Salzburg State (Salzburger Land), Austria, abounds with stunning hiking trails. Home to the impressive Northern Limestone ranges of Hochkönig (Berchtesgaden Alps), Tennengebirge, and the Dachstein, this Austrian region offers both picturesque scenery and trail variety.
A sizable 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.
Many of these mountain pastures are home to managed alpine pasture huts (Almhütten).
During the hiking season, alpine pasture huts serve food and drinks throughout the day. As you nibble on heartwarming Kaiserschmarrn in an Almhütte, you’ll likely hear distant cowbells and cheerful Austrian music.
There are a soaring 1,800 alpine huts in Salzburg, 550 of which are open in summer. You can learn more about alpine pastures in our guide to visiting the Alps in summer.
Hiking in Salzburg is the quintessential introduction to alpine life in the Austrian Alps. Keep reading for a summary of our favorite Salzburg hikes.
11 Best Salzburg Hiking Trails
- When to Hike in Salzburg: June – October, depending on weather/snow conditions.
- Best Salzburg Hiking Destinations: Filzmoos, Hochkönig Region (Maria Alm, Dienten und Mühlbach), Wagrain
- Getting around Salzburg: Public transit across Salzburg is excellent. Look up regional bus and train schedules using the Salzburg Verkehr website. However, not all trailheads are accessible by bus. The most stress-free way to get around is with a car. We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to book car rentals.
- Payment culture: Always bring EUR cash when hiking and traveling in Austria. You’ll need cash for toll roads, parking machines, and huts (food & drinks).
- Mountain Huts: Mountain huts (Hütte, Hütten) accommodate overnight guests throughout the hiking season (June-September). Opening/closing times are dependent on the location of the hut (elevation) and snow/weather conditions. Day hikers can also visit huts for food & drinks during the day.
- Alpine Pastures: Many hiking trails traverse alpine pastures, where cattle and other livestock graze during the summer months. Respect the animals and do not disturb, touch, or provoke them.
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Best Hikes in Salzburg Map
Salzburg Day Hikes
1. Lake Tappenkarsee Hike
Tappenkarsee is a mountain lake nestled in the Radstädter Tauern Mountains of Austria.
This Salzburg lake is a satisfying hiking destination, because it’s cradled by rugged mountains and home to the rustic Tappenkarsee Alm (alpine pasture hut) and charming Tappenkarseehütte (mountain hut). These managed huts are usually open from early June until mid/late September.
To start the hike, drive or take a bus to Lake Jägersee in Kleinarl Valley. Jägersee is 4 km south of Kleinarl and 11.6 km south of Wagrain. If the toll road is open, continue driving 3.6 km to Schwabalm car park. If the toll road is closed, park at the Jägersee Car Park.
After hiking up a series of serpentines through a mixed forest to Tappenkarsee, follow the lakeshore to the Tappenkarsee Alm and onwards to the Tappenkarsee Hut.
Continue ascending to Draugsteintörl saddle. This trail traverses slopes and pastureland, rewarding hikers with ever-changing vistas of the lake. From the saddle, descend to Tappenkarsee Alm and return to the trailhead along the same route.
Trailhead | Jägersee Car Park / Jägersee Bus Stop, Kleinarl Valley
Distance | 19.9 km lollipop-circuit
Time Needed | 7 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 985 meters
Difficulty | Moderate
Learn More: Tappenkarsee Trail Guide
2. Hofpürgl Hut to Sulzenalm Circuit Trail
This grand circuit hike in Salzburg runs along the base of Bischofsmütze and Gosaustein in the Dachstein Mountains.
To start the hike, head to Hofalm, located at the end of the Hofalm toll road, north of Filzmoos.
The hike begins with a steady ascent to Hofpürglhütte (1705 m), the refuge perched on a ridge beneath the Bischofsmütze twin peaks.
As you gain elevation, the Gosaukamm/Dachstein range seems to spread its wings like a butterfly. After ascending to Hofpürglhütte (50 minutes), the route follows the Linzerweg (Linzer Steig) across the boulder-filled Kesselwand beneath Bischofsmütze.
The undulating path continues east across graben, spurs, and boulder fields to Rinderfeld, a huge sprawling pasture below soaring limestone walls. After crossing this gorgeous meadow, the trail drops below the treeline and then zigzags up to the Sulzenschneid Spur.
Crest he spur and continue to the highest point, Eiskarlschneid, marked by a summit cross.
The trail descends to the Sulzenhals saddle and wanders through dwarf pine and later larches to reach the rolling pasture area of Sulzenalm.
Sulzenalm is home to two enticing huts, Wallehenhütte and Krahlehenhütte, which serve delicious meals throughout the day.
From Sulzenalm, it’s a 45-minute descent to Hofalm.
Trailhead | Hofalm, Filzmoos
Distance | 12.9 km circuit
Time Needed | 5:15 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 912 meters
Difficulty | Moderate – Moderately Difficult
Learn More: Hofpürgl Hut to Sulzenalm Circuit Hike
3. Rötelstein / Rettenstein Summit Hike
Rötelstein (2247 m), also called Rettenstein, is a mountain northeast of Filzmoos. It stands just south of the Dachstein massif and thus offers one of the most riveting views of the Gosaukamm and Dachstein South Face.
The Rötelstein summit hike is thrilling and demanding. Hikers must be comfortable scrambling and tackling broken rock and scree terrain.
Starting at the Rettensteinhütte (only open in winter), the trail ascends continuously up forest and pastureland to reach the southwest slope of Rötelstein. For an hour, the trail follows the main crest to the summit, alternating between scrambling and hiking passages.
It’s an exciting and lengthy approach with great views along the way. The final stretch to the summit unfolds rather magnificently, as you come face to face with Torstein (2948 m), Mitterspitz (2925 m), and Hoher Dachstein (2995 m).
The hike continues north across the summit of Rötelstein.
The soft grassy trail turns to loose rock as the path drops steeply down the northeast side of the mountain. Waymarks steer hikes through scrambling passages and across broken rock and scree to the Sulzenhals saddle.
From the saddle, it’s an easy jaunt to Sulzenalm, where you can grab a bite to eat at Wallehenhütte or Krahlehenhütte. The Kaiserschmarrn is sensation at both huts.
At the trail junction across from Krahlehenhütte, turn left. The trail wraps around the Mandlinghofalm pasture, backed by the iconic Bischofsmütze – the twin peaks shaped like a bishop’s hat/mitre.
The way to Rettensteinhütte passes easily through forest and meadows. The final leg follows a forest road and ultimately a paved road back to the starting point.
Trailhead | Rettensteinhütte car park, Filzmoos
Distance | 9.8 km circuit
Time Needed | 5 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 937 meters
Difficulty | Difficult
Learn More: Rötelstein Peak Hike
4. Bachlalm and Neustattalm Circuit Trail
This blissfully easy circuit trail meanders through forest and across dreamy pastures at the foot of the Dachstein Südwand in the border area of Salzburg and Styria.
It’s a great option for arrival and departure days, when you’re craving fresh air but nothing too strenuous.
The hike starts at the Bachlalm car park, which is located along the Filzmooser Strasse, between Filzmoos (Salzburg) and Ramsau am Dachstein (Styria).
Follow the private Bachlalm access road up to Schaidlalm mountain pasture. Detour to Bachlalm and then continue through patches of forest and wide-open meadows to reach the Neustadtalm mountain pasture.
The circuit continues to Glösalm restaurant/inn and then follows the Dureggrundweg trail down to Dachsteinruhe and the Bachlalm car park.
Trailhead | Bachlalm Car Park, between Filzmoos and Ramsau am Dachstein
Distance | 10.4 km circuit
Time Needed | 3:45 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 588 meters
Difficulty | Easy
Learn More: Bachlalm to Neustadtalm Circuit Hike
5. Mühlbach High Trail: Arthurhaus to Erichhütte
The Mühlbach High Trail (Mühlbacher Höhenweg in German) runs along the foot of the Hochkönig mountains between Arthurhaus and Erichhütte. It’s also stage 2 of Salzburg Almenweg long-distance trail.
The trail traverses mountain pastures and pockets of forest, passing several Almhütten (alpine pasture huts) along the way, including the “Vier Hütten” (Four Huts).
You can start the hike at either Arthurhaus (paid car park/bus stop) high above Mühlbach am Hochkönig, or at the Erichhütte car park (free car park/bus stop) along the Hochkönigstraße road in Dienten am Hochkönig.
We parked at the Erichhütte car park and took Bus 593 to Arthurhaus and then hiked back to our car. The bus takes 40 minutes and costs 5.10 EUR per person. You can pay the bus driver directly with either cash or card.
You can extend this hike by hiking to the Hochkeil summit from Arthurhaus or to the Taghaube Peak from Erichhütte.
Starting Point | Arthurhaus, Mühlbach am Hochkönig
Ending Point | Erichhütte Car Park, Dienten am Hochkönig
Distance | 11.2 km point-to-point
Time Needed | 3:30 hours
Elevation Gain | 226 meters
Elevation Loss | 377 meters
Difficulty | Easy
Where to Stay in Dienten am Hochkönig | The Peak Hochkönig (luxury)
Learn More: Mühlbach High Trail
6. Taghaube Peak
Taghaube (2159 m) is a peak in the Hochkönig Mountains.
The hike to the Taghaube summit is highly enjoyable, because the trail is almost entirely above the treeline. And like any good Salzburg hike, there’s a managed mountain hut and alpine pasture along the way.
To start the hike, head to the Erichhütte car park, between Dienten am Hochkönig and Mühlbach am Hochkönig.
After ascending the access road to Erichhütte (20 minutes), cross the wide-open meadow to the base of Taghaube (20 minutes). Follow trail 437 up a belt of dwarf pine and further up steep rock passages to reach the summit (1:20 hours).
Return to Erichhütte along the same route.
Trailhead | Erichhütte car park, Dienten am Hochkönig
Distance | 6.4 km out-and-back
Time Needed | 3 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 810 meters
Difficulty | Moderately Difficult
Where to Stay in Dienten am Hochkönig | The Peak Hochkönig (luxury)
Learn More: Taghaube Trail Guide
7. Riemannhaus and Breithorn Peak
Riemannhaus (2177 m) is a mountain refuge dating back to 1885, situated on the Steinernes Meer (“Stone Sea”) high karst plateau in Salzburg.
The Steinernes Meer forms part of the Berchtesgaden Alps, a significant range in the Northern Limestone Alps, which straddles the Bavarian-Salzburg border.
Riemannhaus is nestled between the Sommerstein and Breithorn peaks, high above the valley basins of Saalfelden am Steinernen Meer and Maria Alm am Steinernen Meer.
The day hike to Riemannhaus starts at the Sandten car park (only accessible by car), just north of Maria Alm, a village in the Hochkönig holiday region.
From the car park, follow the gravel road north to the valley station of the hut’s supply lift (Materialaufzug in German). We recommend staying on the road the whole time. The hiking trail (401a) is damaged due to landslides and avalanches.
Shortly before the supply lift, the hiking trail veers left. The narrow trail steadily ascends through rocky terrain all the way up to the hut (1:45 hours). Sections of the ascent are secured with fixed cables.
From Riemannhaus, we recommend extending the hike across the karst plateau to Breithorn (1 hour one-way). This peak hike requires some scrambling and absolute surefootedness. Follow trail 428 to Breithorn (2504 m).
Return to Sandten car park along the same route.
Trailhead | Sandten car park, Maria Alm am Steinernen Meer
Distance | 10.3 km out-and-back
Time Needed | 6:30 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 1370 meters
Difficulty | Moderately Difficult
8. Wengerau to Werfener Hütte
Werfener Hütte is a mountain hut perched high up in the Tennengebirge Mountains (Tennen Mountains) overlooking the wide Salzachtal river valley.
Starting in Wengerau, you’ll first pass Wengerau Alm and then 15 minutes later Gamsblickalm (1019 m). The trail continues 2.3 km to Elmaualm. From Elmaualm, it’s another 1.7 km to Werfener Hütte (1 –1:30 hours).
Trailhead | Wengerau Car Park, Werfenweng
Distance | 10.6 km out-and-back
Time Needed | 4:30 hours
Difficulty | Moderate
Elevation Gain/Loss | 994 meters
Salzburg Viewpoint Hikes and Nature Trails
9. Hochkeil Summit and Troiboden Lake
Hochkeil (1782 m) is a panoramic mountain, which stands south of the striking, limestone Hochkönig massif in Salzburg, Austria.
This easy-to-reach summit boasts impressive views of the jagged Mandlwand, which forms the southeast flank of the Hochkönig massif.
This short Salzburg hike starts at Arthurhaus, high above Mühlbach am Hochkönig.
About 40-50 minutes into the ascent, you can detour to the mountain lake at Troiboden (Bergsee am Troiboden, or Spiegelsee am Hochkeil in German). This tiny body of water serves as a reflection pool for the saw-toothed Hochkönig peaks.
Trailhead | Arthurhaus, Mühlbach am Hochkönig
Distance | 6.1 km out-and-back
Time Needed | 2 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 284 meters
Difficulty | Easy
Where to Stay in Dienten am Hochkönig | The Peak Hochkönig (luxury)
Learn More: Hochkeil Hike
10. Liechtenstein Gorge
Liechtensteinklamm is a deep and narrow gorge in Salzburg, located a few kilometers south of St. Johann im Pongau.
A safe, family-friendly trail leads through the misty gorge, running through illuminated tunnels and galleries, over bridges, and along secured walkways.
The gorge is open between May and October.
Trailhead | Liechtensteinklamm Car Park, St. Johann im Pongau
Distance | 2.5 km out-and-back
Time Needed | 1 – 1:30 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss | 100 meters
Difficulty | Easy
Learn More: How to Visit the Liechtenstein Gorge
Salzburg Long Distance Hiking Trails
11. Salzburger Almenweg
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 (alpine pasture huts).
The trail traverses the regions of Gastein, Grossarltal, Hochkönig, Filzmoos (Dachstein), Tennengebirge, “Salzburger Sonnenterrasse,” 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 huts along the way. In our opinion, the Salzburger Almenweg is better suited for point-to-point day-hikes rather than multi-day hikes.
Our favorite stage of the Salzburger Almenweg is Stage 2 between Erichhütte and Arthurhaus in the Hochkönig Mountains.
Hiking in Salzburg Responsibly
Respect Alpine Pastures
Many Salzburg hiking trails traverse active mountain pastures. When crossing an alpine pasture (Alm in German), please adhere to the following rules:
- Avoid contact with grazing animals. Do not feed the animals. Maintain a safe distance at all time.
- Try not to be loud. Do not startle cattle.
- Mother cows protect their calves. Avoid cows with calves, especially if you have a dog with you.
- Always keep dogs under control and on a short leash. If it becomes clear that a cow is going to attack, let your dog off the leash immediately.
- Stay on marked paths.
- If cattle block your path, give them the widest berth you can.
- If a cow approaches you, stay calm. Do not turn your back on the animal and give it a wide berth.
- At the first sign of the animals seeming unsettled, remain calm and leave the area quickly.
- Respect fences. If there is a gate, please use it and close it afterwards.
- Treat the people who work here and the animals with respect.
Where to Stay in Salzburg for Hiking
Filzmoos is located in the state of Salzburg, below the Gosaukamm mountain range, in the Austrian Alps. This down-to-earth alpine town is a 1 hour drive from Salzburg City, a 16-minute drive from Ramsau am Dachstein, and 27 minute drive from Schladming. Filzmoos is a great base for hiking in the Dachstein mountains in summer and fall.
Budget | Pension Bergliebe is a top-rated guesthouse with double rooms, family rooms, and apartments. Breakfast is included for guests staying in rooms. Pension Bergliebe is located directly in the Ski Amadé Ski Area (ski-to-door access), 4.6 km from the town center (6-minute drive).
Midrange | Das Anja Alt Filzmoos offers rooms and apartments in the heart of Filzmoos. Stay here for the intimate setting, excellent location, and lovely rooms. Guests receive the Filzmoos Sommer Card.
Top Choice – Luxury | meiZeit Lodge is a tastefully-furnished boutique hotel in the town center of Filzmoos. Stay here for the generous breakfast buffet (included in rate) and relaxing wellness facilities (Finnish pine sauna, bio herbal sauna, infrared relaxation loungers, relaxation zone, and vital drink bar). This charming accommodation also serves a complimentary afternoon cake selection between 3:00 and 5:00 pm.
Luxury | Hotel Neubergerhof is located on a plateau in the Ski Amadé Ski Area, 6 km from the town center (10-minute drive). The room rate includes breakfast & dinner (half board). Stay here for the quiet surroundings, mountain surroundings, rich breakfast buffet and outstanding multi-course dinner, and friendly staff. Guests have access to an indoor swimming pool, family sauna, and adults-only wellness area (Finnish sauna, bio sauna, steam bath, relaxation room).
The Hochkönig holiday region encompasses the towns of Mühlbach am Hochkönig, Dienten am Hochkönig, and Maria Alm am Steinernen Meer. Hochkönig is a very family-friendly destination in Salzburg. There are many easy hikes to alpine pasture huts and panoramic summits in the area. Stay here if you want to hike in the Hochkönig mountains and the Steinernes Meer karst plateau.
Mühlbach am Hochkönig
Budget | Landhaus Rieding is a guesthouse located on the Riedingalm mountain pasture at the foot of the Hochkönig mountains. If you want to wake up in the mountains, surrounded by beautiful peaks and idyllic pastureland, stay here.
Midrange-Luxury | Das Grünholz Aparthotel & Restaurant is located on Mandlwandstrasse, about halfway between the town center of Mühlbach and Arthurhaus. This family-run aparthotel boasts stunning modern apartments, excellent breakfasts, and spa facilities.
Luxury | Hotel Bergheimat is another hillside hotel between the town center of Mühlbach and Arthurhaus. The room rate includes breakfast, an afternoon snack and dinner. This traditional Austrian hotel offers spacious and comfortable rooms, an indoor swimming pool, and a spa with six saunas.
Luxury | AlpenParks Hotel & Apartment Hochkönig is an aparthotel situated in the town center of Mühlbach. Apartments are well-equipped and tastefully furnished. Perks: free underground parking garage with e-charging stations, free summer children’s program monday-friday (6 years old+), optional breakfast (extra charge).
Maria Alm am Steinernen Meer
Luxury | We stayed at the Eder – Lifestyle Hotel, which is located directly in the village center of Maria Alm. We loved the hotel’s atmosphere, innovative cuisine, and creative design. Here’s our Hotel Eder Review.
Luxury | Jufenalm BOHO Hotel & Restaurant is a stylish hotel with a “boho meets alpine” design concept. Stay here for the interior design, dreamy mountain setting, views of Steinernes Meer, and natural bathing pond and spa. Breakfast is included and you can dine in the hotel’s à la carte restaurant.
Budget | B&B Flöckner is an excellent bed and breakfast in Salzburg. Located within walking distance to the historic center, this quiet, clean, and comfortable accommodation is perfect for a weekend getaway.
Midrange | Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg boasts outstanding views of the Hohensalzburg Castle from the dining terrace, an excellent breakfast (accommodating all dietary needs), and newly renovated rooms.
Luxury | Hotel Sacher Salzburg is a grand and historic hotel dating back to the 19th century. Located on the banks of the Salzach River, this fine Salzburg hotel offers marvelous city views, luxuriously-furnished rooms, and superior customer service. The breakfast is excellent.
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Austria Trip Planning Essentials
When to Visit Austria
We recommend visiting Austria between June and October for hiking and between December and March for skiing and winter adventuring.
Getting around Austria
Austria has an excellent public transit system. We’ve used it extensively to travel throughout the country. We highly recommend using transit if you’re visiting cities (Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz, etc…), and/or doing hut-to-hut hikes.
Some areas like Mayrhofen, Schladming and Lech am Arlberg have wonderful seasonal transit systems in place (e.g. summer hiking buses). However, if you’re not visiting during the high season, bus frequencies are significantly reduced and it’s far easier to get around with your own vehicle.
If you’re planning on visiting multiple destinations across Austria, we recommend renting a car.
Use these road trip itineraries for trip planning inspiration:
- 2 Week Austria Road Trip – starting in Vienna
- 1 Week Austria Road Trip – starting in Salzburg or Munich
- 10-Day Bavarian Alps & Tyrolean Alps Road Trip – starting in Munich
We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
If you’re driving into Austria from a neighboring country, don’t forget to purchase a vignette at/near the border.
Hiking in Austria
Where to Hike in Austria
Read Austrian Alps Hiking Destinations for an overview of where to hike in Austria, with tips on specific trails and where to stay. Also check out Best Day Hikes in Austria and these region-specific hiking guides:
- Innsbruck Hiking Guide
- Schladming, Styria Hiking Guide
- Lech am Arlberg, Vorarlberg Hiking Guide
- Vorarlberg Hiking Guide
- Vienna Mountains Hiking Guide
Hut to Hut Hiking Austria
Austria is a premier hut-to-hut and long-distance hiking destination. The quality of the mountain huts are superb. We particularly love the high-alpine trails, which are called Höhenwege in German. We’ve summarized our favorite multi-day hikes in Trekking Austria. If you’re new to hut hiking, read this in-depth guide to Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria.
- Day Pack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B/C high-cut hiking boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- Backpack Camera Clip: Peak Design Camera Clip
What to See & Do in Austria
- Bathe in thermal pools of an Austrian Therme like Aqua Dome in Tirol, Rogner Bad Blumau in Styria, or EurothermenResort Bad Ischl in Upper Austria.
- Hike to a mountain lake like Lake Drachensee in Tirol.
- Go Wine Tasting in South Styria.
- Marvel at the culture, music, and architecture of Vienna.
- Eat heartwarming mountain food in an Almhütte at Grosser Ahornboden in Tirol or Ursprungalm in Styria.
- Drive the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Hohe Tauern National Park.