Grawa Waterfall, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer
Grawa Waterfall, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer

Through the Mist of Water: The Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Tirol

Cool in summer, sculptural in winter, wreathed in myths and fringed with plants, there’s something truly magical about Tirol’s waterfalls. Tumbling over cliffs and down steep-sided gorges, they add a delightful extra dimension to walks and hikes.

Being close to a waterfall promises not only refreshing coolness on hot summer days, it also has a proven calming effect. Studies have even shown that it can help alleviate the symptoms of allergies and asthma, which is why a visit to one of Tirol’s many waterfalls is highly recommended. Many are conveniently accessible via hiking trails, walkways and bridges. Some even give the impression of being a gateway to another world. Nine of Tirol’s most beautiful waterfalls are listed here.

1 · The highest: 159 metre high Stuibenfall

Stuibenfall in Umhausen, © Tirol Werbung/Bernhard Aichner

No other waterfall in Tirol has a higher vertical drop than the Stuibenfall near Umhausen in Ötztal, where up to 2,000 litres of water flow over its rocky crest every single minute. This natural spectacle owes its name, Stäuben (Stuiben), to the water spray and is easily accessible via various hiking trails. The Stuibenfall is easily accessible by means of a trail and step construction that was built in 2016. Hikers can reach the base of the waterfall in Niederthai via circa 700 steps and an exposed, 80-metre long suspension bridge, which passes viewing platforms and the raging waters. From May to October, the Stuibenfall is floodlit every Wednesday evening until midnight – a real highlight.

The Stuibenfall can be accessed on foot from Ötzi-Dorf (Am Tauferberg 8, 6441 Umhausen) in around half an hour.

2 · The widest: Grawa Waterfall in Stubaital

Grawa Waterfall in Stubaital Valley, © TVB Stubai Tirol/Andre Schönherr

Measuring 85 metres in breadth, the Grawa-Wasserfall in upper Stubaital is the widest in the entire eastern Alps. Fed by a number of glacial streams, the Sulzaubach River shoots over a majestic rocky ledge at a total height of 180 metres. This impressive scene, which can be admired from viewing platforms at the top and bottom, is part of the „WildeWasserWeg – Wild Water Trail“. The hiking tour can be completed in less than two hours, is suitable for beginners and begins at the Tschangelair Alm.

Starting point for hikers: Tschangelair Alm, Dorf 12, 6167 Neustift

3 · For climbers: Schleier Waterfall at Wilden Kaiser

Schleier Waterfall at Wilder Kaiser, © Tirol Werbung/Jens Schwarz

Sport climbers simply call it the „Schleier“ (the veil). Located in Going at the Wilden Kaiser Mountains, the Schleier Waterfall is a popular place of special natural interest, especially for experienced climbers. 60 metre high sheer rock faces flank both sides of the waterfall. They are part of a formation of 150 climbing routes, including some of the most challenging in Europe. Hikers can also access the waterfall, for example, from the free car park at Hüttling/Aschau in around 45 minutes. The route is moderately challenging.

Starting point for hikers: Car park at Hüttling/Aschau, access via 6353 Going am Wilden Kaiser, sub-district of Prama

4 · For seasoned hikers: Sintersbacher Waterfall at Jochberg

Sintersbacher Waterfall at Jochberg, © Kitzbühel Tourismus

This impressive natural spectacle can be admired at an altitude of 1,298 metres: Not far from Jochberg, the Sintersbach River plunges down a drop of 85 metres. A wonderful place, where one can relax and replenish flagging energy levels. Something many walkers may be in need of after this moderately difficult 9 kilometre hike from Jochberg, which encompasses an overall uphill climb of 648 altitude metres. Walkers should plan on taking around 4 hours to complete this hike.

Starting point for hikers: Schradler car park, 6373 Jochberg, an ascent to the Wildalm is recommended.

5 · The mystical one: Lötzer Waterfall at Zammer Lochputz

Lötzer Waterfall at Zammer Lochputz, © Archiv TVB TirolWest, Erich Auer

Thundering water masses churn beneath visitor’s feet. Over centuries, the raging waters have eroded a deep swathe through the rock and created a mystical gorge, the Zammer Lochputz. This place of legend, dominated by angular rock formations, is accessible via the Wasser-Erlebnis-Steig (Water Adventure Trail), which leads over well maintained walkways and tunnels to the 30 metre high Lötzer Waterfall. It is connected to the oldest hydro-electric power plant in Tirol. Especially nice: Night walks through the gorge can be enjoyed midsummer, as it is floodlit.

Zammer Lochputz, Hauptstraße 53, 6511 Zams

6 · In the basin: The Waterfalls at Hintertux

The Waterfalls at Hintertux, © TVB Tux-Finkenberg

Beautiful outlooks and insights are provided by the 4 kilometre long “Wasserfallweg – Waterfall Trail” in Hintertux. Surrounded by the mountains of Zillertal, hikers will be amazed at what the interaction of water and rock can create at 1,500 metres above sea level: Caves, canyons and natural rock bridges. These can be seen in particular at the Kesselfall Waterfall, named after a deep rock basin that has been created over time by the raging waters. The trail also leads past the powerful Schraubenfall Waterfall, whose spray imparts welcome coolness on warm summer days. On the moderately challenging descent, walkers will also see the „Walfischmaul – Whale Mouth“, a large, stone boulder which has split naturally into a whale-like form.

Starting point for hikers: 6294 Hintertux, southern outskirts of the village

7 · For romantics: The Wolfsklamm Gorge at Stans

The Wolfsklamm Gorge at Stans, © Tirol Werbung/Bernhard Aichner

Many regard it as the most beautiful of its kind on the Alps: the Wolfsklamm Gorge at Stans in Karwendel. Since 1901, this ruggedly romantic gorge has been accessible by means of wooden walkways. Over the years, the Stanser Bach River has carved its way through the Dolomite rock and cascades down to the depths over a myriad of waterfalls, occasionally slowing down to linger for a moment in one of the many emerald green pools. The walk through the gorge and up to St. Georgenberg Sanctuary, the oldest pilgrimage monastery in Tirol, takes around one hour. Just before you get there, the trail takes you over the „Hohe Brücke – High Bridge“, whose stone arches date back to 1497 and were once part of the oldest bridge in Tirol.

„Wolfsklamm car park, St. Georgenberg“, 6135 Stans. The Wolfsklamm Gorge is open from May to November. The admission fee costs Euro 5 Euro.

8 · For bird lovers: The Schleier Waterfall in Zillertal

© Wörgötter & Friends

The circular trail that leads to the Schleier Waterfall in Hart im Zillertal is no ordinary route. It is designed in the form of a bird trail and introduces walkers to over 40 native bird species, ranging from the common blackbird to the “Zilp-Zalp”. With a 91 metre drop, it is also the highest waterfall in the Zillertal Valley. Tables and benches offer a welcome place to rest. This round walk can be completed in around two and a half hours.

The nature trail begins around 300 metres south of the parish church, 6265 Hart im Zillertal.

9 · The Place of Strength: Bad Häring Waterfall

Bad Häring Waterfall, © Lolin

Nestled into the dense forests of Bad Häring, this small waterfall is one of the most beautiful places in Kufsteinerland, with tree-lined gorges and an abundance of tumbling water. The sound of water rushing, gurgling and dripping over stone fills the ears. This is a place of strength, power and energy. A short 30-minute walk takes you a under a green canopy of deciduous trees with the creek rushing beside. The waterfall is a good place to take some quiet time listening to nature and absorbing the wonderful scenery. Plus, it’s wonderful to take off your boots and cool off on a hot summer’s day here. You can return to the trailhead along the fitness trail with Kneipp ablution pool.

Trailhead is the Spa Resort of Bad Häring. Follow the village road to Osterndorf until you reach the fork behind Gasthaus “Bierhäusl” Inn. From there, the trail to the waterfall is signed and waymarked.


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