Schleierfall

Hintertux / Tux Municipality, Tyrol (Tirol), Austria

About Schleierfall


Hiking Distance: 7km round trip
Suggested Time: 2-2.5 hours

Date first visited: 2018-07-18
Date last visited: 2017-07-18

Waterfall Latitude: 47.11279
Waterfall Longitude: 11.65457

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The Schleierfall Waterfall (I’ve also seen it called the Schleierwasserfall; “Veil Waterfall”) was probably the most impressive of the waterfalls in the Hintertux Resort Area.

Sitting where the Weitentalbach plunged at least 30m, it sat tucked away beneath the Weitental Valley, which was a side valley above the Tuxertal (i.e. the main valley containing the Hintertux Resort Area).

Hintertux_293_07182018 - Schleierfall
Schleierfall

Therefore, I had to earn my visit with a bit of a strenuous uphill hike to reach it.

According to my GPS logs, I could have hiked as little as 5.2km round trip with roughly 425m of elevation gain.

However, with some bit of confusion, I wound up hiking closer to 6.4km round trip taking me around 2 hours.

So to keep things simple, I’m going to describe the hiking route that I should have taken and spare you the details of my haphazard route.

Schleierfall Trail Description – ascending to a view over the head of Tuxertal Valley

Hintertux_227_07182018 - Context of the climb out of Hintertux along the trail leading to the steep part of the Schleierfall Trail
Context of the climb out of Hintertux along the trail leading to the steep part of the Schleierfall Trail

From the Hintertux Resort Area, I followed the signs and walked along a gently sloping path towards the foot of the west end of the Tuxertal Valley.

During this stretch, I noticed a little archery course that I definitely didn’t want to mistakenly go into (that’s what bogensport translated to in German).

After about 500m, the trail started to reach a part where the climb became steeper while affording me views back towards the Hintertux Resort Area.

This view also showed parts of the Hintertux Glacier as well as long cascades coming from the melting ice and down towards the head of the valley.

Hintertux_246_07182018 - Looking in the other direction towards the town of Hintertux while continuing the ascent towards the steep part of the Schleierfall Trail
Looking in the other direction towards the town of Hintertux while continuing the ascent towards the steep part of the Schleierfall Trail

The continuation of those long cascades ultimately fell as the Kesselfall, Schraubenfall, and other waterfalls further upstream.

During this climb, I was mesmerized by the scenery at the head of the Tuxertal Valley.

In addition to looking towards the head of the valley, I was also able to look further down the valley in the other direction towards the town of Hintertux as it sat in a classic V-shaped valley.

Schleierfall Trail Description – continuing the direct trail to the waterfall

After getting through a little fence, the trail forked.

Hintertux_393_07182018 - Approaching a 'misleading sign' (because it made no mention of the Schleierfall) where the continuation of the Schleierfall Trail proceeded past this 'rope stile' (not a closure barricade) while the Bichlalm Trail continued to the right
Approaching a ‘misleading sign’ (because it made no mention of the Schleierfall) where the continuation of the Schleierfall Trail proceeded past this ‘rope stile’ (not a closure barricade) while the Bichlalm Trail continued to the right

To the right, the trail climbed a bit more gently (albeit away from the Schleier Waterfall before coming back) as it would eventually make its way to the Bichlalm.

So the shortest route to the falls would be to keep left and continue up the narrow but steep trail.

It would eventually lead up to a sign that was somewhat misleading as it made no mention of the Schleierfall.

I actually made the mistake of giving into my doubts and turned back at this point.

Hintertux_389_07182018 - Continuing the steep climb along the direct Schleierfall Trail
Continuing the steep climb along the direct Schleierfall Trail

However, with hindsight being 20/20, I should have continued along this narrow trail as it would go through a rope stile before entering a forested area.

The trail then continued along the forested path, which was a little rocky and steep in parts.

Eventually, the forested part would give way to expansive views once again before traversing a grassy area flanking the Weintalbach.

At nearly a kilometer from the fork with the trail to the Bichlalm, I would reach a trail junction next to a bridge over the Weintalbach.

Hintertux_365_07182018 - The trail junction by the bridge over the Weintalbach Creek well downstream of the Schleierfall
The trail junction by the bridge over the Weintalbach Creek well downstream of the Schleierfall

Turning right at this junction, I would then reach the next fork in the trail shortly thereafter.

Taking this fork on the left, the path then steeply climbed an extensive grassy area alongside the Weintalbach as the trail was making its way up to the Schleierfall.

After another 700m of this climb, I would finally reach the base of the Schleierfall’s main drop.

Schleierfall Trail Description – beyond the waterfall

However, the trail continued nearly another 100m uphill before reaching a much wider (albeit rockier) trail.

Hintertux_331_07182018 - Approaching the Schleierwasserfall from the bottom
Approaching the Schleierwasserfall from the bottom

This was the trail that would ultimately make it to the Tuxerjoch Haus, which was a high mountain hut.

For the purposes of experiencing the waterfall, however, it was sufficient for me to just get up to the fence and benches near the brink of the falls.

This yielded an attractive profile and top-down view towards the Schleierfall with the surrounding mountains as the backdrop.

That was my turnaround point and thus the end of the relentless 425m climb that I had made to this point.

Hintertux_300_07182018 - Context of the climb continuing beyond the brink of the Schleierfall towards the Tuxerjoch Haus, but I was content with the top down views of the Schleierfall before returning to the Hintertux Resort Area
Context of the climb continuing beyond the brink of the Schleierfall towards the Tuxerjoch Haus, but I was content with the top down views of the Schleierfall before returning to the Hintertux Resort Area

On the return route, I had a choice of going back down the way I came (for the shortest amount of hiking) or descending the rocky route then going back to the Weintalbach before returning the way I came.

I even had another choice of continuing on an even wider trail to the Bichlalm (basically a cantina) before continuing the descent via a much longer and more roundabout path.

The shortest path was roughly 6km round trip from the Hintertux Resort Area (maybe around 5.2-5.4km from just the car park).

Meanwhile, visiting the Schleierfall via the alm would have added another 4km in one direction.

Hintertux_278_07182018 - Context of the trails around the Schleierfall, where this photo was taken from the trail leading to the Bichlalm
Context of the trails around the Schleierfall, where this photo was taken from the trail leading to the Bichlalm

I wound up spending over 2 hours on this trail, but some of that time was wasted.

In particular, I had mistakenly turned back and took the Bichlalm Trail (when I shouldn’t have).

Then, when I realized my mistake, I took a very steep “shortcut” to cut from the lower switchback of the Bichlalm Trail to the upper switchback of the Bichlalm Trail along some former snowmobile path or something.

Authorities

The Schleierfall Waterfall resides in the Hintertux Resort in the state of Tyrol (Tirol), Austria. It may be administered by Hintertux community. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting their website or the Zillertaler Gletscherbahn website.

Hintertux_165_07182018 - Looking over towards the big car park fronting the Hintertux Glacier Resort Area as I was starting on the hike towards the Schleierfall
Hintertux_169_07182018 - Looking back towards the Hintertux Resort Area as I was walking further away from it and on the trail leading to both the Schleierfall and the Bichlalm
Hintertux_175_07182018 - During the hike towards the Schleierfall Trail, I encountered this signage and spur trail.  Bogensport means archery in German, so this was not a place to make a wrong turn and inadvertently end up in the line of fire
Hintertux_178_07182018 - Another look back towards the Hintertux Resort Area as I continued on the initial gentle incline as the trail started to leave the Tuxertal and climb up towards the Weitental (Wide Valley)
Hintertux_180_07182018 - Looking back at the context of the Hintertux Glacier Resort Area with car park while towered over by the mountains supporting the Hintertux Glacier itself
Hintertux_181_07182018 - As I continued on the trail up to the Schleierfall, I noticed this cascading waterfall beneath the year-round snow and icefields of the Hintertux Glacier
Hintertux_185_07182018 - Contextual view of the waterfalls tumbling between the Hintertux Glacier and the village as seen from the Schleierfall Trail
Hintertux_188_07182018 - Zoomed in view of the Kesselfall, which was perhaps the easiest waterfall to reach in the Hintertux Resort Area, but this view came from the Schleierfall Trail
Hintertux_203_07182018 - Zoomed in on the uppermost of the waterfalls spilling right behind the Hintertux Village from beneath the Hintertux Glacier as seen from the Schleierfall Trail
Hintertux_213_07182018 - Another contextual view of the waterfalls between the Hintertux Glacier and the Hintertux Resort Village, but this was a more direct view from the Schleierfall Trail
Hintertux_216_07182018 - Context of the Schleierfall Trail with the scenery at the head of the Tuxertal Valley beneath the Hintertux Glacier
Hintertux_224_07182018 - Another look across the head of the Tuxertal Valley with the resort area in context with the glacier and waterfalls at the head of the valley as seen from higher up the Schleierfall Trail
Hintertux_233_07182018 - Now the Schleierfall Trail was climbing more steeply as the path followed along this fencing to continue out of the Tuxertal Valley and into the Weitental Valley
Hintertux_240_07182018 - Looking back at the climbing trail as I was getting higher above the Tuxertal Valley floor and closer to the Schleierfall (though I still had a ways to go from here)
Hintertux_241_07182018 - Continuing the climb further up along the Schleierfall Trail, which gives you an idea of how much climbing was involved (and I wasn't even at the steep part of the waterfall trail yet)
Hintertux_242_07182018 - Following along some fencing as I continued the climb up towards the Schleierfall and the Bichlalm Trail junction
Hintertux_245_07182018 - The climb on the initial part of the Schleierfall Trail was pretty relentless, especially since this narrower trail branched off from the Bichlalm Trail
Hintertux_247_07182018 - Approaching the signed trail junction between the Schleierfall Trail (on the left) and the Bichlalm Trail (on the right)
Hintertux_250_07182018 - Facing the continuation of the steep Schleierfall Trail as it left the Bichlalm Trail junction
Hintertux_388_07182018 - Looking across the Tuxertal Valley towards the Hintertux Glacier where I was high enough to almost be at eye level with it
Hintertux_383_07182018 - At this point, the Schleierfall Trail went high enough that the Hintertux Resort Area was way down below
Hintertux_380_07182018 - Climbing up towards a rather steep section of the Schleierfall Trail as I continued the direct ascent to the waterfall
Hintertux_378_07182018 - The Schleierfall Trail continued its relentless ascent through this forested area though it was by no means empty of people
Hintertux_376_07182018 - Looking back at the upper end of the shaded and wooded section of the Schleierfall hike
Hintertux_373_07182018 - As I was getting closer to the top of this part of the climb for the Schleierfall, I noticed this facility, which I wondered if it might have been a gauge
Hintertux_372_07182018 - Continuing with the climb past some spray-painted trail indicators while approaching an opening up ahead as I was getting closer to the Schleierfall
Hintertux_369_07182018 - Looking back at the grassy part of the trail as I had made it up to a trail junction very close to the bridge above the Weintalbach en route to the Schleierfall
Hintertux_361_07182018 - Looking up at the trail leading directly along the Weintalbach en route to the Schleierfall
Hintertux_359_07182018 - Looking back towards the mountains flanking the Tuxertal from the final ascent up towards the Schleierfall
Hintertux_357_07182018 - On the final ascent towards the Schleierfall on the Weintalbach
Hintertux_351_07182018 - Context of the Weintalbach tumbling from a partial look at the Schleierfall
Hintertux_341_07182018 - Getting closer to the Schleierfall as the final ascent continued its climb
Hintertux_338_07182018 - Zoomed in look at the Schleierfall during my final ascent to the base of the waterfall with some people standing near it for a sense of scale
Hintertux_335_07182018 - Getting closer to the Schleierfall as some people were descending closer to its base from an upper trail
Hintertux_333_07182018 - Full view of the Schleierfall towering over a few hikers checking it out near its base
Hintertux_327_07182018 - Direct look at the Schleierfall from near its base
Hintertux_325_07182018 - Another direct look at the Schleierfall with the continuation of the Weintalbach downstream of it
Hintertux_313_07182018 - Looking against the midday sun towards the Schleierfall from the connecting trail leading up to an upper trail
Hintertux_310_07182018 - Context of the Schleierfall and the connecting trail leading up to the upper trail with a top down look at the falls
Hintertux_309_07182018 - The trail actually continued climbing beyond the waterfall towards this wider trail, where going downhill from here would have gone to the Bichlalm, but going up behind me would have gone up to the Tuxerjoch Haus
Hintertux_302_07182018 - Context of the profile of the Schleierfall with part of the Hintertux Glacier way in the background as seen from the upper trail
Hintertux_295_07182018 - Top down look at the Schleierfall dwarfing people near the waterfall providing a sense of scale
Hintertux_287_07182018 - Looking back at a hiker making the descent to get closer to the base of the Schleierfall from the upper trail
Hintertux_286_07182018 - Looking back at the longer climb from the upper trail connecting with the Bichlalm Trail
Hintertux_284_07182018 - Another look back at the context of the upper trail leading to the Schleierfall from the Bichlalm Trail side
Hintertux_281_07182018 - Looking back from further down the upper trail with the Schleierfall in context
Hintertux_279_07182018 - Trail junction with the upper trail to the Schleierfall (also going up to the Tuxerjoch Haus I believe) and the Bichlalm Trail which continued to the right from this junction
Hintertux_370_07182018 - Descending back along the direct trail alongside the Weintalbach from the Schleierfall back down to the Hintertux Resort Area
Hintertux_381_07182018 - While descending back down to the Hintertux Resort Area from the Schleierfall, I noticed these mountain bikers actually trying to go up this steep and narrow direct Schleierfall Trail
Hintertux_391_07182018 - Looking towards the Hintertux Town as I was making my way back to the Hintertux Resort Area after having my fill of the Schleierfall
Hintertux_395_07182018 - Continuing down the steep descent at the edges of the forest as I descended from the Schleierfall back down to the Hintertux Resort Area
Hintertux_400_07182018 - Making the final descent and approach for the Hintertux Resort Area
Hintertux_417_07182018 - At the end of my Schleierfall hike, I had to wait for Julie and Tahia to get back from their Ice Palace and Gletscherbahn experience.  As I waited for them, I noticed these people doing some Summer skiing in shorts, which was proof that Hintertux really does have year-round skiing!
Hintertux_256_07182018 - Just to indulge you in my mistakes, the rest of this photo gallery shows what I had experienced during my misadventure to get from the Bichlalm Trail to the Schleierfall without actually going to the Bichlalm.  This was the lower part of the Bichlalm Trail looking back towards the Hintertux Glacier and cascade with some fencing
Hintertux_257_07182018 - This was the grassy slope somewhere in between the Schleierfall Trail and the Bichlalm Trail when I was trying to correct my mistake
Hintertux_258_07182018 - Looking up at the steep run or grassy slope when I realized my mistake in pursuing Bichlalm instead of going right to the Schleierfall
Hintertux_259_07182018 - Contextual look towards the Hintertux Glacier and cascades beneath it from the Bichlalm Trail
Hintertux_260_07182018 - Construction vehicles on this unpaved part of the Bichlalm Trail between Bichlalm and the Schleierfall
Hintertux_263_07182018 - Looking across the Tuxertal Valley towards the cascade and Hintertux Glacier fronted by this rest bench along the Bichlalm Trail
Hintertux_264_07182018 - Context of the Bichlalm Trail and the Hintertux Glacier and cascades in the distance
Hintertux_265_07182018 - This would be the view had I did the longer trail to the Bichlalm after wrapping up the Schleierfall with the Hintertux Town way down in the Tuxertal Valley
Hintertux_267_07182018 - Looking towards some upper cascade beneath the Hintertux Glacier as seen from the Bichlalm Trail
Hintertux_269_07182018 - This was the flatter trail from the Bichlalm to the Schleierfall
Hintertux_274_07182018 - From the Bichlalm Trail, I noticed these interesting things set up on the mountainsides, which I think were meant for avalanche control or mitigation

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg


The Schleierfall or Schleierwasserfall was best accessed from the Hintertux Glacier Resort Area, which sat at the very head of the Tuxertal Valley.

Since we were based in Innsbruck when we made our visit, I’ll describe the driving directions from there.

Hintertux_406_07182018 - The busy car park at the Hintertux Resort Area, which sat at the very end of the road through Tuxertail
The busy car park at the Hintertux Resort Area, which sat at the very end of the road through Tuxertail

It was also just as feasible to access Hintertux from the east along the Salzachtal before reaching Zell am Ziller, and then climbing up to the Tuxertal.

From Innsbruck, we drove east on the A12 autobahn for about 36km before taking the exit 40 (Zillertal).

Turning right and heading south towards Zillertal on the B169, we continued down this busy road for another 32km as we passed through the Zillertal Valley as well as Zell am Ziller.

We then turned right onto the road ascending towards Gstan and ultimately towards Tuxertal.

Hintertux_002_07182018 - The big car park at the Hintertux Glacier Resort Area
The big car park at the Hintertux Glacier Resort Area

At this point, there were signs pointing the way.

Finally, we followed this road (I believe it’s also called the L6) to its end in nearly another 18km as there was a huge car park right at the Hintertux Resort Area.

Overall, this drive took us almost 90 minutes, but there was a pretty solid delay in there due to a combination of stopped traffic (stau) and road construction.

So conceivably, this drive could be a bit less than what we experienced.

Hintertux_007_07182018 - Looking ahead at the main part of the Hintertux Gletscher Resort Area, which was just beyond the large public car park
Looking ahead at the main part of the Hintertux Gletscher Resort Area, which was just beyond the large public car park

For geographical context, Zell am Ziller was about 61km (under an hour drive) east of Innsbruck, 57km (about an hour drive) west of Mittersill, about 85km (over 90 minutes drive) west of Zell am See, and 120km (over 90 minutes drive) southeast from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

Brief video showing an elevated view of the Schleierfall from the upper trail


Sweep showing the surrounding scenery as well as examining the Schleierfall from its base


Checking out the waterfalls behind the Hintertux Resort area as I was higher up on the Schleierfall Trail

Trip Planning Resources


Nearby Accommodations




Tagged with: hintertux, weitental, bichlalm, tuxer joch haus, austria, waterfall, zillertal



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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.
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