Hallstatt. 3. Echerntal trail and waterfalls, glacial garden

Last Updated on 01/08/2023

As a well-prepared tourist, have you planned a few days for this region? Great, so you will have time to go to the waterfalls and walk around the lake. In this topic, waterfalls.

Read part 1 about the city and the boat trip,
part 2 about the city museum, the history of the city and the salt mines.
Around the lake
Dachstein caves and plateau Dachstein
Bad Aussee Lakeside. Lake Grundlsee, Lake Toplitz, Lake Altaussee
Other lakes of Salzkammergut
Map of sights of Salzkammergut

Map of sights Pongau, Tennengau, Dachstein

Echerntal trail

The walk to the waterfalls and the glacial garden (Gletschergarten) from the funicular parking and back takes 3 hours at a brisk pace. If you want to visit all the scenic spots indicated on the map of the gorge, for example, climb higher up the gorge, plan more time (and effort).

passable, but sometimes with difficulty, small stones. The waterfalls and glacial garden can only be reached by foot

Length – 7 km from the funicular parking lot and back
Pleasure – 5*
Education – 2
Age – if you carry a child or visit some places in turns, then anyone, without a stroller – from the age when a child can walk 7 km

On the first trip, we did not get to the waterfalls – and for the better, there was little water. But this year there is plenty of water, and the waterfalls are very impressive.

From the funicular parking we go along the Malerweg street (the river will be on the right) or along the Echerntalweg footpath (the river will be on the left) and we will reach a wooden gazebo. There is also a parking nearby, but it was closed for tourists.

In the gazebo hangs a map of the route with a story about it. Study it carefully if you want to follow the entire route and not miss anything, because further it will not always be clear where the main road is and where the short cut is.

On my map. The red route will not let you get confused and miss something. You leave the gazebo on the left, go forward along the raging river and cross it along the first bridge (it is called something like Kuhbrücke). Follow the signs and turn right all the time. But this route is more tiring in terms of the ratio of ascents and descents.

The blue route will help save energy: you leave the gazebo on the right, go to the road blocked by the barrier and further along it to Gletschergarten and a little further to the tunnel for views. Then go down along the glacial garden and then go to the waterfalls (always turn left).

Map data ©OpenTopoMap, ©OpenStreetMap

On the way: three pretty bridges across a no less pretty mountain river, a solo waterfall and waterfalls in a quartet, and a rather curious natural phenomenon called the Glacial Garden.

Let’s describe in order along the red route. The river is very mountainous and very wild, but the camera does not capture mountainousness and wildness. In a couple of places it was possible to go down (but not with children). In general, the photos are blurry, as light rain was continuously dripping.

We crossed the river, walked around the farm and go to the waterfall, in proud loneliness falling down from the steep cliffs.

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As it turns out, there is no loneliness at all – cows philosophically look at the waterfall and a farmer runs through the fields. How many farmers in the world can boast a waterfall in the backyard of a farm? I wouldn’t be surprised if this family has owned the property for the past few hundred years.

Here, in the meadow, you can clearly see the mountains surrounding the gorge – in such rainy weather, of course, clouds hide half of it.

We go further to the bridge over the river. To the right, a path goes up steps to the observation deck at the Waldbachstrub waterfalls. Here we can say thank you to the rainy weather: there is a lot of water.

Echerntal waterfalls

The bridge over the river breaking through the gorge is the road leading to the salt mines. There is somewhere to go the next time we’re lucky enough to get here.

A little lower is another observation deck.

Waserfalls Echerntal Hallstatt

You won’t believe it, but you can climb this almost vertuical wall. About halfway from the bridge to the observation deck there is an inconspicuous path to the Gangsteig – this is an old staircase path (something about 400 steps), which was used by miners in order to shorten the way to work. If you do not suffer from dizziness and if the path is not closed for some reason, you can try your hand.

We descend back to the bridge.

Echerntal trail
Echerntal trail

Glacial garden

After a dozen meters, a new fork – to the right to the Gletschergarten (glacial garden).

The glacial garden is deep funnels filled with clear blue water, dug out at one time by a receding glacier. Ladders and viewing platforms were made nearby so that you can get closer. The road at the top of the glacial garden leads down – to the beginning of the route and up – to the salt mines. It is worth going a little further up the road – to the tunnel, there are also beautiful views.

Echerntal Gletschergarten / Hallstatt glacier garden Echerntal trail

Waterfalls from the road.

In a dry year, it looks like this.

Lonely waterfall at the farm.

And this is how it looked in a dry year, when we did not get to it.

Let’s go further
Around the lake
To caves and plateau Dachstein
Bad Aussee Lakeside. Lake Grundlsee, Lake Toplitz, Lake Altaussee
Other lakes of Salzkammergut
Map of sights of Salzkammergut

Map of sights Pongau, Tennengau, Dachstein

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