Breathtaking views, untouched nature and wonderful hiking trails – the Dachstein region is a Mecca for mountain enthusiasts and pleasure hikers alike. The Dachstein circular is the most intensive way to get to know Austria's impressive mountains which are among the most beautiful in the Alps. You will get to know the region over 85 miles (137 km), hiking three to nine hours a day through three federal states (Salzburg, Styria and Upper Austria) and some of the most stunning spots in the Alps, which are UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage Sites.
In this Collection, we guide you along a circular hike in eight stages. You will walk from a towering glacier at 2,700 meters (8,858 feet) down to lakes, with countless scenic highlights in between.
Along the way, you can look forward to hospitality and a warm bed in the rustic huts found en route. Afterall, nothing beats an evening card game after a well-deserved rest at several thousand meters altitude – don't you think?
So pack enough (waterproof) clothing, good shoes and, if you decide on the via ferrata variant for stage 3, remember to bring the necessary equipment. Bring your favourite hiking buddies with you and don't forget to reserve a bed in the various huts before setting off. You can safely leave your car at the Gosause when you arrive as you won't need it for the next few days. All that’s left is to enjoy the great scenery of the Dachstein massif and eight (admittedly sometimes exhausting, but always rewarding) day hikes.
Most of the eight stages can also be tackled individually as day hikes. Some of the starting points can be reached directly by public transport or gondola. Have a look at the route descriptions for more detailed information.
Aroused with a wonderful view from the Hofpürglhütte and strengthened by an extensive breakfast, the Dachstein circular hike takes you further towards the Dachstein Südwandhütte. Stage 2 takes you on steep climbs up to 2,300 meters above sea level. Because you go to such dizzying heights, you have to be prepared for changes in the weather at all times. Good footwear is therefore just as important as weatherproof clothing. You can't get past any hut on the way - so pack some provisions in your backpack.You start stage 2 on a mountain trail that brings you closer and closer to the Dachstein glacier. It rises steadily and finally leads over the boiler wall and large scree to the cattle field. Not only lush green alpine meadows await you here, but also a great view of the high Tauern. Maybe just the right place for a little snack?
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The fourth stage of the Dachstein circular hike takes you further down from your cozy sleeping place at 2,127 meters in the Guttenberghaus and for the first time back towards the forest and meadows. Since the hike starts high above 2,000 meters, you should have your weatherproof layers on hand as always. Sturdy shoes are also a must on this tour.After a delicious breakfast, we start off a bit uphill to the Feistererscharte. Up here, it makes sense that you turn around again and enjoy the view of your night's quarters and the surrounding mountains. Then you follow path No. 618 over the north slope of the Sinabell to the east, which leads you over rocks and through mountain pines and gorges to the Grafenbergalm. From here it's over for now with the high alpine terrain. If you have provisions with you, this is also the perfect place to eat it.
Stage 5 is the last section of your circular hike, which is connected with steep ascents and descents. It will lead you back towards the valley. On the way - on the Viehbergalm - there are several rustic huts waiting for you. There is even the possibility to spend the night on the Ritzingeralm.From the Gasthof Steinerhaus downhill through roots and stones until finally - below the Kimpflingsattatt - the junction to Notgasse is in front of you. This section of today's hike is particularly spectacular: up to 60 meters high rock walls with historical rock carvings rise up in the gorge.So you continue walking through the gorge until you reach a forest path that you continue to follow. Finally, you will pass the Viehbergalm, where you can treat yourself to an extensive break from the efforts of the past few days.
On this section of the Dachstein circular hike you can take it easy. On easy trails you hike a little through the forest, pass a lake and finally land by ship in the world-famous Hallstatt. Sturdy shoes and a rain jacket can, as always, be an advantage depending on the weather. Otherwise you do not need any special equipment for this tour.From your neighborhood, the Steinitzenalm, you start walking in the direction of "Strumern". It is a spring in the forest, which is particularly beautiful to look at in spring, but basically in every season. A flat path leads you to Ödensee. If you feel like it, you can cool off here briefly - or even longer - if you like. After the last few days, a round in the moor water will definitely benefit your joints and muscles.
The penultimate of the eight stages around the Dachstein is the shortest of all with a duration of a good three hours. If the temperatures are good, you can take a detour to the bathing jetty and refresh yourself in Lake Hallstatt. But take it easy - the last stage of the circular hike is quite a lot.The tour starts at Lake Hallstatt, from where - depending on where you stayed - you make your way to Hallstatt train station. From here you walk along the eastern shore of Lake Hallstatt, which offers a great view of the crystal-clear water and Hallstatt, as well as one or the other idyllic resting place. If you have not packed a snack, the lakeside terrace of the riverside Seeraunzn invites you to fortify yourself. Take your time here - you can really enjoy yourself today.
A successful circular hike passes so quickly - you are already at the starting point of the last stage. In the center of Bad Goisern. As always, the same applies this time: rainproof clothing, good shoes and possibly provisions for on the go. But you already know about that.First of all, it's uphill again for you. After the Traunbrücke you hike right to Steinach and over a forest road up to the alp. Soon you will see the cable car of the Goiserer hut. And wherever it goes, you'll land there soon. To do this, you first have to go through a few roots, steps and switchbacks.And then it lies in front of you: the Goiserer Hütte. A quaint and cozy snack station with a great view and accommodation. Maybe you decide to stop by for a moment. Either way, the next step is the descent via the Schartenalm (and past even more rustic huts) towards Gosau.