Dachstein circular hiking trail
difficult Multi-day tours · Ramsau am Dachstein
Rugged, rocky landscapes, green alpine pastures, bizarre, jagged crags, towers and mighty cliff faces, glacial ice, limestone peaks, isolated high plateaus, virgin forests and scenic mountaintops, mysterious karst springs and reflecting tarns – these images characterize our eight-day hike on and around the Dachstein. The fascination of the Dachstein becomes tangible. We tackle our circumnavigation of the Dachstein in a counter-clockwise direction, since the natural landmarks and the elevation changes blend more harmoniously into the route. Beginning in the north-west on the shore of the Gosausee, we continue at the foot of the Gosaukamm and along the south face of the Dachstein to Ramsau. From there we hike one tier higher, east across the glacier to the Guttenberghaus and continuing on to the Stoderzinken. Now through the Notgasse and Viehbergalm, we make our way north across a secluded high plateau in the footsteps of pilgrims and come to the Salzkammergut region. On flat paths, always following the course of the Traun, we hike through the Salzkammergut, past Bad Aussee, Obertraun, Hallstatt and Bad Goisern. And finally, we cross the Kalmgebirge mountains, home to the Goiserer Hütte, on our path to Gosau.
We start our tour at the parking lot of the front Gosausee. We go on the hiking trail no. 620 under the lift route of the Gosaukammbahn in the direction of Gosausee until we reach the Gablonzer Hütte via easy serpentines. From here we follow the Austria Weg 611 on meadow paths, from where we have a beautiful view of the Gosausee and the Törleck. We cross the border from Upper Austria to Salzburg and reach the Törlecksattel at 1557m. From here we continue on the Austria Trail 611 along the south side of the Großen Donnerkogel until we pass the Stuhlalm. Then it goes steeply uphill and the path meanders between the rocks and mountain pines. After we have overcome this steep section, it goes on a leisurely way a little up and down until we see our first stage goal - the Hofpürglhütte.
On the second stage of our tour we take the Austria Trail 612/601 + 617, a high-level trail that leads us ever closer to the Dachstein glacier. Slight gradients lead us over the Kesselwand, where we meet the Stieglweg No. 612, which would lead us back to Gosau. However, we continue on path no. 612/601 + 617. Here we are already above the tree line and have a beautiful view over the Hohe Tauern. On path 617 we walk uphill to the summit of Sulzenschneid and from there back downhill to the Sulzenhals. From here we walk along the Windlegerkar below the ridge to the so-called "Tor". Here we get a first impression of the destination of this stage - the Dachstein Südwandhütte. Now we cross the border between Salzburg and Styria. Up to the Torboden there are some serpentines and screes. We overcome the last small ascent of this stage and reach Schönbühel, where the Dachstein Südwandhütte also stands - the destination of our second stage.
We start the third day of our circular hike on different paths, depending on our physical condition. There are two variants from which we can choose:
We go down from the Südwandhütte to the Türlwandhütte and get into the Dachstein Gletscherbahn. After a few minutes we arrive at the viewing platform of the "Sky Walk". If you haven't seen enough of the glacier here yet, you can climb the Dachstein as the crowning glory. We walk past the lift supports on the snow path towards Dirndl and pass the Dirndlkolk to the Seethalerhütte. Already here you have a beautiful view and here is also the starting point for the summit ascent. In addition to the normal route, which partly leads through the snow, there is also the via ferrata variant over the shoulder.
Directly behind the Südwandhütte we climb a steep serpentine path and an insured via ferrata with no. 615 up to the Hunerkogel directly at the edge of the glacier. Here begins the large glacier area, which is interrupted by the Gjaidstein. Here we continue on the marked path to the north.
The two variants finally lead us to the same place - the Hunerkogel mountain station. From here, one should start at 16:00 o'clock at the latest, in order to reach the stage goal in a good way. We walk past the Gjaidstein, where we go down to the left of the double drag lift towards the east. We follow the coloured markings on the rocks and the snow poles. We can also use the "Taube", a Steinmandl, as an orientation point. At mark 674 the snow is often still frozen, so you should be sure-footed and careful here. You should also have sticks with you for better protection and pay attention to the weather, as there is no shelter on the high alpine hike to our destination today. At the Feiserscharte we follow path 616 and after a short, steep descent we reach the Guttenberghaus.
We start the fourth day with a small ascent to the Feisterscharte. Then we follow trail 618 over the northern slope of Sinabell in an easterly direction past rocks, mountain pines and gorges. After about three to four hours we arrive at the Grafenbergalm, where we slowly hike back into the forest from the high alpine area of the tour. After the barren rocky landscape we find meadows and forests again as a contrast. We are here in a large hiking area and accordingly there are many different hiking trails, so we have to take care that we stay on our way with the No. 618 towards the west. Here there is another beautiful view point back to the glacier. We walk through a dense forest and on a serpentine road past the Brunnerhütte, up to our destination - the Steinerhaus.
We go downhill from the Steinerhaus and continue along path 618. We walk over big roots and uneven ground until to our right, below the Kimpflingsattel, there is the turnoff to the Notgasse of path 618. Here we have to take a close look, as the turnoff is signposted, but still easy to miss. From here we walk about 30 minutes to the actual Notgasse, an impressive gorge with up to 60m high rock faces and historical rock carvings. We follow the path through the gorge until we reach a forest path that we follow up to Brandalm. We continue along the path past the Viehbergalm into the forest - this section is also called "Bettlersteig". The path leading on is marked as a Dachstein circular hiking trail and leads over the summit of Hochmühleck and over the Goseritzalm always downhill through the forest to the Steinitzenalm.
On the sixth day of our tour we start on easy trails from the Steinitzenalm and pass the snack station Stieger. We follow the signs for "Strumern", as the karts springs in the forest are called. We walk on flat paths to the Ödensee and then along the Traun along path no. 17 to Bad Aussee. Here we walk along the railway line and follow the forest path to the so-called "Vogelhütte". We cross a suspension bridge and from now on continue along the banks of the Koppertraun, through a water cave and over the Obertauner Höhenweg to Obertaun. Here we walk along the lake to Hallstatt station and there we cross the lake by boat to Hallstatt - our destination for today.
The seventh stage follows the brine pipeline path to Bad Goisern. We take the inclined elevator directly next to the Hallstadt salt marshes to the Rudolfsturm, where we walk north on route 601. At Franz Joseph Stollen we walk close to the shore of Hallstätter See. Over the Gosauzwangbrücke bridge and past a waterfall, we take the theme trail through the history of Hallstadt and the surrounding area to Bad Goisern - the last stop on our round tour.
We start the final eighth stage of this round tour in the centre of Bad Goisern. We take the path 801A/880 in the direction of Unterjoch. On a serpentine road we walk steadily uphill between alpine meadows. From up here we have a beautiful view of Lake Hallstatt. After another ascent we pass the Goiserer Hütte, from where a short detour to the "Kalmooskirche" is worthwhile. Protestants used to celebrate church services here secretly. We take the path back to the Goiserer Hütte and hike from here on the path 801A/880 downhill past the Iglmoosalm towards Gosau.
If you still want to, you can take the Panoramaweg from Gosau to the front lake of Gosau for about two hours to finish the round trip and let your feet dangle in the water.
This tour includes different altitude zones, so there are different requirements for the different stages. On this stage it is possible to hike in the valley as well as on glaciers and alpine climbs up to 2600m. Due to the sometimes high altitudes, weather conditions can change quickly, so equipment for all conditions should be considered (rain protection, mountain shoes, poles, warm clothing, etc.).
The hut keepers can assess the situation on the mountain very well, so they are good advisors when it comes to weather changes. Wrong equipment, carelessness, bad condition and wrong assessment of the situation can lead to critical situations. The glacier part should only be used on the marked routes, as there is a risk of glacial crevasses.