Alps Tour: Höllengebirge Crossing

The Höllengebirge mountains between Attersee and Traunsee lakes in the Upper Austrian Salzkammergut, is a popular mountain range for outdoors adventures locally, but otherwise not much known.

For those at home in the area, the crossing of the Höllengebirge is among the classics, anyways.

Popular Climbs in the Höllengebirge

Peaks often hiked up are the ones close to the lakes.

Those include the trails (and some climbing opportunities) from Weissenbach at the Attersee up to the Schoberstein, Mahdlgupf, Dachsteinblick and Brennerin.

On the other side, that is the hike up to the Feuerkogel – or the ride up with the cable car and the hikes on the mountai plateau or on to the Rieder Hütte mountain hut and the Grosser Höllkogel.

Between these peaks (and huts), there tend to be few people; everything is usually quiet.

View to the Attersee
View to the Attersee

The Trail

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The route can also be found on Movescount (which also shows the altitude profile and where I’vemarked the waypoints of the more important places along that track).

Tour Possibilities: FKT or Hut Tour

The crossing of the Höllengebirge is usually done as a two-day tour with an overnight stay at one of the mountain huts up there.

It could easily, and to take it truly easy, be extended into a three-day/two-night hike.

Or, the other way round, one could go for speed. For a trained and experienced trail runner, it should not be a problem to cross the entire small mountain range in a day. As the crow flies, it extends over 17 km, on the hiking trail it is around 30 kilometer of distance.

It would be well-worth an FKT – fastest known time – attempt.


Talking of speed makes it all the more necessary to mention that the trail does not have any particularly bad or dangerous spots, but should not be underestimated.

The ups and downs are exhausting, but it’s the rock of the karst landscape that can be the real challenge. In some parts, it is sharp and cleft so that it’s best to jump from one bit to the other. Other times, it’s gravelly and rolls. Others again, it’s polished and thus slippery…

View of the trail, from above
View of the trail, from above

One should not forget, either, that such a karst lets all water run off belowground. The entire crossing only goes past two springs (apart from the huts 😉 ), and those have often run dry.


The Höllengebirge often leads a bit above the dwarf conifer vegetation, with wide views from its flanks to the Attersee lake, the Langbathseen lakes and the Traunsee.

Even more often, one is surrounded by the conifer trees, surrounded by the slopes of the mountains all around. In summertime, that landscape traps the heat – and pretty much all other seasons, this tour is not recommendable (unless maybe as a ski mountaineering tour – and that would probably lead into quite some avalanche danger).

Still, there aregreat views to be had.

View from the Dachsteinblick
View from the Dachsteinblick

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