- © Hoermandinger

Heilbronn Circular Trail

Time out on the mountain -
Feel freedom and enjoy solitude

Where do you meet animal natives and where does a hearty snack taste best? Where are summit events so steeped in history and the karst landscape so impressive? Lots of questions to which there is only one answer: On the Heilbronner circular hiking trail on the Dachstein plateau in Obertraun. For all those who want to feel freedom without much effort. Two to three hours of a unique nature experience, starting with a spectacular cable car ride.

Experience, marvel, enjoy

This beautiful high plateau trail is particularly suitable for families, as there is a lot for children to discover along the way. The starting point for this approximately three-hour discovery tour is the 2000-metre-high Krippenstein. From there you walk briefly along the ski slope, after about 300 metres turn left and leave the "ski slope" after a few metres. This is where the wide, firm gravel path begins, which is also suitable for sporty pushchairs.

The most beautiful walk in Salzkammergut

The family-friendly Heilbronn Circular Trail is particularly ideal for families and children who like walking. The extensive trail lends itself to comfortable walking across its entire length and there are plenty of things to explore along the trail for young people in particular.

For a comfortable ascent, the Krippenstein cable car transports visitors up over the steep cliff walls where they can enjoy magnificent views of the karst formations. With a bit of luck, one or more chamois may also be visible grazing on the delicate mountain herbs. Once at the mountain station, a karst educational trail leads along a well-marked route to the Heilbronn cross.

What is a shark doing on the mountain?

The steel shark, on the edge of the Heilbronn circular hiking trail, counts as an absolute highlight. The trail at the foot of the Dachstein is a fossil sea and on numerous information boards you can look back over a few million years to a time when, before the formation of the Alps, the Dachstein was still seabed. The ice age, or prehistoric shark, already existed millions of years ago in this area and now the shark, the Dachstein-shark has been returned to his former hunting ground. The approximately eight-meter-long "sea creature" is accessible from the inside and out of the mouth, between the teeth; you can enjoy the view of the Dachstein glacier.

The route leads towards the Hirzkarkogel, past a wide range of vegetation species and on to the valley station of the cable car section III. From here, you can either continue an additional 5 minutes and enjoy a well-deserved rest and a tasty organic snack at the Gjaidalm Hütte hut or take the cable car back on the Krippenstein.

It takes around 3 hours to complete the whole trail. The gentle incline means that the Heilbronn Circular Trail is also suited to those less used to walking. Those with sufficient energy left in their legs can take a short walk on to the Pioneer Cross and enjoy magnificent views from the 5fingers viewing platform here.

Please note!

The Heilbronner Circular Trail lead through the high mountains! The weather can change quickly, so it is essential to bring protective gear against the sun, rain and cold, your mobile phone, a small snack and enough to drink! Sturdy hiking or climbing footwear is also required!

Tip from the Editorial Team
Mobile Phone Reception in Alpine Terrain

On this hiking tour you will be in high alpine terrain. Although the mobile phone reception is widespread in Austria, there can still be so-called dead spots in some places. Here are a few important tips for mountain hikers.

You should bear this in mind:

  • Carry your mobile phone on your body: Ready to hand!
  • Always keep your mobile phone fully charged.
  • Take a small power bank with you (additionally charged battery).
  • Inform hosts and friends about this tour in advance.
  • Also inform them of the exact route.
  • You can find more information on emergency calls and tips on "Safety in the mountains" here...

We wish you an eventful hiking day in the Salzkammergut!

Your editorial team

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!

Special offers at the Heilbronn Circular Trail

Mountain Adventures in Obertraun

Lodge on Mount Krippenstein

© Rosifka | Lodge am Krippenstein in Obertraun.

Schilcherhaus on the Gjaidalm

© Kraft | Schilcherhaus auf der Gjaidalm in der Dachstein Wanderwelt in Obertraun

Mountain restaurant Dachstein Krippenstein

© Dachstein Tourismus AG  / Jos Gamsjäger’|  Bergrestaurant Dachstein Krippenstein in Obertraun

Free accommodation while hiking in the Salzkammergut

Hotels and accommodation providers in Hallstatt, Bad Goisern, Gosau and Obertraun offer the ideal room or apartment for your holidays, no matter what your tastes. Aside from establishments rated according to the international "star" scale, you will also find around Lake Hallstatt in Austria businesses that have been awarded two to four "edelweiss". The more flowers, the greater comforts you can expect. Whether you eventually find your cozy nest in an elegant 5-star luxury hotel, at comfortable guesthouse, a family-friendly apartment, or on a traditional farm, the choice is always entirely up to you.