Salzburg State (Salzburger Land) abounds with satisfying hiking trails. Home to the impressive Northern Limestone ranges of Hochkönig (Berchtesgaden Alps), Tennengebirge, and the Dachstein, this Austrian region offers both thrilling scenery and trail variety. A sizeable portion of the Hohe Tauern mountains along with the Radstädter Tauern and the Niedere Tauern ranges lie within the borders of the Salzburg region as well

What makes Salzburg a particularly delightful hiking destination is the region’s alm culture. An alm is a high alpine pasture where livestock graze freely in the summer months. In fact, Salzburger Land has the highest density of alpine pastures among the Austrian states. There are a soaring 1,800 alpine huts in Salzburg, of which 550 are open in summer.

During the hiking season, alm mountain huts (Almhütten) welcome guests and make for divinely-sinful lunch breaks. As you nibble on heart-warming Kaiserschmarrn in an alm mountain hut, you’ll likely hear distance cowbells and cheerful Austrian music. Hiking in Salzburg is the quintessential introduction to alpine life in the Austrian Alps. Keep reading for a summary of our favorite Salzburg hikes.

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The Best Salzburg Hiking Trails

  1. Salzburger Almenweg Long Distance Trail 
  2. Hochkönig Day Hike: Salzburger Almenweg Stage 2
  3. Hochkönig Day Hike Salzburger Almenweg Stages 3 and 4
  4. Dachstein Day Hike: Hofpürglhütte
  5. Dachstein Day Hike: Sulzenalmen
  6. Tennengebirge Day Hike: Werfener Hütte 
  7. Grossarltal Day Hike: Schödersee (seasonal hike)

All hikes are plotted on an interactive map at the bottom of this post.

The easiest way to explore Salzburg’s mountains and trails is by car. If you’re based in Salzburg City without a car, it’s possible to reach the Salzburger Almenweg Stage 2 and 3+4 trailheads with public transit



1. Salzburger Almenweg

Filzmoos - Best Hikes in Salzburg, Austria

Marked by the blue Enzian alpine flower, the Salzburger Almenweg is a 31-stage long-distance hiking trail in Salzburg. As the name suggests, this is a thematic hiking trail linking the region’s alms, or high alpine pastures. The entire circuit is 350 km and connects 120 Almhütten (alm mountain huts). The trail traverses the regions of Gastein, Grossarltal, Hochkönig, Filzmoos (Dachstein), Tennengebirge, “Salzburger Sonnenterrase,” and Pongau. 

The Salzburger Almenweg is a great place to start if you’re looking for trail inspiration. For more guidance in hiking in Austria, check out Cicerone’s Walking in Austria. We hiked several segments of the Salzburger Almenweg as day hikes. From our experience, the trails are easy to moderate, very well-maintained, and easy to follow. 

If you’re thinking about stringing together several stages of the Salzburger Almenweg, you can overnight in the alm huts along the way. Definitely make reservations in advance. In our opinion, the Salzburger Almenweg is better suited for thru day-hikes than multi-day hikes. Keep reading to find out which stages we recommend.

Read Next: Austria Travel Guide


2. Hochkönig Day Hike: Salzburger Almenweg Stage 2

Erichhütte to Arthurhaus in the Hochkönig Mountains

Salzburger Almenweg Stage 2, hiking in Salzburg, Austria

This point-to-point hike in the Hochkönig mountains follows stage 2 of the Salzburger Almenweg (reverse route). Beginning at Erichhütte Parkplatz (1340 m), you’ll hike 1.5 km and ascend 200 meters to Erichhütte mountain hut (1540 m). The signpost at the parking lot states 40 minutes to the hut, but it took us less than 30 min.

From Erichhütte, you’ll make a right and continue along an easy, mostly flat path in the direction of Vier Hütten (Trail No.436/401A). As you walk along the slopes of the Hochkönig peaks, you’ll be treated to marvelous views of the Alpenhauptkamm and Südwände des Hochkönigs. You’ll pass a few mountain huts along the way, including Brandstätthütte, Schartenhütte, and Molterauhütte (Windraucheggalm). The end of the hike is marked by the large lodge and restaurant Arthurhaus, which is accessible by car and bus. Near Arthurhaus, you’ll find the charming mountain hut Sennerei Schweizerhütte and its many furry residents, including goats, pigs, bunnies, and marmots.  

You can continue to hike from Arthurhaus (1503 m) to Mitterfeldalm (1669 m), which takes an additional 30 minutes. Mitterfeldalm serves excellent espresso coffee along with spectacular views of both the Tennengebirge mountain range and the Dachstein. 

  • Trailhead: Erichhütte Parkplatz (Parking Lot) or Wander Bus Stop “Erichhütte” Line: 593. The parking lot is close to Dienten Saddle along Hochkönig Strasse.
  • Destination: Arthurhaus (Bus Stop Line 593) (1503 m)
  • Distance: 11.3 km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Altitude Difference: 566 m ascent, 405 descent
  • Time Needed: 3:30 h
  • When to Go: June – October
  • Where to Stay: Mühlbach am Hochkönig / Maria Alm / Dienten.

 

How to get to Erichhütte from Salzburg City without a car

If you are dependent on public transit, follow these instructions. Your journey will take 1:45 – 2 hours one way. Cost: About 15 EUR / person one way. 

Start at Salzburg Hauptbahnhof (main train station). Take the S3 or any IC, EC, Railjet or REX south in the direction of Klagenfurt, Graz, Schwarzach/St. Veit or Saalfelden to Bischofshofen Bahnhof. It will take you between 40 min (Railjet) and 1 hour (S3) to get to Bischofshofen Bahnhof. Cost: 10 EUR per person. Make sure you buy a ticket before you enter the train. 

From Bischofshofen Bahnhof, take bus 590 in the direction of Mühlbach am Hochkönig (20 minutes ride). In Mühlbach (Stop: Gemeindeamt), you have to change the last time to bus 593 (direction Dienten am Hochkönig, 13 minutes ride). Exit the bus at the Stop: Dienten a. Hgk. Parkplatz Erichhütte. Both bus tickets will cost you 4.80 EUR total per person. Purchase the tickets from the driver on the bus, and tell her/him your desired end destination.

Check out Salzburg Verkehr for the bus schedule (German only, but you can do it)! Bus schedules for 2020 are not available yet (as of December 2019). Usually, the busses mentioned above only run between late June and Mid October

Buy your train ticket here.

 

How to get back to Salzburg City from Arthurhaus without a car

After your well-deserved meal at Arthurhaus, take bus 593 (Stop: Arthurhaus, direction Dienten am Hochkönig) to Mühlbach am Hochkönig (20 min., last bus in high summer: 18:15). In Mühlbach (Stop: Gemeindeamt) you will change to bus number 590 back to Bischofshofen Bahnhof (18 minutes ride). Both bus rides will cost you 5,90 EUR/person. From there, take the next train back to Salzburg Hauptbahnhof (10 EUR/person). Get your train ticket here.

Tips: Start as early as possible. Know the time of your last connection. 


3. Hochkönig Day Hike: Salzburger Almenweg Stages 3 and 4

Dientner Sattel – Schneebergkreuz – Böndlsee 

Best Hikes in Salzburg - Salzburger Almenweg Stage 3

Facing the Hochkönig massif, this thru-hike stretches from Dientner Sattel on Hochkönig Strasse all the way to Böndlsee in Goldegg. The trail corresponds with stages 3 and 4 of the Salzburger Almenweg. The highlight of this Salzburg hiking trail is the Schneebergkreuz summit, where you’ll have spectacular views of Hochkönig. So, if you have limited time, or simply want to do a return-hike, Schneebergkreuz is a perfect destination and end-point. 

 

Salzburger Almenweg Stage 3: Dientner Sattel to Schneebergkreuz

Summary: 5 km / 3 hours one-way

Salzburger Almenweg Stage 3, Best Hikes in Salzburg, Austria

The trail begins on a gravel road at Dientner Sattel (Dienten Saddle) and initially passes Dientalm. Continue to the mountain hut and restaurant Tiergartenalm. From Tiergartenalm, steer left. If you continue straight and right, you’ll end up at the Kings Cab chairlift. The views are quite brilliant, but you’ll have to backtrack. The trail narrows and you’ll pass one more alm, Klingelbergalm (1544), before reaching Schneebergkreuz. Marked by a cross, Schnneebergkreuz (1938) is the highest elevation you’ll reach on this hike. From here, you’ll notice another hill marked by a cross called Schneeberg (1921 m). A small detour to Schneeberg will bring you closer to the attractive Hochkönig peaks. 

 

Salzburger Almenweg Stage 4: Schneebergkreuz – Hochegg – Böndlsee

Summary: 11 km / 4 hours one-way

Best hikes in Salzburg - Schneeberg

The hike from Schneebergkreuz to the small lake Böndlsee is quite long. You’ll descend along the ridge of Schneebergkreuz, walk through the forest, and then summit Hochegg, another peak, before descending in the direction of Goldegg and Weng. The views are nice, but not quite comparable to the other side.

There’s an optional detour to the alpine chapel Hirtenkapelle, which is a popular day hike from Goldegg. As you make the final descent, you’ll pass Meiselsteinalm (1275 m), a high alpine pasture surrounded by cows and handsome, model-like horses. This view from the alm restaurant terrace is just perfect.

Another 5 minutes will bring you to the alpine hut at Hackeralm. Luckily, Hackeralm was open and we ate a cheese and charcuterie platter with refreshments. From Hackeralm, it’s another 50 minutes down to lake Böndlsee. At the end of the hike, take a refreshing dip in Böndlsee. There’s a 3 EUR entrance fee if you arrive before 5 p.m., and 1 EUR fee after. 

 

How to get to Dientner Sattel from Salzburg City without a car

Take the same connection as described in the hike above “Salzburger Almenweg Stage 2”. The only difference is, that you get off bus 593 at “Dientner Sattel / Birgkarhaus”, which is one stop before “Parkplatz Erichhütte”. 

 

How to get back to Salzburg City from Böndlsee without a car

Take bus 580 (Stop: Goldegg Böndlsee) to Schwarzach/Sankt Veit Bahnhof (20 min. ride / 3.80 EUR / person). From there, take any train back to Salzburg Hbf (S3, REX, Railjet, EC, IC). It will take 56 mins. (Railjet) up to 1 hr 16 min (S3) to arrive at Salzburg Hbf (11.90 EUR / Person). 

Check out Salzburg Verkehr for the bus schedule (German only, but you can do it)! Buy your train ticket  from Schwarzach/Sankt Veit to Salzburg Hauptbahnhof here.

Read Next: Austrian Alps Hiking Guide


4. Dachstein Day Hike: Hofpürglhütte

Hofpürglhütte, Gosaukamm, Best Salzburg Hikes, Austria

Hofpürglhütte is a mountain hut located beneath the distinct Bischofsmütze twin peaks of Gosaukamm. The hike to Hofpürglhütte (1705 m) begins at Hofalmen in Filzmoos. At Hofalmen, you’ll find two idyllic alm restaurants, Unterhofalm and Oberholfalm, set amidst rolling pastures and grazing cattle. Note: there’s a 5.50 EUR toll per car to drive the road from Filzmoos to Hofalmen. 

Facing the Dachstein mountains, the trail leads from Unterhofalm off to the left, in the opposite direction of Almsee. Initially, you’ll cross a small stream. Signs will steer you in the direction of Bischofsmütze. As you gain elevation, the Dachstein range seems to spread its wings like a butterfly. It’s magic. 

Hofpürglhütte is a nice spot for a beverage. We thought the food was okay – nothing to celebrate. Save your appetite for Sulzenalmen (see next hike).

You can easily extend this hike into a full-day circuit route. From Hofpürglhütte, you can continue to Kesselwand (1750 m), Rinderfeld (1760 m), and Sulzenhals (1824 m). The trail then descends to Sulzenalmen and then back down to Hofalmen. In mid-June, the snow conditions made it quite difficult to finish the circuit. So, we ended up taking a trail back down to Almsee before reaching Rinderfeld. Later in the season or another year (when it doesn’t snow in May), this would be a spectacular hike in Salzburg to complete. 

  • Trailhead: Unterhofalm
  • Destination: Hofpürglhütte
  • Distance: 2.2 km one-way
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Altitude Difference: 450 m
  • Time Needed:  1- 1.5 hours one-way
  • When to Go: June – September
  • Where to Stay: Filzmoos.

 

Learn More: Best Things to Do in Filzmoos, Austria


5. Dachstein Day Hike: Sulzenalmen

Hike to Sulzenalmen, Filzmoos - Best Salzburg Hiking Trails, Austria

Sulzenalmen is made up of two alm huts called Krahlehenhütte and Wallehenhütte. The huts are positioned quite close to one another – a mere 300 meters apart. Like the above hike, Sulzenalmen can also be reached from Hofalmen.

This is an easy and short trail that I can’t recommend enough. You can begin the hike by following the trail to Unterhofalm and around Almsee lake. Or, you can access the trail from Oberhofalm and save the small lake for later. You’ll gain elevation quite quickly in the initial stretch. The trail will plateau and ultimately flatten out through open meadows, revealing your destination ahead as well as the mighty Bischofsmütze and Gosaukamm. As we neared Sulzenalmen, a group of dairy cows seemed to enjoy the view as much as we did. 

Both Sulzenalmen huts are perfect destinations for lunch. Because we couldn’t resist, we ate at both. The only difference is that the menu at Krahlehenhütte is more extensive and their wildberry Kaiserschmarrn is to die for. 

  • Trailhead: Hofalmen
  • Destination: Sulzenalmen
  • Distance: 2.2 km one-way
  • Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
  • Altitude Difference: 300 m
  • Time Needed: 1 hour one-way
  • When to Go: June – September
  • Where to Stay: Filzmoos.

 


6. Tennengebirge Day Hike: Werfener Hütte

Wengerau, Tennengebirge, Best hikes in Salzburg

Werfener Hütte is a mountain hut perched high up in the Tennengebirge Mountains (Tennen Mountains) overlooking the wide Salzachtal river valley. There are two ways to approach Werfener Hütte. You can either start the hike at the parking lot Unterholz, or in Wengerau. We recommend starting in Wengerau in Werfenweng as the approach is far more dramatic. Another reason to start in Wengerau is that you can treat yourself to a yummy meal at Wengau Alm after the hike. 

The Unterholz Approach

We hiked to Werfener Hütte from Unterholz. The trail ascends through the forest for 20 min to Mahdeggalm (1220 m), a local’s only alm restaurant and guesthouse. I say local’s only because only locals know about it. The food is local and features regional recipes. If you love the food, a recipe book is proudly displayed for purchase. From Mahdeggalm, follow the signs in the direction of Elmaualm and Werfener Hütte. Before reaching Elmaualm, you’ll see a few trails leading to Werfener Hütte (all signed). We recommend taking the trail from Elmaualm, as it’s a gentler ascent. As the trail ascends, the views of the river valley expand as do those of the Hochkönig massif. The final stretch is very steep. 

The Wengerau Approach

Starting in Wengerau, you’ll first pass Wengau Alm and then 15 minutes later Gamsblickalm (1019 m). The trail continues 2.3 km to Elmaualm, taking about 1.5 hours. From Elmaualm, it’s another 1.7 km to Werfener Hütte (1 -1.5 hours). 

  • Trailhead: Wengerau Parking Lot (980 m)
  • Destination: Werfener Hütte
  • Distance: 5 km one-way, 10 km roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Altitude Difference: 980 m ascent
  • Time Needed: 3 – 3.5 hours one-way, 6 hours round-trip
  • When to Go: June – September
  • Parking: Unterholz (2 EUR), Wengerau (Free)
  • Where to Stay: Werfenweng / Werfen

7. Grossarltal Day Hike: Schödersee

Grossarler Ache, Grossarltal - Best Hikes in Salzburg, Austria

The Grossarltal hike to the seasonal lake Schödersee is best done in early June during Schneeschmelze (snowmelt) or after a lot of rainfall. The difficulty of this hike will depend on how much water is gushing either beside, or directly on the trail. Our hiking poles were indispensable, as they provided stability in negotiating some very slippery and wet surfaces.

This Salzburg hiking trail begins in the Taslschuss of Grossarltal valley. The initial stage to Ölzlsee lake is flat and easy. After the lake, the trail narrows and closely follows the Grossarler Ache river. Much of the route was flooded, making the experience more difficult, but also a lot more fun. There are no mountain huts or alms along the way, but there are a few places to eat near the trailhead. 


Best Hikes in Salzburg Map


More Information for Your Trip to Austria:

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