8 snowshoe tour recommendations in the Gastein Valley
The Gastein Valley - a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts: whether on skis or snowboard, on the piste or the cross-country ski trail, the snow-covered valley can be explored and experienced in a variety of ways! However, one of the best ways to get to know the snow-covered landscape is definitely snowshoeing.
Away from the busy lifts and pistes, small paths and trails wind their way through snow-covered forests, across wintry rivers, along quiet icy lakes to high mountain peaks and breathtaking viewpoints. A world of its own just waiting to be explored!
Exploring the alpine mountains is made possible by the use of modern snowshoes, which not only prevent you from sinking deep into the powder snow, but are also perfectly designed for the challenging terrain thanks to the pointed steel pins on the underside of the shoe. These dig firmly into the snow-covered ground with every step and provide a secure and firm grip even on heavily icy passages.
The Gastein Valley offers a variety of snowshoe hikes for every level of difficulty, whether you are a beginner taking your first steps in the snow or an experienced mountaineer tackling the highest peaks. However, all tours have one thing in common: a unique mountain experience in one of the most beautiful regions in the Alps!
The following 8 tours are located in 4 different areas of the Gastein Valley: 1. Angertal, 2. Sportgastein. 3. Böckstein, 4. Graukogel
Several routes start in the snow-covered Angertal valley. These are particularly impressive due to the idyllic little paths that wind their way up the mountainside through the snow-covered forest landscape. Originally advertised as a ski tour, the route from the valley station to the Jungeralm is also ideal for snowshoeing. This is where the strengths of snowshoes come to the fore, as they provide firm support on the predominantly uphill tour and also make steeper sections passable.
You should plan a good 2.5 hours for the ascent to the hut, which requires a certain level of fitness, as you have to cover a total of over 450 metres in altitude. You will be rewarded with a stunning view of the Angertal valley and the surrounding mountains, as well as savoury Austrian dishes from the Jungeralm.
If this is your first time on snowshoes, you can take your first steps on the winter hike on the Naßfeld in Sportgastein, the high-altitude snow paradise of the Gastein Valley. The circular hike runs along the cross-country ski trail into the valley, is predominantly flat and therefore perfect for getting used to hiking with snowshoes. Beginners should plan around 1.5 hours for the route, which is just under 5 kilometres long.
The round tour to Bockhartsee is much more challenging, as it leads through very steep terrain in places and should therefore only be started in good weather conditions. However, you will be rewarded with a fantastic view of the Sportgastein basin.
Graukogel + Böckstein
If you are looking for a sporting challenge, you can try the tour to the 2231 m high Hüttenkogel via Zirbenroas. The tour can be started directly from Bad Gastein and leads along varied small hiking trails through partly dense forest along the mountain to the Graukogel mountain station. If you like, you can fortify yourself here before tackling the last section to the summit cross, which leads above the tree line and therefore requires a certain amount of experience in alpine terrain.
In good weather conditions, you can see almost the entire Gastein Valley from here. If you don't fancy the long descent, you can stop off at the mountain station and then take the lift down into the valley. (Please note, the lift only runs from Thu - Fri and only during lift times)
In addition to the above-mentioned hikes, there are countless other snowshoe tours that lead through the snow-covered beauty of the Gastein Valley and allow anyone interested to experience the natural spectacle of winter. I can only recommend leaving the familiar paths and discovering a whole new world away from the hustle and bustle of skiing and everyday noise. A quiet, wild and breathtakingly beautiful world that will enchant anyone who is willing to explore it.