Long-Distance Hiking recommended route Stage 13

Salzburger Almenweg - Stage 13: Loosbühelalm - Gernkogel/St. Johann

· 1 review · Long-Distance Hiking · Großarltal
Responsible for this content
Salzburger Almenweg Verified partner 
  • Karseggalm
    Photo: Tourismusverband Großarltal, Salzburger Almenweg
Panoramic alpine hike with a Glockner view
Distance 19.9 km
6:50 h
641 m
626 m
1,906 m
1,478 m
At 3,789 metres, the Großglockner is not only the highest mountain in Austria, but also a glacier experience full of outstanding radiance and magic. It forms the centre of the Hohe Tauern National Park and even from the Salzburger Almenweg you can see the striking summit. Today’s stage 13 offers a breathtaking view with Austria’s tallest paeak as a magnificent and ever-present sight. Just like the numerous other impressions such as smoke that rises curling from the chimneys of the alpine huts and summit crosses that stand out like miniatures in the sky. Filigree woolly grass, whose fine stems are dishevelled by the wind and alpacas that greet hikers curiously. With hut doors decorated with alpine roses and sour cheese with a unique aroma. Bleating goats and cows chewing again and again. This more than six hours long high-altitude hike through the north-eastern part of the Grossarltal is idyllic, not particularly strenuous, and a beautiful farewell gift. Because, after almost four days you leave the "Valley of the Alpine Pastures" and the path continues eastwards.


Along the trail

Small, deep black moor lakes can be found again and again in the mountains of Salzburg's Pongau region. Hikers know, for example, the raised bog on the Gerzkopf in Eben, the "Himmelsteiche" (heavenly ponds) on the Lackenalmen in Altenmarkt or the Trögseen Lakes in the Grossarltal. These 15 to 20 "black lakes" are distributed between the two ridges of the Grundgg. Around the moor lakes, fauna and flora unfold an extraordinary diversity with alpine roses, anemones, gentian, woolly grass and rare dragonflies. This unique natural landscape is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful parts of the entire Grossarltal.


Alpine Trail Refreshment 

The 400 year old Karseggalm is the oldest hut in the Grossarltal and that's exactly what it looks like. A mighty Elder bush flanks the entrance decorated with alpine roses, smoke comes out of the open door and inside a fire flickers. An open fireplace with soot blackened timber, two kettles, one filled with cheese and the other with water, and the mashed clay soil are reminiscent of bygone times. On the beams above the fire, a Großarl speciality is maturing which is only produced here - the kneaded cheese, which is served like finely grated Parmesan with a Ploughman’s board or cheese snacks. Every Thursday, hikers can look over the dairywoman’s shoulders as she makes the cheese. 


Almenweg Tip

The centuries-old Weißalm has been carefully restored: On the original, open fireplace, sour cheese was once produced for generations, which is made directly on the alp or on the farm, along with sausage, bacon, smoked beef, bread, butter and various schnapps. The affectionate equipment of the hut with old tools reminds of long past days and the laborious work in the mountains. In a showcase there is an amazing collection of rock crystals, which were found not far from the hut.

Author’s recommendation

Companionship has always played an important role on the alpine pastures, where people liked to sing, make music and taste Schnapps. Just like on the Unterwandalm and on the Maurachalm. Sometimes here, the accordion is unpacked or a voice rises to a joyful yodel, alpine song or whoopee.


The 400 year old Karseggalm is the oldest hut in the Grossarltal. An open fireplace with soot blackened timber, two kettles, one filled with cheese and the other with water, and the mashed clay soil are reminiscent of bygone times. On the beams above the fire, a Großarl speciality is maturing which is only produced here - the kneaded cheese, which is served like finely grated Parmesan with a Ploughman’s board or cheese snacks. Every Thursday, hikers can look over the dairywoman’s shoulders as she makes the cheese.

Profile picture of Tourismusverband Großarltal
Tourismusverband Großarltal
Update: May 15, 2023
Highest point
Kartörl, 1,906 m
Lowest point
1,478 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 0.15%Dirt road 39.19%Forested/wild trail 15.28%Path 45.35%
0 km
Dirt road
7.8 km
Forested/wild trail
3 km
9 km
Show elevation profile

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.


Loosbühelalm (1,769 m), Großarl (1,767 m)
47.228451, 13.287741
47°13'42.4"N 13°17'15.9"E
33T 370381 5231973


Gernkogel (1.787 m), St. Johann in Salzburg

Turn-by-turn directions

Starting from Loosbühelalm, follow the path that descends slightly and widens soon after. After approximately 30 minutes, you will arrive at Weißalm. From there, it takes about 30 minutes to reach Ellmaualm (1794 m). This high up alpine pasture offers hikers the opportunity to indulge in delicious homemade alpine delicacies.


Starting from the Ellmaualm, the trail goes to the unmanaged Henerbichlalm and from there uphill to the 1,906 metre high Kartörl, the highest point of today's stage. From the ridge, you can see a summit cross a little off the main path. From this it is only a few minutes over to the "troughs". The detour of about a quarter of an hour to the moor lakes is totally worthwhile.


Back on the Salzburger Almenweg, it goes past the Karalm steadily downhill to the Spatalm and from here at the same altitude to the Kleinwildalm, all three of which are unmanaged. After the Kleinwildalm, the trail now leads at an almost constant altitude to the managed Großwildalm, from which two trail variants open up. Either you continue to follow the goods path downhill and take the path to the Karseggalm on the right at the third serpentine or, and this is our tip, you follow the idyllic trail down from the Großwildalm in the direction of Breitenebenalm. After just under an hour you reach a fork in the road and follow the trail up to the Karseggalm, which leads first through a beautiful spruce high forest and then over wide alpine pastures. On the other hand, if you want to descend to the Breitebenalm, you have to take a small detour of a quarter of an hour.


The approximately 400-year-old Karseggalm is one of the oldest huts in the valley. From here, you can reach the Unterwandalm in approx. 20 minutes and in about another hour’s walk to the unmanaged Muggenfeldalm and on to the Maurachalm, the northernmost alpine pasture of the Grossarl Valley.


You start your hike by following a trail at a constant altitude for a longer time until the Gerkogel, which is today destination, comes into view. On the way you will descend briefly towards the west and can take a detour to the picturesque Sonntagskogel reservoir. As you go further down, you can already spot the Haibenalm, which is the first place of accommodation for today’s stage. In case it’s fully occupied, the Bauchhütte is a viable alternative.

From the Haibenalm you hike slightly uphill through the forested crest of the Gernkogel, which is known as the "Geisterberg" From this adventure mountain, you can already see the Gernkogelalm. To reach the Buchauhütte, the trail continues downhill along the forest road to Alpendorf in St.Johann, where you can spend the night.


Variant 13a with descent to St. Johann or Wagrain:

If you prefer to spend the night in the valley, take the cable car to St. Johann or to Wagrain. From the Sonntagskogel, the descent to the mountain station of the Grafenbergbahn (Wagrain) goes south, where at the junction, follow the path to the right towards the mountain station. The mountain station of the Alpendorf cable car to St. Johann is about 45 minutes' walk below the Gernkogel. Please note the opening hours of the cable cars. The next day you can reach the stage start again with the cable car.


Variant 14b with stage shortcut directly to Kleinarl:

On tomorrow's stage 15, there will be a short, black section on the Kitzstein ("fork"), which requires a bit sure-footedness and a head for heights. For those that don't dare to do this, you can combine stages 14 and 15 and hike to Kleinarl today. This variant leads from the Karseggalm over the Almsteig (Path no. 72) up to the unmanaged Karsegg-Hochalm and on to the ridge. The descent leads over the hiking trail No. 712 to the Kleinarler Hut, which can be reached in a good 1.5 hours on foot, and on to the stage finish at Kleinarl (see stage 15 description).


Refreshment and accommodation options

Weißalm (1.724 m), (after approx. ½ hour) Mid-June to mid-October, Tel.: 06414/411 or 0664/437 80 20 refresh. / accomm.

, T. +43 6414 411 oder +43 664 437 80 20 E/Ü

Ellmaualm (1.794 m), (after approx. 1 hour) mid of June to the end of October, T. +43 664 455 0411 E/Ü/Almsommerhütte

Großwildalm (1,787 m), (after approx. 3 hours) July to the end of August, Tel.: +43 6414 333 or T. +43 650 22 400 90 refresh.

Breitebenalm (1,420), (after approx. 4 hours) beginning of May to end of October, Tel.: (Gastronomy) +43 6414 81445, Tel.: (accommodation) +43 676 411 6787 refresh. / accomm. / Alpine summer hut

Karseggalm (1,603 m), (after approx. 4 hours) end of June to end of October, Tel.: +43 664 915 07 17 or +43 664 9962188 refresh. / Alpine summer hut

Unterwandalm (1,600 m), (after approx. 4.5 hours) mid-June to early October, Tel.: +43 664 2412908 or +43 664 453 64 38 refresh. / accomm. / Alpine summer hut

Maurachalm (1,620 m), (after approx. 6 hours) Early June to mid-October, Tel.: +43 6414 293 refresh. / Alpine summer hut

Haibenalm (1,650 m), (after approx. 6.25 hours) June to mid- September, Tel.: +43 664 266 98 07 or +43 664 588 37 32 refresh. / accomm. / Alpine summer hut

Buchauhütte (1,750 m), (after approx. 6.5 hours), June to October (as Gondelbahn Alpendorf), Tel.: +43 664 2801508 refresh. 

Gernkogelalm (1,750 m), (after approx. 6.5 hours) June to October (as Gondelbahn Alpendorf), Tel.: +43 664 2669807 refresh.

Public transport

By public transport, Großarl is best reached via the train station at St. Johann in Salzburg. From here, the Postbus line 541 leads to the town. The use of the Ellmautal hiking bus is possible with a valid guest card for € 1 Euro per person, per trip.


If you arrive by car, you can park it free of charge in the town centre parking lot near the ENI Petrol Station or at the car park Grundlehen in Ellmautal for several days. Please leave the "Salzburger Almenweg parking disc" from the brochure in your parked car!


47.228451, 13.287741
47°13'42.4"N 13°17'15.9"E
33T 370381 5231973
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

hiking map tappeiner nr. 311
Salzburger Almenweg hiking map


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

Questions and answers

Ask the first question

Would you like to the ask the author a question?


Chris Betz
July 29, 2017 · Community
Etappe wurde in zwei Hälften geteilt und mit der Etappe 16 verbunden. Abwechslungsreich und sehr schön.
Show more
Saturday, 29. July 2017, 11:03
Photo: Chris Betz, Community

Photos from others

19.9 km
6:50 h
641 m
626 m
Highest point
1,906 m
Lowest point
1,478 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Geological highlights Flora Fauna Insider tip


  • Content
  • Show images Hide images
Maps and trails
  • 19 Waypoints
  • 19 Waypoints
Distance  km
Duration : h
Ascent  m
Descent  m
Highest point  m
Lowest point  m
Push the arrows to change the view