Are you ready to experience one of the most stunning mountain views in Austria? Then you must go to the Dachstein Krippenstein, a mountain range located between mountains and lakes in the Salzkammergut region of Austria, near the world-famous village of Hallstatt.
From Dachstein Krippenstein there is a magnificent view of the charming Hallstatt and the lake of the same name, and of course the rest of the Salzkammergut region, it is rumored that on a clear day you can even see Slovenia. Wow!
In 1997, the stunning Hallstatt-Dachstein/Salzkammergut region of Austria was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its natural beauty has captivated admirers and inspired awe in anyone who has experienced the splendor of this unique area.
But there's more to Dachstein Krippenstein than just the views.
It is filled with attractions for the whole family in every season of the year.
In summer, discover a variety of adventurous activities at the top of the mountain, such as skydiving, the 5 Fingers viewing platform, and even Via Ferrata tracks that will challenge even experienced climbers.
If heights aren't your thing, there are plenty of leisurely options, such as exploring the impressive Mammoth and Ice Caves, enjoying delicious Austrian cuisine at one of the summit restaurants, or simply taking in the scenery at the ship-shaped World Heritage spiral, and hiking around the Heilbronn Circular Trail.
Children will love the attractions on offer in the Schönbergalm Nature park, and be sure to take them to the unique Dachstein Shark.
When winter approaches and snow covers the hillside, the Dachstein Krippenstein offers visitors a completely different experience. The slopes are coming alive as skiers and snowboarders want to hit the slopes on the area's best ski trails.
If you're craving off-piste adventure, look no further! Here it is!
With over 30 kilometers (19 miles) of powdery soft off-piste to choose from, Freesports Arena Dachstein Krippenstein promises an unforgettable experience for ski bunnies and thrill seekers alike.
Or maybe go for Austria's longest run, a stunning 11 km (7 mi) long valley run. Beginners and children also have nothing to worry about, as the Freesports Arena Dachstein Krippenstein has taken care of everyone, creating easy tracks for warming up and learning to ski in the mountains and in the valley.
In addition, activities such as snowshoe hiking are available both independently and in group tours.
Let's take a closer look at why Dachstein Krippenstein is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Austria!
Things to see at Dachstein Krippenstein
The Dachstein Krippenstein mount is a breathtaking sight to behold.
This mountain and surrounding area offer plenty of amazing views and activities for travelers alike.
From the world-renowned Giant Ice Cave and 5 fingers structure to a unique shark structure, there are plenty of sights to explore!
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1. Dachstein Krippenstein cable car
The first of the most impressive things is definitely the Dachstein cable-car, which you will definitely have to use if you want to get to the top of the mountain, otherwise you have to hike.
From the cable car there are breathtaking views as it goes up and down.
The Dachstein cable car was opened in 1951, allowing easier access to the attractions at the top of the Dachstein Krippenstein. Its station is located in Obertraun, a peaceful village on the banks of the breathtakingly beautiful Lake Hallstatt, which you can reach either by car or by train with a good and regularry connection from Salzburg, Vienna, and also from Graz.
The Dachstein cable car has three stations, the last of which is 2100 meters above sea level.
The first is at the Schönbergalm, where you will find attractions such as the Mammoth and Ice Caves, the Ice Museum, a restaurant and a chill zone.
The second stop is at the Welterbespirale, close to the popular 5 Finger platform, Krippenstein Lodge & Restaurant, Dachstein Shark, the Heilbronn Cross Trail, as well as some winter ski trails.
The third and last station is the Gjaid Alm Lodge at 1738 m above sea level, where you will have the opportunity to hike up to the Dachstein Glacier as well as go on ski tours.
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2. Schönbergalm Nature Park
Schönbergalm nature park welcomes you to a dazzling wonderland of awe-inspiring views and peaceful relaxation.
Come experience the enchantment at the first station of the Dachstein Krippenstein cable car!
Take a journey through Alpine history as you explore the impact of climate change on this iconic landscape. Uncover secrets with informative stands, be inspired by creative installations and touch centuries-old artifacts in four charming huts!
Step into the mystical world of the Cave Museum and take an unforgettable journey through time!
Let your little ones explore a mysterious adventure cave - Mutmam-Höhle, or be impressed in the bad weather station -Sauwetterstation cinema.
Football aficionados can get their kicks on the "natural pitch," while daredevils seeking an adrenaline explosion should check out Heli Putz's thrilling climbing wall.
Embark on an amazing journey through the stunning Dachstein caves and witness the jaw-dropping beauty of nature! Admire towering ice sculptures and explore a seemingly endless cave system.
Embark on an incredible journey that promises to be full of surprises! Discover the majestic views of Hallstatt and its scenic surroundings as you traverse along the thrilling adventure trail, eventually leading you to Bamhittl.
After all, go recharge your batteries at the Schönbergalm restaurant! Enjoy a delicious meal or relax with a refreshing drink before continuing to immerse yourself in the world of the Dachstein Krippenstein Alps.
Read also: Top Attractions & Things to Do in Hallstatt, Austria
3. Dachstein Giant Ice Cave
Start your Krippenstein Mountain adventure with a visit to the Giant Ice Cave. As soon as you climb out of the cable car, you'll have to walk about 15-25 minutes to the entrance of the Caves, where you can immerse yourself in a 50-minute guided tour of the icy world.
A visit to the Dachstein Ice Cave promises children and adults a nature experience that impresses with its unique ice formations, great artistic installations and informative tours.
Head inside the mountain until you reach a bizarre world of ice and stone, beckoning with glittering ice formations such as the Holy Grail Castle, the Great Ice Chapel, Tristan's Dome, the Ice Castle and the Great Ice Mountain.
Accompanied by experienced cave guides, the visitors get to know the special features of this world of ice and rock up close and learn all sorts of interesting facts about their discovery, which dates back more than 500 years.
Magnificent lighting effects and fascinating art installations set additional accents.
What's more, the ice cave will impress not only nature lovers, but also music lovers. Every year in August, Parsivaldom transforms into a unique concert hall. As part of musical ice concerts, you have the opportunity to experience the crystal clear sounds of international artists in a very special atmosphere.
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4. Dachstein Mammoth Cave
The Mammoth Cave on the Dachstein in the Salzkammergut is one of the largest karst caves in Europe, with almost 70 kilometers of explored passages.
During an approximately 50-minute guided tour, visitors can get an immersive look into the wonders of this underground landscape and its wealth of forms.
In one kilometer long passageways which are open to the public, visitors will see gigantic cave passages, narrow crevices, huge stone cathedrals and underground river beds that display evidence to the incredible power of water that created this subterranean realm.
Not only do travelers get to explore what's below, but they also gain valuable knowledge about caving and its many interesting facts.
What's more, art installations with staggering light and shade effects make it a truly impressive experience that travelers should not miss!
For those looking for more than just an 1h exciting adventure into the underground world of Mammoth Caves, there is a unique experience - an adventurous trekking tour!
This unique opportunity offered private trekking tours through the cave more than one kilometer long. More about the cave trekking tours below.
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5. World Heritage Spiral
About 15 minutes from the second station of the Krippenstein cable car is the World Heritage Spiral (Welterbespirale), which invites you to relax 2,100 meters above sea level.
The World Heritage Spiral viewing platform, made of aluminum and resembling the shape of a ship, not only offered exciting views, but also introduced various World Heritage objects, their architectural and landscape features.
Its surroundings are grazed by goats and sheeps and equipped with peaceful rest areas and wooden lounge chairs to take a leisurely look around the Alpine meadows.
In addition, you can capture the memories by taking a picture with the camera built into the World Heritage Spiral viewpoint using the remote control. Later you will be able to download this picture at the cable car station - which will remind you of the great vacation in Krippenstein every time you look at it!
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6. Five Finger Lookout
When you have enjoyed everything that the World Heritage Spiral has to offer, then it's time to go on a 15-minute walk to one of the most impressive viewing platforms in Austria - the 5 Finger lookout point.
It was named "5 Fingers" because of its hand-like shape. Each finger is about 4 m long and 1 m wide hanging in the air above a steep cliff of more than 400 m.
Head here and prepare for nerve-wracking sensations before the incredible views of Lake Hallstatt and the Salzkammergut mountains, or the so-called World Heritage View. On a clear day you can also see the majestic highest peak of the Dachstein range (Höher Dachstein).
Each boardwalk or finger is given its own interesting design, three of them will definitely raise your adrenaline level, where one has a glass floor, then a hole in the floor, and then a trampoline (but don't jump better).
On the other hand, on two of the more peaceful fingers you can explore the landscape with binoculars, and frame yourself with nature in a beautiful picture frame.
The 5 Finger observation deck is illuminated at night, making it visible from the villages of Hallstatt and Obertraun at its foot.
Unlike the impressive Ice Caves, the 5 Finger observation deck is open year-round.
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7. Dachstein Shark
Another sight worth seeing, which is about a 30-minute walk from the second Krippenstein station, is the Dachstein Shark or Dachstein-Hai.
Dachstein Shark is an 8-meter high shark-shaped object that will impress not only children but also adults.
Brave visitors can climb into the belly of the giant creature and continue to its mouth for fantastic views of the Dachstein Glacier and the early seabed.
The Dachstein shark is installed to demonstrate that the Dachstein mountains was covered by ocean over 200 millions of years ago and the shark even lived there.
If you are observant enough, there are still many deposits, fossils, and petrified crustaceans in the rocks in this area.
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8. Heilbronner Circular Trail
The Heilbronner Circular Trail's well-designed route is easy to walk and takes you through slightly hilly terrain densely overgrown with dwarf pines, offering views of the karst formations and, if you're lucky, mountain goats that graze around them.
This family-friendly trail also offers interesting places to explore for the young hikers.
The Heilbronner Circular Trail passes the aforementioned Dachstein Shark and the Heilbronner Cross, built to commemorate the Easter tragedy of 1954, when 10 children and 3 teachers died due to sudden weather changes.
Despite the tragedy that happened, nature shows itself here from its most beautiful side.
To walk the full length of this trail, i.e. to Gjaid Alm, you will need about 3 hours, be prepared with shoes, clothes and snacks.
Gjaid Alm is the last cable car stop from where other hiking trails and a restaurant are accessible.
Although after a three-hour walk, from there you can board the cable car and go back either to the previous stations or to Obertraun.
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Things to do at Dachstein Krippenstein
The Dachstein Krippenstein mountain offers not only beautiful views with interesting sights and easy-to-walk trails, but also an incredible range of activities for adventure seekers.
From spectacular 10-hour hiking trails to flying over the Obertraun Valley and Lake Hallstatt.
9. Rock Climbing and Via Ferratas
Dachstein Krippenstein is the perfect destination for climbers of all levels and experience with a range of routes.
Whether you're looking for a challenging route to test yourself or simply want to enjoy the stunning scenery, there's something here for everyone.
Just a quick 20-minute hop from the Krippenstein cable car station makes it a convenient and enjoyable alpine adventure for all mountain fans!
In addition, experienced mountain guides are available to help you plan your climb and provide safety support during the ascent and descent. Put on your harness and helmet and be sure not to miss this unforgettable climbing experience and unlike any other.
10. Cave Trekking Krippenstein
Cave Trekking Krippenstein is sure to be an unforgettable experience!
For their special guided trips and trekking tours, explore the underground world of the Dachstein caves.
Thrill seekers can expect to venture through narrow tunnels, climb down rope ladders, and experience the thrill of a true adventure.
Good to Know!
Trekkingtour 'Verfallene Burg' in Mammut cave - lasts about 4 hours, and Trekkingtour 'Große Mammuthöhle' also in Mammut cave - lasts for a full day.
Be sure to plan ahead as registration must be done one week in advance for all trekking tours at Cave Trekking Krippenstein!
The 4-hour long adventure costs €90.50 per person, and the one-day Hiking Tour costs €133.00 per person. (as of 2023)
11. Paragliding Krippenstein
Krippenstein, in Austria's Salzkammergut region, is an impressive peak for hikers and climbers and also offers stunning views for paragliders.
Home to the world-famous safety training center of Flight School Sky Club Austria, Krippenstein provides exciting experiences for first-time flyers.
Tandem passenger flights from the peak are a unique opportunity to take in the sights of the World Heritage Salzkammergut region from a bird's-eye view.
Passengers must weigh between 30 kg and 100 kg and all that's required is a brief run before takeoff!
12. Hiking at Dachstein Krippenstein
The stunning Salzkammergut region offers hikers trails of varying difficulty levels and the Krippenstein Dachstein mountain plateau is no exception.
One of the most popular is the Family- friendly Heilbronner Circular Trail (mentioned above) which starts from 2 Krippenstein station.
Alternatively, there's the Gjaid Alm were starts plenty ot the trails like Dachstein Nature Trail, the Dachsteinblick, Dachstein mountain tour, 'Am Stein' – plateau crossing, or the Taubenkogel hikes; all allowing visitors to experience nature in its rawest form and take in the breathtaking views.
After a day of exerting activities, visitors can enjoy a relaxing meal with local fare at one of many traditional Alpine huts and lodges located at Krippenstein along cable-car stations.
The hiking trails are located at an altitude of 2000 meters and more, with different degrees of difficulty, which will last between 1.5 hours and even up to 10 hours.
Therefore, hiking shoes and clothing for unexpected weather conditions, as well as plenty of water and snacks are highly recommended.
Good to Know before traveling!
To visit Dachstein Krippenstein you have to expect some costs, depending on your wishes and interests. Practically the only paid objects are Mammoth and Ice Caves. It costs nothing to see the 5 Finger platform and the other places mentioned, just the lift.
So if you want to enjoy everything including the caves, it costs 53.20 - for an adult, 47.60 - for young people, 29.40 - for children, 49.50 - for seniors.
If you don't want to visit the caves, but want to use the cable-car to see other attractions and/or go on a walk, 35.30 - for an adult, 32.20 - for young people, 19.40 - for children, 32.90 - for seniors. (as of 2023)
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And Finally… Visiting Krippenstein plateau at Dachstein mountain range is an experience of a lifetime.
From the magnificent views, to the exciting activities, it can offer something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for a place to relax and take in breathtaking landscapes or you’re an adrenaline-junkie out for thrills, Krippenstein mountain simply cannot be missed.
By following our guide, you will not miss the most impressive sights and sensations that await you at Dachstein Krippenstein in the Salzkammergut region. Have a nice trip!