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Schladming Hiking Guide, Austria | Best Trails & Hotels

Schladming is a town in the Austrian state of Styria located in the Steirisches Ennstal Valley, between the Schladminger Tauern mountains and the Dachstein mountains.

Along with Rohrmoos (the village just above Schladming), Schladming is an excellent summer hiking base suitable for families as well as serious hikers.

You can hike to mountain lakes, peaks, waterfalls, and alpine pastures in two notable mountain ranges. 

The first time we visited Schladming in summer was to hike the spectacular Schladminger Tauern High Trail. During our second visit, we day hiked to various lakes and mountain pastures.

The Schladming-Dachstein region is one of our absolute favorite places to visit in Austria, because the people are joyful, wholehearted, and welcoming. It simply feels good to be here.

We also love the Almhütten (alpine pasture huts), Styrian food, and the many lakes that define the Schladminger Tauern range. 

Additionally, the summer hiking buses make getting to/from trailheads really effortless. You absolutely don’t need a car (especially during the high summer season).

This guide exclusively describes the best hikes in the Schladminger Tauern.

If you are interested in hikes in the Dachstein mountains, check out the Bachlalm to Neustattalm circuit trail, the 5 Huts Trail in Ramsau am Dachstein and the Hofpürgl Hut to Sulzenalm circuit trail and the Rötelstein Peak hike in Filzmoos.

Lunch at Sondlalm, Untertal, Rohrmoos Schladming
  • Easy family-friendly hikes: Wild Waters Theme Trail and Giglach Lakes.
  • Moderate day hikes: Lake Duisitzkarsee – Neualm Circuit and Alpinsteig durch die Höll to Lake Riesachsee.
  • Challenging day hikes: Styrian Kalkspitze or the Preintalerhütte – Neualm Circuit
  • The most beautiful hiking destination: Klafferkessel
  • Swimming in mountain lakes: It’s technically allowed, but it’s not condoned. Only swim without sun lotion.
  • Mountain pasture safety rules & tips: While hiking in this region, you’ll encounter many mountain pastures with free-roaming cattle. Please familiarize yourself with these rules before your trip.
  • Essential Gear: Black Diamond Hiking Poles, sun protection (Cat 3/4 sunglasses, hiking hat, sun lotion), sturdy hiking boots.
  • Where to Stay in Schladming: Winzig Apartment (budget), TUI Blue Schladming (midrange), or Stadthotel Brunner (luxury)
  • Where to Stay in RohrmoosPension Stammerhof (budget), Hotel Garni Hochwurzen (midrange), or Thalers Mariandl (luxury)
  • Recommended Trail Map: Kompass Wanderkarte 31 Schladming 1:50 000

Schladming Hiking Map

Schladming Hiking Buses

When you stay in a “Sommercard partner” accommodation like Thalers Mariandl or Stadthotel Brunner in the Schladming – Dachstein region, you receive a complimentary Schladming-Dachstein Sommercard (Summer Card).

This card gives you free rides on all regional hiking busses and cableways. 

Here’s the current Bus Timetable (“Fahrplan” in German).

Below, we’ve summarized the hiking buses that you should take advantage of during your stay in Schladming, or Rohrmoos.

We recommend taking the bus, to avoid paying tolls and for laid-back exploring.

Bus Frequency and Seasonality Considerations

During the high summer season (late June until mid-September), buses are frequent.

However, if you’re visiting in early summer (late May – late June) or in fall, the bus timetable is very limited.

For example, there’s only one bus to/from Obertal three times a week. And, there’s only one bus to Ursprungalm twice a week. 

The only bus that runs more frequently is Bus 974 to Riesachfall (4 times per day).

When we visited in early June, the constraints of the early summer bus schedule coupled with lingering snow and unstable weather made us wish we had a car for greater flexibility.

Hiking Bus 972: Preuneggtal Valley to Ursprungalm

This bus connects Schladming and Rohrmoos with the picturesque Ursprungalm alpine pasture.

From Ursprungalm, you can hike to the gorgeous Giglach Lakes or summit the Styrian Kalkspitze (2459 m).

We recommend taking the bus, because the mountain road is narrow and challenging to drive.

Furthermore, it’s expensive. The toll is currently 18 EUR for cars and 10 EUR for motorbikes.

Hiking Bus 974: Untertal Valley to Riesachfall 

This bus connects Schladming and Rohrmoos with Untertal-Dorf (Untertal valley village) and the Riesachfall Waterfall/Seeleiten Parking Lot.

From Riesachfall, you can hike up the Alpinsteig durch die Höll trail through a steep gorge to Riesachsee Lake (1 hour). You can also continue to Preintalerhütte mountain hut (2:30 hours).

For a more leisurely walk, we recommend descending Untertal Valley along the Wild Waters Theme Trail (Themenweg Wilde Wasser in German) all the way down to Schladming (4 hours).

Hiking Bus 976: Seewigtal Valley to Steirischer Bodensee

This bus connects Schladming with the Steirischer Bodensee Lake. From the bus stop, you can walk to the lake in 5 minutes. There’s an easy trail that circuits the lake.

You can also continue hiking to Hans-Wödl mountain hut (1533 m) and Hüttensee and Obersee Lakes.

If you’re staying in Rohrmoos, you have to take bus 971 to Schladming first.

Hiking Bus 973: Obertal Valley to Eschachalm 

This bus connects Schladming and Rohrmoos with Eschachalm and Hopfriesen in the Obertal Valley. We used this bus to hike to Lake Duisitzkarsee.

Schladming Hiking Trails

1. Alpinsteig durch die Höll Trail

The Alpinsteig is a steep trail that connects the Parkplatz Seeleiten parking lot and the Almgasthaus Riesachfall restaurant to Lake Riesachsee in Untertall Valley. 

Alpinsteig durch die Höll translates as “Alpine Trail through Hell.” The name doesn’t quite capture the essence of this hiking path. It’s not hellish at all! It’s verdant, lush, and alive.

The trail hugs the Riesachbach stream and ascends the thundering Höllschlucht gorge, giving you unobstructed waterfall and river views. All your senses are engaged as you hear the water plunge and stir down the gorge. 

For safety reasons, the Alpinsteig trail can only be hiked one-way ascending to Lake Riesachsee. It’s a steep trail with many ladders and several bridges, including a 50-meter suspension bridge

Just before the lake, you’ll see the Gfölleralm alpine pasture hut. Grab lunch here, before descending back to the Seeleiten parking lot. 

The descent follows the Forest Road (“Forststrasse”). 

You can easily extend this hike to Preintalerhütte. We’ll explain below. 

Trail Stats

Trailhead | Seeleiten Parking Lot / Riesachfall Bus Stop in Untertal | Google Maps

Bus Line | 974 Untertal – Wilde-Wasser

Toll | If you’re driving to the trailhead, you have to pay a toll (9 EUR, or 6 EUR with the Schladming-Dachstein Sommercard)

Distance | 4.5 km circuit

Time Needed | 2:30 hours

Elevation Gain/Loss | 295 meters

Difficulty | Moderate

Minimum Elevation | 1073 meters

Maximum Elevation | 1369 meters

2. Preintalerhütte Mountain Hut

Kerschbaumeralm, Riesachtal, Schladming, Austria

This hike begins with the Alpinsteig durch die Höll ascent to Lake Riesachsee.

From the Gfölleralm alpine pasture hut, continue along the flat gravel path towards the lake. Continue following this path to the opposite end of Lake Riesachsee. 

You’ll walk by several alpine pasture huts –  Kaltenbachalm, Wieseralm, Schmiedlechneralm, Kerschbaumeralm, and Kotalm – before ascending to Preintalerhütte (1656 m). 

After walking for about 40 minutes (from Gfölleralm) along the flat road, you’ll reach a signed intersection, steering you left onto a forest trail to Preintalerhütte (signed 45 minutes).

From the intersection, it’s 1.2 km (220 meters ascending) to Preintalerhütte. 

Preintalerhütte is a great place for lunch and a refreshing beverage. They also have an espresso machine, which is a treat. Make sure to bring cash.

Directly next to the mountain hut, you’ll find another alpine pasture hut: Waldhornalm. During the pasture season, they sell homemade dairy products like Buttermilk. 

Returning to Riesachsee 

You can either head back to Riesachsee the way you came up (easier option), or you can follow trail 781 – which is Stage 5 of the Schladminger Tauern High Trail – to Neualm, before descending to the lake (the more difficult option). 

The alpine trail to Neualm is difficult because it’s narrow, slippery (due to snowmelt), and partially exposed. Some exposed sections are secured with rungs and fixed cables.

It’s a thrilling hike with riveting views of the surrounding mountains and Riesachtal Valley, but it shouldn’t be underestimated. You need to be surefooted and have a head for heights. 

It took us about 1:30 hours to hike from Preintalerhütte to Neualm (1849 m). 

Neualm is “nicht bewirtschaftet,” meaning it’s not a managed alpine pasture (no food here). The alpine pasture is peppered with crumbling stone buildings and offers a bird’s-eye view of Lake Riesachsee. 

From Neualm, continue left through the stone ruins and follow trail 777A down to Brand Alm (also “nicht bewirtschaftet”) and then ultimately down to Kerschbaumeralm, one of the alpine pasture huts along that gravel road (which you passed before).

The descent is quite pleasant, because the trail is soft (lots of pine needles and very few rocks). 

Once you reach the Riesachtal valley floor, follow the familiar path back to Gfölleralm, and then take the Forest Road down to Parkplatz Seeleiten/Almgasthaus Riesachfall. 

Trail Stats

Trailhead | Seeleiten Parking Lot / Riesachfall Bus Stop in Untertal | Google Maps

Bus Line | 974 Untertal – Wilde-Wasser

Toll | If you’re driving to the trailhead, you have to pay a toll (9 EUR, or 6 EUR with the Schladming-Dachstein Sommercard)

Distance | 12.6 km (Preintalerhütte), 14.1 km (Loop Trail via Neualm)

Time Needed | 4:20 hours (Preintalerhütte), 5:30 hours (Loop Trail via Neualm)

Elevation Gain/Loss | 644 meters (Preintalerhütte), 906 meters (Loop Trail via Neualm)

Difficulty | Moderate (Preintalerhütte), Difficult (Loop Trail via Neualm)

Minimum Elevation | 1076 meters

Maximum Elevation | 1656 meters (Preintalerhütte), 1919 meters (Loop Trail via Neualm)

3. Wild Waters Theme Trail 

Sondlalm, Untertal, Schaldming

The Wild Waters Theme Trail (Themenweg Wilde Wasser in German) technically begins in Schladming at the “Wanderportal Kraiter Talbachklamm” and then ascends all the way up the Untertal Valley to Riesachsee Lake via the Alpinsteig trail (described earlier). 

A better way to do this hike is to take the Untertal hiking bus to Almgasthaus Riesachfall/Seeleiten-Parkplatz.

From here, you have the option to hike the Alpinsteig trail to Lake Riesachsee and back down via the forest road (2 – 2:30 hours circuit). After, continue along the Themenweg Wilde Wasser to Untertal village. 

The Wild Waters theme trail descends slowly from Almgasthaus Riesachfall (Seeleiten-Parkplatz) all the way to Untertal-Dorf village and then ultimately down to Schladming. 

This is a leisurely, family-friendly hike, perfect for days when you want to be outside and stretch your legs, but aren’t craving anything too strenuous.

The trail strings together several alpine pasture huts, which serve yummy regional cuisine. You won’t go hungry on this trail. 

The trail is intuitive, but here are some directions:

Seeleiten Parking Lot to Sondlalm 

From the parking lot, head back down the road for about 600 meters, until you see a bridge on your left.

Cross the bridge and continue walking along the Untertalbach stream.

You’ll follow the stream, until you see a left turn to the Sondlalm alpine pasture. You can grab lunch here, or continue to Waldhäuslalm.

Sondlalm to Waldhäuslalm 

It’s a 20 minute walk (1.5 km) to Waldhäuslalm, an alpine pasture with a playground and a fish pond.

If you’re hiking with kids, you may want to have lunch here.

Everyone else, we recommend Sondlalm as it’s quiet and not directly on the main Untertalstrasse road. 

Waldhäuslalm to Gasthof Tetter

From Waldhäuslalm, walk on the trail along Untertalstrasse road for 1.7 km to Gasthof Tetter. 

Gasthof Tetter to Restaurant Landalm 

Landalm, Untertal Village, Rohrmoos, Schladming, Austria

Just before Gasthof Tetter, a trail descends down to the river (on your left). Follow this trail, cross the bridge and enjoy the views of the marshy Tettermoor.

On foggy days, it almost looks like a Norwegian Fjord. 

After about 920 meters, the trail intersects with the road at a small parking lot.

Follow the road for about 3-4 minutes until you see the Janerbrücke bridge on your right. Cross this bridge and hike along Janerweg, which is a popular cycling path. 

In some older guidebooks, it tells you to actually stay on the main road (left side of the river) for a few more minutes, until you come across a path by the river.

This path is now closed and no longer accessible to the public. So, make sure to cross at Janerbrücke bridge. 

You’ll follow this Janerweg road to several isolated farmsteads, high above the Untertalbach stream. When conditions permit, the Dachstein range is visible straight ahead. 

After walking along Janerweg for about 20 minutes (1.1 km), you’ll see a hiking trail on your left.

This narrow trail steadily descends across blooming flower fields towards Untertal-Dorf village and Landalm. 

Restaurant Landalm to Schladming via the Talbachklamm 

Talbachklamm Lookout, Schladming, Austria

Landalm is an alpine restaurant with a quaint wooden interior, featuring traditional Austrian cuisine. We loved eating here. The food is excellent. 

From Landalm, follow signs to Talbachklamm. You’ll hike along the fast-moving Talbach stream on a wide gravel pathway down to Schladming.

This final descent is a visual treat and a very nice ending to the Wilde Wasser Theme Trail. 

Trail Stats

Trailhead | Seeleiten Parking Lot / Riesachfall Bus Stop | Google Maps

Bus Line | 974 Untertal – Wilde-Wasser

Toll | If you’re driving to the trailhead, you have to pay a toll (9 EUR, or 6 EUR with the Schladming-Dachstein Sommercard)

Distance | 11.6 km (without the Alpinsteig)

Time Needed | 4 hours

Elevation Gain | 44 meters

Elevation Loss | 369 meters

Difficulty | Easy

Minimum Elevation | 744 meters

Maximum Elevation | 1081 meters

4. Duisitzkarsee – Neualm Circuit 

Neualm mountain pasture, Obertal, Schladming

Duisitzkarsee is a mountain lake, situated at an elevation of 1648 m. There are two ways to hike up to Duisitzkarsee from Eschachalm in Obertal: the hiking trail (“Wandersteig”) or the forest road.

It takes 1:15 hrs to hike the Wandersteig trail to Duisitzkarsee Lake. It’s a steep trail that weaves its way up the forest, sometimes intersecting with the forest road.

There are some water crossings (early summer), which can be slippery if you don’t have hiking poles. If you’re looking to buy trail poles, invest in these Unisex Black Diamond Hiking Poles (we’ve been hiking with them for years).

You’ll eventually join the forest road and walk the remaining 5 minutes to the lake.

At the lake, there are two huts, Duisitzkarseehütte and Fahrlechhütte, which serve food and drinks. Both are charming. We opted for Duisitzkarseehütte and ate way too much food. No regrests, though.

Before/after lunch, we recommend hiking around the lake for the best views. The circuit trail is flat and easy. However, early in the season, it’s marshy due to snowmelt.

From Duisitzkarsee, continue to the Neualm mountain pasture (nicht bewirtschaftet / not managed). The trail to Neualm starts at the bridge near the lakeshore.

Follow the upper track. The undulating trail to Neualm is enjoyable and takes about an hour (2.6 km). There are a few fixed rungs along the way, to aid hikers across some rocky passages.

You’ll cross the stream at Neualm and then follow the track along the Obertalbach stream back down to Eschachalm (trailhead/alpine pasture hut).

We stayed on the forest road because the hiking trail was closed due to an avalanche. The 410-meter descent takes about 1:00-1:15 hrs.

Trail Stats

Trailhead | Eschachalm in Obertal | Google Maps

Bus Line | 973 Obertal

Distance | 9.9 km

Time Needed | 4 hours (5 hours with lunch)

Elevation Gain/Loss | 592 meters

Minimum Elevation | 1197 meters

Maximum Elevation } 1743 meters

5. Ursprungalm to Giglach Lakes

Giglach Lakes, Schladminger Tauern

Learn more about this trail in our guide to visiting Ursprungalm.

Trail Stats

Trailhead | Ursprungalm | Google Maps

Bus Line | 972 Ursprungalm – Preuneggtal

Toll | 18 EUR for cars, 10 EUR for motorbikes, 5 EUR for cyclists

Distance | 8.2. km lollipop-circuit

Time Needed | 4 hours

Elevation Gain/Loss | 415 meters

Difficulty | Easy

Minimum Elevation | 606 meters

Maximum Elevation | 1988 meters

6. Schladminger Tauern High Trail

Klafferkessel, Schladminger Tauern High Trail, Austria

If you love pristine alpine lakes, the five day Schladminger Tauern High Trail is for you. On day 1, you’ll hike by Klammsee, Brettersee, and Giglachseen.

On day 3, you’ll hike to Oberen Landawirsee and Unteren Landawirsee. And on day 4, you’ll cross the Klafferkessel cirque, which contains more than 30 lakes.

When we think about which treks in Austria we want to re-do, this is always our #1 choice. It’s not crowded.

The huts are small and intimate. And, of course, the food is excellent. We’re hoping that the hut management along this route never changes.

Trail Stats

Starting Point/Ending Point | Schladming

Duration | 5 Days

Distance | 45 km circuit

Difficulty | Difficult

When to Hike | July, August, September

Learn More: Schladminger Tauern High Trail Trekking Guide

Where to Stay in Schladming or Rohrmoos in Summer

We recommend staying at least 3-4 nights in Schladming or Rohrmoos to get a taste for the region.

If you want easy access to shops, bars, multiple restaurants and cafés, we recommend staying in Schladming. 

If you want more solitude, unbeatable views of the Dachstein mountains, and quicker access to the Untertal/Obertal/Preuneggtal valleys, stay in Rohrmoos village (just above Schladming). 

It’s only a 6 minute drive, or 12 minute bus ride between Schladming and Rohrmoos, but there’s a notable difference between the two. 

If you’re sensitive to noise and want more countryside vibes, stay in Rohrmoos. If you’re traveling without a car and you want to be where the action is, stay in Schladming.

Best Place to Stay in Rohrmoos

Thalers Mariandl, Rohrmoos, Austria

Thalers Mariandl

Thalers Mariandl is a family-run bed & breakfast in Rohrmoos. Aesthetically pleasing and thoughtfully designed, Thalers Mariandl feels instantly fresh and young. A new generation is eagerly embracing the concepts of mindfulness (yoga), sustainability (plastic-free), and well-being (wellness area, terrace, bedroom design).

Beyond the eye-catching larch paneling and the pastel accents, it’s the wholehearted hospitality that makes Thalers Mariandl so special. The family and staff are kind, casual, and always available to help you. The atmosphere is laid-back (no stiffness here). 

More reasons to stay here:

  • Great views of the Dachstein and the Schladminger Tauern mountains. 
  • Delicious, well-balanced breakfast. 
  • Bar & limited snack menu available in the evening. Tip: order the Brettljause (snack board) in advance.
  • Bio sauna, Finnish Sauna, relaxation area, and tea bar. 
  • 2-minute walk to the Rohrmoos-Zentrum bus stop. 
  • Free parking.
  • Complimentary Schladming-Dachstein Summer Card.

Book your stay in Thalers Mariandl.

Best Place to Stay in Schladming

Stadthotel Brunner Tea Room, Schladming, Austria

Stadthotel Brunner

With its sparkling, modern facade and swoon-worthy lobby, Stadthotel Brunner isn’t your average alpine accommodation. Here, ayurvedic cuisine, digital art, and bold design choices create a distinctly modern atmosphere.

Stadthotel Brunner is also a very popular restaurant and bar, serving Austrian favorites as well as ayurvedic dishes. The food is excellent. Definitely make a dinner reservation for at least one of the nights you’re staying here. 

Located directly in the heart of Schladming, everything is easily accessible by foot: bars, restaurants, gelaterias, and shops of all kinds. You can walk to the Talbachklamm as well as the Planai cableway valley station (also a bus stop) in 5 minutes. Even the Schladming Train Station is only 1.1 km away (a 15 minute walk). 

More things we loved:

  • The soothing lighting. You’ll notice this especially in the hallways and in the bedrooms.
  • The wellness area occupies the top floor, and encompasses a Finnish sauna, hanging egg chairs, a sun terrace (with views of the town and Dachstein), a relaxation room, and a spacious shower. 
  • The panoramic tea room. 
  • The colorful breakfast features unique flavors and ingredients.
  • Complimentary Schladming-Dachstein Summer Card.

Book your stay in Stadthotel Brunner.

Keep Reading about Styria

Austria Trip Planning Essentials

Use our Austria Travel Guide and Austria blog archive to plan a unique and memorable trip to Austria. 

When to Visit Austria 

We recommend visiting Austria between June and October for hiking and between December and March for skiing and winter adventuring.

Summer Travel | Summer in Austria

Autumn Travel | Autumn in Austria

Winter Travel | December in Salzburg, December in Vienna, January in Vienna

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:

Car Rental 

We recommend using the 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.

Check car rental rates here

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:

Hut to Hut Hiking in 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.

What to See & Do in Austria

Austrian Hotels

Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails, Sabrina and Kati

4 thoughts on “Schladming Hiking Guide, Austria | Best Trails & Hotels”

  1. Hi. My wife and I are planning to spend a two nights in Schladming the first week of September and hike to Giglachsee Lakes. We will not be staying a hotel that offers the sommercard. How much does the card cost? Or can one just pay for a bus ticket when boarding the hiking bus 972? Do you know how much that would cost? We will have a rental car, so could do the drive. This will be our first trip to Austria and trying to figure out everything. Many thanks!

    • Hi Joel,
      You can drive to Ursprungalm (18 EUR toll), the trailhead. You can also pay for the bus ride. Please contact the Schladming-Dachstein tourist office for up-to-date pricing.
      All the best,

  2. –> Mountain pasture safety rules & tips: While hiking in this region, you’ll encounter many mountain pastures with free-roaming cattle. Please familiarize yourself with these rules before your trip.

    Just a quick note to say that the link to those rules was broken, but a quick google found them. I have a dog so I was curious to see the rules, but it’s really just common sense to me. (I lived in the UK with our dog for 9 years so my wife and I encountered a LOT of sheep and cattle there on hikes.) Anyway, the new link is here:
    Thank you for such a fabulous site! I just discovered it a couple of days ago and I believe I will use it a lot now that we have moved to Vienna. You two are my types of travelers!


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