Mountain and hiking joy: hiking in Bad Ischl

Salzkammergut hiking region is one of the most beautiful in the world: Breathtaking panoramas, majestic mountains, clear, fresh air and crystal-blue lakes captivate holidaymakers. Intense green and colourful flower meadows dominate the summer scenery, while coloured foliage whirl from the trees in autumn. No matter which season you choose for your hikes in the Salzkammergut, hiking in Bad Ischl is always a pristine nature experience with numerous moments of joy.

Hiking in the Salzkammergut to the Grundlsee

Hikes in the Salzkammergut: The journey is the reward!

Whether on half-day tours, full-day hikes, mountain tours or round-the-lake hikes: Well marked and signposted hiking routes lead you to the goal of your hikes in Salzkammergut: rusty alpine huts with sun terraces, superb views and lived hospitality. A hearty Salzkammergut snack is an additional reward for the ascent. When you then return to your holiday resort, the four-star Hotel Royal, the thoughtful hotel team welcomes you and spoils you with regional culinary delights. A visit to the Relaxium sauna world or a brine bath in the evening rounds off a successful hiking day. Which hike have you picked for the next day of your holiday?

Optimally marked hiking trails in and around Bad Ischl

Starting point:
The Wanderwegstüberl (approx. 515 m) on the eastern shore of Hallstätter See near Obersee railway station.

By car: take Bundesstraße no. 145 to St. Agatha, turn right and the travel along the western side of the Sarstein to a car park situated 8 km from Bad Goisern. Continue by foot to the right (west) and down to the lakeshore where the Wanderwegstüberl is located.

Just as numerous as the lakes of the Salzkammergut are the magnificent lakeshore paths, which are worthy of a book by themselves. Particularly attractive is the Hallstätter See Eastern Shore Trail (Ostuferweg). Its showpiece is system of walkways attached to the steep rock shore which extends out over the lake and includes a funny-looking suspension bridge. The trail is easy to complete, and those who don't want to return the same way can catch a train back to the starting point, with trains on the Attnang-Puchheim - Stainach-Irdning line running every half-hour during the summer.

From the Wanderwegstüberl on the Eastern Shore Trail to Hallstatt railway station: Walk along the gravel path and across the meadows between the lake shore and railway line, past individual houses, and go up and down in a southerly direction, through the woods (bathing possibility) until you reach the start of the steep southern shore section. Here walk along the wide wooden walkways that project out over the lake and arch round to the right around a bay, continue westwards towards the original suspension bridge, the highpoint of the hike, followed by more walkways in a westerly direction, then turn the corner to reach Hallstatt railway station, situated on a peninsula, approx. 520 m. From here you can catch the boat over to Hallstatt. Departures are scheduled to coincide with train arrivals.

Walk duration: 1,5 - 2 h

Highlights:
Wooden walkways and suspension bridges in the southern section of the Eastern Shore Trail. The hike can be continued to Obertraun (return journey by train).

On a journey from Strobl to Bad Ischl, the Jainzen soon becomes recognisable as the isolated, round mountain covered in trees. At its foot stands the famous Kaiservilla, for years the summer residence of Emperor Franz Joseph. Empress Elisabeth loved exercising on this mountain. Even some experienced hikers find the 350 metre steep hike from Bad Ischl up to the western viewing terrace beneath the summit hard-going, but no-one has ever regretted making the effort: Rising above the rooftops of the imperial town are the Dachstein to the south, and Sparber, Bleckwand, Bürglstein and Zwölferhorn to the west.

From Bad Ischl to the Jainzen: After exiting the hotel, turn left and walk down Voglhuberstraße, cross Götzstraße and walk past the stationer's Schafleitner and along the narrow lane past the youth guesthouse. Then cross the Rechensteg footbridge and walk uphill and through the "Kaiserdörfl". Now turn right and walk uphill until you see the former Gasthof Sophiens Doppelblick. The road continues for a short distance in the direction of the Jainzen valley. Immediately after the last house (no. 48) turn right and carry on in an easterly direction across the meadow to the edge of the forest. Turn right at the forest crossroads and continue to a junction (signboard). Keep to the left and continue along the zigzag path that becomes steeper and steeper as you make your way up the rocky slopes. When you arrive the junction (no signboard), you will be close to the summit. Turn right, walk along the slopes and through the wood in a south-easterly direction to the viewing terrace (approx. 800 m, surveying marker) beneath the wooded summit of the Jainzen (835 m).

Return: Return the same way as you came.

Walk duration: 2 – 2,25 h

Highlights:
The view from the viewing terrace towards the Dachstein and Wolfgangsee mountains. Impressive downwards view onto Bad Ischl.

The Blaa-Alm hollow between Loser and Sandling links the Styrian and Upper-Austrian Salzkammergut. The "Wiesenweg" from Altaussee through the valley of the Augstbach brook to the Blaa-Alm is a well-known hiking trail, and has been walked by many prominent visitors. It remains a charming walk, and by returning through the Rettenbachtal to Bad Ischl, makes for an excellent excursion.

The "Wiesenweg" from Altaussee to the Blaa-Alm: Starting at the Hotel Kitzler in Altaussee, walk along the asphalt road; once at the Augstbach turn left and carry on in a north-westerly direction to Salzbergstraße. Cross Salzbergstraße and carry on uphill until you reach the dirt track road. Continue along the dirt track through the forest, then cross the meadows and walk gently uphill towards the houses of Scheiben. Cross the Augstbach on the left and walk through the narrowing, wooded valley and continue upwards in a north-westerly direction past the Loser ski centre. The next part of the walk is especially beautiful, with large meadows and picturesque haysheds to the north, followed by a short walk through the woods until you reach a crossing forest trail. Turn right along this trail and carry on for 100 metres until you reach the Blaa-Alm access road. Turn left along this road until you reach the Gasthof Blaa-Alm (902 m).

Walk duration: 2,5 h

Highlights:
The narcissi in bloom (May) along the "Wiesenweg".
Amazing view from the Blaa-Alm of the rocky peaks of the Loser massif.

The Katrinalm area is a hiking paradise in summer, and a popular skiing area in winter for both skiers and ski tourers.

The distance between the base station of the Katrin cable railway in Bad Ischl and the Katrinalm hut next to the top station is 920 metres and takes 2.5 hours to walk. It is a pleasant walk that is fairly easy to complete with wonderful views of Bad Ischl and the Salzkammergut.

Once at the top, the view of the valley below, Wolfgangsee and the Salzkammergut mountains including the glaciers of the Dachstein is breathtaking.

Walk duration: 2,5 h
Ischl's local mountain can also be ascended using the cable railway - the view is just as stunning.
Katringipfel

On the summit of Bad Ischl's most popular mountain is a steel cross, erected in honour of Emperor Franz Joseph, and today standing defiantly next to a transmitter. Otherwise the Kater mountains between Bad Ischl, Bad Goisern and Wolfgangsee have remained largely unchanged since time immemorial. The summit can be reached from the top station in approx. 30 minutes by walking up the curved steep footpath through steep pine-covered slopes, then across flatter depressed terrain.

Other peaks that can be climbed from the Katrinalm
Hainzen - 250 m - 1 h
Feuerkogel - 70 m - 15 min

Starting point: Bad Goisern sulphur baths

The hike begins at the sulphur baths in Bad Goisern. There are plenty of parking spaces in the vicinity.

Walk along an old mountain road until you reach the "Ewige Wand". This steep face is a true find for climbers.
Walk along the biking trail with its countless bends until you reach a mountain forest. Cross this forest to reach the Berghof Predigtstuhl tavern. This section is steep but short. Take a rest here and enjoy the view of Bad Goisern and the Dachstein.

Afterwards continue towards the summit of the Predigstuhl, which you will reach in approximately half an hour.

Enjoy fantastic views amidst a wildly romantic rocky landscape. The summit hike ends with the descent towards the valley. Although the path is steep, it is safe.

Once at the Rossmoosalm, you will reach a hiking path that will lead you directly to the top station. Here you can choose which path you want to take down.
Diehard mountaineers often prefer the path via Laser or through the "Ewige Wand". Cross soft green meadows to return to the valley.

Walk duration: approx. 2,5 h

Starting point: Centre of Bad Goisern, parking spaces available in the centre

Go down Ramsau-Straße in a southerly direction crossing the rail tracks and the river Traun until you reach the crossroads in the part of town called Gschwandt. Turn left and follow the road along the river, then turn right and upwards towards Ramsau's Wiesenterrasse. Go past the houses and continue southwards, walking beneath the fallen rocks of the Zwölferkogel. Continue along the path (no. 801) through the forest in a south-easterly direction until you reach the turning off to Steeg, 1,25 hours. Carry on straight ahead and along the path that has been blasted through upright rock faces until you reach the 43 m-high bridge above the Gosautal ("Gosauzwang"), 1,75 - 2 hours. Continue upwards through the tree-covered slopes high above Hallstättersee, past waterfalls and straight through the steep flanks of the Schneidkogel until you reach the left turning to Hallstatt, 2,5 - 3 hours.

Returning to Bad Goisern: Go to the centre of Hallstatt. Take the boat to Hallstatt station on the eastern shore and catch a train back to Bad Goisern.

Highlights:

  • In Hallstatt: the Catholic church with the charnel house (church: open all year; charnel house: 1 May – 31 October)
  • Museum Kulturerbe Hallstatt (open all year)

The fabled pilgrim’s path over the Falkenstein

Starting point: Centre of St. Gilgen

This walk along the northern shore of Wolfgangsee follows the old pilgrim's path walked by thousands of believers from the Salzburg region in the Middle Ages. The Falken gorge contains numerous devotional sites dedicated to Bishop Wolfgang of Regensburg, who fought devil worship and superstition and had a chapel built here in the 10th century.

From St. Gilgen to St. Wolfgang: Starting at the parish church, cross Streicher Platz in a northerly direction until you reach the junction. Turn right and walk along Mondseer Straße close to the lakeshore and carry on to the right turning that turns onto path no. 28. Go down this path until you reach the houses of Brunnwinkl. Now walk along the shoreline path to the Fürberg inlet and the Gasthof Fürberg, approx. 1 hour. Continue along Uferstraße until you a reach a bathing inlet with a junction. Turn left here and climb through the woods at the bottom of the Falken gorge to a flat area with the Wolfgang Chapel above right in the rockface. Continue to the Wunderwasser Chapel and up to the Falkenstein saddle (approx. 750 m ), 1,5 - 1,75 hours. Over on the other side, on the wooded slopes of the Schafberg, walk downwards in a south-easterly direction, turn left onto the Güterweg and cross the meadows and down towards on the Uferstraße. Once in the town, turn left and into Obere Rieder Straße. Carry on along this road above the lake until you reach St. Wolfgang (549 m).

Returning to St. Gilgen:
Catch the ÖBB boat back to St. Gilgen (runs between 1 May and 26 October 09.00 - 18.00, in mid-summer between 08.45 - 20.30 almost every hour).

Walk duration: 2,5 to 3 hours

Highlights:
The Wolfgang Chapel (crawl-through cave, miracle bell) as well as the chapel with the miracle spring (for eye ailments) in the Falken gorge.
From the Gasthof Fürberg, a detour to the Ox's Cross (in the lake) and the Marriage Cross (on the shore). From the Falken gorge it is also worth climbing up to the "Scheffelblick" and the summit of Falkenstein.

Starting point: Bad Goisern

One of the most beautiful walks and sites in the Salzkammergut is undoubtedly the Hütteneckalm with its traditional small huts and world-class view of the entire Inner Salzkammergut.

From the Predigtstuhl car park walk across the Panorama Nova until you reach a crossroads of forest roads. Continue along the path towards Rossmoosalm for about 30 minutes. Once there, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the alp with the Dachstein and Hallstättersee in the background. Continue past the huts towards Hütteneck. Once you reach the quarry, you're almost at your destination.

Walk duration: approx. 3 h
 

Starting point: Bad Ischl Perneck

The tour begins and ends in Rettenbach near Bad Ischl. Walk along the pleasant path that leads directly from the car park through the forest to Englwand, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Hinterstein. Continue walking for another 10 minutes to reach the next viewing point: a small wooden house with a fantastic view of Bad Ischl. In fine weather you can even see Wolfgangsee in the background. Continue along the Jubiläumssteig through the wood to the Hoisenradalm, where a tavern is located. Continue along the gravel road until you reach Gschwendtalm. Once at the Gschwendtalm, walk down the forest path through a tunnel at Gamsofen (a rock wall with a cave system) to reach Bachergut. Walk on the asphalt road to reach the starting point again.

Walk duration: 3,5 h

Starting at the church, walk along Sternallee past the Försterhof and follow the path to the right until you reach the Aschinger snack bar.

Continue along the wide path through the forest to the Dorneralm (1,5 hours) until you reach the Schafbergalm (rack railway station and tavern). From here the signposted path (no. 20) crosses the railway tracks twice and then leads steeply upwards across open terrain to the so-called "Krapfl" and from there on gently upwards to the summit (where food and drink are sold).

Thunderous water and delightful alpine fields

Starting point: Thermal baths hotel

A visit to Bad Ischl's Salzberg and its Hoisenradalm, high above the Rettenbach ravine, is an absolute must. Where else can you find more beautiful fields and more magnificent viewing points? The climb, past the white waters of the Rettenbachwildnis, is varied and obstacle-free.

From Bad Ischl through the Rettenbachwildnis to the Hoisenradalm: Leave the hotel and cross the Traun Bridge, then walk down Grazer Strasse past the bend to the right and turn left into Dr.-Sterz-Weg. Walk up to Dr. Sterz-Straße and turn left (east) and across a meadow to a hill (Dr. Sterz Abendsitz). Go down the other side to the houses of Reiterndorf and the crossing street. Turn left down this road and cross the Rettenbach to reach the Gasthof Rettenbachmühle at the entrance to the valley of the same name. Follow the road in an easterly direction into the forest, then turn tight and walk down the path into the gorge of the Rettenbachwildnis, which is crossed by a bridge. On the other side walk up to a crossing dirt track. Turn left onto this track (south-east) and walk upwards for quite some time until you reach the second right turning to the Hoisenradalm. Walk across the alp and upwards through the wood to reach the Gschwendalm (approx. 990 m). Turn right along the crossing forest road (north-west), then head downwards to the Hoisenradalm (968 m).

The Jubiläumssteig back to Bad Ischl: Walk along path no. 242 across a meadow, then go down through the forest in a northerly direction (towards the Rettenbachtal) until you reach a forest road. Walk along the "Kaiser-Jubiläumssteig" through the woods on the Hubkogel and turn left (north-west) and downwards to a quarry and continue down past the "Engelswand" to Rettenbachstraße in Reiterndorf. Return to Bad Ischl using the known route.

Walk duration: 3,5 – 4 h

Highlights:
The romantic gorge of the Rettenbachwildnis and the white-water river running through it. The magnificent view over the Ischl valley from the Hoisenradalm.

All serious hikers should include the hike to the Goiserer Hütte and the Kalmberg on their itinerary. This hiking route in the Inner Salzkammergut is an example of hiking at its very best.

Drive over the Goiserer Bridge to Steinach. From here the Goiserer Hütte is already visible on the summit ridge. Walk up the uphill path along the Schüttbach. (Ignore the signs to Hochmuth.)

From the Trockentann-Alm, which has a large number of new huts, climb up the steep terrain in a zigzag manner until you reach the "Wallmann-Poldl-Rast". Here you can rest next to a hut made of larch and quench your thirst. Continue along the path, past run-down and abandoned huts.

Stop at a viewing point to enjoy the magnificent panorama in front of you. From here you can see as far as the Tote Gebirge and make out the small houses of Bad Goisern. Go past larch and pine trees to reach a hut now run as a tavern. Here you can grab a bite to eat and enjoy the view that extends as far as the Großglockner.

Refreshed and invigorated continue past the "Kalmooskirche" to an interesting cliff formation that leads to the summit of the Kalmberg and which is also referred as the 'Indian' due to its unusual shape. This will take you around an hour.

From here you can see from Goisern to Gosau, not to mention the Gosau ridge and the Dachstein. Hikers are advised to descend from the Goiserer Hütte via Hochmuth in order to be back in the Goiser valley in around 3 hours.

The Goiserer Hütte can also be reached from Gosau. The route from Gosau, however, takes just over 4 hours to walk, and is therefore longer if a little easier.
 

The stone guardian of the Salzkammergut

Starting point /End point: park at the end of Gmunden's Traunsteinstraße (430 m)

A demanding mountain tour on an exposed but secure path. Good head for heights and secure footing needed. Do not attempt in wet weather or if there is snow on the ground.

This colossal mountain overlooking Traunsee has attracted climbers for centuries. Emperor Maximilian and Franz Joseph hunted on its steep flanks, and in the 19th century the first tourists ventured onto its summit, including the poet Nikolaus Lenau.

Travel writer Joseph August Schultes reported that the first time he climbed the Traunstein, his head started spinning - as do the heads of some mountaineers today: even the easiest of the three marked ascents is exposed and secured.

Once at the summit, however, the view is stunning - plus you have a choice of two excellent huts in which to dine. From the car park, you can either walk on the asphalt forest road or turn right onto the narrow path that leads to the Moaristidl snack bar and walk along the lakeshore to the south.

Both routes merge in front of the first of the two inclined tunnels through the western face of the Traunstein that lead to the bridge above the Lainaubach (an alternative rewarding route is the Miesweg). Walk along the gravel road through the valley and past a turn-off.

Shortly afterwards you will reach the resting place next to the "Kaisertisch". Carry on along the road and a few minutes later you will reach the Mairalm. The Traunsteinweg (no. 412) branches off to the left at the Kaisertisch, crosses a mostly dried out stream bed, then crosses a channel, and continues up through a steep wooded slope.

Further up the landscape opens up and you reach the "Bründl", the only spring on the Traunstein. Keep to the left until you reach very steep rocky terrain; the exposed parts next to the "Kette", however, have been secured.

Having reached the edge of the wavy summit plateau, it is worth taking a slight detour to the left to the Traunkirchner Hütte on the Traunkirchnerkogel. Turn off to the right to reach the Gmundner Hütte on the Fahnenkogel and carry on until you reach the large summit cross on the Traunstein. Descend using the same route.

Walk duration:
Ascent 3 - 3,5 h 
Descent 2,5 h

Circular walk over the Zimnitzgrad

Starting point: the cemetery in Pfandl

First of all walk along a forest path - the "Engen Zimnitz" - past waterfalls. The path then abruptly becomes steep and winding. Turn left at the fork and in a few minutes you will reach the Schüttalm (1.200 m), where you can rest for a while.

From here the path initially runs through a timber forest then along a ridge that gradually becomes narrower with shorter climbs up to the summit (3 metres long ladder as well as a 20 metres long section secured with a steel cable). Once at the summit, you can enjoy a magnificent view that extends from Attersee to the Dachstein.

Descend on the southern ridge to the Gartenzinken (1.500 m), from where a steep gravel path leads down through the timber forest to Pfandl.

Difficulty: Steep hiking trail, 1.225 m

Walk duration:
Ascent: 3 h
Descent: 2,5 h

Starting point: Hallstatt

The striking Plassen rises up in the east of the Gosau valley. It is one of Hallstatt's border mountains and the tunnels lead from Hallstatt into this "salt mountain". It is a demanding day hike and requires a sure footing. Food and drink are available at the Rossalm.

When hiking to Plassen, Hallstatt's local mountain, it is a good idea to start early, as later on in the day during the summer temperatures can be quite high, making the last stretch of the walk hard work.

Take the Salzberg cable railway to the Rudolfsturm and cross the burial ground. Walk past the miners' houses to reach the drainage tunnel. The actual Plassenweg walk (no. 640) begins above this tunnel.

The walk initially leads through a dense mixed forest that suddenly ends in a very steep beautiful pine grove. A difficult section is secured with a steel cable, otherwise the route is safe.

The 4 metres high larch wood summit cross on the Plassen was donated in 1948 by soldiers who had returned from the fighting in the Second World War.

When descending you can either use the funicular railway or you can return to Hallstatt via the “Schlaipfen” and through the Echerntal (an additional 2 h).

Walk duration: approx. 9 h

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