Schleierfall

Hintertux / Tux Municipality, Tyrol (Tirol), Austria

Static Google Map of Schleierfall

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

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

From the Hintertux Resort Area, I walked followed the signs and walked along a gently sloping path along the foot of the west end of the Tuxertal Valley. 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 showing parts of the Hintertux Glacier as well as long cascades coming from the melting ice and down towards the head of the valley as the Kesselfall, Schraubenfall, and other waterfalls further upstream.

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Looking back towards the Hintertux Resort Area as well as the cascades tumbling down from the Hintertux Glacier towards the Kesselfall at the bottom

During this climb, while I was mesmerized by the scenery at the head of the Tuxertal 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. After getting through a little fence, the trail forked. 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, but 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. Turning right at this junction, I would then reach the next fork in the trail shortly thereafter.

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Approaching the Schleierwasserfall from the bottom

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.

However, the trail continued nearly another 100m uphill before reaching a much wider (albeit rockier) trail. 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 get up to the fence and benches for an attractive profile and top-down view towards the Schleierfall with the surrounding mountains as the backdrop.

That was my turnaround point, and so to end the excursion, I had a choice of going back down the way I came (for the shortest amount of hiking) or taking the wide road back down to the even wider Bichlalm Trail (with a cantina at the alm itself) 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. Meanwhile, visiting the Schleierfall via the alm would have added another 4km in one direction.

I wound up spending over 2 hours on this trail, but some of that time was wasted on mistakenly turning back and taking the Bichlalm Trail (when I shouldn’t have), and then taking 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.

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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. 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.

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The big car park at the Hintertux Glacier Resort Area

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 before turning right onto the road ascending towards Gstan and ultimately towards Tuxertal. 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.

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

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

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