Hiking route recommended route Stage 14

Salzburger Almenweg - Stage 14: Gernkogel/St. Johann – Kleinarl

Hiking route · Salzburger Sportwelt
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  • Kitzstein (Gabel), 2.037 m
    Kitzstein (Gabel), 2.037 m
    Photo: Tourismusverband Großarltal, Tourismusverband Großarltal
Across two peaks into the magically beautiful Kleinarl Valley
Distance 12.6 km
4:45 h
535 m
1,306 m
2,028 m
995 m
The stage from the Gernkogel in St. Johann to Kleinarl via the 2,037 metre high Kitzstein ("Fork"). The short, but quite demanding ascent requires a bit sure-footedness and a head for heights. For those who don’t dare to do this, the variant 13b from the day before is recommended. All hikers enjoy fantastic views on today's stage, because in addition to the Kitzsteingabel a second two-thousander can be conquered at the Penkkopf. The panorama on Wagrain´s and Kleinarl's two local mountains stretches from the Tennengebirge to the Dachstein to the Grossglockner – all of which are now well known, but again from a slightly different perspective. On the other side of the Kleinarl valley you can see the Ennskraxn (2,410 m), the Faulkogel (2,654 m) and the Rothorn (2,522 m). Tomorrow's stage will continue at the foot of these peaks towards Wagrain and Flachau. For today’s refreshment in between, you should pack yourself a small snack to take along.


Off the beaten track 

The Geisterberg in the St. Johann Alpendorf and Wagrainis Grafenberg in Wagrain, which are near today's stage start, are part of the Salzburg adventure mountains that can be reached with the Salzburg summer cable cars. With numerous play and adventure stations, they invite families to discover the mountains with lots of fun, action and adventure. St. Johann in Salzburg and Wagrain-Kleinarl belong to the Salzburg Sports World, as do the villages of Flachau, Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Radstadt, Filzmoos and Eben, which will all be hiked through in the next few days. They form the heart of Ski amadé in winter.


Along the way

Before you go from the Gernkogel to the summit of the Kitzstein you come to the pre-peak, where the so-called "cosmic cross" - a real power place – is situated. The cosmic cross is a tree that has grown around this area, has been processed and has been set up at the pre-peak like a summit cross. It forms 3 crosses in total: one through the two main branches, another in a higher branch at the top and a third was laid out on the ground with stones. The 12 wooden stakes around it stand for the 12 apostles.


Alpine Trail Refreshment 

The Kleinarler Hütte is wonderfully nestled between Penkkopf and Gründegg. Alois Langegger is the hut owner with heart and soul, and always has a few stories in store. It is worth stopping for a bite to eat, because in addition to cold snacks, there are also hot dishes that are real hut classics. For example, Kaspressknödelsuppe or Kaiserschmarrn with plum roast. In summer 2022, the hut will be closed for rebuilding and the alternative is the Kurzeggalm.

Author’s recommendation

On the descent from the Kleinarler Hut, the nature trail "In the footsteps of milk and cheese" leads from the Hirschleitenhof to Kleinarl into the valley. At numerous stations you will learn interesting background information about the dairy industry. This nature trail is a great addition to the "Organic from the Valley" initiative, which brings together committed organic pioneers whose sustainable produce is available in the farm shops.
Profile picture of Tourismusverband St. Johann
Tourismusverband St. Johann
Update: May 03, 2023
Highest point
2,028 m
Lowest point
995 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 1.93%Forested/wild trail 17.61%Path 78.63%Road 1.61%Unknown 0.20%
0.2 km
Forested/wild trail
2.2 km
9.9 km
0.2 km
0 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Maurachalm, 1.620 m
Karseggalm, 1.603 m

Safety information

To make sure your day in the mountains is an unforgettable experience, here you can find some tips to keep you safe in the mountains.

Tips and hints

For further information about the Salzburger Almenweg click here.


Gernkogel (1,797 m) (1,782 m)
47.307591, 13.237919
47°18'27.3"N 13°14'16.5"E
33T 366809 5240852


Kleinarl (1,014 m)

Turn-by-turn directions

From the Gernkogel, the Salzburger Almenweg leads a short distance downhill in the direction of the Haibenalm. Below the Sonntagskogel reservoir, you reach to a bit steeper trail that leads to the 1,849-meter Sonntagskogel: The climb is worth it, as the summit is considered one of the most beautiful panoramic mountains in St. Johann. From here, the descent takes place via a trail in the direction of Wagrain. The path runs below the Grindkogel and a bit above the unmanaged Auhofalm to the saddle, after which it continues in a southerly direction.


The 2,037-meter-high summit of the Kitzstein, also called "Gabel", is the northernmost border mountain between the Grossarltal and the Kleinarltal: the rather steep climb first leads to the pre-peak with a "cosmic cross" - a real power spot. Once the long ridge of the Kitzstein is reached after a about 3 hours of walking, the most strenuous part of this stage is done.


The Salzburger Almenweg leads shortly after the summit of the Kitzstein along its western flank. On this short section, a bit head for heights, surefootedness and concentration are required. After this short trail passage of about 50 meters, the trail goes downhill in the direction of Kleinarl. At a fork, the trail runs to the right and after another 1.5 kilometres it forks again. Ambitious hikers march over the summit of the Penkkopf (2,011 m) and further downhill to the Kleinarler Hütte. Alternatively, there is a flat hiking trail to the left of the fork. The walking time to the Kleinarler Hütte (1,756 m) or to the Kurzeggalm (1,709 m) remains relatively easy on both variants, whereby on the second variant, you only save a few metres of altitude on the ascent and descent. The Kleinarler Hütte will be rebuilt in summer 2022, and from summer 2023 it invites you to stop and spend the night again. At the fork in the road you can also descend as an alternative to the managed Kurzeggalm.

From here, the Alpine Trail leads steadily downhill to Kleinarl, where you cover 740 metres of altitude on the descent. For the last part from the Hirschleitenhof, the themed trail "In the footsteps of milk and cheese" is an option.

The idyllically situated Kleinarl has retained its original character as a small village in the mountains. Here, you will find numerous family-run accommodation options, from hotels to B&Bs as well as inns and restaurants for an invigorating dinner.


Refreshment and accommodation options 

Haibenalm (1,650 m), June to September, T. +43 664 2669807 or +43 664 5883732 refresh. / accomm. / Alpine summer hut

Buchauhütte (1,750 m), June to end of October (as Gondelbahn Alpendorf), T.+43 664 2801508 refresh. 

Gernkogelalm (1,750 m), June to end of October (as Gondelbahn Alpendorf), T. +43 664 2669807 refresh.

Kleinarler Hütte, (1,756 m), beginning of June to end of September, T.+43 664 3709977 refresh. / accomm.

Kurzeggalm, (1,709 m), mid-June to late September, T +43 664 3566749  refresh.

Public transport

St. Johann is an important station on the Salzburg to Pongau line. Both local and long-distance trains stop here, and the station is close to the city centre. On foot it takes about 50 minutes from the train station and the centre of St. Johann to the valley station of the Alpendorf cable car, approx. 4 km. The public bus number 540 runs daily between the centre and the valley station.



If you arrive by car, you can park in St. Johann at the Park& Ride car park directly at the train station for free.


47.307591, 13.237919
47°18'27.3"N 13°14'16.5"E
33T 366809 5240852
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Hier finden Sie alles rund um den passenden Wanderschuh, die perfekte Ausrüstung und die richtige Geh-Technik.

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12.6 km
4:45 h
535 m
1,306 m
Highest point
2,028 m
Lowest point
995 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available


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