culinary delights
Ferienregion Nationalpark Hohe Tauern


Geology - A glance into Earth's past


Summits and crossings


  • Hohe Fürleg (3.243 m)
  • Plattiger Habach (3.207 m)
  • Schwarzkopf (2.996 m)
  • Kratzenberg (3.022 m)
  • Larmkogel (3.017 m)


  • via Larmkogelscharte (2.933 m) to Neuen Fürther Hut
  • via Schwarzkopfscharte (2.861 m) to Neuen Prager Hut
  • via Habachscharte (2.915 m) to East Tyrol

In Habachtal valley, the formation of mountains has been researched in decades of painstaking, delicate work. Today the rocks of the valley tell us the vivid history of ground heaving, folding, formation and erosion of the Hohe Tauern. Next to the valley is a complete geological formation – called the Habachformation. These are rocks 600 to 400 million years old, among the oldest in the Hohe Tauern. The rocks are located in the northern section of Habachtal (Habachklause to Wennser Grundalm). A kettle basin and some fine glacial polishes can be seen halfway between Habachklause and Windbachbrücke. They bear witness to the formation of the landscape by the glaciers, which filled the Tauern valleys until 15,000 years ago. After they retreated the left U-shaped valleys behind. The rear Habachtal shows this classic valley configuration. Erosion, rockfalls and sliding hillsides were still changing the valleys. The Habachklause is an example of a black phyllite with a sliding surface trapping the valley shut and forming a narrow valley. The valley area contains many slightly radioactive sources (e.g. Krameralm). The waterfall can be seen from far in the head of the valley.

Valley of Emeralds

Habachtal is world-famous for its abundance of minerals. In particular the discovery of emeralds from the Leckbach draw attract collectors to this picturesque Tauern valley year after year, but also pyrite, actinolite, magnetite octahedrons, aquamarine and schorlite. Interesting finds are made time and again. The emerald mine in the Leckbach stream channel is the only relevant deposit of emeralds in Europe. The mine is privately owned and not open to the public. Further mineral findings have been made in the vicinity in classic alpine crevasses such as smoky quartz from the Wiesbach draw, rock crystal from the Teufelsmühle and phrenite in the head of the valley. Laws govern the mining for minerals in the Hohe Tauern National Park.

Minerals Museum Bramberg

This museum of local history and minerals shows the diversity and wealth of minerals in Habachtal by means of a unique display. In a lovingly renovated Pinzgau farmhouse from the 14th century, more than 500 exhibits from the region are presented. There is also an exhibition of peasant handicraft, bee-keeping, customs and religious art.

Emerald hike in Habach Valley

On the trek through this beautiful Tauern valley, presentation boards explain the geological conditions and wealth of rocks found here. The developmental history of the Hohe Tauern right up to the microworld is explained here. The Emerald Trail begins at the Habachtal parking lot. After about an hour's walk, The Habachtal valley opens up to reveal is very distinct U-shape formed by glaciers. The end of the nature trail is located in the area of Moa Alm lodge.

Walking time: Parking lot to Moa Alm approx. 2 ½ hours

Looking for emeralds below the Leckbach draw.

A path leads from Alpenrose Inn into Leckbach draw. This is where the emerald deposits of Habachtal valley are found. Erosion, in particular a major mudflow in 2002, and further rockfalls have transported rocks containing emeralds all the way into the valley area. The emerald mine in the upper section of the Leckbach draw is not accessible. Furthermore, this part of the draw is prone to rockfalls and climbing up there is not recommended.

Walking time: Parking lot to Alpenrose Inn in approx. 2 hours.

Hike to Lake Karsee

Nestled among the northern edge of Habach and Hollersbach valleys lies Karsee lake in a beautiful setting (2,082 m). The starting point for this trek is the Bramberg district of Wenns. The trail leads through spruce forest up to Kargrundalm lodge (1,592 m), continuing through dwarf shrub fields (alpine roses) and larch and Swiss pine forest up to Karhochalm high alpine pasture. Karsee lake is 330 m long and 145 m wide with a depth of 20 metres. Hikers with good fitness can make it to Zwölferkogel (2,281 m) in half an hour, or to Breitkopf (2,421 m) in the south in around 1 hour.

Walking time: approx. 4 hours, from there ½ hour up to the Zwölferkogel.

Summit meeting Larmkogel

From Moa Alm lodge you can get to the peak of Larmkogel (3,022 m) via the Thüringer hut and then climb down into Hollersbachtal valley to Kratzenbergsee lake. After a short break at Fürtherhütte lodge, the climb leads down to Ofner Boden. Take the Valley Taxi back to Bramberg. This wonderful mountain hike can be done with a national park guide. More details at the national park administration.

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