Bad Gastein

Peaks and crossings
  • Ankogel (3.252 m)
  • Tischlerkarkogel (3.004 m)
  • Graukogel (2.492 m)
  • Kreuzkogel (2.686 m)
  • Gamskarlspitz (2.833 m)
  • Gesselkopf (2.974 m)
  • Schareck (3.123 m)
  • via Kleinelendscharte (2.663 m) – Ali-Lanti-Biwak into the Maltatal
  • via Hoher Tauern (Korntauern, 2.459 m) to the Hannoverhaus
  • via Niederer Tauern (Mallnitzer T., 2.448 m) – Hagener Hütte
  • via Palfnerscharte (2.321 m) to the Reedsee
  • via Rifflscharte (2.472 m) – Niedersachsenhaus
Manifold valley configurations

The Gasteinertal is separated from Salzachtal (Grauwacke) by a gorge-like barrage from hard gorge limestone from Salzachtal (Grauwacke). Kötschachtal is a trough formed by glaciers with a classic trough-shaped end in the Prossau. Anlauftal, however, is a narrow ravine valley. The Achental wetlands form an impressive gorge between Kesselfall and Bärenfall. Then it widens into the basin of the wetland, which was scooped out by the glacier. The kettle basin by the Bahnhofstrasse in Bad Gastein bears witness to this ice-age shaping of the valleys. Another one can be seen at the slope of Pyrkerhöhe.

Gold, silver and radon
Bad Gastein | © Gasteinertal Tourism GmbH - Marktl Photography
Gold, silver and radon

The Gasteinertal is one of the Tauern valleys richest in minerals: Quarz, mispickel, copper pyrites, pyrrhotite, lead, tourmaline and many more are found here, as well as radioactive minerals and gold and silver. Mining in Gastein goes way back and had its heyday in the 14th and 16th centuries. Today, only remnants of the buildings remain such as by Radhausberg mountain. New tunnels in the 20th century did not yield any rich veins of ore. Instead, they are used for health cures with temperatures up to 43°C, low radiation and high humidity (Böcksteiner "healing cave"). Bad Gastein was first mentioned in documents as a spa in 1230.

Culture Trail Roman Roads Korntauern and Mallnitzer Tauern

As early as in the Neolithic Age, Korntauern (Hoher Tauern) were used as an important historic crossing across the main alpine ridge. In the Roman Age, roads were even built and the Korntauern was the highest negotiable pass in the Alps. The Mallnitzer Tauern (Niederer Tauern) was likely a cul-de-sac into the mining area of Bockhart (gold and silver). Remnants of the two Roman roads from Böckstein to Mallnitz can be explored when hiking. The precise routes are described in a dedicated booklet (see "read more").

Wanted: The proto-trout

A special research project in the Hohe Tauern National Park is dedicated to the "proto-trout", the type of river trout indigenous (autochthonous) to our waters. It is highly endangered and is fished for with under scientific super vision in select waters, bred and reintroduced, also in Anlaufbach stream.

4-lakes hike into Kötschachtal
Reedsee | © SalzburgerLand Tourism
4-lakes hike into Kötschachtal

From Bad Gastein we take the Graukogelbahn cable car, walk through Swiss pine woods to Oberen (2,070 m) and Unteren Palfner Lakes then head east to Palfner Scharte (arnica, spotted gentian) with prime views of the Tischlerkar. Climb down to Windschnurrsee lake (2,215 m) and further down to Reedsee (1,824 m), nestled amidst a virgin spruce, larch and Swiss pine forest. The long descent leads steeply down through Swiss pine and then spruce forests into Kötschachtal valley. Following the glacier stream will take you to Hotel "Grüner Baum", back to Bad Gastein on foot, by bus or taxi.

Walking time: approx. 5 hours from upper terminus of Graukogelbahn to "Grüner Baum"

Cave exploration

At the entrance to the Gastein Valley, in the Luxkogel gorge limestones, there is a large stalactite cave, the Entrische Kirche, which served as a secret church for Protestants and is now an important winter quarters for numerous bats. The cave can be visited with a guided tour. In the gorge at the mouth of the valley itself there are beautiful gorge forests with beech, ash and sycamore maple.

Walking time: with ascent and descent about 2 ½ hours, guided tour possible by arrangement with the cave administration.

Details >>

Up to the Korntauern - Anlauftal

On the historic Tauern crossing At first, follow the road through steep gneiss cliffs with waterfalls along the stream (Mindener Weg), which turns off to the right across a bridge after around 45 minutes and leads up in direction of Korntauern. Along the way are Tauernbach falls, larch and Swiss pine forests, beautiful cirques, slopes covered with boulders, grand views of the Tauernsee lake (2,163 m). Crossing a moraine leads to a wind gap – the Korntauern or Hoher Tauern. Walk down to the intermediate terminus of the Ankogel cable car or to the Hannoverhaus. Return on the train Mallnitz – Böckstein. 

Walking time: approx. 4 hours for going up, Variant: Hike to Radeckalm hut (1,576 m) from Anlauftal parking lot in around 2 hours

Nassfeld Nature Trail

This family-friendly circular trail has information boards showing the special features of the Bad Gasteiner Nassfeld area with regard to glaciers, moors, wetlands, flora and fauna. Beautiful tributary valleys (Siglitz-, Nassfeldund Weißenbachtal) branch off the level basin shaped by glaciers The trail leads south from the parking lot in direction of Nassfeldalm and Brandtneralm.

Walking time: approx. 3 hours