Plan a route here Copy route
Long-Distance Hiking recommended route Stage 18

Salzburger Almenweg - Stage 18: Zauchensee – Gnadenalm – Südwiener Hütte

Long-Distance Hiking · Salzburger Sportwelt
Responsible for this content
Salzburger Almenweg Verified partner 
  • Landschaft
    Photo: Tourismusverband Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Salzburger Almenweg
m 1800 1700 1600 1500 1400 1300 1200 1100 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
Uphill, downhill and uphill again in the Niedere Tauern Mountains 
Distance 12.4 km
4:30 h
919 m
468 m
1,802 m
1,278 m
The Radstädter Tauern Mountains have been one of the most important Alpine crossings in SalzburgerLand since pre-Christian times. Even the Romans used this route intensively, expanded it and maintained a post and horse changing station, a so-called "Mansio", at the top of the pass. Today's stage always leads from the World Cup Town of Zauchensee to the south and said Radstädter Tauern. Numerous managed alpine huts are located along the trail, which leads past sinkholes, wet meadows, through mountain pines and larches to the Gnadenalm, which was until the 17th century owned by the Salzburg Prince-Archbishops. Today, alpine huts invite you to stop for a bite to eat and a themed trail offers exciting insights into alpine life from then and now. A stop is worthwhile everywhere, especially to taste the famous "Radstädter Kas" (cheese), but make sure to be well rested! Because the ascent from the Gnadenalm to the Südwiener Hütte in Obertauern at the very end of the stage is once again quite challenging with around 500 metres altitude.


Alpine Trail History 

Again and again, hikers in the Alps come across mountain huts and refuges whose names have little to do with the environment in which they are located, such as the Südwiener hut or the Niedersachsenhaus in Gastein. Where this comes from is quickly explained. The respective names refer to the section affiliation of the huts. For example, the Niedersachsenhaus is a refuge of the Hanover section of the German Alpine Club. The Südwiener hut was opened in 1828 and is a refuge of the Vienna Alpine Club "Gebirgsverein". The huts refer back to the beginnings of “Alpinism”, when movement in nature became fashionable, especially among the urban population, and the Alps became a stated destination. 


Along the trail

Sinkholes, wet meadows and mountain pines - all these alpine peculiarities are on the trail today. But what exactly is this? Sinkholes are so-called sink caves, which occur in Karst areas, which in turn are typical of the Northern Limestone Alps in which you are currently located. And sinkholes are not to be underestimated, so be sure to stay on the trail! Wet meadows, on the other hand, are habitats for special plants such as woolly grass or wet meadow orchids. In Pongau, mountain pines are the trees from which the highly effective mountain pine oil is also produced.


Alpine Trail Refreshment 

The Tauernkarleitenalm is managed by dairyman Michael Haym and his wife Veronika. Here, they serve special alpine delicacies such as the famous "Radstädter Kas", a kind of sour cheese, homemade bread and much more. 

Author’s recommendation

At the Gnadenalm you find the themed trail "Alles Alm" with ten entertaining theme stations that offer exciting insights into alpine life from then and now. A beautiful photo opportunity is also the 60 metre high Johannes Waterfall.
Profile picture of Tourismusverband Altenmarkt-Zauchensee
Tourismusverband Altenmarkt-Zauchensee
Update: March 20, 2023
Highest point
Stubhöhe, 1,802 m
Lowest point
Vordergnadenalm, 1,278 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 1.39%Dirt road 38.88%Forested/wild trail 36.33%Path 22.73%Road 0.65%
0.2 km
Dirt road
4.8 km
Forested/wild trail
4.5 km
2.8 km
0.1 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Gnadenalmstüberl (1272 m)
Südwiener Hütte

Safety information

To make sure your day in the mountains is an unforgettable experience, here you can find some tips to keep you safe in the mountains.

Tips and hints

For further information about the Salzburger Almenweg click here.


Altenmarkt-Zauchensee Tourism

Sportplatzstraße 6

A-5541 Altenmarkt-Zauchensee

Tel: +43 6452 5511



Zauchensee (1,350 m) (1,349 m)
47.292398, 13.456646
47°17'32.6"N 13°27'23.9"E
33T 383308 5238813


Südwienerhütte (1,802 m)

Turn-by-turn directions

After a hopefully wonderful night at over 1,350 metres above sea level, we continue today on the Salzburg Alpine Trail towards the south and the Radstädter Tauern. From Zauchensee, the unmanaged Oberzauchensee alpine pastures (1,556 m) are accessible via trail No. 85 and reached in just over half an hour of walking time. From here, the goods path continues towards the end of the valley and after about 500 metres the footpath to the Stubhöhe (1,793 m) turns left. At this altitude, several long-distance hiking trails such as the Arnoweg or the Harfeicht-Tour meet. The Alpine Trail leads over a larch meadow interspersed with mountain pines and limestone chunks to the managed Tauernkarleitenalm (1,653 m), which is also a certified alpine summer hut. Here, a fantastic panorama opens up to the southeast, which can be enjoyed together with a little refreshment.

The trail leads from here over a well-developed goods path downhill to the Gnadenalm, which is reached after a total of 2 hours walking and represents the lowest point of today's stage. In the Alpine basin there are several refreshment stops, with the Weißenhof Almhütte and the Gschwendthof hut, both on the Hintergnadenalm, which are also two certified Alpine summer huts. But beware - the tour is not over yet! Almost 500 metres altitude still have to be covered to reach the stage finish. From the Vordergnadenalm you walk a good two kilometres to the Hintergnadenalm and from here it goes uphill, first over a forest road, and later on a footpath to today's stage finish at the Südwiener hut.


Refreshment and accommodation options 

Tauernkarleitenalm (1,653 m), (after approx. 1.5 hours), mid-June to mid-September T. +43 669 11 45 9224 refresh.

Restaurant Wirtshaus Gnadenalm / Vordergnadenalm (1,278 m) (after approx. 2 hours), end of May to end of October, T. +43 6456 7351 refresh.

Weißenhof Almhütte/Hintergnadenalm (1,336 m) (after approx. 2.5 hours), mid-June to early October, T. +43 6452 7001, refresh. / accomm. / Alpine summer hut

Gschwendthofhütte/Hintergnadenalm (1,336 m) (after approx. 2.5 hours), Whitsun until the end of October, T. +43 664 5252 847 refresh. / Alpine summer hut

Palfenhütte/Hintergnadenalm (1,336 m) (after approx. 2.5 hours), Whitsun to mid-September, T. +43 664 5328003, refresh.

Huberhütte/Hintergnadenalm (1,336 m) (after approx. 2.5 hours), beginning of July to beginning of September, T. +43 664 3003223, refresh.

Südwiener Hütte (1,792 m) (after approx. 4.5 hours), mid-June to the end of October, T. +43 664 3436342 refresh. / accomm.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


Zauchensee is easily accessible by public transport with the nearest train station at Radstadt, from where you take the Postbus to the stop Weltcuparena Zauchensee.

Getting there

Tauernautobahn A 10, exit Altenmarkt (EXIT 63), exit Altenmarkt West, along Oberndorfer Straße, at the intersection (BP petrol station) turn left on the Bundesstraße (B 163), turn right at the market square direction Zauchnesee.


Free parking is available in the center of Altenmarkt. For your own safety, please do not forget to leave the Salzburg Alpine Trail parking disc from the brochure in your car. In Zauchensee there is no public parking, here please ask the accommodation business if longer parking is possible.


47.292398, 13.456646
47°17'32.6"N 13°27'23.9"E
33T 383308 5238813
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

Salzburger Almenweg Broschüre


Questions and answers

Ask the first question

Would you like to the ask the author a question?


Write your first review

Help others by being the first to add a review.

Photos from others

12.4 km
4:30 h
919 m
468 m
Highest point
1,802 m
Lowest point
1,278 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Refreshment stops available


  • Content
  • Show images Hide images
2D 3D
Maps and trails
  • 11 Waypoints
  • 11 Waypoints
Distance  km
Duration : h
Ascent  m
Descent  m
Highest point  m
Lowest point  m
Push the arrows to change the view