Schladminger Tauern High Trail

Hiking Schladminger Tauern High Trail, Austria

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

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

This hut-to-hut hike in Styria (Steiermark in German) is typically completed in 5, or 7 days. If you want to experience the region, but don’t want to commit to 5+ days, you can easily shorten the hike.

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.

Schladminger Tauern Höhenweg 5 Stage Tour (45 km) 

  • Day 1: Hochwurzen – Giglachseen – Ignaz-Mattis Hütte or Giglachseehütte (6:30 hours, 11.3 km)
  • Day 2: Giglachseen – Keinprechthütte (4 hours, 5.9 km)
  • Day 3: Keinprechthütte – Gollinghütte (6 hours, 9.1 km)
  • Day 4: Gollinghütte – Preintalerhütte (6 hours, 7.7 km)
  • Day 5: Preintalerhütte – Planai Bergstation Gondelbahn (7 hours, 11.3 km)
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Schladminger Tauern High Trail, Austrian Alps, Hut to Hut Hike in Austria

Schladminger Tauern High Trail Hiking Guide Overview

  • Where are the Schladminger Tauern mountains + Map
  • Hut-to-Hut Planning Tips: discounts, reservations, budget, insurance
  • Arrival in Schladming
  • Stages 1 – 5 Explained: stage overview, where to stay, alternative routes
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Giglach Lakes, Schladminger Tauern

Where are the Schladminger Tauern mountains?

The Schladming Tauern mountains are a subrange of the Austrian Central Alps. Along with other mountain ranges, they form part of the Lower Tauern (Niedere Tauern).

The Schladming Tauern ragen is located in the Austrian federal states of Salzburg and Styria (Steiermark). The closest town, or transportation hub, is Schladming. The highest peak in the mountain range is Hochgolling, elevation 2,862 meters.

Schladminger Tauern High Trail Stages
  • Places to Stay before/after the Trek
  • Alternative Stage 1
  • Schladminger Tauern Stage 1
  • Schladminger Tauern Stage 2
  • Schladminger Tauern Stage 3
  • Schladminger Tauern Stage 4
  • Schladminger Tauern Stage 5
Ignaz-Mattis-Hütte, Schladminger Tauern High Trail

Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria - Planning Tips

If you’re new to trekking in Austria, read our comprehensive guide to Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria: Essential Tips.

Make Reservations for Mountain Huts

  • It’s important to make reservations for overnight stays at least 1-3 weeks in advance. The earlier the better.
  • For short term reservations: The only reliable way to make a reservation is by calling the hut directly. Forget email.
  • You can choose between sleeping in a lager (dormitory), or your own room.

Here is the contact info for each mountain hut mentioned in this guide:

If you want to save yourself the hassle of booking everything yourself, you can reach out to the Schladming Tourist Office here.

They offer a Schladming Tauern Hiking Package, which includes breakfast and lunch every day, transit up and down the mountain, mountain hut as well as pre-trek and post-trek accommodations in the valley.

Become a Member of a UIAA Alpine Club

  • You’ll get a significant discount on your overnight stay if you present your alpine club membership card.
  • Alpenverein insurance “Alpenverein Worldwide Service
  • There are tons of UIAA alpine clubs throughout Europe which participate in the International Reciprocal Agreement on Mountain Huts. That means if you’re a member of the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) or German Alpine Club (DAV), for example, you’re entitled to the same benefits as members of the Österreichischen Alpenverein (Austrian Alpine Club).

If you want to learn more about UIAA alpine clubs, read Tips for Hiking in the European Alps.

Pack a Sleeping Bag Liner and …

Read our complete hut to hut hiking packing list.

Bring Cash and Budget for 60-80 EUR per person/day

  • Lager (Dormitory) Mattress: 18.70 – 23 EUR
  • Lager (Dormitory) Mattress with Alpine Club Discount: 8.70 EUR – 13 EUR
  • Breakfast: 11 EUR
  • Dinner Meal: 9 – 13 EUR
  • Soup: 5 EUR
  • Beer & Wine: 3-4 EUR
  • Wander Ticket (Hiking Ticket): Bus to Ursprungsalm + Planai Gondola = 25 EUR
  • Showers: typically 4 EUR for 4-5 minutes
  • Appliance Charging (phone, camera batteries): Depends on the hut. Sometimes it’s free to charge, other times they charge an hourly rate. We paid 0.50 EUR for 30 minutes of charging in Ignaz-Mattis Hütte.

Learn these German Words

  • Hütte – Mountain Hut
  • Scharte – Ridge
  • See (pl. Seen) – Lake
  • Gipfel – Peak, or Summit
  • Spitze – Peak
  • Kar – cirque

Here’s our Instagram German for Hiking Pocket Dictionary.

Preintalerhütte Lunch, Schladming, Austria

Arrival Day in Schladming

How to Get to Schladming

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 / Vienna Airport it’s a 4 h / 4:30 h train ride.

Book your Train Ticket to Schladming.

Stay in Schladming

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

Budget | 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-Hochwurzen Cable Car).

Midrange | Thalers Mariandl is an alpine modern guesthouse featuring bright, beautifully designed rooms, an extensive spa area, and a quiet location. You can walk to the center of Rohrmoos in a few minutes.

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.

Brettersee, Schladminger Tauern High Trail Stage 1

Schladminger Tauern High Trail Route Description

Stage 1 - Schladminger Tauern High Trail

On Day 1, you can either hike to the Giglachseen lakes from Hochwurzen (longer) or Ursprungalm (shorter – see Alternative Stage 1).

Stage 1: Hochwurzen (1852 m) – Rossfeld – Hochfeldmandl (2082 m) – Giglachseen (1921 m)

  • Distance: 11.3 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Time Needed: 6 – 6:30 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 830 meters
  • Elevation Loss: 720 meters
  • Minimum Elevation: 1745 meters
  • Maximum Elevation: 2618 meters

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

The traditional starting point for the Schladminger Tauern High Trail is the Hochwurzen Gondola in Rohrmoos, which is very close to Schladming. You’ll take the Hochwurzen gondola (Gipfelbahn in German) to the summit, where the trail begins. Current pricing of the Hochwurzen Gondola.

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 min. ride / check schedule here).

As you ascend, you’ll see views of the Dachstein mountain range and pass some fairytale-like 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).

Alternative Stage 1: Ursprungalm – Giglachseen (1921 m)

  • Distance: 3.3 km
  • Time Needed: 1 hour. If you have less time on Day 1, or simply want to take it easy, you can start the hike in Ursprungalm, which is a tiny alpine hamlet.
  • Elevation Gain: 382 meters
  • Elevation Loss: 2 meters
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum Elevation: 1606 meters
  • Maximum Elevation: 1988 meters

To reach Ursprungalm, you’ll need to take a bus from Schladming or Rohrmoos. These buses only depart three times a day, so make sure to check the schedule before. We bought a Hiking-Combo Ticket (Kombitickets für Wanderer in German) from the bus driver, which covered the bus ride to Ursprungalm as well as the Planai Gondola descent on the last day. See current pricing here.

The 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 Giglachseen Hütte. Follow the trail for another 20-minutes to Ignaz-Mattis Hütte.

We opted for this route because we started our day at 4:30 a.m. from Vienna and the weather wasn’t promising. After lunch at Ignaz-Mattis Hütte, we hiked up to Klammsee and Brettersee (1 hr one way) to see some of the highlights of the Giglach High Trail.

Stay in Giglachseenhütte or Ignaz-Mattis Hütte

Giglachseenhütte is located close to Oberer Giglachsee (Upper Giglach Lake).

Ignaz-Mattis Hütte 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!

Keinprechthütte mountain hut, Schladminger Tauern High Trail, Austrian Alps

Stage 2 - Schladminger Tauern High Trail

On Day 2, you can either hike to Keinprechthütte via Rotmandlspitze (peak) or via Duisitzkarsee (lake).

Stage 2: Giglachseen (1921 m) – Rotmandlspitze (2453 m) – Keinprechthütte (1872 m)

  • Distance: 5.9 km
  • Time Needed: 4 – 4:30 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 515 meters
  • Elevation Loss: 587 meters
  • Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
  • Minimum Elevation: 1853 meters
  • Maximum Elevation: 2417 meters

The trail continues to the eastern end of the Lower Giglachsee Lake and past a few wooden huts. The trail then starts to slowly ascend to the peak Rotmandlspitze (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. Horses dot the high meadow surrounding the hut. The wooden hut looks like something out of a storybook.

Alternative Stage 2: Giglachseen (1921 m) – Duisitzkarsee (1665 m) – Keinprechthütte (1872 m)

Note: this isn’t the official Schladminger Tauern high trail, but from what we heard it’s a really delightful alternative to the Rotmandlspitze route.

The hike takes about 1 to 1.5 hours longer than the high trail. At the Duisitzkarsee lake (2.5 hours from Giglachsee lakes), there are two mountain huts, where you can break for lunch: Duisitzkarhütte and Fahrlechhütte.

The only reason we opted against this route was because of the weather. With zero visibility and rain, we simply chose the shorter option.

Stay in Keinprechthütte

Lovely, warm and cozy. We slept in the lager, which was very comfortable. The hut also has private rooms available. 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

Stage 3 - Schladminger Tauern High Trail

Day 3 requires stamina as you’ll ascend not just one mountain, but two. Luckily there’s a mountain hut in the middle of the trek, where you can take a break and eat lunch on a sunny terrace.

Stage 3: Keinprechthütte (1872 m) – Trockenbrotscharte (2237 m) – Landawirseehütte (1985 m) – Gollingscharte (2326 m) – Gollinghütte (1651 m)

  • Distance: 9.1 km
  • Time Needed: 6 – 6:30 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 930 meters
  • Elevation Loss: 1114 meters
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum Elevation: 1663 meters
  • Maximum Elevation: 2319 meters

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

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

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

At Gollingscharte, you have the opportunity to hike all the way to the top of Hochgolling.

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 mountain hut Gollinghütte. The flat grassy footpath feels like heaven beneath your feet.

Alternative Stage 3: Keinprechthütte (1872 m) – Trockenbrotscharte (2237 m) – Landawirseehütte (1985 m)

Today’s hike is long and requires focus and endurance, as you’re hiking over two mountains and descending 1180 meters.

You can break up Stage 3, by spending the night in Landawirseehütte. This is a great option for families with young children.

Stay in Gollinghütte

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 hrs).

Klafferkessel, Schladminger Tauern High Trail

Stage 4 - Schladminger Tauern High Trail

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 plateu dotted with 30 mountain lakes.

Stage 4: Gollinghütte (1651 m) – Greifenberg (2618 m) – Klafferkessel (2311 m) – Preintalerhütte / Waldhornalm (1656 m)

  • Distance: 7.7 km
  • Time Needed: 6 – 6:30 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 1032 meters
  • Elevation Loss: 1024 meters
  • Difficulty: Moderate – Moderately Difficult 
  • Minimum Elevation: 1646 meters
  • Maximum Elevation: 2618 meters

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 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.

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 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

Located next to the river and overlooking a valley, Preintalerhütte 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!

Riesachsee lake, Schladminger Tauern High Trail

Stage 5 - Schladminger Tauern High Trail

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

Many areas of the trail are assisted with steps and ropes, but some areas could use some more assistance. You’ll climb up to the ridge of the mountain and follow closely along or just under the ridge for hours.

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

Stage 5: Preintalerhütte (1656 m) – Neualm – Spielbühel (2210 m) – Planai Bergstation Gondelbahn (1906 m)

  • Distance: 11.3 km
  • Time Needed: 7 – 7:30 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 1125 meters
  • Elevation Loss: 973 meters
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Minimum Elevation: 1663 m
  • Maximum Elevation: 2266 m

It’s important to start the hike early. We suggest starting no later than 7:30 a.m. The last gondola down to Schladming is at 5 p.m., 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, you’ll descend and then follow the footpath just below the ridgeline.

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.

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

Remember that the Gondola station that connects Planai with Schladming closes at 5 p.m.

Stay in Schladming

Budget | TUI BLUE Schladming

Midrange | Thalers Mariandl

Luxury | Stadthotel Brunner

Look for accommodation in Schladming.

Klafferkessel, Schladminger Tauern High Trail
  • A few photos from our hike to Piz Duleda in Puez-Odle Nature Park in the Dolomites.

If you’re looking for a quiet and adventurous hike in Val Gardena this summer, the Piz Duleda hike is a great option.

📍Trailhead: Col Raiser gondola mountain station
📏Distance: 12.4 km lollipop-circuit
⏰Time Needed: 5 hours
🥾Difficulty: Difficult 

The full trail guide is on the blog.

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  • The ever recognizable Sassolungo (Langkofel) peak in the Dolomites.

There are so many ways to enjoy this mountain.

You can hike the circuit trail around the whole Sassolungo group, which is 17.7 km long.

You can climb the Oskar Schuster via ferrata to the summit or Sasso Piatto (Plattkofel).

Or, you can savor the views of Sassolungo from Monte Pic, Resciesa, and Passo Gardena.

Head to blog to learn more about these hikes. 

📍Photo taken @beludei 

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  • What a summer trip to the Faroe Islands looks like 🇫🇴🐧🥾

Destinations featured:
📍Kallur Lighthouse 

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  • 📍Múlafossur Waterfall, Gásadalur, Faroe Islands

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  • Essential Faroe Islands Resources👇 - This website links to all the restaurants and eateries in the Faroe Islands. You can filter it by destination (island or group of islands). - Strandfaraskip Landsins (SSL) is the public transit company in the Faroe Islands. Their website shows all the transit routes (buses and ferries) and their respective timetables. - This is the official hiking website of Visit Faroe Islands. It displays all the free hiking routes across the archipelago. Most routes trace the historic village paths. - Parking is restricted in the capital city, Tórshavn. Though parking is free, many areas are restricted to 30 minutes, or 2 hours. This map shows where the 8-hour car parks are. Most accommodations in Tórshavn offer on-site parking, but not all. 

💾 Save this post for future reference.

📍Eggjarnar Cliffs, Suduroy Island @visit.suduroy 


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  • 4 places to see puffins in the Faroe Islands in summer:

🐧Mykines Island 

🐧Gjógv, Eysturoy Island

🐧Múlafossur Waterfall, Gásadalur, Vágar Island

🐧Lopranseiði, Lopra, Suðuroy Island 

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