Water’s journey begins. After the eternal ice on the glacier and firn snow fields in the Hohe Tauern are melted by the sun, and the mountain lakes become full, the water forges a path into the valley. In so doing it overcomes many a steep ridge and edges in the terrain, with a breath-taking speed, becoming thundering waterfalls that are worth visiting at any time of year.
There are 26 significant waterfalls …
… in the Hohe Tauern National Park region. And there are lots of smaller, less significant ones to discover too. The WILD WATER exerts a mysterious magnetic power on people. We like to feel the energy with which the water forges a path through the rock. To say nothing of the calming effect of a waterfall. Then there are the health aspects of the microscopically small water droplets and their healthy effect on our respiratory tract.
Gössnitzfall – the power of water
Direct in Heiligenblut, situated on the shaded side, a 100m high rock face towers. This cliff face through a narrow groove is intertwined with a legend – a giant is said to have beaten his way through it with a big axe. The truth is that the Gößnitzbach forged a path through the indentation, falling with all its power down a 70 metre waterfall into the valley. An impressive natural spectacle which is especially fantastic to witness from the viewing platform and from the educational nature trail.
The Jungfernsprung – the power of myth
“A maiden fleeing from the devil …” When a story starts like this, it can only be good. At any rate, the feeling maiden reached a precipice and jumped, OF COURSE not to her death, rather, she was carried by angels and survived, while the devil looked on from the wash. Today at that point the water masses of Zopenitzenbach crash down 130 metres into the valley, creating the breath-taking “Jungfernsprung”. A water wonder path – fantastic views included.
At the Gartl waterfall – enjoy a healthy deep breath
The Gartl waterfall in Großkirchheim is not as high or as impressive by far than its well-known neighbour in Heiligenblut, yet it is a visitor magnet. The reason for this is its health-promoting effect. The special microclimate of finely atomised, electrically charged water droplets has a positive effect on stress and the burn-out symptoms. By a third visit close to the Gartl waterfall subjective well-being is increased. Give it a go!
The Rieken waterfall – hidden natural spectacle
From Oberkolbnitz, take a small mountain road to the car park of the Zandlacher Hütte. Along a forest road, you walk through lush mountain forests along the Riekenbach stream. Over a steep terrain step with the Grübelwand (2,517 m) opposite, you follow a more demanding passage over the so-called Geißrücken. However, quite rewarding, as the remarkable Rieken waterfall can be seen from close up here!
Conclusion: our TOP waterfalls:
• Gößnitzfall educational nature trail: easy hike; walking time around 2 hours
• Water Wonder Trail Jungfernsprung: easy to negotiate, ca. 1 ½ hours
• Gartl waterfall: easy hike, less strenuous, ca. 1 hour
• Rieken waterfall: moderately difficult hike, ca. 5 hours
• Rainbow waterfall: moderately difficult hike through the Pirknerklamm gorge past the waterfall, walking time approx. 2.5 hours