- The laid-back 3
3 cool snowshoe hikes
Snowshoe hiking is the perfect athletic alternative to a day on the slopes. Far away from the other winter sports enthusiasts, you can discover the Skircircus’ awesome serenity as well as wildly romantic corners while trekking through the snow. Depending on the requirements of the particular tour, you should make sure to bring a little bit of endurance and experience with you, but this sport will nevertheless provide absolute relaxation as well as more than rewarding vistas.
Hans Eder is the head of the Salzburg mountain hikers and hiking leader of Saalbach Hinterglemm’s tourism board. During both summer and winter, he leads mountain enthusiasts to Glemmtal valley’s most beautiful summits. He is, of course, very familiar with the most rewarding destinations, the spots with the richest views and the most beautiful hiking trails that exist right here on his home turf. For Saalbach Stories, Hans Eder has put together three different snowshoe hikes for beginners and well-trained hiking enthusiasts. All of these tours can also be booked with a professional guide upon request, provided that there are at least two participants. The tourism board also offers a weekly guided snowshoe hike for beginners.
1. The valley end route
An easy tour for snowshoe novices
The horse sleigh rank in Lengau is the starting point for this tour. The route leads into the valley end near the cross-country skiing trail. By crossing over creeks and climbing up short, steeper hills, you can slowly get used to the right technique in terms of walking with the snowshoes. The route will take you through snowy forests and you will also frequently come across rabbit, fox and deer trails. This tour is very romantic and serene. Cross-country skiers, winter hikers, ski tour enthusiasts and passengers in horse-drawn sleighs wrapped into warm blankets are out and about in the valley end during winter and sometimes cross paths with the snowshoe hikers. After around an hour and a half, we reach the final destination, the Lindlingalm. Here, you can replenish your energy with domestic specialities or wild game dishes before the return journey. Those who want to keep it easy after arriving here, however, can take the return journey in a horse carriage or via the sledges which are provided free of charge.
2. The Spielberghaus route
Medium difficulty tour, requires some endurance
This beautiful snowshoe tour begins at the check dam in Spielbergkurve near the town centre of Saalbach. You can easily park your car at the various parking spaces in town. The first part is to walk along the Spielberghaus toboggan run. The flat climb is ideal to get into the right rhythm for the rest of the tour and to warm up your muscles for the following hike. After around 15 minutes, you continue on a restricted forest road. This will lead you to a steeper climb across freely accessible pastures. After around 30 minutes, you keep to the left side of the pasture in order to get on hiking trail number 14. This hiking trail leads the snowshoe hikers through a forest for around 20 minutes and then again across freely accessible pastures all the way to a mountain tavern pasture which is unattended during winter. The climb to the tavern will take around two hours. The sunny benches provided on the pasture allow for a little break. Here you can enjoy a beautiful view on the Bernkogel, Schattberg and the Westgipfel mountains. Then there are two options to get back to the Spielberghaus. You can either take the easier way across the Sommerweg or you can choose the steeper option across the ski route. This path might be shorter, but it requires some snowshoe hiking experience due to the uneven terrain. In the Spielberghaus you can replenish with a typical Pinzgau Kasnocken dish or the other well-known “Schwammerl” mushroom dishes by host Walter Höll. The return journey across the toboggan run takes approximately 45 minutes – those who like to can, of course, pack their snowshoes into their backpack and borrow a toboggan for the descent down to the Spielberghaus.
Medium-difficult half day tour
For this snowshoe hike with particularly amazing vistas, you meet your guide at the valley station of the Westgipfel lift in Hinterglemm. After a comfortable ride upwards with the gondola lift, the tour starts comfortably with a coffee and a chat in Marianne’s Westgipfel hut. After that, there are about 15 minutes of descent across slope-similar terrain all the way to the Marxenscharte. Then it’s time to prove your endurance across free, medium steep terrain up to the Stemmerkogel at 2123 metres’ altitude. Ski mountaineers and off-slope riders are also out and about due to the excellent conditions here. The summit provides the chance to take in the incredibly beautiful view. The vista reaches from the Wilde Kaiser to the Watzmann, from the Großvenediger to the Grossglockner mountains. After the break, you hike back to the Marxenscharte and from here descend down to the free-ride path called “Stieger-Abfahrt”. In order to circumvent the last steep slope, you keep left via a small mountain hut to the road of the Hackelberg pasture. Across a very romantic path, you can then take the ski route to the Bergstadel hut where you can get refreshments. Those who want to end the tour here can take the gondola into the valley. Alternatively, you can trek down to the U-Bahn via a beautiful forest path and then take the gondola into the valley from here.