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

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

I normally avoid touristy places, but I couldn’t resist the lure of seeing what sounded like an impressive 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.

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.

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.

So how did Krimml Waterfall measure up in person?  I’ll let you be the judge:

Krimml Waterfall as seen from a distance.
Krimml Waterfall as seen from a distance. You could still hear the roar of the water from so far away!
Looking up at Krimml Waterfall.
J.P. (my husband) looking up at Krimml Waterfall.

Krimml Waterfall in Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria

Lower falls of Krimml

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 from Krimml Waterfall
View over Hohe Tauern National Park from Krimml Waterfall

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 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 being 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.

Know Before You Go to Krimml Waterfall:

  • Krimml Waterfall is located in Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria.  There is a €8 fee/car to enter the park.
  • The entrance fee to hike Krimml Waterfall is a very reasonable €2.50 for adults and .50 for children.
  • 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.  My guess is 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 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.

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12 thoughts on “Krimml Falls: Why You Should Hike to Austria’s Highest Waterfall”

  1. This is definitely a hike I would love to do! What a beautiful area! I love Austria and waterfalls so if I ever get to this area, I want to do this. Seems like an easy hike and I would go in the Fall or Spring to avoid the crowds.

  2. These falls are new to me – and I was surprised how high they rank on the world scale. They look very beautiful and well worth a visit in one is lucky enough to be in the area.

  3. If you post erroneous information on your blog it runs the risk of ruining your personal, professional and blogging reputation. 380m is a long way from being the fifth highest waterfalls in the world. I would suggest a long way from being the fifth highest waterfall in Europe. Kjeragfossen in southern Norway is over 700m and Norway is in Europe by the way. This is not even the highest waterfall in Norway. Also the highest abseil in Europe is not the Rotterdam tower. The shard in London is the tallest building if you had permission to do so you could abseil much farther on that but there are many cliffs in Switzerland much higher and many more in the Fjords of Norway.

    Lovely writing in general and lovely photos but a bit of accuracy all round would do wonders for creating a nice blog.

    Adrian

    • @Aido – Thanks for your comments. I got the information straight from Krimml Falls and from 2 different guides at the Euromast. I value accuracy as well and believed that these sources were reliable.

  4. We just came home from Krimml 2 days ago and it was amazing! It took me 3 hours to reach the top (and I went to the VERY top! lol), but I’m overweight and pretty much a couch potato, lol. If I can make it, anyone can. The last 1/3 of the way was more sheer determination than fun, but I did it!

    We went to the Wondrous World of Water before hand and it was great. My husband and I had as much fun as our 8yr old son.

    • @S Gilbert – Glad to hear you made it and congrats on making it to the top! I wanted to visit the Wondrous World of Water, but it was closed. Maybe I’ll have to go back.

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