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Travel story: hiking the Salzalpensteig Trail in six stages

Sabrina on the road from Lake Chiemsee to the Salzkammergut
Hiker in front of an autumnal mountain panorama

Finally, the waiting is over: I get to explore my first "Team Members on Tour" trip for myself on the long-distance hiking trail of the Salzalpensteig Trail, and on two different sections at once. I hike the first three stages of the Salzalpensteig Trail 1 from Lake Chiemsee to Ruhpolding together with my friend Hannes. With my mum I can discover the last three stages on the Salzalpensteig Trail 2 from Abtenau to Bad Goisern.

I am happy to bring you closer to the hike on the Salzalpensteig Trail in my travel report!

Hiker in front of an autumnal mountain panorama

Perfectly marked hiking trails

The Salzalpensteig is marked along the entire route from Lake Chiemsee to Lake Hallstatt with green mountain tops on a yellow background. At each junction there are additional yellow signposts and information boards about the Salzalpensteig Trail. In addition, there are tours with blue markings, for circular routes, as well as red marking for shortcuts or alternatives, which you follow according to the route description in the travel documents.

Lots of variety with breathtaking views

On Friday afternoon, we set off by car to neighboring Bavaria to Lake Chiemsee - also known as the Bavarian Sea. Arrived at the hotel, the travel documents are already ready for us. After a delicious meal with "Kasspotzn" for me and a burger with fries for my companion, we visit our partner hotels in the area.

Saturday morning, punctually at 09:00, we put the suitcases at the reception for the luggage transfer. The hike begins for us after breakfast along the shore of Lake Chiemsee on flat paths through nature reserves. Soon after, we hike up to the water tower with a dream panorama over Lake Chiemsee. Over small forest paths and past farms we go to Marquartstein. After a short rest at the Weßnerhof, we continue by bus to Unterwössen to our overnight hotel, where the luggage is already waiting for us.

Selfie of a hiking couple

Second stage from Unterwössen to Bergen

A first look out of the hotel window the next morning: Mother Nature unfortunately doesn't mean well with us today - rain, but we don't let it get us down, after all we have prepared for any weather! Weatherproof we go from Unterwössen over the Richard-Strauß-Höhenweg through cow pastures and forest roads. Directly under the steep wings of the Hochgern summit we enjoy tea time in the Staudacheralm at an outside temperature of about 0° Celsius. We follow the mountain pastures and hike along the Weißache into the valley until we reach the Bavarian health resort Bergen after 20 kilometers. From there we can already see the white-covered Hochfelln - the Belvedere of the Chiemgau, our hiking destination tomorrow.

Hiker walking on a wooden footbridge across the meadow

The anticipation rises

Since the weather forecast for the third day of hiking again reports rain and the cable car on the Hochfelln is only operates in good weather conditions, we spontaneously decide at breakfast to hike up to the mid-station along the forest road and follow the option via the Steinbergalm. Said and done. After almost 600 meters of altitude we arrive at the alpine pasture. Back down the path leads us to the neat Bavarian town of Ruhpolding, which is nestled in the midst of beautiful mountain landscapes.

In the late afternoon we stroll through the city center and enjoy the last evening. My first hiking trip on the long-distance trail comes to an end and the anticipation for the second trip increases even more, because I already know what an indescribably great feeling it is to hike so many kilometers with my own power. By bus and train we return to the starting point in Prien in the morning and travel back home by car.


In gorgeous autumn weather on the Salzalpensteig Trail 2

The second trip with my mom already starts at seven in the morning. My dad drives us to Abtenau in Salzburg's Lammertal to the Hotel Ledererwirt, where we pick up our travel documents and drop off our luggage for the luggage transfer - After all, we are hiking with only our daypacks on this tour.
The hike starts immediately, the fog is still very thick. The longer we hike along the Karkogelbahn, the more the sun comes out. It couldn't be better: the weather on our autumn hike is fantastic and we are surrounded by enormous peaks such as the Schober, the small and large Traunstein and the Berliner Kreuz on the Gsenghöhe in the Tennengebirge. After more than 500 meters of altitude we hike through forest and over meadows to Annaberg. Here we spend the night after our first stage.

Cows on the mountain during the hike to Annaberg


The Berliner Kreuz on the right side on the mountain ridge above the Gsengalm is worth a detour. After about 10 minutes you have a picturesque view of Bad Goisern!

Fifth stage from Annaberg to Lake Gosau

Our goal for today: up to the Stuhlalm, further over stones and a narrow hiking trail at the foot of the Gosaukamm, then by gondola down to the Gosausee. This stage is quite challenging with almost 1,000 meters of altitude. First we hike along the forest path to the chapel of St. Mother Anna on the Kopfberg. On the right the mighty rock faces of the Donnerkogel and on the left the wide view into the valley with the surrounding mountains, a dream for anyone free of giddiness.


We continue hiking to the cable car station at the Gablonzerhütte. Arriving at the bottom with the cable car, we are allowed to admire the breathtaking reflection of the Dachstein glacier in the clear mountain lake. After a well-deserved scoop of ice cream, we take the bus to the next hotel.

Over the Hohe Kalmberg Mountain to Bad Goisern

Our last hike starts from the hotel in the Gmundner Salzkammergut of Gosau via the Goisererhütte. After a snack we continue well strengthened via the optional route to the summit cross of the Hohe Kalmberg along the ridge, past the Kalmoos church. Shortly before the mountain summit, the Indian head, a rock formation resembling the profile of an Indian, stands out.

After a few souvenir photos at the summit cross, we make our way back over the Saurücken to Bad Goisern. So schnell vergeht die Zeit, ist auch meine Wanderreise wieder vorbei. Sehr schade, aber ich freue mich schon auf das nächste Jahr. Nach einem Stadtrundgang lassen wir den Abend ausklingen und blicken auf die traumhaften Tage zurück.



The diverse long-distance hiking trail is exceptional and unforgettable due to the fascinating landscape, culture and its salt places. The itinerary becomes more challenging from day to day, across alpine meadows to alpine landscapes past summit crosses. However, thanks to the rich breakfast in the morning, we master each stage with flying colors. The tour character "mountain hiking" fits perfectly.

Despite the diversity of the individual stages, there is one thing in common: fascinating views that are worth every single hiking kilometer!

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