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Regional hiking trail recommended route

Theme trail Wild Waters

· 3 reviews · Regional hiking trail · Schladming-Dachstein · closed
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Erlebnisregion Schladming-Dachstein Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Hiking Trail head Kraiter car park
    Hiking Trail head Kraiter car park
    Photo: Gerhard Pilz, Erlebnisregion Schladming-Dachstein
m 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Seeleiten-Parkplatz Gasthof Tetter Riesachsee Gfölleralm Waldhäuslalm Gasthof Landalm Sondlalm Toteisboden
From Schladming to deep into the Untertal area of Rohrmoos, up to an elevation of 2600 m above sea level – this is the path taken by one of the world’s most extraordinary hiking trails: the theme trail Wild Waters.

This route passes through an inaccessible area and is therefore closed. Current information

Distance 16.6 km
5:03 h
648 m
329 m
1,370 m
756 m

14.5 kilometers of “Wild Waters” illustrate our most precious natural resource in all its facets – from quietly glistening and crystal-clear, to thunderously frothing and foaming, in freefall over the rocks of the Schladminger Tauern. A unique nature experience, for which it earned international recognition in 2009 as the very first National Geographic Hiking Path.



gorge trail, meadow path, alpine pastures, short sections on roads, forest and alpine trails


Restaurants/Alpine huts

  • Talbachschenke
  • Landalm & Hotel Landauerhof
  • Gasthaus Tetter
  • Waldhäuslalm
  • Sondlalm
  • Gasthaus Weiße Wand
  • Almgasthaus Riesachfall
  • Gfölleralm
  • Kaltenbachalm



  • Talbachklamm gorge
  • Toteisboden nature reserve
  • Tetter moor
  • 50 meters-long cable footbridge
  • Lake Riesachsee

Author’s recommendation

This enjoyable 14.5 km hike next to the water does your heart and soul good. It is a precious rarity in the entire alpine region and, if you are in good condition, it is a perfect all-day tour. Return on the hiking bus.
Profile picture of Gerhard Pilz
Gerhard Pilz
Update: January 23, 2023
Highest point
Gfölleralm, 1,370 m
Lowest point
Kraiter car parking, 756 m
Best time of year

Track types

Show elevation profile

Safety information

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

General tourism information:

Info about buses:

The theme trail Wild Waters is a tour with checkpoints of the IVV.


360° drone images

Get yourself an overview with our 360° drone images:

View of the lower part of Talbachklamm gorge:

View over Riesachsee Lake:


Kraiter car park (755 m)
47.388312, 13.688092
47°23'17.9"N 13°41'17.1"E
33T 400986 5249151


Seeleiten car park, lake Riesachsee

Turn-by-turn directions

You begin this all-day Wild Waters hike in Schladming at the Kraiter car park, with your constant companion the fast, untamed torrents of the Talbach. Things become a little gentler after the village of Untertal, as you pass the fire station and take a path across gentle meadows to Janerbrücke. After 200 m along the road you turn off right before Hinkerbrücke bridge and soon after you will reach the Toteisboden, with its natural irrigation and ventilation system dating back to the Ice Age, providing perfect conditions for this unique world of plants. Crossing lush alpine pastures, you will arrive, at Tettermoor, an area of breathtaking beauty and tranquility, where the Talbach meanders slowly and quietly through the moor. The next section leads you across gentle meadows and through forest alongside the crystal-clear Untertalbach – with friendly inns and alpine huts inviting you to take the occasional refreshment break.

From Seeleiten car park, some very exciting stages of the Wild Waters experience begin – along the Riesach Falls forest trail and the alpine trail "Höll" you will be able to experience the pure power of water. Magnificent Riesach Waterfalls drops a total of 140 metres in two tiers to the valley below – with viewing platforms that put this, the highest waterfall in Styria, practically within arm’s reach. A little later, you can step out onto a 50 meters-long cable footbridge, gazing from a dizzying height down on the Wildbach as it flows through Höllschlucht canyon. Afterwards, you will make your way safely via countless steps Höllschlucht canyon until you reach the Gfölleralm, then a few minutes later, the picturesque shores of the lake Riesach. On the left shore, the Kaltenbachalm invites you to take a well-earned break. For your return to the Seeleiten car park, we recommend the pleasant forest lane.

Please note: The Alpinsteig is NOT suitable for dogs - tip: bypassing on the forest road to Riesachsee


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


The trail runs along the Untertal valley following the creek's way out of the valley. The Planai-Hochwurzen buses run between Schladming and the Seeleiten parking area at the valley head. There are several bus stops in between so you can also just take some stages of the entire trail.

Information about bus time tables at

Getting there

The theme trail Wild Waters starts with the Talbachklamm gorge in Schladming. The best option for parking is the parking garage at the Planai gondola (Planai stadion). From there you follow the trail signs towards Talbachklamm (passing by the white, Protestant church).

To reach the parking garage at Planai gondola you take exit "Schladming-Ost" from highway B320 at the congress center and follow the signage to the Planai gondola.


Parking is available at Kraiter car park (parking fee) and in the parking garage at Planai gondola.


47.388312, 13.688092
47°23'17.9"N 13°41'17.1"E
33T 400986 5249151
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

  • Magazine "Wild Waters" - available at the tourist office Schladming.
  • Tourist map "Hiking - Running - Walking", 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

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Jack Mountain
August 26, 2017 · Community
When did you do this route? July 11, 2017
Helen Lindenberg
July 14, 2017 · Community
Dies ist die perfekte Tour für einen Regenerationstag. Man hat anfangs kaum Steigung und sammelt herrliche Eindrücke des Untertals. Immer begleitet vom Wasser. Die Tour kann man auch gut mit Kinderwagen und nicht ganz so trittsicheren Wanderern machen. Wir haben den Aufstieg zum Riesachsee nicht gemacht (dadurch auch nur 250 Höhenmeter). Das wäre dann schon ziemlich anstrengend nach 4h den Aufstieg zu machen. An See Alm Wir sind dann in der Alm an dem Riesachfall eingekehrt. Diese ist schon ziemlich touristisch, weil viele dort mit dem Auto hinfahren und eine kleine halbstündige Tour zum Wasserfall machen.
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+ 15

16.6 km
5:03 h
648 m
329 m
Highest point
1,370 m
Lowest point
756 m
Public-transport-friendly Refreshment stops available Multi-stage route Flora Fauna Family-friendly Insider tip Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights


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