Enjoyable tour with wonderful scenery galore
A hike to the top of the Spielberg (elev. 1428) in the Osterhorn Group promises pure enjoyment and wonderful scenery. If you wish, you can continue your hike to the Wieserhörndl and marvel at the astonishing views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Traditional huts serving typical foods of the hill country invite you kick back, relax and savor every moment.
Awaiting you on the Spielbergalm…
A wonderful hiking experience
On this early summer’s day, by early morning the sun already burns brightly in the sky above. Because I really enjoy walking, I leave my car on the car park in the town center of Gaissau and make my way up the narrow road which leads to the Spielbergalm. My path takes me past freshly mown meadows, quaint farmhouses and linden trees heavy with blossoms. The green mountainsides of the Schmittenstein, directly across from the narrow road, vie with the blue skies for my attention.
After roughly two kilometers, the clearly marked hiking path branches off into the cool forest. Now, the trail serpentines steeply uphill. Soon I come to the line of the lifts that serve the Gaissau-Hintersee ski area. Here, I walk across sunny alpine meadows as far as the Spielbergalm. Sheep and lambs lie lazily in the nearby forest, dozing. One of them greets me with a languid bleat, with the rest of the flock soon chiming in. The “conversation” pleases me immensely. But with little delay, I continue my hike, since my goal is the summit of the Spielberg (1428 meters) followed by the nearby Wieserhörndl (1567 m).
After an approximately two-and-a-half-hour hike with numerous brief stops, I do indeed reach the Spielbergalm and a number of mountain huts. Here, the cows and their calves have made themselves comfortable in the shade of a spruce forest. Right next to the forest, a forestry lane leads to an open area of alpine pastures. I continue hiking along the lane to the Spielberg chapel. After that, a path branches off across a meadow strewn with wildflowers and leads me to the top of the Spielberg. Once there, I can truly enjoy the beautiful views, the silence, and the apple I brought with me. Soon, a few mosquitos and fat bluebottles begin swarming around me. Seemingly quite eager to snack on my blood. Lucky I brought along a small bottle of insect spray.
And the adventure continues!
After taking a short rest, I continue my hike. From the summit cross, a hiking path leads through forest to the Wieserhörndl. Soon I come to the lift line and a meadow. Blooming here are blue gentian, yellow vetch, and pinky-purple orchids. Butterflies flutter through the air and bees buzz. Time and again, I stop walking and enjoy the scenery. I make it to the summit in about one hour. Here, I allow myself a well-earned rest, drink a few hearty gulps of water, and relish the magnificent 360° views. Mountains including the Dachstein massif, the Tennengebirge and the Schmittenstein are matched in their beauty only by the sky above. Meanwhile, the Salzach River Valley, the Flachgau and neighboring Bavaria lie there at my feet.
A refreshment break is simply a “must”!
Those hikers who are in really good shape might well continue even farther, to the Ochsenalm and the Eibleck (1518 m). Mountain huts invite you to kick back and relax for a while. The paths are far from challenging, making them good for families – even with small children. On the way back, I really look forward to visiting one of the huts on the Spielbergalm. What I love about this tour in particular is the tranquility, the scenery and the clearly marked hiking paths of this broad expanse of alpine pastures. Regional specialties such as the Brettljause (a hearty selection of hill-farm products served on a wooden board), Pofesen (a regional version of French toast) and Kaiserschmarren (sugared pancake strips mixed with raisins) are served at various locations including the Latschenalm and Spielbergalm.
In the area of the Spielbergalm, you will find four mountain huts that welcome passersby. This quiet oasis is a beautiful destination for winter sports fans and summer excursioners. In autumn, too, when the valley fog becomes more widespread, hikers hungry for sunshine are irresistibly drawn to this part of the Osterhorn Group.
The child-friendly variant:
If you don’t want to overdo the walking thing, you can always drive up the toll road which leads to the Spielberg.
Directions: Drive from Hallein in the direction of Wiestal. When you reach the same elevation as the Wiestal reservoir, make a right towards Gaissau. 4 kilometers later, the single-lane road to the Spielberg branches off. As mentioned, in the upper section it becomes a toll road. Currently (2022) the toll is 4 euros.
Important: You will need to pay the toll with coins, no change is given. At the end of the road, you will come to a big parking area. From there, it is not much farther to the huts on the Spielbergalm.
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