Dachstein Hiking World
Pioniercross and the Heilbronner cross tour
The extensive karst plateau of the Dachstein Hiking world accommodates plenty of enjoyable hiking routes for all levels. A network of well groomed nature trails and footpaths covers the area from the valley station at Obertraun to the high-altitude ice-fields. Our nature trails are designed to introduce their users to exciting information about the surrounding plateau, fauna and flora. Typical plateau features are the omnipresent karst patterns which result from water dissolving the (Dachstein) limestone. Characteristic karren and funnel-shaped sinkholes (dolines) - which formed prior to the Ice Ages - cover the rugged surface.
The Dachstein World Heritage is accessible via three cable car sections. The first section leads from the Obertraun valley station to the Schönbergalm, starting point for the trips to the caves. The second section connects with Krippenstein mountain, more than 2.000 m high, which features an outstanding view of the Dachstein glacier and the karst plateau. The third section leads downhill to the splendid ‘Gjaidalm', an alpine pasture and starting point for many interesting hiking destinations. The Krippenstein-ropeways will be reconstructed and adapted in 2007. New passenger carriages will replace the old ones and newly designed terminals are part of the modifications to be finished at the end of 2007.
Heilbronner cross tour
The Heilbronner trail is particularly suitable for families and children fond of hiking. On the recently adapted wide hiking trail many features arouse curiosity and travelling with baby buggies is possible all way. The circular trail leads to the Heilbronner Cross, memorial place to 13 persons falling victim to a mountain tragedy in 1954. A trip to the ‘cattle footprints', site of great fossils, is particularly informative and rewarding.
The ‘Five Fingers' are the absolute highlight of the newly staged Krippenstein Hiking world. 5fingers-shaped, this platform is constructed on the edge of a sheer mountain cliff drop-off, above an abyss, more than 400m deep. This platform consequently ranks among the most spectacular viewpoints across the Alps. Five stages (fingers), 4x1m, make for outstanding "insights and outlooks". One stage is made of glass; another "finger" provides a baroque-like frame in order to take special World Heritage photos of Hallstatt. A trampoline - albeit not accessible - on the third stage symbolizes unlimited mountain freedom. The forth stage is looped in order to allow the ultimate vertical drop gaze.
Current weather view
Impressions from the Dachstein Hiking World and Free Sports Arena Krippenstein: View from the top station to the Dachstein glacier during a vacation in the Dachstein Salzkammergut holiday region around Lake Hallstatt in Austria.
Finally the fifth finger is provided with a long-glass (free of charge) to enable viewers to behold the splendid Salzkammergut mountain scenery at close range. The platform is illuminated until midnight to then be noticed even from distant places. The convenient 15 minutes walk to the view platform (close to the Pioneer Cross) is suitable for almost all visitors.
The recently established Nature trail on the Dachstein plateau is an important component of the World Heritage Hiking world. This trail travels across the karst plateau and "lures" with pristine high alpine scenery. Along the trail karst patterns highly impress as well as the wide variety of fauna and flora and the easternmost glacier of the Alps. The convenient Dachstein Nature trail features catered mountain lodges (locations where both culinary refreshment and accommodation is offered) within 2 hours walking distances from each other
Day hike on the high plateau with numerous further hiking options. The recently established Nature trail on the Dachstein plateau is an important component of the World Heritage Hiking world. This trail travels across the karst plateau and "lures" with pristine high alpine scenery.
From Hallstatt through the Echerntal valley, or by cable car to 1884 m above sea level and through the karst landscape. Really fantastic! Surefootedness and mountain experience required.
Day hike on the high plateau with numerous further hiking options.
The recently established Nature trail on the Dachstein plateau is an important component of the World Heritage Hiking world. This trail travels across the karst plateau and "lures" with pristine high alpine scenery.
The surrounding nature reserve is part of "Natura 2000", the ecological network in the territory of the EU, and of World Heritage site "Hallstatt-Dachstein-Salzkammergut". The convenient trail, 8 km long, is suitable for everyone and introduces to distinct local features via informative boards containing texts about geology, fauna and flora common to the plateau.
Huts on the trails
Hallstatt / Obertraun | Simonyhütte: Nestled picturesquely at the foot of the Dachstein, with a beautiful view, the refuge is located 2,203m above sea level, amidst the impressive mountains of the Dachstein plateau.
Obertraun | Gjaidalm: Here you will find what you have often sought in vain elsewhere ... Relaxation - Tranquillity - Nature – Rest in a charming alpine landscape on the Dachstein plateau
Tips: Hiking in autumn
Autumn is here! Hooray! The most beautiful hiking season of the year! However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when hiking, especially at this time of year.
- Plan tours properly.
- Start early. Especially for high alpine hikes.
- Attention: It gets dark early!
- If you are staying overnight in a hut, register in good time by telephone.
- Do not miss the last cable car ride down the mountain when on mountain tours.
- Information on the current operating times of the cable cars in connection with a hike can be found below under "Information at a Glance".
- Check snow conditions. Because at this time of the year the first snow can already fall in the high mountains.
- We have summarised further important safety tips below.
- We wish you an unforgettable hiking autumn in the Salzkammergut.
Your editorial team
Safety Tips for Hikers
Admittedly, the landscape of the UNESCO World Heritage region of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut is the absolute pinnacle for hiking fans, mountain enthusiasts and nature lovers—unforgettable tours to incredibly beautiful mountain lodges and meadows, panorama views as far as the eye can see and cherished moments that will last a lifetime! However, you should remember that while hiking you might find yourself in high-alpine terrain. We’ve put together some resources to assist you: how to best prepare for your tour, recommended items for your backpack and steps to take in an emergency situation. Remember to always play it safe and enjoy your hiking adventure in the Salzkammergut!