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Klafferkessel - a majestic tour

· 12 reviews · Mountain Hike · Schladming-Dachstein
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  • Alp road to Steinriesental valley near Untere Steinwendalm
    Alp road to Steinriesental valley near Untere Steinwendalm
    Photo: Gerhard Pilz, Gerhard Pilz
m 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Preintalerhütte Greifenberg Klafferkessel Seeleiten-Parkplatz Gollinghütte Riesachsee

The hiking tour across the lakeland of Klafferkessel on an altitude of 2,300 m with around 30 mountain lakes and tarns is one of the most spectacular, alpine passages in Austria.

Distance 21.3 km
9:45 h
1,576 m
1,579 m
2,618 m
1,079 m

This majestic tour of the water trails "Wild Waters" takes you to Klafferkessel - a relic of the Ice Age - into the contryside of the high Alps. It is one of the most beautiful hikes in the Schladminger Tauern mountain range. Around 30 mountain lakes and trans in various sizes scatter across the lakeland at an altitude of 2,300 meters above sea-level. Almgasthaus Riesachfall, Gollinghütte, Preintalerhütte, Waldhornalm, Berallerhütte at Kotalm, Kaltenbachalm and Gfölleralm are the refreshment stops along the route. Between Gollinghütte and Preintalerhütte/Waldhornalm you need to cover 4 to 5.5 hours of walking without the possibility of stopping at a hut or chalet.

Points of Interest:

  • Summit of Greifenberg
  • around 30 mountain lakes and tarns at Klafferkessel
  • Riesachsee Lake

Author’s recommendation

Many guests enjoy this tour in 2 days and stay overnight at one of the mountain chalets (Gollinghütte or Preintalerhütte) on the way.
Profile picture of Gerhard Pilz
Gerhard Pilz
Update: January 23, 2023
Risk potential
Highest point
Greifenberg summit, 2,618 m
Lowest point
Seeleiten car park, 1,079 m
Best time of year

Track types

Show elevation profile

Safety information

Surefootedness and a head for heights are required around Greifenberg mountain (2,618 m).

Safety on the mountain

Changes in weather patterns, quick falls in temperature, thunderstorms, wind, fog and snow are some of the dangers that can be encountered on a hiking tour. Hosts of alpine huts and mountain refuges have a lot of experience in the mountains and can give good advice about weather and the trails. Poor equipment, overestimation of one's own capabilities, carelessness, poor personal constitution and/or wrong judgement  can lead to critical situations. In case of thunderstorms: avoid summits, ridges and steel ropes.

GPS data and orienteering

Available GPS data - just like hiking maps - is only a guidance for orientation and can never depict a trail exactly with all its details. Especially at dangerous spots it is essential to judge on site how to proceed.

In an emergency please call:

  • 140 - for Alpine emergencies (all over Austria)
  • 112 - European GSM emergency number

Tips and hints

Tourist information:

Information about buses schedules:

360° drone images

Get yourself an overview with our 360° drone images:


Seeleiten car parking, Untertal valley (1,080 m)
47.326718, 13.760908
47°19'36.2"N 13°45'39.3"E
33T 406373 5242216


Seeleiten car parking, Untertal valley

Turn-by-turn directions

Starting from Almgasthaus Riesachfall at Seeleiten car parking you hike through Steinriesental valley to Gollinghütte mountain chalet. Via many steps and rocky outcrops the trail leads to the Greifenbergsattel mountain saddle. A small lake, with the summit of Hochgolling in the backdrop, is a first impressive sight.

The further climb to the Greifenberg Mountain (2,618 m) is via a stepped scree. Towering above all, and framing the Klafferkessel, rise the flanks of the Waldhorn opposite and before them, in the green of the mosses, shine the scenic mountain lakes, large and small, scattered over various levels. Further East the pyramid of Hochwildstelle rises into the sky - below the green slopes of "Himmelreich" (Kingdom of Heaven). From the summit you walk, initially across crumbly land (Trail No. 702 – short stretch of safety ropes) on sharp hairpin bends downhill into the corrie.

Until far into the summer many of the lakes are covered with ice. The mosses and lichens, combined with the lakes and wild rocky scenery, give the impression of a primeval landscape. Through the Klafferkessel Corrie itself the trail is mostly downhill to the striking rocky form of the Greifenstein, where you leave the corrie.

The further path runs steeply down across a barrier terrain to the Lämmerkare Corries and across a steep meadow to the Preintalerhütte and Waldhornalm chalets at 1,656 metres. The descent to the Kotalm Chalet starts rather steeply, after which it is mostly level until the Kaltenbachalm and Gfölleralm Inns on the Riesachsee Lake. The last descent on this long walk leads across the forest road down to the starting point at Almgasthaus Riesachfall at the Seeleiten Car Park.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


Take the Planai buses from Schladming (Planet Planai) or Rohrmoos (Rohrmoos-Zentrum) to Seeleiten car park and Riesach waterfall in Untertal valley.

Getting there

From Schladming take provincial highway L722 towards Rohrmoos. At the roundabout traffic in Rohrmoos make a left (3rd exit) and continue on provincial highway L723 towards Untertal. In the village of Untertal continue on Untertalstraße road until you reach Seeleiten car park and Riesach waterfall at the valley head.


Seeleiten car park - Riesach waterfall.

ATTENTION: parking fees


47.326718, 13.760908
47°19'36.2"N 13°45'39.3"E
33T 406373 5242216
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

  • Magazine "Wild Waters", available at the tourist office Schladming.

Author’s map recommendations

  • Hiking map Schladming, 1:25.000, available at the tourist office Schladming.
  • Hiking map Schladming-Dachstein, 1:50.000, available at the tourist office Schladming.


A well-packed backpack is helpful and especially when touring Alpine terrain a tuque, gloves, a windproof jacket and pants are standard equipment. Good, waterproof shoes, sun glasses, sun cream and sufficient beverages are essential too. Torch light, a map of the area, knie and a small first-aid kit should also be in the backpack.

Questions and answers

Question from Michael Zumsande · January 21, 2022 · Community
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Answered by Christian Urban  · January 21, 2022 · Community
1 more reply


Alex G.
October 02, 2021 · Community
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Saskia Gomon
July 28, 2020 · Community
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Photos from others

+ 21

21.3 km
9:45 h
1,576 m
1,579 m
Highest point
2,618 m
Lowest point
1,079 m
Public-transport-friendly Circular route Scenic Refreshment stops available Flora Summit route Exposed sections Secured passages


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