Why hiking in the region of Salzkammergut?
Hiking in Austria is often connected with mountains and sun in Tyrol or Vorarlberg, but the region of Salzkammergut is most of the time forgotten. In this region the mountains may not be that high, except the mountain Traunstein, which is 1.691m high and for experienced hikers. But around the beautiful lake “Traunsee” there are many possibilities for hiking to a stunning peak and to enjoy a fantastic view. Next to smaller mountains like the “Schönberg” or “Gmundnerberg” the mountain “Sonnstein” is one of the most popular ones, for a reason.
The name “Sonnstein” means “Sunny Stone” and that is exactly how the mountain can be described. On less cloudy days the sun is shining on the mountain from the morning on until the evening and every daytime the mountain has a different vibe. Even if there are clouds in the valley, on the top the sun is coming out most of the times.
Starting from the bottom…
Starting from the parking spot right next to the B145 there are many stairs until it is getting into the woods for the actually hiking trial, which takes around one hour for practised hikers and up to 2 hours for hikers who really want to experience every corner of the mountain.
Now, the journey begins…
The trial is not that difficult in the beginning as there is not a big incline and the way through the woods is easy to deal with. Additionally, next to the path, which is well marked there are many highlights like a few small waterfalls and fresh mountain water to fill up your bottle.
After the point where the fresh water is running down from the mountain, the hiking trial is starting to get a little steeper and now even the sportiest climber begins to sweat, at least a little bit. But this part leads out from the woods and now the view over Ebensee can be enjoyed.
The last steps until the peak…
After reaching this section of the “Sonnstein” the way to the summit cross is not long anymore. But now it is important to not having a big fear of heights, because the last part is very stony and is to climb a little bit, which takes around 10 minutes. After that just a little steep section needs to be mastered.
This might be the best part for most of the hikers, as it is a little challenging but the peak is not far away anymore. Unfortunately, the weather in the region of “Salzkammergut”, especially around the “Traunsee” is not the best in winter, as there is a lot of fog. Nevertheless, the view is stunning, even if there is no sun.
Good to know:
When there is good weather, the sun comes out left from the “Traunstein” and will provide a stunning sunrise in the early morning hours. To reward yourself, the mountain hut is open through the whole summer, on weekends during spring and atumn but not in the winter. So, do not forget to pack a few granola bars and fruits to have enough energy for the way down!
Tip: On hot summer days, the lake “Traunsee” invites for a cooling down after climbing the “Sonnstein”.