From the parking lot at lake Gosua, you can’t even imagine how beautiful this in Austria will be. After the first small climb from the parking lot, the sun glistens off the water towards us and we take in the clear, green-blue water. Surrounded by mountains with the Dachstein glacier in the distance, we already know that this is going to be a wonderful day.
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Info About Hiking at Lake Gosau in the Salzkammergut Region
Lake Gosau are three mountain lakes (Lower Lake Gosau, Gosaulacke, Upper Lake Gosau) in the Gosau Valley in Upper Austria and, along with Hallstatt, are among the top excursion destinations in the Salzkammergut region of Austria. The lakes themselves have no connection to each other, but are all fed by the glacial water of the imposing Dachstein. In addition to the Gosau Lakes, Austria has a lot more to offer.
Beginning of the Lake Gosau Hike
The hike along lake Gosau starts right behind the parking lot. You have the possibility to do only a small hike around the first Gosau lake, or to do the big hike past the Gosaulacke and to the upper Gosau lake.
Parking: Parking spaces are available at the Gosaukammbahn (Google Maps)
Circular route: Yes
Length/duration of the hike vorderer Gosausee: approx. 3.5 km, 1.5 hours Length/duration of hike incl. upper Gosausee: approx. 7 km, 3 hours
Condition of the hiking trail: well-maintained gravel path, which is also suitable for children
Swimming: Swimming in lake Gosau is allowed
Bicycle: There is a ban on bicycles on the routes around the Gosau lakes. Only the ride to the Ebenalm in Goas one meter along the left shore of the front Gosau lake is allowed.
Boats: At the lake you can rent small electric boats (20 € per hour)
Hotel Recommendation at Lake Gosau
If you can’t get enough of the beautiful scenery at Lake Gosau and the view of the Dachstein, you have the possibility to stay at the Gasthof Gosausee* to stay overnight.
Not only the beautiful surroundings are a reason to stop at the inn. The guesthouse simply convinces with the cozy rooms and the excellent food.The beautiful Hotel Gasthof Gosausee at Booking.com*
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Lower Lake Gosau
Right at the beginning of the hike in the Salzkammergut you will see one of the best photo spots of the region in Upper Austria. The protected Gosau lake is framed by the massive rock towers of the Dachstein, which is reflected in the shiny surface of the lake. So it happened that we also took the longest for the first meters of the hike, because we could not get out of the amazement and photographing and stopped every few meters.
If you start the hike on the left shore side, you can admire the majestic rocks of the Dachstein mountains at the beginning of the lake circuit. The path leads past steep rock faces, sometimes through the forest and along the lush green meadows, which invite you for a break and in summer for a little swim in the lake.
We also encountered cows several times on the hike. Here, however, you should be careful, because the cows are not the nicest ones. I had to take in particular our dear dog Schoko in two situations on the arm and carry him away from the cows, since these reacted quite aggressively.
The Gosaulacke is a small body of water between the lower and the upper Lake Gosau, which carries a little more to almost little water depending on the season. At times of snowmelt in winter or during heavy rain, the small body of water shows its full splendor, as it is filled by the overflowing water of the rear Gosausee.
In summer, on the other hand, the small lake can be almost dry. During the hike along lake Gosau you have here a great resting place to take a little break between the lakes to breathe the fresh mountain air and enjoy the view of the mountains and nature.
Upper Lake Gosau
After the Gosaulacke the hiking trail leads through a rather sparse forest area, and after the so far rather flat stretch the trail now leads uphill. Here a small challenge awaits us at a rope section, which is rewarded with a view of the Gosaulacke behind and the lower lake Gosau. From here it is only about 10 minutes to the upper lake Gosau, where the Holzmeisteralm is the perfect place for refreshments. With a bit of luck, you can watch the chamois climbing on the steep rock face during your break.
Cable Car – Gosaukammbahn to the Zwieselalm
To perceive the Gosau lakes and the mountain peaks from another perspective after the hike, you can take the cable car up to the Zwieselalm. The ride with the gondola along the bizarre rock peaks of the Gosaukamm is a unique experience, which should not be missed, especially for the rather low price. If you are traveling with a dog, as we were, you should note that dogs are only allowed on a leash and with a muzzle. Since we unfortunately had no muzzle with us, we could not have this great experience.
Hiking from the Zwieselalm
The Zwieselalm is not only suitable for stopping or as a photo spot. There are several one to three hour hikes with varying degrees of difficulty that can be walked from the Zwieselalm. The different trails, some of which are also stroller-friendly, lead along the green mountain forests and flowering alpine meadows. On the trails there are also always alpine huts that are open for guests as well. More information about hiking can be found here: Hiking trails from the Zwieselalm
Opening Hours of the Gosaukammbahn
- End of May – beginning of July | from 8:15 a.m. to 4:50 p.m
- Beginning of July – middle of September | from 8:15 a.m. to 5:50 p.m
- Middle of September – beginning of November | from 8:15 a.m. to 4:50 p.m
You can find the exact dates here: Operating hours Gosaukammbahn
Price for the Gosaukammbahn (as of August 2020)
- Ascent and descent | € 16,00
- Ascent or descent | € 11,00
Conclusion about the Gosausee and hiking in Upper Austria
At the Gosau lakes in Austria, you can actually spend a whole day. With the hike up to the back lake, a small boat ride on the lower lake Gosau and finally a ride with the Gosaukammbahn up into the mountains, you can spend a wonderful day here alone, even with dogs or children.
Have you been to the Gosau Valley and done the hike around the lakes or taken the Gosaukammbahn? Then leave us a comment with your experiences.