared, and experienced. While hiking the Ratikon High Trail, one must consider one’s capabilities, check the weather, bring the necessary equipment, and be aware of one’s surroundings. By doing this, hikers may take in the splendor of the Ratikon High Trail while guaranteeing their safety at all times.