Alpbachtal Seenland in the Tirol region of Austria is all about getting outdoors, soaking up dramatic scenery and breathing in the fresh Alpine air.
In summer, a hike through the Tiefenbachklamm, a spectacular gorge which carves its way through the Alpbachtal landscape, is guaranteed to give you a healthy blast of wild nature and a good measure of outdoor therapy.
Alpbachtal Seenland in western Austria is made for outdoor adventure. But where it gets doubly exciting is that it’s equally epic in both winter and summer. As well as prime skiing and boarding in the Ski Jewel resort in winter, the area also has exceptional summer attractions.
With some fantastic hikes and walks, Alpbachtal makes the perfect base for a summer walking holiday in Austria. One of my favourite hikes was to the Tiefenbachklamm which translates as deep river gorge. Tiefenbach George is one of the main natural attractions in Alpbachtal and one of Austria’s most beautiful gorges.
The triftsteig (trail) follows the Brandenberger Ache (river) which cuts its way through stunning surroundings down the Brandenberger valley to Kramsach. It makes a wonderful half-day hike. The river has carved its way through the landscape creating a stunningly beautiful scenic canyon.
Read more – What to do in Alpbach in the summer
The Ache River
My first glimpse of the Ache, which is a tributary of the Inn (river), took my breath away. The pale limestone rocks beneath the swirling waters give the river a milky aquamarine appearance. In other places, where the water’s deeper, it shimmers a deep emerald green. Both equally beautiful.
We started our walk alongside the river under the tree canopy with the rushing sound of the water and earthy smell of the forest a constant accompaniment. Pops of colour spiked the greenery where wild flowers bloomed in the undergrowth. As we continued along the dense forest path we climbed higher and soon the river was below us flowing rapidly between the mist-sprayed rock face.
Crossing the first of three sturdy bridges we looked down a long straight where the eddying waters were lined with huge boulders. Absolutely breath taking – even when it started to rain!
As we walked, the landscape of the river constantly changed. From calm shallows and cascading rapids to rushing waters and raging torrents. At some points the path is narrow with no passing places but in steeper parts there are metal walkways with steel rope safety barriers. If you walk the gorge with children be sure to keep them close by.
The river twists its way through dramatic rock formations and steep-sided ravines.
If you like hiking in gorges you’ll love hiking in Wolfsklamm Gorge by MelB Travels.
We followed its path crossing bridges, traversing boardwalks and passing a bridal veil waterfall on the way.
My camera kept pretty busy and when I didn’t think the scenery could get any more beautiful we’d round a bend in the trail and the wow factor upped a level. Again and again.
Historically, the river was integral to the local timber industry and the earliest mention of logging activity was as early as 1412. Log drivers would send logs and tree trunks down the wild waters of the Ache River. The logs would be collected at the widest point down-river and transported away.
The last logs were transported this way in 1966. We’d visited the Tirolean Farmhouse Museum that morning and I could imagine the huge trunks being driven down the river on their way to make homes for the Tirolean farmers and their families.
Tiefenbachklamm viewing platform
At the highest point in the gorge there’s a new viewing platform where you can look down on the rushing torrent pushing its way through the narrow canyon. Looking down on the river at this point showed clearly how it had eroded the rock as it coursed its way down to the valley.
Nowadays the rapids of the Tiefenbachklamm provide an adrenaline buzz for white-water rafters and tubers or by kayak for those looking for a more leisurely ride.
If you love captivating scenery, rushing rivers and turquoise waters and the beauty of waterfalls then hiking through these dramatic rock formations shouldn’t be missed. Be sure to include a hike at Tiefenbachklamm during your stay in Alpbachtal. I came away feeling totally invigorated and energised.
Information about hiking the Tiefenbachklamm
When is Tiefenbachklamm open?
The gorge only opens from May to the end of October. It closes on days with heavy rainfall for safety reasons.
The pathway is gravel or stone in places but occasionally takes you up muddy inclines and over slippery tree roots. A good pair of walking shoes with a decent grip is essential.
How long will it take to hike Tiefenbachklamm?
I suggest starting at the car park (directions below) and follow the 4.5 k.m. trail to Jausenstation Tiefenbachklamm at the upper entrance of the gorge. Jausenstation translates as snack station but it’s more of a cafe with bar, sun terrace and children’s playground. I’d recommend checking by phone that they’re open if you want to eat.
Jausenstation opening dates and hours:
03.07.2019 – 26.10.2019
Daily 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Tel: +43 5331 20086
From Jausenstation retrace your steps back to the car park.
Total walking time for the round trip is around 3 hours. You may want to factor in extra time for photo and restaurant stops or even a paddle in the ‘beach’ area near the trail entrance after you finish your hike.
What to take when hiking in Tiefenbachklam
We hiked the gorge in July but still had rain so depending on the forecast you may need a light waterproof jacket. It can get slippery and it’s quite steep in places so wear hiking shoes or boots with a good grip. My Saloman walking shoes were perfect for the hike. Almost as important as good hiking shoes are good socks. I like Darn Tough socks which last for years and are some of the comfiest walking socks I own.
Don’t forget to take a water bottle for your water – ideally one with a loop on the handle to attach to your backpack. Don’t be that person using a plastic single use bottle.
Thanks to Kathryn at Travel with Kat for capturing the moment
I used my smaller backpack by my favourite backpack brand Osprey. The Osprey Daylite pack was big enough for carrying everything I needed including my waterproof jacket, cap and camera gear but also small enough to be comfortable and light. Finally, don’t forget your camera!
Read my review about the bigger Osprey Farpoint Backpack which is great for travelling.
How to get to Tiefenbachklamm by car
The Tiefenbachklamm trail is accessible from the road between Kramsach and Brandenberg. Approximately 3.5 km from the Sonnwendjoch cable car station (no longer in use) you’ll find a small parking area on your left. There’s no charge for parking. A little further up on the right-hand side of the road is a sign which indicates the start of the trail and just beyond that there’s a bus stop. This point is around a 16-minute drive from Alpbach.
How to get to Tiefenbachklamm by bus
You can get to the Tiefenbachklamm by public transport. Bus 4070 from Brixlegg to Aschau stops at the bus stop by the entrance to the Tiefenbachklamm. Check the Alpbachtal website for more bus timings and details.
This was just one hike that I enjoyed during my trip to Alpbach. Read my post about other outdoor activities in Alpbach that made it a fabulous break for outdoor adventures.
Thank you to Inghams and Tirol Tourism for inviting me to explore this gorgeous part of Austria. All thoughts, opinions and love of a good hike are entirely my own and I retain full editorial rights. If you haven’t already guessed I loved every minute of my visit to Alpbach.
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