The hike from Arthurhaus (mountain hotel/restaurant) to Erichhütte (mountain hut) is a leisurely excursion at the foot of the Hochkönig Mountains in Salzburg, Austria.
Locals call this trail the Mühlbach High Trail (Mühlbacher Höhenweg in German). 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.
Mühlbach High Trail, Salzburg
- Starting Point: Arthurhaus, Mühlbach am Hochkönig | Google Maps
- Ending Point: Erichhütte Car Park | Google Maps
- Distance: 11.2 km point-to-point
- Time Needed: 3:30 hours
- Elevation Gain: 226 meters
- Elevation Loss: 377 meters
- Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
- Minimum Elevation: 1346 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 1593 meters
- Route: Arthurhaus – Windrauchegg Alm – Vier Hütten – Erichhütte – Erichhütte Car Park
- Where to Stay in Mühlbach am Hochkönig: Landhaus Rieding (midrange) Das Grünholz Aparthotel & Restaurant (luxury), Hotel Bergheimat (luxury)
- Where to Stay in Dienten am Hochkönig: The Peak Hochkönig (luxury)
- Where to Stay in Maria Alm: Apartments-Pension Renberg (midrange), or Hotel Eder (luxury)
- Recommended Trail Map: WK 2103 Hochkönig 1:25 000 (Freytag + Berndt)
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Arthurhaus to Erichhütte Trail Map
Where to Start the Mühlbach High Trail
You can start this hike at either Arthurhaus or Erichhütte car park. Both destinations have car parks and are accessible by bus. Look up regional bus timetables on Salzburg Verkehr.
Parkplatz Arthurhaus is located at the end of the Mandlwandstrasse, high above Mühlbach am Hochkönig.
The Arthurhaus bus stop is located at Arthurhaus.
Car Park Location | Google Maps
Parking Fee |
- 1 – 2 hours: 3 EUR
- 2 – 3 hours: 4 EUR
- 3 – 4 hours: 5 EUR
- 4 – 5 hours: 6 EUR
- 5 – 6 hours: 7 EUR
The rate increases by 1 EUR for each hour. The maximum parking fee is 12 EUR for 24 hours.
Payment | Cash Only
Erichhütte Car Park
Parkplatz Erichhütte is located just off the Hochkönigstraße road in Dienten am Hochkönig.
The Erichhütte bus stop is located directly across from the car park.
Car Park Location | Google Maps
Parking Fee | None
Mühlbach High Trail Description
Arthurhaus to Windrauchegg Alm (25 minutes)
Walk towards the Mandlwand, the gorgeous southeastern flank of the Hochkönig massif.
After passing the Sennerei Schweizerhütte alpine dairy, turn left on the wide gravel track in the direction of Vier Hütten, Windraucheggalm (25 minutes), and Erichhütte (3:30 hours).
The wide track leads west along an enclosed alpine pasture. The main focal point is the limestone Hochkönig peaks, which rise proudly above a belt of forest and rolling pastureland.
Follow the level track through patches of spruce forest and sprawling meadows to the Windrauchegg Alm (1460 m). This charming 135-year-old alpine pasture hut serves homemade meals during the hiking season.
Windrauchegg Alm to Vier Hütten (50 minutes)
The trail continues along the right side of the hut.
Keep hiking west in and out of patches of forest to the mountain pasture above Riedingalm in Riedingtal Valley. Off to the right, you’ll see the Riedingtal waterfalls.
When you reach the crossroads, ignore the road to Riedingalm and head straight in the direction of Vier Hütten (30 minutes) and Erichhütte (2:45 hours).
After crossing a stream bed, the path steadily ascends to a line of beech trees.
Via a turnstile, enter another mountain pasture. The path, now level, crosses a meadow to the Widdersbergalmen. This area is known as the Vier Hütten, which simply means “four huts.”
The latter two huts serve homemade food throughout the day during the hiking season.
Vier Hütten to Erichhütte (2 hours)
From the Brandstatt hut, follow the narrow trail across the grassy slopes.
The traverse brings you to a basin beneath a formidable wall of limestone. When the path divides, take the upper trail to Erichhütte.
Proceed across the basin covered in thick dwarf pine and bisected by rivers of rock.
The traverse continues through forest and beneath Taghaube.
Views of Hochkönig are lost, but along the way you’ll see the distant peaks of the Grossglockner Group of the Hohe Tauern range, including Grosses Wiesbachhorn (3564 m), Hoher Tenn (3368 m), Bauernbrachkopf (3125 m), and Kitzsteinhorn (3,203).
Finally, a hilltop Gipfelkreuz (summit cross) signals that Erichhütte (1540 m) is nearby. This refuge is usually open from mid/late May until mid/late October.
Cross the pasture down to the hut.
Erichhütte to Erichhütte Car Park (20 minutes)
Follow the gravel road down to the car park.
Where to Stay
The Hochkönig holiday region encompasses the towns of Mühlbach am Hochkönig, Dienten am Hochkönig, and Maria Alm am Steinernen Meer. Most accommodations provide the Hochkönig Card at no extra charge (June – October).
This guest card gives you free rides on regional transit and cable cars and more. Some accommodations have a minimum stay (2-4 nights depending on the season).
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).
Dienten am Hochkönig
Midrange-luxury Apartments | The Peak Hochkönig is an aparthotel in the town center of Dienten. All apartments are decorated in an alpine-modern style and have fully-equipped kitchens, dining areas, seating areas, and washing machines. Some apartments have saunas. Extra perk: underground parking.
Midrange All-Inclusive | Hotel-Gasthof Salzburger Hof is an all-inclusive, family-friendly hotel in Dienten. Stay here for the excellent food, friendly staff, and children’s facilities and programs (e.g. kid-friendly dinner, supervised summer program for kids ages 4+, play area, library, etc…).
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Austria Trip Planning Essentials
When to Visit Austria
Summer and early Fall are our favorite seasons in Austria.
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:
- Salzburg Hiking Guide
- Filzmoos, Salzburg 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
- Visit a gorge like the Liechtenstein Gorge in Salzburg.
- 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 Tappenkarsee in Salzburg or 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.