Krimml Falls: Why You Should Hike to Austria’s Highest Waterfall

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Krimml Waterfall is the highest waterfall in Austria.  It’s no wonder the 380 meters (1246 ft) waterfall are one of Austria’s most visited attractions.

I normally avoid touristy places, but I couldn’t resist the lure of seeing Krimml Waterfall.  I had been awed by Marmore Falls in Umbria, Italy, the world’s tallest man-made waterfall, built-in Roman times.

But underwhelmed by the Rhine Falls, in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.  It’s the largest waterfall in Europe by volume. 

Being from Canada I had Niagara Falls expectations, which felt sort as I observed the waterfall which was nice but resembled a really big rapid.

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How would Krimml measure up?

As we drove the winding road up to Hohe Tauern National Park, where Krimml Waterfall is located, I admired the glaciers and craggy peaks. I was in mountain heaven at 1600 meters (5250 ft)!  

We stopped at a viewpoint of Krimml Waterfall. It didn’t look overly impressive from the distance but it still sounded impressive.  We were 6km away, but could still hear the unmistakable roar of the powerful water tumbling down 380m of rock.

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Krimml Waterfall as seen from a distance.

Krimml Waterfall, even seen from a distance is pretty impressive. You could still hear the roar of the water. Even from so far away!

Looking up at Krimml Waterfall.
J.P.  looking up at Krimml Waterfall.

The hike is well worth it, especially when you get the first glimpse of the majestic waterfall.

Krimml Waterfall in Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria

The moss-covered stones and rushing water is enough to make you stop in your tracks.

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Watching the water

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Lower falls of Krimml
Lower falls
Rainbow at Krimml Waterfall in Hohe Taurern National Park, Austria
Looking for the end of the rainbow? It’s hiding at Krimml Waterfall.
Me enjoying Krimml Waterfall at one of several viewing platforms.
Me enjoying Krimml Waterfall at one of several viewing platforms.
Upper falls of Krimml
Upper falls
View over Hohe Tauern National Park
View over Hohe Tauern National Park from Krimml Waterfall

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So what do you think?

I loved it! The roar of the waterfall was often almost deafening.  No sound existed except for the rush of the water, all voices, all birds were silenced.  It was like nature turned up at full volume and was invigorating yet relaxing at the same time.

The wide path made Krimml Falls accessible to anyone in reasonably good shape.  It takes between 75-90 minutes to reach the top of the waterfall.

But there is also a good vantage point about halfway up (~30 minutes) with some rocks looking up at the top part of the waterfall that would make a good spot for a picnic.  There’s also a hut and kiosk there if you wanted to purchase food or something to drink.

I can be snobby when it comes to hiking and tend to avoid easy hikes unless I’m sick or injured.  Full disclosure:  the reason I choose to hike Krimml was that I was still healing from an injured knee (torn MCL) and this was my first hike since the injury.

But beyond the path to Krimml, there are multiple huts so the hike could be extended into a full day hike to the Krimmler Tauernhaus or a multi-day hike to one of the other huts.  As luck would have it my snobbishness caught up with me.  I was in too much pain to continue on to the Krimmler Tauernhaus – what I would consider to be more of a “real hike”.

I normally would consider Krimml Waterfall to be a really easy hike, but my throbbing knee had me close to tears the entire way down. So no matter what your idea of a “hike” is, there truly is something for everyone at Krimml Waterfall.

The surrounding scenery in Hohe Tauren National Park is incredible!  Multiple glaciers, craggy peaks and of course Krimml Waterfall.  It deserves so much more than the day trip we had allocated for it.  We’ll be back for a multi-day trip, to do some “real” hikes.

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Know Before You Go to Krimml Waterfall:

  • Krimml Waterfall is located in Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria.  There is a fee to enter the park.
  • The entrance fee to hike Krimml Waterfall is very reasonable, between €5.00 and €10.00.
  • The path to Krimml Waterfall is in excellent condition but you should still wear sneakers or hiking boots.
  • Krimml Waterfall is open from May to October each year.  Note the website said it was open from mid-April, but it was closed when we went on April 21.  We still went, but the upper part of the path was snow-covered in places.
  • Allow several days if possible to explore Hohe Tauern National Park – it’s beautiful!  I want to go back.
  • Krimml Waterfall is located 185km south of Munich or 97km east of Innsbruck.
  • It’s possible to get there by train, but from Munich, it takes ~5 hours.
  • The road is mountainous and very windy.  I guess that there are a lot of traffic jams in summer since the waterfall receives 350,000 visitors a year. Go in spring or fall. If you do go in the summer, try to go during the week. It wasn’t busy when we were then, but then it wasn’t officially open either.
  • Directly across from the road is Krimml’s Wonderous World of Water.  It was closed when I was there but looks like it could be a fun attraction for children.

Accommodation Near Krimml Falls

Nationalparkhotel Klockerhaus is located just 2km away from Krimml Falls. This 4-Star family-run hotel offers spacious comfortable rooms with panoramic balconies. The hotel is also a perfect place to stay for skiing in Zillertal. The hotel also offers a spa, sauna and a play area for kids. 

Panoramahotel Burgeck is located high above the Krimml. Some of the rooms offer views of the summit of the Hohe Tauern and the Krimml waterfall. The hotel offers traditional accommodation and is located next to a toboggan track. 

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Krimml Falls is definitely one of the places I would recommend in Austria. What’s your favorite waterfall to hike to? 

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