• Hochmoor in Filzmoos with view of the Dachstein mountain range

    Hochmoor in Filzmoos with view of the Dachstein mountain range

    SalzburgerLand Tourism

Hiking on Dachstein Mountain

An ancient glacier shrouds the Dachstein in blue permafrost. On Dachstein-Krippenstein, one of Austria's most impressive massifs, five places give a taste of high Alpine adventure.


Dachstein Glacier

The Dachstein Massif in Numbers

Dachstein Glacier

Austrian National Tourist Office / Reinhold Leitner
Dachstein
  • Elevation “High Dachstein”
    2,995 m (9,826 ft)
  • Elevation “Lower Dachstein”
    2,934 m (9,626 ft)
  • Elevation “Krippenstein”
    2,108 m (6,916 ft)
  • Glaciers on the massif
    5
  • Suspension bridge
    100 m (328 ft) long
  • Drop under suspension bridge
    400 m (1,312 ft)

Dachstein-Krippenstein, one of Austria's most dramatic mountain massifs, is covered in a cap of light blue permafrost. A dramatic glacier glistens high above Hallstättersee lake and draws visitors up into Alpine terrain. Lucky for you, it doesn't take crampons to experience the Dachstein's immaculate beauty.

Why Visit the Dachstein?

  • Stunning ice caves
  • Giant karst caves
  • Incredible views
  • Austria’s highest suspension bridge
  • One of Austria’s best sky walks
The Dachstein glacier

The Dachstein glacier

Austrian National Tourist Office / Reinhold Leitner
Dachstein

Must See:

Dachstein Ice Palace: a mystical world of ice and snow deep inside the Dachstein glacier.

Ice Palace

Ice Palace

Austrian National Tourist Office / Reinhold Leitner
Dachstein

Must Dos:

  • Guided tours of the Mammut Cave and the Giant Ice Cave
  • Thrills with a view: Austria’s highest suspension bridge and the so-called “Stairway to Nowhere” offer breathtaking views across the mountains
  • Panorama Gondola Ride: Feels like nothing’s there – built entirely of glass, this gondola even has its own balcony (!) for a real open-air feeling
  • Only for experienced climbers: the panoramic stairway to heaven, a 40-metre (131 ft) ladder on the Donnerkogel via ferrata
Staircase to nowhere - Dachstein glass staircase

Staircase to nowhere - Dachstein glass staircase

Austrian National Tourist Office
Dachstein

5 Thrilling Ways to Explore Dachstein Mountain

1) Enjoy a Gondola Ride up Krippenstein Mountain

If you want stunning views of the Dachstein, your best address is neighbouring Krippenstein mountain, a 2,108-metre (6,916 ft) elevation with lots of picture-perfect lookouts over the Dachstein massif. Take the cable cars up from lakeside village Obertraun and marvel as Hallstättersee lake becomes smaller and smaller beneath you. Once you arrive at the top of the second leg, the mystical world of Austria's Alps stretches out towards all sides.

Panorama Krippenstein 5fingers

Panorama Krippenstein 5fingers

www.360perspektiven.at / Sven Posch

2) Walk Out on the Five Fingers Viewing Platform

Once you're up on the mountain, head straight to one of the Krippenstein's highlights: the lofty Five Fingers viewing platform. It reaches out over the lake and the surrounding Salzkammergut region like a metal hand. Walk down along all five "fingers" for slightly different vantage points. One platform even features an ornate picture frame through which you can admire the museum-worthy setting.

Five Fingers Krippenstein / near Obertraun

Five Fingers Krippenstein / near Obertraun

Austrian National Tourist Office / Popp-Hackner

3) Dig Deep Into the Mountain Inside Dachstein Giant Ice Cave

For a different type of spectacular view, look inward. Deep beneath the Dachstein's rockface slumbers a world of fables, brilliant colours, and ice. The Dachstein Giant Ice Cave invites you inside the mountain for a tour of its towering stalactites, shimmering ice shapes, and an immersive light and music experience. Nearby you also find the Mammoth Cave, one of the largest karst caves in the world. Wander the miles and miles of shadowy tunnels on a 50-minute guided tour.

Ice Palace

Ice Palace

Austrian National Tourist Office / Reinhold Leitner
Dachstein

4) Fight Vertigo at the World Heritage Spiral

Another unconventional viewing platform waits for you near the second cable car's mountain station. A metal spiral with a generous walkway twists in the air at 2,100 metres (6,890 ft) - perfect for visitors who want to gain an extra bit of elevation. Snake up to the top of the World Heritage Spiral for a photo, then relax on one of the undulating wooden loungers next to the futuristic construction.

World Heritage Spiral

World Heritage Spiral

Dachstein Tourismus AG / J. Gamsjäger

5) Get Pre-Historic Inside a Panoramic Shark

That's right, in pre-historic times, the Dachstein massif was covered by primordial ocean. Sharks and other ancient fish used to roam the Dachstein's waters and eventually fossilized. You can still find evidence of this today: the "Dachstein shark" is a quirky sculpture perched along Heilbronn Circular Trail. The 8-metre (26 ft) long shark sculpture is large enough to climb inside and tilts precariously over the walking trail. Make your way up to the head: the shark's jaws are open to provide views with a little bit of bite.

Dachstein shark

Dachstein shark

Dachstein Salzkammergut / Viorel Munteanu
Dachstein Glacier

Useful Links

Dachstein Glacier

Austrian National Tourist Office / Reinhold Leitner
Dachstein

Getting There

The closest airports are Salzburg (100 km, 62 mi), Linz (175 km, 109 mi), Graz (180 km, 112 mi), and Munich, German (218 km, 135 mi).