Glacier Garden

Discover the Echern Valley (Echerntal)

In Hallstatt's Echerntal (Echern Valley) lies the marvellous natural memorial, the "Gletschergarten" (Glacier Garden) which was discovered in 1926. The Hallstatt glacier garden is a relic of the last Ice Age, formed as the glacier receded 12,000 years ago.

In Hallstatt's Echerntal lies the marvellous natural memorial, the "Gletschergarten" (Glacier Garden) which was discovered in 1926. The Hallstatt glacier garden is a relic of the last Ice Age, formed as the glacier receded 12,000 years ago. We walk from Hallstatt-Lahn along the Malerweg  in Echerntal and reach the bridge next to the former Gasthof "Dachsteinwarte", on our left is the Forststraße (forest road), marked No.601, which leads toward the Wiesberghaus and the Simonyhütte.We encounter the Simony Memorial right at the beginning of the forest road, on our left. On a fairly steep climb on the asphalt road we reach the upper Dürrenbach bridge in about twenty minutes, the highest point in the Gletschergarten (700 m).

From the bridge we can see on the left the "Riesenkessel" (Giant Bowl), which is five metres in diameter. From the bridge, looking down-river one sees further hollows, which can be approached by using the path and steps on the left bank of the river.

A notice-board informs us of the whole arrangement, and details such as the "Riesenschnecke" (Giant Snail - 685 m). From a platform, during low-water periods in the Dürrenbach, one can see into the gorge of this interesting formation made by glacier-water erosion over thousands of years. The water spirals down, ten metres into the depths, and emerges through the "Felsentor (Rock Door). It carries on to the chimney and the "Riesenschnecke". The marvellous stone layers give us a glimpse of the Ice Age memorial, the "Gletschermühlen" (Glacier Mills). The Gletschergarten-Steig (a steep path and steps) leads down to the Waldbach, into which the Dürrenbach flows.

rom here we can choose the direct route back to Hallstatt via the Malerweg, which leads us past the interesting Runenstein, bringing us again to the Gasthof "Dachsteinwarte". We can also cross a wildwater bridge to reach the Echerntalweg. Across the "Binder-Wiesen" (meadows) and through the romantic forest, the route leads back to Hallstatt-Lahn. This tour can be made in all weathers.

Information at a glance

  • time to walk: 3 hours (approx. 6 km)
  • altitute: 700m
  • start: Hallstatt-Lahn
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