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Mountain Hike recommended route

Through the Hartelsgraben into Sulzkar and on to Zinödl

Mountain Hike · Gesäuse
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  • Der Parkplatz auf der gegenüberliegenden Straßenseite nordöstlich der Ennsbrücke
    Der Parkplatz auf der gegenüberliegenden Straßenseite nordöstlich der Ennsbrücke
    Photo: Tourismusverband Gesäuse, TV Gesäuse
m 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Gasthof Kölblwirt Hochzinödl 2191 m Heßhütte, 1.699 m Parkplatz Hartelsgraben
The Zinödl crossing truly offers a complete mountain hiking experience. The great view and the variety of the trail are only topped by a visit to the Heßhütte. And if that's not enough, the crossing to Johnsbach saves you about 300 meters of altitude difference in the descent.
Distance 16.6 km
8:30 h
1,663 m
1,320 m
2,191 m
521 m
On this mountain tour you have to cover approx. 17 km and 1700 m, but for this you really get everything that belongs to an eventful day of hiking.

The varied trail already mentioned in the introduction is really worth seeing: the historic forest road in the Hartelsgraben is accompanied by the rushing Sulzkarbach stream and soon after is replaced by wide alpine meadows and pastures before you have to overcome steep alpine passages leading to the extensive summit plateau of the Zinödls.

There you will have an excellent view of the Gesaeuse mountains. Later you will reach the famous Hess hut, which is located between Hochtor and Zinödl on the Ennseck and where you simply have to stop for a bite to eat before descending to the mountaineering village of Johnsbach. 

Author’s recommendation

n the Hartelsgraben you follow the theme trail with information boards about historical forestry and charcoal burningAt the Johnsbach Bridge in front of the Kölblwirt Inn you have the opportunity to refresh yourself in the cool water.
Profile picture of Tourismusverband Gesäuse
Tourismusverband Gesäuse
Update: October 12, 2021
Risk potential
Highest point
2,191 m
Lowest point
521 m
Best time of year
Cardinal direction

Track types

Asphalt 0.47%Forested/wild trail 26.73%Path 72.79%
0.1 km
Forested/wild trail
4.4 km
12.1 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Heßhütte, 1.699 m
Gasthof Kölblwirt

Safety information

Certain passages are very steep and require surefootedness, a head for heights and mountain experience!

Mountain rescue emergency call: 140

Tips and hints

 Tourismusverband Gesäuse

Hauptstraße 35,

8911 Admont, Österreich

+43 (0) 3613 21160 10



Parkplatz Hartelsgraben (520 m)
47.592026, 14.703438
47°35'31.3"N 14°42'12.4"E
33T 477703 5270999
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Gasthaus Kölblwirt

Turn-by-turn directions

At 521 m above sea level, directly on the Enns bridge between Gstatterboden and Hieflau, is the starting point for this tour, which initially runs south through the Hartelsgraben. The historically remarkable forest road, which is at the same time a theme path on historic forestry and charcoal burning, runs along the Sulzkarbach and crosses it on bridges many times.

After about three kilometres you reach the Hartelsgraben hunting lodge and a little later a crossroads where you leave trail nr. 665 to the west and now follow the marked trail nr. 601, which is a well maintained forest road at the beginning, over a few bends into the Sulzkar.

On its wide alpine pastures you will find the next crossroads where you follow the markings to the north towards Zinödl. The following passage is marked by increasingly steeper terrain, where the trail markings were still partly badly visible in autumn 2017. In addition to your sense of orientation, you will soon need to be sure-footed and should take care not to loose stones that might endanger hikers further down. In addition, there is a general danger of falling rocks because of the steep rock faces at the foot of which the marked path passes a little later. At the end of this passage you are at the eastern end of the Zinödl Plateau and only a few hundred meters of easy ridge walk separate you from the summit.

From far away you can already see the summit cross and the weather station. The descent path leads northwards to the "Goß", from where you can enjoy spectacular views of the "Gseis".

The following section of the trail is a crossing in the direction of the "Heßhütte" and after about two kilometres you will reach it. From here you follow the normal route past the Gamsbrunnen, via Stadlalm, the Koderböden and the "zachen Schuh" to the Gasthof Kölblwirt.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Getting there

A9 Phyrn motorway to exit Ardning/Admont and from there past Frauenberg, approx. 10 km after Admont. Via the B146 (Gesäuse Bundesstraße) coming from the west into the Gesäuse.

Or via Leoben, Vordernberg and Eisenerz to Hieflau and from there via the B146 in a westerly direction into the Gesaeuse.

A1 Westautobahn to exit Ybbs and from there in southern direction through Scheibbs, Lunz am See, Göstling an der Ybbs and Palfau to Hieflau. From there via B146 in western direction into the Gesäuse.


A free national park parking lot with information boards is located on the right side of the road coming from Hieflau before the bridge over the Enns river, which you would reach after approx. 5 km. To reach the starting point of the tour, i.e. the beginning of the marked hiking trail into the Hartelsgraben, you have to cross the Ennsbrücke and change sides of the road.


47.592026, 14.703438
47°35'31.3"N 14°42'12.4"E
33T 477703 5270999
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Rother Wanderführer Gesäuse, G. und L. Auferbauer (2018)

Author’s map recommendations Wander- Rad- & Skitourenkarte Nr 801 "Nationalpark Gesäuse", 1: 35 000

Kompass Karten "Nationalpark Gesäuse" Nr. 206, M 1 : 25 000

Alpenvereinskarte - Gesäuse und Ennstaler Alpen, Blatt 16. 1 :25 000


Sturdy hiking boots or good trekking shoes, as well as a hiking rucksack with appropriate contents (water bottle, blister plaster, hiking map, snack, etc.).

You should also be well prepared for a change of weather.

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16.6 km
8:30 h
1,663 m
1,320 m
Highest point
2,191 m
Lowest point
521 m
Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest


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