AUSTRIA: MOUNT SCHAFBERG
St. Wolfgang im Salzkammergut is a small picturesque town situated at Lake Wolfgangsee in Austria. The main attraction there is a cog railway ride to the top of the 1783 m tall Mount Schafberg. Even though I love hiking, this time I decided to take a ride instead of climbing the mountain. Wondering why? Well… I couldn’t say no to Schafbergbahn. This is the steepest cog railway in Austria, running constantly since 1893. These vintage steam-powered cog locomotives rise 1190 metres up and cover 5,85 km within 35 minutes! Sounds interesting, right? In this blog post, I’m going to tell you more about Mount Schafberg and Schafbergbahn.
Schafbergbahn runs from the end of April till mid-October, and occasionally during winter holidays. I highly recommend checking the current timetable before arrival as it changes depending on the month. Tickets are available in the ticket office close to the lower railway station, and no reservation is required. The ticket for an adult is 33.60€ (ride up or down) or 47.60€ (ride up and down). All visitors need to declare the time of a return ride while buying a ticket, so make sure to have a spare minute on the top to enjoy the views. There is also a mountain hut on the summit called Schutzhütte Himmelspforte. They sell food and drinks.
If you wish to hike Mount Schafberg, you are more than welcome to do so. Take the walking track number 23 that starts from the church in St. Wolfgang im Salzkammergut. You will first walk through the forest to Schafbergalm, one of the cog railway stations. From there, follow the walking track number 20. It crosses the tracks several times, leading across completely open terrain and steeply uphill to the summit. Your efforts will be rewarded with splendid views from the top. Lake Wolfgangsee looks absolutely stunning on a sunny day! Planning to spend more time in Austria? If yes, you should go and visit Eisriesenwelt Cave too.
WHAT I DID
The cog railway ride is an unforgettable experience. Hiking Mount Schafberg is not bad either. If you want to kill two birds with one stone (like me!), take a ride up to Mount Schafberg and hike back to the town, or do the opposite. The walking track is 13,6 km one way with total elevation gain of 1173 m. It will take you around 3 to 4 hours to climb up the mountain and 2 to 3 hours to go down. The trail is not technically difficult, but reasonable fitness level is required. Mount Schafberg (1783 m) is not the only place I visited in this region. Have a read and find out what else is worth doing in German and Austrian Alps in summer.
This is all you need to know about Mount Schafberg in Austria. Are you going to take a walking track or a cog railway ride to the summit? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
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