Time: 7.75h. Up: 1090m. Down: 1580m.
Distance: 15km. Difficulty: hard/medium.

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Stage 9: Kenzenhütte (1294m) to Hohenschwangau (800m)

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

This is one of my all-time favorite hikes with so many noteworthy elements that I don't know where to start describing them. Peaks, valleys, ridge walks, waterfalls, cliffs, spectacular views, fairy-tale castles, a high bridge over a gorge, vertiginous trails secured by cables and ladders, and all of this in a nature preserve... let's just say that if you don't like this hike, then why are you doing the H2H anyway?

And, for good measure, tonight you will stay in one of the prettiest settings in the whole of the Alps. Hope for good weather and then enjoy today's hike: it doesn't get much better than this.

Today's hike is identical with the Via Alpina until the Niederstraußbergsattel. Head south from the Kenzenhütte up the valley a short distance to where a path goes up to the right to the Kenzensattel (1650m). After a short descent from the saddle climb again steeply towards the Fensterl (a hole in the ridge) and the Hochplatte (1916m). Traverse the narrow ridge to Krähe (2012m) and Gabelschrofen (2010m), then descend to the Niederstraußbergsattel (1610m). Leave the Via Alpina here (which goes left and down to the Ochsenängerle) and take the righthand path which will lead you by the Ahornspitze (1780m) to the Tegelberghaus (1707m). Thereafter it is all downhill -- along the narrow ridge to and then across the Marienbrücke, and finally down the Pöllatschlucht into Hohenschwangau.

Alternatives: to avoid the narrow ridges, or if the weather is bad, then take the alternate route. This leads up the valley via the Weitalpjoch to the Roggental, then over a saddle to the Köllebachtal, then with the Via Alpina further via Ochsenängerle, Bleckenau, and the road down past Neuschwanstein to Hohenschwangau. This will take about the same time but is safer because not as exposed. To shorten the day, take the cable car down from the Tegelberghaus (saves 2h, 3.75km, -925m).
Map: K-4 Füssen.

The House to House blog... stage 9.

<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: plan on a picnic. The Tegelberghaus is a good place to stop for an ice-cream or a snack, but it comes too late in the hike for lunch.
Dinner and overnight: there are several restaurants and places to stay in Hohenschwangau. If everything is booked, which can easily happen since this is one of the top half-dozen tourist destinations in the Alps, then Füssen and Schwangau are just a couple of (flat) kilometers away (and there are regular buses from Hohenschwangau to Füssen if you can't even manage that).

Getting There and Back
Kenzenhütte: from Füssen, where there is a railway station, take a bus to the village of Halblech (for schedules for both buses and trains see Die Bahn). From there you can either walk to the Kenzenhütte (3.25h, 10km, +520m), or catch the Kenzenbus.
Hohenschwangau: frequent buses go to the Füssen railway station.
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Halblech, centered on Hohenschwangau.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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