Time: 8.5h. Up: 1600m. Down: 840m.
Distance: 19km. Difficulty: hard.

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Stage 12: Tannheim (1090m) to the Prinz-Luitpold-Haus (1850m)

Click and drag on map above to see area around trail. Click here for large zoomable map.

Today will be a long day... a wonderful hike, but a long day. You would therefore be well advised to start early (i.e., at or before 7:00), for all the usual reasons and also for one unusual one: the hut where you'll be staying the night only keeps reservations until 18:00. If you arrive later than this, you may find that your bed in a peaceful double room has been claimed by someone else... and that you are instead in a large and noisy bunkroom.

Back to the hike: after a pleasant stroll to and along the western shore of the Vilsalpsee, you climb steeply up to the Jubiläumsweg, a spectacular ridge walk which you follow for the rest of the day along the border between Germany and Austria.

Or perhaps I should say, "the border between Bavaria and Tirol", since both have long and proud histories separate from the states of which they are currently part. And they have at various times fought one another... most recently during the Napoleonic wars. The Alps may be idyllic and peaceful now, but just like the rest of Europe they have a violent history. I find that the more I learn about that history, the more I appreciate the ease with which one can cross these borders today.

Today's hike takes the same trails as the Via Alpina from the Jubiläumsweg onwards. Head south from Tannheim along the trail parallel and to right of the road to the Vilsalpsee (1168m). Once there turn right past the Fischerstube and walk along the western shore of the lake. Take a right on the road at the end, then right again to climb up to the Jubiläumsweg. Follow it south all the way to and over the Bockscharte (2164m) and then down to the Prinz-Luitpold-Haus.

Alternatives: there aren't any that are significantly shorter or safer... other than to take a series of buses from Tannheim via Bad Hindelang and Hinterstein to the Giebelhaus in the Hintersteinertal, from which you can hike along a road then up the path to the Prinz-Luitpold-Haus (3h, 4.5km, +780m, and for bus schedules see "Getting There and Back" below). If you are a purist and the weather is bad, it is probably best to take a rest day.
Maps: K-4 Füssen, K-3 Allgäuer Alpen.

The House to House blog... stage 12.

<A couple of representative photos from this stage will be added here after the hike>
In the meantime, click here to go to all of the H2H photos on Flickr.

GPS Track
<To be added during or after hike>

Room and Board Options
Lunch: picnic. Before you leave Tannheim, make sure that you have enough food with you for picnic lunches during both this stage and the next.
Dinner and overnight: the only place to stay within three hours travel is the Prinz-Luitpold-Haus (+49-(0)8322/700154, 20 beds in rooms, 260 places in bunkrooms). Note that reservations are held only until 18:00 and dinner is served only until 19:30. It is an Alpine Club hut.

Getting There and Back
Tannheim: from Reutte, which has a railway station, you can take a bus to Tannheim (for bus and train schedule information, see the ÖBB).
Prinz-Luitpold-Haus: take the trail down into the Bärgündeletal and then follow the road north to the Giebelhaus (2h, 4.5km, -780m) from which a minibus goes every hour or so to Hinterstein (schedule here). From Hinterstein regular buses run via Bad Hindelang to Sonthofen, which has a railway station (for both bus and train schedules, see Die Bahn).
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Tannheim, centered on Hinterstein.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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