Hiking trail recommended route

Auenhütte - Melköde - Schwarzwasserhütte

· 6 reviews · Hiking trail · Kleinwalsertal
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  • Brücke im Wäldele
    Brücke im Wäldele
    Photo: Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen, CC BY-ND, Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen
m 1700 1600 1500 1400 1300 1200 4 3 2 1 km Schwarzwasserhütte Alpe Melköde (GenussHütte) Herzsee
Beautiful and interesting alpine hike, though not too difficult.
Distance 5 km
3:15 h
350 m
0 m
1,625 m
1,275 m
The hike takes you into a geologically and botanically very interesting side valley. As far as Melköde, you hike on a slightly uphill path through the Rüchewald, then you go on the mountain path up to the Schwarzwasserhütte and back again. The Schwarzwassertal is an important refuge for endangered animal species such as capercaillie, black grouse and hazel deer, sparrowhawk, stone grouse, golden eagle, eagle owl, dipper, adder, etc. and the abundance of plant species is also remarkable.
Profile picture of Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen
Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen
Update: March 03, 2023
Highest point
1,625 m
Lowest point
1,275 m
Best time of year

Track types

Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Alp Melköde - Gourmet hut

Safety information

140 Alpine Emergencies Austria wide 
144 Alpine Emergencies Vorarlberg 
112 Euro-Emergencies (works with every mobile network) 

Tips and hints

How do you consciously experience nature?


Nature is so much more than the backdrop for unforgettable mountain experiences. It is a habitat for animals and plants. It provides drinking water and supplies us with high quality food. Not only does it provide valuable raw materials such as wood, it also protects against avalanches and mudslides and regulates the climate. It is up to us to support nature in everything that it does for us. One thing is certain, together we can achieve more:


Smart in NATURE

CONSCIOUS together

EXPERIENCE foresight


Smart in NATURE

Take a deep breath and recharge your batteries, be outside and feel free. When we enjoy nature, we are guests in the living room of shy animals and rare plants. If you behave smart, they will be happy to share their living space with you in the future too.


Stay on paths and marked routes

If you follow the marked paths and routes, you are sure to come to new favorite places. In this way you also respect protected areas, because many animals and plants need special protection. Especially in winter, any disturbance unnecessarily costs the wild animals the strength they need to survive.


Avoiding twilight times

Standing on a mountain at sunrise is a special experience. The morning and evening hours are also the time when most wild animals are in search of food. If they are disturbed, they get stressed. If it cannot be avoided, please stay on the marked path, do not use a bright headlamp and enjoy the silence.


Stay clean & take rubbish with you

It goes without saying: You take rubbish with you again, on the mountain and in the valley. Please also organic waste, because it is composted much more slowly at altitude. You can dispose of the rubbish properly at home or in your accommodation - please remember that there are no rubbish bins in public spaces in Kleinwalsertal.


On the natural toilet

If you are looking for a quiet place, please be at least 50 m away from water. Bury excrement or cover it with a large stone. Use fallen leaves or recycled toilet paper and put the paper back in the trash bag.


On tour with a dog

Are you always in control of your four-legged partner, even if he gets his nose for marmots, deer or other wild animals? You are both on the safe side on a leash. Keep dogs on a short leash near grazing cattle. If an attack by a grazing animal is foreseeable: leash off immediately. There are numerous dog stations in the valley for the disposal of dog bags. The farmers and alpine farmers thank you because manure in meadows and fields contaminates the feed and makes grazing cattle sick.


CONSCIOUS to each other


Consideration for other athletes and those looking for relaxation

Everyone loves to enjoy a special piece of earth for themselves. But most of the time we are not traveling alone. No problem, because there is enough space. Allow time, open the way in an accommodating manner, provide support when someone needs help and always give a smile. So nothing stands in the way of friendly cooperation and relaxed enjoyment of nature.


Appreciating the preservation of the cultural landscape

Alpine landscapes are touching with their contrast: Imposing peaks and natural forests alternate with gentle valleys, well-tended meadows and pastures. In the Kleinwalsertal too, this delightful landscape at three altitudes is no coincidence, but the result of an interplay of natural and cultural landscapes. Behind this is the work of farmers, alpine and forestry as well as hunters. With their work, they ensure that the attractiveness of the recreation and leisure area and the diversity of species are preserved. We already say thank you if we stay on the marked trails and enjoy regional products.


EXPERIENCE farsighted


Safe on tour - for you and others

Whether on a ski or snowshoe tour in winter or on a mountain tour in summer, anyone who is out and about in alpine terrain has to be well prepared. This includes careful information and tour planning as well as the right equipment. Correctly assessing alpine dangers requires a lot of knowledge and experience. Why not learn from professionals and go on tour with one of the experienced guides?


Hirschegg (1,275 m)
47.342768, 10.136979
47°20'34.0"N 10°08'13.1"E
32T 585884 5243882



Turn-by-turn directions

From the Auenhütte at the valley station of the Ifen chairlift passing through Wildmoos. The view opens up to the beautifully situated Herzsee . A short detour around the lake with great views of the Schwarzwassertal is worthwhile. We come down from the lake where we encounter the path to Melköde. The further trail leads us through the wild-romantic natural reserve Rüche. On both sides of the trail gigantic rocks are lying about – testimonies of a rockfall occurred centuries ago.

At the wayside shrine on the left you have reached the top. Continuing on the trail rightside of the wide plateau we hike to the Alpe Melköde, whose ancient settlements have been inhabited since 1612 throughout the year, according to the records.

Our way takes us further up a fairly steep hillside and passes over into a swampy high plateau. Please stay on the built trail. Afterwards we are taken up to the Schwarzwasserhütte.

Return on the same way as before.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


Leave the car where it is!

The Walserbus is a convenient way to reach your starting point. Line 5 takes you to the district Au. For this tour you need to get off at the bus stop "Ifen".

>>> Timetable Walserbus

Getting there

Most routes from Germany lead to Ulm before carrying on along the A7. Take the Allgäu junction over a section of the A980 to the Waltenhofen junction, then take the 4- lane B19 via Sonthofen and Oberstdorf to Kleinwalsertal. From Austria (Vorarlberg) and Switzerland you reach the Kleinwalsertal via the Bregenzerwald (Hittisau) – Riedbergpass – Fischen – Oberstdorf. From Tyrol the fastest route is over the A7 to Kempten carrying on along the B19 direction Oberstdorf. A motorway vignette is not required to reach the valley.


A parking area (fee required) is located directly by the starting point.


47.342768, 10.136979
47°20'34.0"N 10°08'13.1"E
32T 585884 5243882
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

Nature experience map, scale 1:12,000; Kleinwalsertal tour map (with hiking guide), scale 1:25,000; DAV hiking map, scale 1:25,000; the respective cards are available for a fee in the Walserhaus Hirschegg.


Sturdy shoes and hiking poles for steep sections recommended.

Questions and answers

Question from Gabriele Bischof · October 16, 2022 · Community
Wie lange dauert es bis zum Ausgangspunkt zurück?
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Answered by Frank Engemann · October 16, 2022 · Community
Die Strecke hin und zurück sind ca. 10,5 km. Die Gehzeit gesamt ca. 3- 3,5 Std. je nach Tempo. Der Rückweg alleine dann ca. 1,5 Std.
Photo: Frank Engemann, Community
Question from Eugen Wolfram  · July 27, 2022 · Community
Wäre es nicht eindeutiger, die Strecke mit 10 km anzugeben ? Schließlich muss man die ja laufen, wenn man wieder zurück will. So erfährt man nur bei genauem Hinsehen, dass mit 5km nur der Hinweg gemeint ist.
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Answered by Moni Laible · July 27, 2022 · Community
Lieber Wanderer, prinzipiell sollte man bei der Planung einer Wanderung immer sehr genau hinsehen! Wenn der Rückweg in der Streckenangabe inbegriffen wäre, würde in der Überschrift ….“und zurück“ stehen. Weiterhin viel Spaß beim wandern!
1 more reply


Profile picture of Familie Weixler Traut
Familie Weixler Traut
September 25, 2021 · Community
Blick von der Schwarzwasserhütte auf den Hohen Ifen
Photo: Familie Weixler Traut, Community
Alexander Lehmann 
July 30, 2019 · Community
Sind dieses Wochenende bei strömendem Regen zur Schwarzwasserhütte aufgestiegen. Macht aber auch bei schlechtem Wetter Spaß und der Weg ist gut gehbar und markiert. Sind die Tour bisher schon öfter gegangen zu jeder Jahreszeit und es ist immer wieder auf neue schön. Empfehlenswert ist eine Einkehr in der Melköde(Bergkäse kann auch gekauft werden --> Daheim dann Kässpätzle machen!) oder auf der Schwarzwasserhütte 1-2 Tage verbringen.
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Kuhglocken an der Alpe Melköde
Photo: Alexander Lehmann, Community
Blick aus dem Tal Richtung Alpe Melköde
Photo: Alexander Lehmann, Community
Herzsee kurz nach dem Parkplatz
Photo: Alexander Lehmann, Community
Blick kurz vor der Schwarzwasserhütte zurück ins Tal
Photo: Alexander Lehmann, Community
Photo: Alexander Lehmann, Community
Nicole Schanno-Reisch
March 28, 2019 · Community
Ich wollte die Tour heute machen, die Beschilderung eine einzige Katastrophe. Mitten über die Skipisten und dann steht gar nichts mehr. Später am Parkplatz war ein Wanderweg . Aber natürlich ohne Beschriftung. Nie wieder.
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+ 8

5 km
3:15 h
350 m
Highest point
1,625 m
Lowest point
1,275 m
Public-transport-friendly Out and back Circular route Scenic Refreshment stops available Family-friendly Geological highlights Flora Fauna


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