Schladminger Tauern

Key information: Schladminger Tauern

    • A maze of peaks and high ridges at the end of long valleys in the heart of mountainous Austria.
    • A wide selection of walks, from multi-day circuits and traverses to gentle climbs to lakes and viewpoints.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating86
  • Beauty33
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest4
  • Charisma33
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating86

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Your choice
  • Maximum Altitude: 2,863m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
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WALK SUMMARY

The Schladminger Tauern sit across the deep Enns valley from the mighty Dachstein in the heart of mountainous Austria. They are a maze of high peaks at the end of long ridges and valleys and are very different in feel from the more famous Dachstein to the north - they aren’t limestone, for a start – and walking here is a more typically “Alpine” experience.

The lower slopes provide the sort of pleasures you expect in the Alps – gorgeous flower-packed meadows, shrublands and mixed and beautiful forests, in lush contrast to the often harsh drama of the peaks above. There are a wealth of lakes and tarns (claimed to be 300 of them), streams and waterfalls (claimed to be approaching 150) to enchant you.

Wildlife includes deer, marmots, chamois, mountain hares and red squirrels: birds include eagles and other raptors, nutcrackers, characterful choughs; you can also see capercaille and grouse on mid ground.

There are various bases for the Tauern. Schladming, deep in the Enns Valley to the north, is a busy winter ski centre, and Grobming to the north-east is a pleasant town. You can also base yourself in Radstadt and other villages to the west and south.

There is a plethora of great walks here, from short potters to exciting multi-dayers. They are full of walking pleasures, and much less well-known to boot.

 

Multi-dayers

The Schladminger-Tauern Hohenweg: This great walk traverses the beautiful high heart of the range in 7 days. 70kms, strenuous.

The Panoramaweg 100 is an easyish 116km 7-stage tour of the southern Dachstein and northern Schladminger Tauern slopes. Superb views, often across to the Dachstein, and of course a welcome in the huts along the way. A day or two on the Schladminger Tauern side, enjoying Daschstein views en route, would be a joy.

Lonely Planet recommend a 2-day circuit which takes in a traverse of the Greifenberg and the Klafferkessel plateau.

There are other multi-dayers, and you can create your own marvel to suit your taste from the options described here, or the many other fine route we don’t have space for. There are firms which will organize them for you if you want. See below.

Day walks from/in the north

Mirror Lake and Rippetegg: On the ridge above Reiteralm, in the foothills south of Mandling, you climb to famous Mirror Lake, which on still days reflects the Dachstein. Further climbing brings you to two further little lakes, on steeply to a high ridge and the summit of Rippetegg at 2,126 metres, for huge 360-degree views, including the south face of the Dachstein and neighbouring peaks of the Schladminger Tauern. 3.5hrs or so.

Rohrmooser Untertal: a family path leads deep into this fine valley near Rohrmoos. Up to 13.5km there and back with some climb.

Klafferkessel:  a long (20km) day walk to this lake-studded, glacially-scoured plateau south of Rohrmoos.

Hochwurzen-Höhenweg: 13.5km (7hr) high walk over several peaks south-west of Rohrmoos to the beautiful Giglachseen lakes. Really beautiful.

Hauser Kaibling/ Höchstein: a 2,015m peak above the Schladming cable car top. Relatively easy. Superb views back to the Dachstein. 4.5km/2hrs return. Walk onward to the 2,543m Höchstein, much of the way on or traversing below a superb ridge of peaks and cliffs. Exposed sections but one of the area’s great walks. 11km/5hrs, 850m altitude gain.

Kalkspitze: these are two of the Tauern’s finest peaks, on the western side of the range, 11km, 6hrs, 1,000m ascent. Gorgeous.

Hochgolling: This 2,863m peak, the highest in the area, is a 18.5km, 10hr round trip. It is a demanding climb, with some exposure, but reaches some of the range’s very best views.

Deneck (2,433): this mountain in the far east is accessible from the Solk Pass - 6km/5.5hrs. A lovely walk passing the Kaltenbachsee lakes to reach outstanding views.

Day walks from/in the south

The sub-range of the Radstadter Tauern in the south has some wonderful ridge walking, accessible by cable car, too! Radstadt is also a stopover on the Salzburg Alp Route, which runs 350 kilometres from the Tennengebirge over the Tauern and up to the Dachstein.

Not yet researched: all suggestions welcome!

This can be tough walking in remote mountains with uncertain weather. Come fully prepared.

Have a look at TripAdvisor – you should get good, current views on places to stay, eat etc in the area.

This page is at an early stage of development. Please help us by making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

See also expedition planning, including our universal expedition checklist. Walkopedia encourages responsible travel.

Books and Maps

Suggest books and maps

Books on this walk (support us: find books using our Amazon search box) 

Walking in the Alps – Lonely Planet: 2 day Schladminger Tauern Circuit.

A variety of leaflets available from the tourist information centre.

Find books on Amazon.

Maps

Alpenvereinkart – Walking/Ski Maps Austria, Germany and Italy.

Freytag & Berndt 1:50,000 map of the Schladminger Tauern is too small scale to be excellent for walking, but gives an excellent overview. Larger-scale maps should be obtainable locally.

GPS is worth having, if you are going high and remote.

Stanfords: A good online specialist source of worldwide maps (it is also good for guidebooks). Also try Maps Worldwide.

 

Best times to walk/weather

Best times to walk

May/June to September/October, depending on how high you plan to go. That said, Spring and Autumn are good times to walk, as they avoid the hot and busy high summer months of July and August.

Weather

Generally fine in season, but come prepared for rain (occasional days of), unpredictable mountain weather and cold nights.

For detailed weather information, have a look at: www.worldweather.org or www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/country-guides .  

 

Getting there/transport/permits/fees

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Schladming is the main town to the north, Radstadt the main one to the south. Schladming is accessible by rail.

Munich is the nearest main airport, although there are also airports at Salzburg and Innsbruck. You can then head on train or bus, or hire a car and drive.  Skyscanner is an excellent (relatively new) site for finding the flights you need; or look at what’s available on TripAdvisor.

Public transport is generally excellent – and intergrated, with [trains between the cities and plentiful buses, so it is viable to get to most places this way.

Those on organised expeditions are likely to be transported from/to arranged start/departure points.

Local taxi services generally exist in the towns, can (eg) take to or pick you up from a roadhead, or transport luggage.

 

Possible problems, health, other warnings

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·       Altitude: likely to affect you a bit on the high ground: expect to puff and perhaps a mild headache.

·       Mountain weather: snow, rain, severe cold and wind are possible at any time of year and the weather can change rapidly. Come prepared.

·       Heat and strong sun. Carry enough water and protect yourself.

·       Heights: can be dangerous; not for those who have difficulties with heights.

·       Canyon dangers: gorges can be lethal, particularly as a result of flash floods. Beware if it is raining it is likely to.  

·       This can be remote country: help may be hard to get if things go wrong.

See also the websites in our useful links page for more detailed, and up-to-date, information.

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and problems can arise on any walk. Many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks and possible problems. This website cannot, and does not purport to, identify all actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to a walk or a country. Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Make sure you have appropriate insurance.

 

Guided or independent?

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Independent

You can walk here independently, but come prepared.

Guided/supported

Some people form or join organised/supported expeditions, particularly to do multi-day walks. This can have advantages – the firm will have chosen the best routes, will book you into huts etc. And, they can arrange “slackpacking” – ie, having your bags carried from one night stop to the next, and walking with a day pack only, although this can limit the selection of walks you can do, or you can need to carry night kit for some sections if you want to get remote.

Walking here with a knowledgeable guide has real advantages. Choosing a suitable guide or company is of course vital. If hiring a guide locally, meet him/her and get comfortable before committing. Make sure all requirements are understood and agreed – including the sort of routes you want to take, any overnight arrangements, and, of course, remuneration!

Contact details for guided tours can be found on the area’s tourist information website.

Expedition organisers include:

Check TripAdvisor for some reviews of these walks and walk organisers which may prove helpful.

PLEASE HELP Walkopedia by recommending any reputable tour organizers that you know of – local or otherwise. [leave in unless enough sites in our list]

 

Accommodation

The area has an excellent selection of accommodation, from comfortable hotels, to guesthouses, to flats and rooms to let, to camping. There are various local accommodation websites. See Useful Websites below.

There are various bases for the Tauern. Schladming, deep in the Enns Valley to the north, is a busy winter ski centre, and Grobming to the north-east is a pleasant town. You can also base yourself in Radstadt and other villages to the west and south.

There are plenty of mountain huts, usually in superb or at the least very pretty and charming locations. They provide good food as well as comfortable sleeping, from dormitories to double or family rooms. Most require you to bring a sleeping bag liner, although some a sleeping bag too. You do need to book ahead. The contact details of huts in a number of the best areas are in the Cicerone books as well as in local websites.

With the mountain hut network so good, there is less desire to wild camp in Austria than in many countries, and there isn’t much clarity on the rules.  It appears to be discouraged, but, as long as you're sensible and low-key, there shouldn't be an issue. (Please let us know if this can be clarified further!)

See what the commentary on TripAdvisor is on possible places to stay – although do take their reviews with a pinch of salt, as they can be “interested”.

A good range of hotels can be found on the unimaginatively named but effective Hotels.com.

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Other information and tips

www.aacuk.org.uk   The Austrian Alpine Club (UK) is inexpensive to join, members benefit from reduced rates at alpine huts and full insurance cover.

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Useful websites and information

There are many websites with relevant information. Here are some that we think are useful or have been recommended to us.

·        The local tourist offices are very helpful and have useful information, including accommodation and mountain hut contact details. They will happily send brochures. www.schladming-dachstein.at

·        Try www.flickr.com for pictures of these walks.

·        Have a look at TripAdvisor – there are tens of millions of reviews, so you may get good, current views on this area.

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Other things to do in the area

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Other walks

Austria has a huge variety of great walks. There is likely to be a good walk within range wherever you may be. The various books have a multitude of ideas.

Other activities

Climbing; mountain biking; some white water rafting; nature, including birdwatching; lake swimming.

Culture, history and people watching. Healthy ingredients turned into delicious if not necessarily healthy food!

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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