This hike is rich in variety and takes you from Hopfriesen to Giglachseen Lakes - passing by Landauersee Lake along the "historic miners' route". From the fjord-like Giglachkar cirque you hike along an alpine trail to Duisitzkarsee Lake via Murspitzsattel ridge. On the way back to the valley you finally reach Eschachalm. Enjoy this indescribable natural scenery with a wide variety of terrain!
If you are one of the toughest ones and go swimming in the lake, be considerate of the fish in the lake and avoid, for example, stirring up dust. In addition, please do not go into the water with sunscreen, as this can upset the sensitive ecology of the lake.
Giglachseehütte and Ignaz-Mattis-Hütte chalets at Giglachseen Lakes
Duisitzkarseehütte and Fahrlechhütte chalets at Duisitzkarsee lake
You start your hike at Hopfriesen and follow the classic Miner's Trail n° 776 towards Giglachseen Lakes. Passing by the Nickel Museum (a 5-minute side trip takes you to the museum) you ascend via a slightly ascending trail through the forest. Below a impressive rock formation you cross over the Giglachbach creek and reach Lackneralm chalet (private). Again you cross over the creek. Now the trail ascends a bit steeper - taking shortcuts between the hairpins of the forestry lane. At the Knappenkreuz memorial you reach the Landauerboden area. The Knappenkreuz is a comemmorative wayside cross in remembrance of the mining history in the Schladminger Tauern range. Once you reach Landauerboden it is worthwhile to make a small detour to beautiful turquoise Landauersee Lake.
A few minutes walk further you reach the picturesque area of Giglachalmen meadows, where you can also see the remains of historic miners' housing. Soon after, you reach the trail crossing 775/776 at Giglachbach creek and a few minutes later you get to the shore of the Lower Giglachsee Lake with the trail junction 775/702. From here it takes you about 15 minutes to Ignaz-Mattis-Hütte (above the Lower Giglachsee Lake) and 30 minutes to Giglachseehütte (above the Upper Giglachsee Lake), which invite hikers to take a rest.
From the Giglachseen Lakes you hike back to the trail junction 775/776 where you now follow trail n° 775 towards Duisitzkarsee Lake. Along the face of Murspitzen you reach Murspitzsattel mountain saddle, from where you have a terrific keen sight into Duisitzkar cirque with its picturesque lake. Via a quite steep trail the route now descends into the cirque, where Duisitzkarseehütte and Fahrlechhütte invite hikers for a rest. While descending you walk through an old larch and pine forest with beautiful views to the lake. In early summer the slopes of the cirque are covered with rhododendron ("Almrausch") in bloom.
After a break at the lake you start your descent to the valley. Passing by Abelhütte chalet (private) you leave the cirque and walk into the forest. The trail (or the forestry lane) first takes you down through the forest to the open space of Kessler Boden from where you got a great panoramic view to the valley head of Obertal. Then you furhter descend and reach Saghütten chalets (private only - no refreshment stop).
From here the trail descends a little steeper - first via a clearing in the forest and then through the forest until you reach the hiking trail head at the valley floor of Eschachboden. From the information portal its only a few steps to Eschachalm inn, where you have earned yourself a cup of coffee and some delicious pastry. The bus back to Rohrmoos and Schladming leaves right next to the inn.
With the Planai buses from Schladming (Planet-Planai, Lendplatz) or Rohrmoos (Rohrmoos-Zentrum) to Obertal - bus stop Hopfriesen. With the buses of the same line back to Schladming and Rohrmoos from the end of the line at Eschachalm.
From the valley head at Eschachalm further into Obertal the landowners do not allow to bring along dogs.
Tourist information: www.schladming.com
Information about bus schedules: www.planaibus.at