Kaunertal Waterfalls

Kaunertal Municipality, Tyrol (Tirol), Austria

About Kaunertal Waterfalls


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time: allow at least 4 hours

Date first visited: 2018-07-19
Date last visited: 2018-07-19

Waterfall Latitude: 46.93329
Waterfall Longitude: 10.74929

Waterfaller Newsletter

Get over the hump of the mid-week blues! Subscribe and get exclusive curated content delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.

The Kaunertal Waterfalls were a series of waterfalls that we saw tumbling down into the Kaunertal Valley on our driving excursion up to the Kaunertal Glacier.

The glacier was actually called the Weißseeferner Glacier, and we happened to notice some of other glacier arms (like the Gepatschferner Glacier), which produced waterfalls as well.

Kaunertal_124_07192018 - Context of glaciers feeding some of the Kaunertal Waterfalls as seen along the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Context of glaciers feeding some of the Kaunertal Waterfalls as seen along the Kaunertal Glacier Road

These waterfalls provided our waterfalling excuse to check out the scenic valley and toll road.

The Kaunertal Glacier Road was a 26km road that ultimately climbed up 29 hairpin turns (kehre is like curves in German) to an elevation of 2750m (said to be one of the highest paved roads in the Alps).

As for the waterfalls themselves, the most notable ones that we’ve managed to encounter and identify were the…

  • Wurmetalbachfall
  • “Kaiserbergtalbachfall”
  • Bliggbachfall
  • Rifflbach Waterfalls
  • “Blockgletscher Waterfall”
Kaunertal_178_07192018 - The Kaunertal Glacier was one of a handful of glaciers feeding the waterfalls spilling into the Kaunertal Valley
The Kaunertal Glacier was one of a handful of glaciers feeding the waterfalls spilling into the Kaunertal Valley

We were able to view all of them along the roadside at various parts of the drive.

To give you an idea of the time commitment involved, this out-and-back drive took us a total of the better part of a half-day (at least 4 hours).

That said, we made numerous stops along the way, and we also made a break for lunch at the Gletscherrestaurant Weisssee at the very end of this road.

Experiencing the Kaunertal Waterfalls – Wurmetalbachfall

We first Kaunertal Waterfall that we encountered was the 140m high Wurmetalbachfall (or Wurmetalbach Waterfall).

Kaunertal_074_07192018 - The Wurmetalbachfall, which was the first of the significant waterfalls we saw on the Kaunertal Glacier Road
The Wurmetalbachfall, which was the first of the significant waterfalls we saw on the Kaunertal Glacier Road

This waterfall sat at about 3km south from the dam holding up the Gepatsch Reservoir.

There was signage as well as small pullouts on either side of the bridge over the Wurmetalbach Stream.

However, we were looking against the sun with this waterfall in the morning since it was west-facing.

Thus, I’d imagine that the best time to photograph the Wurmetalbachfall was in the afternoon.

Experiencing the Kaunertal Waterfalls – Kaiserbergtalbachfall

Kaunertal_107_07192018 - This cascade spilling into the Gepatsch Reservoir was on the Kaiserbergtalbach so I called it the 'Kaiserbergtalbachfall'
This cascade spilling into the Gepatsch Reservoir was on the Kaiserbergtalbach so I called it the ‘Kaiserbergtalbachfall’

The next Kaunertal Waterfall that we encountered was actually across the Gepatsch Reservoir on the Kaiserbergtalbach, which I’m dubbing “Kaiserbergtalbachfall”.

This was a tall and thin waterfall, which showed up well in the morning since it was facing east.

We managed to pull out for this waterfall at various points starting at 200m south of the Wurmetalbach Waterfall.

Experiencing the Kaunertal Waterfalls – Bliggbachfall

At roughly 1.7km south of the Wurmetalbach Waterfall was the Bliggbach Waterfall (or Bliggbachfall).

Kaunertal_117_07192018 - Looking up at the Bliggbachfall
Looking up at the Bliggbachfall

Like the Wurmetalbachfall, this waterfall also faced west so we were looking against the sun from the road bridge over the Bliggbach.

There were also some pullouts to stop the car and get a closer look a little south of the bridge.

Experiencing the Kaunertal Waterfalls – Rifflbach Waterfalls

Beyond the Bliggbachfall, the Kaunertal Glacier Road started climbing steeply up several twists and switchbacks.

Along the way, we started to notice the Rifflbach Waterfalls, which was really a series of cascades gushing on the namesake Rifflbach Stream itself.

Kaunertal_265_07192018 - Looking down towards the cascading Rifflbach Waterfalls as this was directly fed by the Kaunertal Glacier as part of the Fagge River
Looking down towards the cascading Rifflbach Waterfalls as this was directly fed by the Kaunertal Glacier as part of the Fagge River

According to the brochure they handed out to us at the toll station, there was a short 15-minute hike to the falls from the signpost 23.

Experiencing the Kaunertal Waterfalls – “Blockgletscher Waterfall”

Lastly, when we made our return from the Kaunertal Glacier Road end, we noticed a very tall waterfall spilling beneath what I believed was the Block Glacier.

So I informally called it the “Blockgletscher Waterfall” since it didn’t seem to have an official name.

We spotted this waterfall near the top of the road curves between the signed stops 24 and 25.

Kaunertal_139_07192018 - Context of the 'Blockgletscher Waterfall' as it was fed by the dirty ice of the Block Glacier as seen from high up the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Context of the ‘Blockgletscher Waterfall’ as it was fed by the dirty ice of the Block Glacier as seen from high up the Kaunertal Glacier Road

There may be other waterfalls that we didn’t quite stop for or get to see, but that just goes to show you the degree of waterfall-fatigue you could have here.

Authorities

The Kaunertal Waterfalls reside in the Kaunertal Municipality in the state of Tyrol (Tirol), Austria. It may be administered by Kaunertal Municipality. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting their website.

Kaunertal_001_07192018 - Arriving at the Gepatsch Reservoir, which was held up by the Kepatsch Dam
Kaunertal_012_07192018 - Looking over some kind of 'overflow drain' adjacent to the Gepatsch Reservoir
Kaunertal_023_07192018 - Looking back at the Kaunertal Valley after the road climbed up to the Kepatsch Dam
Kaunertal_029_07192018 - Looking across the Kepatsch Dam though I'm not sure where that road went
Kaunertal_037_07192018 - View towards the Kepatsch Reservoir from on top of the rubble dam
Kaunertal_039_07192018 - Context of the Keptasch Dam where there was also a restaurant with a view over the Gepatsch Reservoir
Kaunertal_055_07192018 - This was the view of the Gepatsch Reservoir from the second floor of that restaurant by the dam
Kaunertal_070_07192018 - Looking ahead at the context of a pullout where we could stop the car and walk to the bridge fronting the Wurmetalbach Waterfall
Kaunertal_072_07192018 - Looking up at the Wurmetalbachfall from the narrow bridge over its creek as part of the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Kaunertal_077_07192018 - Context of the Wurmetalbach at the signpost 11 along the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Kaunertal_082_07192018 - Another look at the limited pullout space along the narrow Kaunertal Glacier Road by the Wurmetalbachfall
Kaunertal_083_07192018 - Another contextual look at the Kaunertal Glacier Road flanked by the Gepatsch Reservoir
Kaunertal_096_07192018 - Looking across the Gepatsch Reservoir towards what I believe to be the Kaiserbergtalbachfall
Kaunertal_118_07192018 - Contextual look at the next pullout, which was just beyond the Bliggbach Waterfall's bridge near the head of the Gepatsch Reservoir
Kaunertal_120_07192018 - Another look towards the pullouts just on the south side of the bridge over the Bliggbach
Kaunertal_131_07192018 - Looking towards an interesting glacier arm (which I think was the Gepatschferner Glacier) that might have been an off-shoot of the Kaunertal Glacier as seen from the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Kaunertal_267_07192018 - Focused on the arm of the Gepatschferner Glacier that was visible from the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Kaunertal_141_07192018 - Looking across the Kaunertal Valley towards the Blockgletscher in context with its waterfall beneath it as seen from the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Kaunertal_147_07192018 - Looking ahead towards the Kaunertal Glacier at the top of the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Kaunertal_229_07192018 - Looking down at the small lake besides the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Kaunertal_054_jx_07192018 - The terrain around the Kaunertal Glacier Road became rockier and less vegetated the higher up we went
Kaunertal_154_07192018 - Making it up to the end of the Kaunertal Glacier Road, where the glaciers up here looked like a cross between a ski run and a glacier consisting of ice
Kaunertal_157_07192018 - Making it up to the top of the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Kaunertal_159_07192018 - Looking towards the Gletscherrestaurant Weisssee at the top of the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Kaunertal_162_07192018 - At the very top of the Kaunertal Glacier Road was the ice field of the Weissseeferner Glacier at an elevation of about 2750m
Kaunertal_168_07192018 - Looking towards the Kaunertal Valley from the top of the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Kaunertal_182_07192018 - Looking back down at the hairpin turns leading up to the end of the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Kaunertal_210_07192018 - This was the playground area at the top of the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Kaunertal_224_07192018 - Descending the Kaunertal Glacier Road with gorgeous top down perspectives on the lakes that we had passed along the way up
Kaunertal_240_07192018 - Gorgeous context of the Kaunertal Glacier Road passing by a very colorful glacial lake en route to the bottom of the valley
Kaunertal_260_07192018 - Part of the Kaunertal Glacier Road experience was driving behind slower vehicles like tour buses
Kaunertal_268_07192018 - Looking towards the top of the Blockgletscher Wasserfall beneath the dirty ice that was feeding this waterfall
Kaunertal_275_07192018 - Dramatic views as we were descending the Kaunertal Glacier Road as we were making our way out back down to the base of the valley
Kaunertal_137_jx_07192018 - Looking towards the Block Glacier and cascade beneath it as we were descending the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Kaunertal_172_jx_07192018 - Descending back towards the Gepatsch Reservoir on our way back out of the Kaunertal Glacier Road

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg


The Kaunertal Waterfalls were all seen along the Kaunertal Glacier Road, which required a toll to use.

We’ll describe the directions from Innsbruck (where we were based) to reach that road and its subsequent toll booth.

We paid 24 euros to drive this road during our July 2018 visit.

Kaunertal_200_07192018 - Looking towards the closer end of the car park at the end of the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Looking towards the closer end of the car park at the end of the Kaunertal Glacier Road

From Innsbruck, we drove west on the A12 autobahn for about 66km towards Landeck.

We then took the exit 144 (Oberinntal) where the ramp then took us south on the B180 (Reschen Straße) and the Landecker Tunnel.

Continuing south at a little over 5km from the tunnel exit, we then turned left to leave the B180 onto Obergasse in Prutz.

As we continued east towards the end of town, this road then beame Kaunertalstraße.

Kaunertal_009_07192018 - Context of the rest area next to the Gepatsch Reservoir along the Kaunertal Glacier Road
Context of the rest area next to the Gepatsch Reservoir along the Kaunertal Glacier Road

At around 12km from Prutz, we reached the toll station for the Kaunertal Glacier Road.

At a little over 9km from the toll station, the road climbed up to the dam holding up the Gepatsch Reservoir.

This was the landmark that I’ve used to describe where the waterfalls on this page were at.

From this spot, it was another 17km before the road reached the big car park at its end by the Weißseeferner Glacier.

Kaunertal_164_07192018 - The car park and the Weissseeferner Glacier at the top of the Kaunertal Glacier Road
The car park and the Weissseeferner Glacier at the top of the Kaunertal Glacier Road

Overall, I would allow about 90 minutes to make the drive from Innsbruck to the toll station.

It took us another 90 minutes to get up to the road’s end though that included a lot of stops.

For geographical context, Innsbruck was about 77km (about an hour drive) east of Landeck, 61km (under an hour drive) west of Zell am Ziller, 40km (over 30 minutes drive) north of Brenner Pass, Italy, and 64km (about an hour drive) southeast from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

Video showing the Wurmtalbachfall as well as some other waterfall across the reservoir


Sweep checking out the Bliggbachfall and the surroundings


Comprehensive semi-circular sweep high up on the Kaunertal Glacier Road revealing the Bliggbachfall, some attractive glacier, and a pair of converging waterfalls

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

Trip Planning Resources


Nearby Accommodations




Tagged with: kaunertal, landeck, weisssee, weissseespitze, gepatsch, austria, waterfalls, wurmetalbachfall, bliggbachfall, rifflbachfall



Visitor Comments:

No users have replied to the content on this page


Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Waterfalls of the Kaunertal Glacier Road (Austria) April 7, 2012 2:57 pm by Ruth Williams - The Tyrol region of Austria is home to the Kaunertal Glacier Road. In 16miles the road winds up through 29 hairpin bends to the tongue of the Weisseeferner Glacier at an altitude of 2750m (9022ft). The alpine scenery is breathtaking with surrounding peaks well in excess of 3000m (10000ft) the glaciers form the largest single… ...Read More

Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

The Waterfaller Newsletter

The Waterfaller Newsletter is where we curate the wealth of information on the World of Waterfalls website and deliver it to you in bite-sized chunks in your email inbox. You'll also get exclusive content like...

  • Waterfall Wednesdays
  • Insider Tips
  • User-submitted Waterfall Write-up of the Month
  • and the latest news and updates both within the website as well as around the wonderful world of waterfalls
Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.