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Hiking the Schladminger Tauern High Trail in Austria

The Schladminger Tauern High Trail (Höhenweg in German) is an epic multi-day hike in the Austrian Alps in Austria. The trail runs along the summits and ridges of the Schladminger Tauern mountains and drops into idyllic valleys and alpine cirques.

It’s a challenging hut-to-hut hike that rewards you with panoramic views of alpine lakes, near and far mountains, picturesque meadowscapes, and cascading waterfalls.

This hut-to-hut hike in Styria (Steiermark in German) is typically completed in 5, or 7 days.

During the trek, you’ll stay in charming mountain huts in either a Lager (dormitory-style room), or a private room. Each hut serves hearty Austrian cuisine for lunch and dinner as well as a simple buffet breakfast.

This trail begins with the Gipfelbahn Hochwurzen cableway ascent and ends with the Planai Seilbahn cableway descent. You do not need to purchase cableway tickets in advance.

5-Day Schladminger Tauern High Trail Trek

Day 1 | Hochwurzen Cableway Mountain Station – Giglachseen – Ignaz-Mattis Hütte or Giglachseehütte (11.3 km, 6:30 hours)

Day 2 | Giglachseen – Keinprechthütte (6.3 km, 3:30 hours)

Day 3 | Keinprechthütte – Gollinghütte (9.1 km, 6 hours)

Day 4 | Gollinghütte – Preintalerhütte (7.7 km, 6 hours)

Day 5 | Preintalerhütte – Planai Seilbahn Mountain Station (11.3 km, 7 hours)

Note | The Schladming-Dachstein Tourist Office have re-routed stage 5 to Hans-Wödl-Hütte in Seewigtal valley via the Höfertsteig trail. We think they did this for two reasons; it’s an easier route and they wanted to include the Hans-Wödl-Hütte in the official trail. Honestly, we loved the original stage 5, which follows the challenging Planai Höhenweg.

We wrote this Schladminger Tauern High Trail trekking guide based on our personal experience. Keep in mind that things can change over time: trail difficulty, accessibility, and routing (due to rock falls, landslides, avalanches) and hut management (reservation system, hospitality, payment, food quality, etc…). Please do your due diligence before tackling this route.

Schladminger Tauern High Trail, Austria

Schladminger Tauern High Trail Map


Where to Stay

Alternative Stage 1

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5

How to Book the Schladminger Tauern High Trail Hut-to-Hut Hike

You can book the Schladminger Tauern High Trail independently, whereby you must book each mountain hut along the trail individually.

Alternatively, you can book the complete trek with the Schladming Tourist Office here.

It’s important to make reservations for overnight stays in huts several months in advance. You may be able to book more short-term, if you have a flexible start date. 

For more information about booking huts, read our guide to visiting Austrian Mountain Huts. For information about pricing, hut etiquette, joining the Austrian Alpine Club, helpful German phrases to know for hiking in Austria, read hut to hut hiking in Austria.

Arrival Day | Stay in Schladming at TUI BLUE Schladming (budget-midrange), or Stadthotel Brunner (luxury).

Stage 1 | Ignaz-Mattis Hütte – Online Reservation via Alpsonline, or GiglachseehütteReservation Request Form

Stage 2 | Keinprechthütte – Make a reservation via email

Stage 3 | Gollinghütte – Online Reservation via Alpsonline

Stage 4 | Preintalerhütte – Online Reservation via Alpsonline

Stage 5 | The trek ends at Planai Seilbahn Mountain Station. We recommend staying in Schladming after the trek: TUI BLUE Schladming (budget-midrange), or Stadthotel Brunner (luxury).

Brettersee, Schladminger Tauern High Trail Stage 1

Arrival Day in Schladming, Styria

How to Get to Schladming

Schladming (1036 m) is a ski resort town in the Austrian State of Styria.

If you’re flying, Salzburg Airport is the closest airport to Schladming, followed by Graz.

The best way to get to Schladming is by train.

From Vienna, it’s a 4-hour train ride.

Where to Stay in Schladming

It’s a good idea to spend the night in the town of Schladming, or Rohrmoos, before and after this hike. That’ll make your experience more relaxing. 

If you stay in the Schladming-Dachstein holiday region, before the trek, you’ll receive the Schladming-Dachstein Summer Card from your accommodation. With this complimentary card, you can use all cableways in the region for free.

We have personally stayed in all of the hotels listed below and can wholeheartedly recommend all of them.

Budget-Midrange | TUI BLUE Schladming is an all-around excellent accommodation in Schladming offering guests a bountiful breakfast (included), spa facilities (saunas), and a great location (located across from the Planai-Cable Car).

Midrange-Luxury | Thalers Mariandl is an alpine modern guesthouse featuring bright, beautifully designed rooms, an extensive spa area, and a quiet location in Rohrmoos (hamlet between Schladming and Hochwurzen Gipfelbahn gondola). 

Luxury | Stadthotel Brunner is a dazzling modern and barrier-free hotel situated in the heart of Schladming. If you appreciate clean, yet creative interior design, you’ll love staying here. Moreover, Stadthotel Brunner is the perfect retreat for anyone who wants to integrate wellness, yoga, and Ayurvedic cuisine into their vacation. If you visit between mid-May and mid-October, the Schladming-Dachstein Summer Card is included in the hotel rate. This guest card offers many free benefits and discounts, including free use of local cable cars and buses. Learn more about this hotel in our Schladming Hiking Guide.

Look for accommodation in Schladming.

Giglach Lakes, Schladminger Tauern

Schladminger Tauern High Trail Stage 1: Hochwurzen – Giglach Lakes

Stage 1 Trail Stats

Distance | 11.3 km

Time Needed |  6 – 6:30 hours

Elevation Gain | 830 meters

Elevation Loss | 720 meters

Difficulty | Moderate

Minimum Elevation | 1745 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2618 meters

Route | Hochwurzen (1852 m) – Rossfeld – Hochfeldmandl (2082 m) – Giglachseen (1921 m)

Lunch Option | None. Bring a snack.

Hochwurzen Cableway Mountain Station to Giglach Lakes (6:30 hours)

Brettersee, Schladminger Tauern High Trail Stage 1

This segment of the tour is called Höhenweg Giglach, or Giglach High Trail.

The traditional starting point for the Schladminger Tauern High Trail is Hochwurzen, accessible by the Gipfelbahn Hochwurzen cableway.

The Hochwurzen Cableway Valley Station is located in Rohrmoos, the plateau above Schladming. If you’re staying in the Schladming town center, you can either take a bus, or a taxi to the cableway valley station (20 minutes).

If you’re arriving in Schladming via train, you can hop on a bus to Hochwurzen Gipfelbahn Talstation, directly from the Schladming train station (16 minutes). Check schedule here.

From Hochwurzen, there are sweeping views of the Dachstein massif.

The Giglach High Trail passes several beautiful lakes, including Klammsee and Brettersee.

The final stretch of the hike offers epic views of the Giglachseen lakes. As you descend further, you’ll see the mountain hut Ignaz-Mattis Hütte (1,986 m).

Poor Weather Alternative: Ursprungalm to Giglachseen

There is a shorter way to reach the Giglach Lakes if needed. Take a bus from Schladming, or Rohrmoos to Ursprungalm (1604 m). These buses have limited departures, so plan ahead.

The 3.3 km hike from Ursprungalm to the Giglachseen (Giglach Lakes) takes 1 hour. These two mountain lakes are a popular destination for day hikers, so you’ll see more people on this segment of the trail than any other.

You’ll first arrive at Giglachsee Hütte (1950 m). Follow the trail for another 20 minutes to Ignaz-Mattis Hütte.

Stay in Giglachseehütte, or Ignaz-Mattis Hütte

Ignaz-Mattis-Hütte, Schladminger Tauern High Trail

Giglachseehütte (1950 m) is located close to Oberer Giglachsee (Upper Giglach Lake).

Ignaz-Mattis Hütte (1986 m) is perched above Unterer Giglachsee (Lower Giglach Lake). This is where we stayed. The mountain hut has a sunny terrace with heart-expanding views of the Lower Giglach Lake.

The interior is rustic, warm, and cozy. We slept in the lager (dormitory), which was really comfortable. The food was excellent!

Descending to Keinprechthütte, Schladminger Tauern High Trail

Schladminger Tauern High Trail Stage 2: Giglach Lakes – Keinprechthütte

Stage 2 Trail Stats

Distance | 6.3 km

Time Needed | 3:30 hours

Elevation Gain | 564 meters

Elevation Loss | 690 meters

Difficulty | Moderately Difficult

Minimum Elevation | 1853 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2453 meters

Route | Giglachseen (1921 m) – Rotmandlspitze (2453 m) – Keinprechthütte (1872 m)

Lunch Option | None. Bring a snack, or request a packaged lunch at Ignaz-Mattis Hütte, or Giglachseehütte. The stage is quite short, so you can also eat lunch at Keinprechthütte.

Giglachseen – Rotmandlspitze – Keinprechthütte (3:30 hours)

Rotmandlspitze,Schladminger Tauern High Trail, Austrian Alps

The Schladminger Tauern High Trail continues to the eastern end of the Lower Giglachsee Lake, past a few unmanaged wooden huts. The trail then begins the ascent to Rotmandlspitze peak (2,453 m).

After traversing scree and a series of switchbacks, you’ll summit the peak. The trail then quickly descends to the perfectly situated Keinprechthütte, which is located in an alpine cirque.

We hiked day 2 in rain and fog. Given the slippery rocky terrain, it was a very difficult hike. Though our views were obscured most of the day, we were able to make out our destination during the final stretch.

Rock-walls form the dramatic backdrop of Keinprechthütte (1872 m). Horses dot the high meadow surrounding the hut. The wooden hut looks like something out of a storybook.

Stay in Keinprechthütte

Keinprechthütte mountain hut, Schladminger Tauern High Trail, Austrian Alps

Lovely, warm and cozy. We slept in the lager, which was very comfortable. Keinprechthütte (1872 m) also offers private rooms. There are free charging areas in the sleeping quarters.

The hut owner and staff were extremely convivial. We spent the evening eating and playing games with fellow hikers in the dining area (Gastzimmer). The Gastzimmer has 6 large wooden tables and encourages visitors to relax and engage in conversation.

The food was exceptional. For dinner, we ate the Bergsteiger meal, goulash, and Kaiserschmarrn.

Oberer Landawirseen, Schladminger Tauern High Trail

Schladminger Tauern High Trail Stage 3: Keinprechthütte – Gollinghütte

Day 3 requires stamina since you have to hike over two mountains. Luckily there’s a mountain hut in the middle of the trek, where you can take a break and eat a yummy lunch on a sunny terrace.

Stage 3 Trail Stats

Distance | 9.1 km

Time Needed | 6 – 6:30 hours

Elevation Gain | 930 meters

Elevation Loss | 1114 meters

Difficulty | Moderately Difficult

Minimum Elevation | 1663 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2326 meters

Route | Keinprechthütte (1872 m) – Trockenbrotscharte (2237 m) – Landawirseehütte (1985 m) – Gollingscharte (2326 m) – Gollinghütte (1651 m)

Lunch Option | Landawirseehütte

Keinprechthütte to Gollinghütte (6:30 hours)

Hiking to Trockenbrotscharte, Schladminger Tauern High Trail, Austrian Alps

After departing Keinprechthütte, the trail begins to ascend ever so gently. We passed a number of grazing cows, before starting the vigorous climb to Trockenbrotscharte (2237 m) ridge.

At Trockenbrotscharte, you can see the welcoming sight of Landawirseehütte as well as the two lakes situated above the hut in an alpine cirque. The descent to the hut is relatively easy.

Bauernpfandl, Landawirseehütte, Schladminger Tauern

After a filling meal of Bauernpfandl (Farmer Pan – egg, potatoes, sausage) at Landawirseehütte (1985 m), we decided to take a detour to see the Unterer and Oberer Landawirseen lakes (also spelled Landawierseen). Allow an extra 45 minutes for this detour.

The Schladminger Tauern High Trail continues to Gollingscharte.

After following the wide dirt road from the hut for about 15-20 minutes, you’ll veer left and start the second steep climb of the day to Gollingscharte saddle (2326 m).

At Gollingscharte, you have the opportunity to hike all the way to the top of Hochgolling (2862 m).

At Gollingscharte, we took a 20-minute break, before starting the long descent through scree to Gollingwinkel.

When the trail finally plateaus, you’ll arrive in Gollingwinkel, a glorious natural amphitheater at the foot of Hochgolling’s north face.

Next, the trail continues through a meadow and along a river to the Gollinghütte mountain hut. The flat grassy footpath feels like heaven beneath your feet.

Stay in Gollinghütte

Gollinghütte mountain hut in Schladminger Tauern

Located on a river, the charming Gollinghütte is a busy mountain hut that is situated at the crossroads between the Schladminger Tauern High Trail and the valley trail that leads to Schladming in 4:30 hours (or Parkplatz Riesachfall in 2 hours).

Klafferkessel, Schladminger Tauern High Trail

Schladminger Tauern High Trail Stage 4: Gollinghütte – Preintalerhütte

Each day of the Schladminger Tauern High Trail is glorious, but day 4 might be the most impressive. After climbing to the summit of Greifenberg, you’ll descend into Klafferkessel, a high alpine plateau dotted with 30 mountain lakes

Stage 4 Trail Stats

Distance | 7.7 km

Time Needed | 6 – 6:30 hours

Elevation Gain | 1032 meters

Elevation Loss | 1024 meters

Difficulty | Difficult

Minimum Elevation | 1646 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2618 meters

Route | Gollinghütte (1651 m) – Greifenberg (2618 m) – Klafferkessel (2311 m) – Preintalerhütte / Waldhornalm (1656 m)

Lunch Option | None. Bring a snack, or request a packaged lunch at Gollinghütte.

Gollinghütte to Preintalerhütte (6:30 hours)

Klafferkessel, Schladminger Tauern High Trail

The trail gets down to business in no time. Before you know it, you’re climbing uphill for three hours.

The unrelenting trail plateaus at Greifenbergsattel, where there’s a small lake at the mountain saddle. We took a break here before tackling the final stretch to the top of Greifenberg.

Greifenberg peak (2618 m) is marked by a large cross. From the summit, you’ll have terrific views of the water-inundated landscape of Klafferkessel.

The rocky descent is a bit tedious, but you’ll soon arrive in an alpine wonderland full of lakes of varying sizes. This unique landscape is a relic of the Ice Age.

Klafferkessel, Schladminger Tauern High Trail

The trail continues along numerous pools of water, offering a visual paradise and a respite for tired legs. Eventually, the trail nears the edge of the tarn landscape and plummets in the direction of Preintalerhütte.

Preintalerhütte (1656 m) is located next to the dairy farm Waldhornalm. For those who want to try fresh buttermilk, Waldhornalm is the place to indulge.

Stay in Preintalerhütte

Dinner at Preintalerhütte, Schladminger Tauern High Trail

Located next to the river and overlooking a valley, Preintalerhütte (1656 m) is a large mountain hut, which marks the last night of the 5 stage journey.

We arrived in Preintalerhütte and immediately treated ourselves to Kuchen (cake) and Kaffee (coffee). Their Nuss-Schoko Kuchen and Apfelstrudel were both excellent.

We spent the afternoon relaxing in the sun across Waldhornalm. The rustic wooden hut serves fresh dairy products as well as snacks.

Dinner here was excellent. We tried the Käsespätzle with regional Styrian cheese as well as Schweinsbraten. Yum!

Hiking the Planai Höhenweg (Planai High Trail), Schladminger Tauern

Schladminger Tauern High Trail Stage 5: Preintalerhütte – Planai Seilbahn Mountain Station

Stage 5 of Schladminger Tauern is also called the Planai Höhenweg. It’s indeed a high trail. If you’re scared of heights or have trouble with exposure, head back to Schladming through the valley.

Many areas of the trail are secured with steps and ropes, but some areas could use some more assistance.

It’s dramatic, it’s challenging, and it’s long.

The hike ends with a cableway descent from Planai to the Schladming town center. Check Planai Seilbahn summer opening times.

Stage 5 Trail Stats

Distance | 11.3 km

Time Needed | 7 – 7:30 hours

Elevation Gain | 1125 meters

Elevation Loss | 973 meters

Difficulty | Challenging

Minimum Elevation | 1663 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2266 meters

Route | Preintalerhütte (1656 m) – Neualm – Spielbühel (2210 m) – Planai Seilbahn Mountain Station (1906 m)

Lunch Option | None. Bring a snack, or request a packaged lunch at Preintalerhütte. We ate at the very end of the stage at Schafalm, close to the Planai Seilbahn Mountain Station.

Planai High Trail: Preintalerhütte to Planai Seilbahn Mountain Station (7:30 hours)

Planai Höhenweg Trail, Schladminger Tauern

It’s important to start the hike early. We suggest starting no later than 7:30 am. The last gondola down to Schladming is at 5 pm and you absolutely don’t want to rush the last 2 hours of the trail.

After 1:30 hours, you’ll reach Neualm, a high alpine meadow with a deserted mountain hut and view of Riesachsee lake.

The hike continues uphill for a few hours and plateaus at Spielbühel (nice place for a break). Unlike the previous days, there’s more variance in the ascent, so you’re not going uphill continuously.

After Spielbühel (2210 m), you’ll descend and then follow the footpath just below the ridge.

The views of the valley and mountains remain mostly constant. As the trail progresses, you’ll see the imposing peaks of the Dachstein massif.

The last segment of the trail is on a wide, even path. Eventually, you’ll reach an intersection, where you can go right or left via the Panorama-Weg to the Planai Mountain station (1906 m).

When you finally reach Planai, you can celebrate your success with lunch and a Schnaps at Schafalm.

Remember that the gondola that connects Planai with Schladming closes at 5 pm.

Stay in Schladming

Budget-Midrange | TUI BLUE Schladming

Midrange-Luxury | Thalers Mariandl

Luxury | Stadthotel Brunner

Look for accommodation in Schladming.

Explore Styria

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Schladminger Tauern High Trail, Austrian Alps, Hut to Hut Hike in Austria

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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

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