Dachstein – a paradise for hikers with practical info

Dachstein is a glacier and a mountain range in northern Austria. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique karst landscape, rich biodiversity and historical significance. It’s pretty popular among tourists, because of the ease with entering. With no effort, you can get as high as the 2100 meters above the sea level using the cable car and get the dreamlike view.  


Hike, hike and hike – This is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about mountains right? Even though you can reach the summit by cable car, you may also simply do it on foot if you feel like it.  

Get inspired by the view – I’m always speechless, when I see views like the one in Dachstein. The more I walk, the more beautiful it got. The highest peak of the Dachstein is the Hoher Dachstein with a height of 2995 m, below which the Halstatt Glacier extends. 

Discover caves – There’re two caves to look inside. It’s the giant ice cave and the Mammoth cave.  


The Dachstein Ice Cave aka the Giant Ice Cave and the Mammoth Cave can be reached from the first intermediate station of the cable car. You’ll have to walk around 15-20 minute to the ice cave and around 10 minutes to the mammoth cave. Both are interesting.  

The ice cave is one of its kind. It’s not usual to see tons of ice lying hidden between rocks. The guided tour lasts 50 minutes and you’ll learn plenty of interesting facts about the cave. It’s also a nice show to be honest, but this you’ll have to see with your own eyes.  

Mammoth cave is one of the largest karst caves in the world and has still not been fully explored. The guided tour takes around 50 minutes and covers around 800 meters. You’ll be surprised by the colors inside of it.  


  • The temperature in the ice cave is 0 Celsius degree, cover yourself! 
  • Register for a tour before entering the cave. After registration you will receive a number for a specific tour with a time. The waiting time varies according to the number of visitors. 


You’ll reach the 5 Fingers viewpoint from the second station of the cable car. It takes roughly 25 minutes to get there, and believe me the way back to the cable car is way worse😊 But it’s so worth it. It’s a metal construction in the shape of a hand, each finger directed in slightly different direction offers a different view of Hallstatt and the lake.  

Along the route you can make a detour to the chapel and another viewpoint called the World Heritage Spiral (Welterbespirale). It’s also a nice “relax zone” around.  

The best part is that it’s all for free.  


You can get here from Obertraun, where you will see signs along the way. There is a large free parking lot on the left side of the lower cable car station. You can also take a bus from Obertraun or nearby Hallstatt – you get off right at the cable car. One day trips are also organized from Salzburg.  


The Dachstein-Krippenstein cable car is divided into 3 parts: 

  1. Thef first part of the Dachstein-Krippenstein cable car goes to the Giant Ice Cave and the Mammoth Cave. 
  1. The second part of the Dachstein-Krippenstein cable car takes you to the highest point of the the Krippenstein peak, where the 5 Fingers viewpoint is located. 
  1. The third part of the Dachstein-Krippenstein cable car goes to the Gjaidalm mountain hut. 


  • If possible, buy your ticket online. It’s cheaper and without queues. 
  • In the summer season the cable car is open from 8:40, but the ticket office is open at 8 am.  
  • Go with the first one, more chance it’ll not get crowdy  


I won’t delude you, it’s not cheap. There’re several options to choose from though. But if you have a whole day in Dachstein consider buying a combo ticket. Starting from 40 EUR you can use the three cable cars to reach to the top of the mountain. If you decide you enter one of the caves you may purchase the cable car to reach the level of the caves and entrance ticket to one or both of them, it’s 45 or 53 EUR. There’s also a combo ticket and all inclusive including most of the attractions.  


The best time for visiting Dachstein is the summer season, beginning in June with extension to September. The weather is the nicest. Although you never know in the mountains. It’s better to head in the morning, because the weather is more stable.  


Obviously you cannot miss Hallstatt. Although parking in this small village is a pain in the neck, its’ worth visiting. Mozart city, picturesque Salzburg is also an hour drive from Dachstein, so you may consider a trip there.

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