Hohe Tauern Overview

Hohe Tauern National Park, located in Austria, is an awe-inspiring expanse of natural beauty and the largest national park in Central Europe. Encompassing an area of approximately 1,856 square kilometers (about 716 square miles), the park stretches across three Austrian states: Carinthia, Salzburg, and Tyrol. Established in 1981, it protects a diverse range of ecosystems and landscapes, from towering mountain peaks and glaciers to verdant valleys and waterfalls, offering a spectacular representation of the Alpine region’s natural heritage.

At the heart of Hohe Tauern National Park lies the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest peak, reaching 3,798 meters (12,461 feet) above sea level, surrounded by more than 300 mountains over 3,000 meters high. The park is also home to the Pasterze Glacier, the largest glacier in Austria, and the Krimml Waterfalls, one of the highest waterfalls in Europe. This varied topography creates unique habitats for a rich biodiversity, including endemic species and rare flora and fauna, such as the Alpine ibex, golden eagles, and the elusive edelweiss.

Hohe Tauern National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering countless opportunities for hiking, mountaineering, skiing, and nature observation. Its extensive network of trails and educational paths allows visitors to explore the park’s natural wonders and learn about its ecosystems and conservation efforts. The park also plays a crucial role in scientific research and environmental education, promoting sustainable tourism and awareness of alpine ecosystems’ importance and fragility.

The national park is not only a place of recreation and natural beauty but also a significant conservation area, protecting the Alpine region’s ecological integrity and cultural heritage. Hohe Tauern National Park represents a commitment to preserving Austria’s stunning landscapes for future generations, making it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to experience the majesty and diversity of the Alps.

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Park Map
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Hohe Tauern National Park Pictures

Hohe Tauern National Park Trails

Grossglockner High Alpine Road

Rating: Easy to Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: Variable, depending on the starting point; the entire route is about 48 km long.

Description: This panoramic road offers stunning views of Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner, and its glacier.

Although it’s more of a drive than a hike, there are numerous stop points where visitors can explore short trails, interpretive sites, and observation platforms for breathtaking alpine scenery.

Waterfalls Path in Krimml

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 4 km round trip, with an elevation gain of about 400 meters.

Description: The trail leads to the Krimml Waterfalls, the highest in Austria.

Visitors will enjoy the refreshing mist and spectacular views of the waterfalls as they ascend the well-maintained path, with several vantage points and resting areas along the route.

Gamsgrubenweg Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 2.5 km one way, with minimal elevation gain.

Description: Starting from the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe, this trail offers panoramic views of the Pasterze Glacier and surrounding peaks.

Interpretive signs along the path provide insights into the glacier’s retreat, local flora, and fauna.

Stüdlhütte to Erzherzog-Johann-Hütte (Adlersruhe)

Rating: Strenuous

Distance and Elevation Gain: About 5 km one way, with an elevation gain of over 1,000 meters.

Description: Aimed at experienced hikers, this trail offers a challenging trek to Austria’s highest mountain hut.

The route provides incredible views of the Grossglockner and its glacier. Proper equipment and mountain experience are required.

Innergschlöss Glacier Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: Approximately 10 km round trip, with a gentle elevation gain.

Description: This trail takes hikers through one of the most beautiful alpine valleys in the Eastern Alps to the base of the Schlaten Glacier.

The path winds through alpine meadows, past traditional alpine huts, and offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

  • All Trails, Best Trails in Hohe Tauern National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Britannica, Grossglockner,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Britannica, Hohe Tauern,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Grossglockner, Austria’s Highest View,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Hohe Tauern, Park Site,, retrieved April 2024.
  • National Park Hohe Tauern, Park Site,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Summit Post, Grossglockner,, retrieved April 2024.