Trek through the Ötschergräben canyon below Mount Ötscher

Mountain range, region / State

Ybbstal Alps / Austria



20. 08. 2021


1 / 5


↑ 483 m

↓ 508 m


7.6 km

5 hours


max. 836 m n.m.

min. 628 m n.m.

Elevation profile of the route

Meters climbed: 483 m
Dismal metres: 508 m

Hike through the Ötschergräben rock gorge

Starting point

We left the car in the parking lot of the Wienerbruck-Josefsberg railway station. From there we took the train to Erlaufklause station. Here we started our trip.

Description of the hike

From Erlaufklause station, where we took the local special train Mariazellbahn from Wienerbruck-Josefsberg station, we headed towards Ötschergräben, first by road. This led us to the Erlaufstausee dam. From there, a wide dirt road continued. Soon we also joined the red trail. The road climbed slightly at first, but eventually, quite logically, we started to descend. We turned sharply right off the wide road and the descent became much steeper. The first rocks also began to appear around us and the landscape began to change significantly. We descended very steeply to the bottom of the canyon where the Ötscherhias refreshment area is.

After a short rest we set off for the passage through the canyon. There is already quite a lot of tourist traffic. But they mostly go in the opposite direction. I don't know why, ours seemed better. The trail goes around and above the river. There are often footbridges. The scenery is really very beautiful. As it was quite warm, we even refreshed ourselves for a while in the Ötscherbach stream. We weren't alone, so hopefully we didn't break any rules. After resting in the cool river water we continued our journey. Eventually we reached the former hydroelectric power station.

Here we left the gorge. We started to climb steeply up the trail. The path often leads through cut passages in the rocks, which adds to its attractiveness and makes you forget how steep the climb is. Plus, there is a view of a beautiful waterfall along the way. After crossing the bridge, the climb definitely stopped. The rest of the way was basically without any significant elevation gain. We reached a small dam. From there it was only a short walk to the parking lot of the Wienerbruck train station, where we had parked the car.




A simple but scenically beautiful trip to a mountain canyon. Outside of the canyon, there are wide trails. There is a groomed trail in the canyon, often improved with footbridges and railings. The steep part of the trail is just descending and ascending out of the canyon, but again it is on a well-groomed trail. The trail is ideal for children and dogs.

Water availability

In the gorge itself there is a refreshment Ötscherhias. Here we replenished our liquids. Otherwise, about 1.5 liters per person is enough.

Sleeping options

We stayed in the nearby Mariazell, but there are plenty of accommodation options in the area.

Mountain peaks

The route does not go over any peaks, but the scenery is beautiful.


The trail in the canyon is very well maintained. Which is no surprise in Austria. Even so, there is no technically difficult section at all. Even small children could manage it without any problems. The ascent out of the gorge is in places in rockier terrain, but again, everything is well secured here, both the footbridges and the railings. Outside the gorge you can go on wide paths, here there is no problem.


Refreshments are in the canyon - Ötscherhias. Otherwise it is good to have some snacks or bars.

Posted by: 29. 09. 2021
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