1.1 The Krimml waterfalls
The source of the falls is the creek Krimmler Ache, it starts at the end of the Krimml Achental valley. At first it flows gently, over 20 kilometers, through flat alpine pastures. At the end of the valley, the river falls down the 3 steps of the waterfall like a roaring glacier stream. The total flow area of the Krimmler Ache measures 110,7 km², of which 12% is glaciated.
Over the waterfall, with a total height of 380 meters (140–100–140), an average of 5.6 m3 per second water falls into the valley. After the falls, the Krimmler ache flows into the Salzach, and via the Inn and the Danube into the Black Sea.
1.2 The trail along the falls
The history of the trail along the falls goes back to 1835, when Ignaz von Kürsinger (from the nearby town of Mittersill) built a a stairway on the left bank of the creek Krimmler ache to the lowest fall, so the tourists could see the falls without difficulty. In 1879, the Austrian Alpine Association (in german ÖAV) improved the road by creating accessible panoramic views. A description of the platforms along the trail can be found here. The platform “Staubige reib” is the closest to the waterfall, here is the greatest chance of a water shower.
Prices: Adults €4, children (6-15 years) €1. This money is used to repair and maintain the waterfall trail and the toilets (also available for disabled people), for nature conservation, for environmental measures and environmental education, and for maintaining the information center.
1.3 The Krimmler Tauernhaus
The trail ends at the Krimmler Tauernhaus. The history of this hut goes back to 1389. Today, the hut is managed by Friedl Geisler, her great-grandfather bought it in 1906.
The hut is situated at a beautiful location in the middle of the Krimmler Achental valley. It is surrounded by alpine meadows, dark pine forests and mighty mountains.
2. The hiking trail
2.1 Summary of the hiking trail
From the parking lot it is a 10-minutes walk to the lower waterfall. Along the way you pass the cash desk (in the office of the OAV Warnsdorf Krimml), from here the GPS of the trail starts on the map.
Up to the Kürsingerplatz (the platform overlooking the lower waterfall), the path is adapted for the disabled. Furthermore, the waterfall path, laid out in serpentines, and equipped with platforms with a view, leads to the upper waterfall (walking time approx. 1.15 hours) and further to the Krimmler Achental and the Tauernhaus. Along the way you can enjoy a spectacular view of the thundering bodies of water.
If you don’t want to go back over the same trail, or you have enough time and endurance to continue walking, you can take the Krimml Waterfall Path. After the top waterfall you cross the bridge end then continue walking over the “Alter Tauernweg”. Now the trail is a round trip of almost 7 kilometers.
2.2 Starting point
The trail starts at the cash desk of the Austrian Alpine club (ÖAV), in Krimml, in the federal state of Salzburg, in Austria.
How to get there:
By car: From Wenns, drive out of the Pitztal through Arzl and Imst. In Imst, you take the highway A12 (direction Innsbrück), this is a toll road. Take exit Zillertal to the B181 (Achenseestraβe). Follow the B169 and B165 and the Gerlosstraβe to Krimml.
Before you park your car, you can drive to the view point which is marked in the first map. From here, you have a total overview of the entire waterfall
2.3 Turn-by-turn directions
The lowest waterfall can be reached on foot from the parking area in just 10-15 minutes. The first platform is called the Kürsingerplatz. You follow the Krimmler Wasserfallweg (road 519), this is a 4 km trail built by the Austrian Alpine Association (in German ÖAV). You cross the curves and the viewpoints of the three waterfalls.
On the flat part between the middle and the upper waterfall, you can take a break at the Gasthof Schönangerl. After the highest waterfall, you reach the beautiful nature area of the Achental Valley (situated in the Hohe Tauern National Park). On green alpine meadows you will meet cows, sheep, horses and goats of local farmers.
Via hiking trail no. 519, parallel to the stream Krimmler Ache, you will pass traditional alpine huts such as the Veiten Alm (1,578m), Hölzlahner Alm (1,583m) and Sölln Alm (1,560m). Taste the local products here, made from milk and meat of the grazing cattle.
Over a small bridge the tour ends at the destination, the Krimmler Tauernhaus.
For people used to heights it takes 7 hours to reach the Krimmler Tauernhaus. When enjoying the scenery more relaxed, taking photos etc. it will take around 8 hours.
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