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Alpintour: Hochkar - Dürrenstein - Ötscher

Alpine Hikes · Ybbstal Alps
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  • Hochkar Gipfel
    / Hochkar Gipfel
    Photo: Robert Herbst
  • / Bergeweise Fernsicht
    Photo: Alex Kaiser
  • / Schwarzalm
    Photo: Theo Kust
  • / Dürrenstein
  • / Herrenalm
    Photo: Theo Kust
  • / Herrenalm, Blick zum Ötscher
  • / Ötscherschutzhaus im Sommer
    Photo: Ötscherschutzhaus, Karin Müller
m 2000 1500 1000 500 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 km Hochkar (Gipfel) Ötscher (Gipfel) Dürrenstein (Gipfel) Hochkar 360° Skytour
These three mountains within the Ybbstal Alps rise as powerful limestones and converge to become the mountain range that extends from the Ötscher to the Southwest and partly form the border between lower Austria and Styria. All three of the peaks overlook the 1800m mark, thus rise far above the tree line and offer many possibilities for alpine mountain and ski tours.
Distance 42.3 km
20:00 h
3,100 m
2,688 m
Alpintour: Hochkar - Dürrenstein – Ötscher

Central Europe's last primeval forest is within reach and yet unattainable. The hike goes from the well-tended ski slopes on the Hochkar past Alpine pastures and unspoiled landscape into untouched landscapes: the retreat of the last Ötscherbären, the forests, where the beetle may gnaw still with full freedom. The hike moves past sharp rocky crests from one alpine feature to the next. From the Hochkar to the Dürrenstein, both rising to about 1800 meters, the Tremelsattel acts as the single vanishing point in between these two giants. A 30-kilometer long hiking experience, as it is rarely to be found in the entire northern limestone Alps. A 2-day tour for energetic alpinists!

Scenic wise great hikes mostly above the tree line. There are no fixed climbing points, but an absolute secure step is required. This hike is the only fallback position from the Tremelsattel, into the North, into the Steinbachtal.

Author’s recommendation

Verpflegung gut (ein)planen -> unterwegs kein Stützpunkt und keine Wasserstelle!! Evt. Depot entlang der Bundesstraße bei Langau einrichten!
Profile picture of Evelyn Knoll (iV Michael Gansch)
Evelyn Knoll (iV Michael Gansch)
Update: April 29, 2021
Highest point
Ötschergipfel, 1,887 m
Lowest point
681 m
Best time of year

Rest Stop

Schwarzalm (geöffnet nur in der Sommersaison)
Herrenalm (geöffnet bei Almbetrieb)

Safety information

Endurance and absolute secure stepping is required!

Tips and hints

Tourismusverein Göstlinger Alpen
Markt 1
3345 Göstling
Tel. +43 (0) 7484/5020 19


Goestling, Hochkar-Schutzhaus (Shelter) (1,474 m)
47.718609, 14.917556
47°43'07.0"N 14°55'03.2"E
33T 493816 5285028


Ötscher Gipfel

Turn-by-turn directions

From the car park Hochkar to the mountain guesthouse Jagersberger, the tour begins on a road for a short distance towards "Karl". The designated trail branches off to the right and rises gently to the Scheinecksattel. The trail continues to the main ridge, to the Hochkargipfel, along the main ridge past the Geischlägerhaus. From the exit of the Leckerplanliftes (lift) along the Nordabfahrtstrasse down to the parking lot Hochkar. Next stage is from the Hochkar-Shutzhaus (shelter) up to the Blachlboden (meadow). Here diagonally left, a footpath with several bends leads up a strip of the meadow ending at a flat mountain saddle. To the right through a fence gate in small bends downwards the hike continues. What follows is a trail at half hanging height to the right, which finally rises gently out of the steep terrain and ends at the main ridge. Here, the hike turns steeply left-upwards. Small forest lanes open up to a small flat Valley floor, at the East Ridge. Here one crosses the mountain meadows of the Munsinplanes, then keeping right near the South-facing crashes, one shortly descends through an indent and reaches the forest saddle directly in front of the Summit. From here it goes up to the Ringkogel. Directly from the Summit, one moves down steeply to the East to a deep saddle, then continuing down one follows the saddle and continues to finally rise to the Schwarzkogel. Lastly, the trail moves steeply down to the Tremelsattel, which one follows along the ridge in the east direction. Strikingly round karst fields are crossed at the bottom, as one reaches along narrow forest aisles the free Summit of the Hochkirche. Past steep mountain meadows, one climbs down to flat meadow grounds and follows a rocky grass ridge, where one maneuvers through small rock crashes. The ascent to the Bstattkopf leads through a forest-aisle up to wide meadow arches. At this point one keeps mostly left near the edge of the Steinbachkessel. The crashes of the Teufelsmäuer remain lying on the right. There one descends a short way through the Steinbach-side and fights through mountain pines and forests along the steep western slope (do not descend too far!). Here begins the long steep descend past a wide meadow Ridge, to the East of the broken of walls of the Dürrensteingipfel. A bit earlier one maneuvers right past an elongated mountain pine marsh. From here hiking tracks lead briefly into the East side of the mountain, then turn away steeply left up the rocky back and reaches the Dürrensteingipfel. From there the hike descends into the Steinbachtal (valley).


all notes on protected areas

Getting there

A1 Amstetten, B 121 Waidhofen/Ybbs and to Göstling. Continue onto the Hochkar (Mautstraße). Either leave second car in the Steinbachtal (Parking lot Ybbstalerhütte) or pre-order a Taxibus!


Parking lot on the Hochkar (1470 m)


47.718609, 14.917556
47°43'07.0"N 14°55'03.2"E
33T 493816 5285028
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

Mostviertel Tourismus, Töpperschloss Neubruck, Neubruck 2/10, 3270  Scheibbs, T +43/7482/204 44,,


Festes Schuhwerk und ausreichend Wasser sind absolute Notwendigkeit.

Basic Equipment for Mountain Hikes

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID

Technical Equipment for Mountain Hikes

  • Climbing helmet as required
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.
42.3 km
20:00 h
3,100 m
2,688 m
Scenic Linear route Refreshment stops available Multi-stage route Botanical highlights Cableway ascent/descent Summit route Exposed sections Secured passages Ridge traverse


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