Schraubenfall and Kesselfall

Hintertux / Tux Municipality, Tyrol (Tirol), Austria

About Schraubenfall and Kesselfall


Hiking Distance: about 1.6km round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

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

Waterfall Latitude: 47.10383
Waterfall Longitude: 11.67442

The Kesselfall and Schraubenfall were the more accessible waterfalls in the Hintertux Glacier Resort Area at the very head of the Tuxertal Valley.

These were the lower two named waterfalls on the Tuxbach Stream though I did notice there were certainly more cascades and waterfalls further upstream of this pair.

Hintertux_213_07182018 - Context of the Kesselfall and Schraubenfall with cascades well higher up the mountain as seen from the Schleierfall Trail
Context of the Kesselfall and Schraubenfall with cascades well higher up the mountain as seen from the Schleierfall Trail

As far as nomenclature goes, they sometimes collectively refer to these waterfalls as the Tuxer Wasserfälle or the Tuxer Waterfalls.

I’ve only singled out Kesselfall and Schraubenfall because those were the only two waterfalls of this series that I managed to get close to on the hike I’m about to describe in this write-up.

Overall, I wound up hiking about 1.6km round trip to experience both the Kesselfall and Schraubenfall.

It took me a little over an hour to do this short out-and-back excursion.

Tuxer Waterfalls Trail Description – hiking to the Kesselfall

Hintertux_027_07182018 - Following the trail beneath the Gletscherbus cable cars and heading towards the Kesselfall
Following the trail beneath the Gletscherbus cable cars and heading towards the Kesselfall

From the Hintertux Resort Area, I followed the Wasserfallweg signs towards the west end of the village by the Hotel Der Rinderhof.

The paved trail then went behind the hotel and beneath the humming Gletscherbus cable cars as it approached the free “Wasserwelt” (Water World) playground.

This playground featured a swing that sprayed the person swinging as well as some water cannons and some abstract art.

Beyond the fence behind the Wasserwelt, the path then stopped becoming paved as it passed over a bridge traversing the stream from a man-made cascade spilling beneath some hydro contraption.

Hintertux_037_07182018 - Going past the Wasserwelt Playground en route to the Kesselfall
Going past the Wasserwelt Playground en route to the Kesselfall

Shortly after that bridge, the trail made a brief climb up to the base of the Kesselfall.

This waterfall had an inverted wishbone-shape split by colorful rocks with some small plunge pools where I saw some folks scramble around.

When I showed up in the late morning, I was kind of looking against the sun at the falls so I’d imagine afternoon would be the time to photograph the falls.

Anyways, with this being the lowest and easiest of the waterfalls to reach (only 10 minutes walk or 500m from the Hintertux Resort Area), it was also very popular.

Hintertux_126_07182018 - Direct look at the Kesselfall and the light brown surface over which the Tuxbach Stream spilled
Direct look at the Kesselfall and the light brown surface over which the Tuxbach Stream spilled

In fact, the rest benches situated before the falls were always in use during my visit.

And I don’t blame them considering how they seemed to be perfect for relaxing and staring at the falling action of the water.

Tuxer Waterfalls Trail Description – hiking to the Schraubenfall

The Wasserfallweg then continued climbing beyond the Kesselfall up a combination of steps and a somewhat rough path before reaching a rather confusing ascent up a hill towards a fence near that hydro contraption.

The best way to go up here was to keep to the right where there was a concealed break in the fence (blocked from sight on the way up due to a tree) before the trail resumed.

Hintertux_120_07182018 - Ascending to the fence obstacle with a concealed break en route to the Schraubenfall after continuing the hike above the Kesselfall
Ascending to the fence obstacle with a concealed break en route to the Schraubenfall after continuing the hike above the Kesselfall

Eventually, I reached another trail junction, where kept left (not crossing the bridge) as the trail then went up a steep series of switchbacks in a sweat-inducing climb.

At the very top of this climb, I reached a fenced overlook with a somewhat awkward view down into the gorge before me and the Schraubenfall.

While this waterfall wasn’t particularly big nor anything special compared to the Kesselfall, I think it was the stuff around it that made the falls interesting.

Indeed, the Schraubenfall was facing a cave (more like a long natural bridge).

Hintertux_088_07182018 - Looking into the gorge at the Schraubenfall higher up on the Wasserfallweg from Kesselfall
Looking into the gorge at the Schraubenfall higher up on the Wasserfallweg from Kesselfall

There were also tiny natural arches and peek-a-boo holes just upstream of falls’ brink attesting to the turbulence of the cutting action of the water within the confines of this gorge.

In addition to the initial fenced overlook for the falls, there were more overlooks further upstream revealing the cave and the arches above the Schraubenfall.

This was my turnaround point though it was entirely possible to continue the hike to see if there were more waterfalls encountered.

I wouldn’t know at this point, but I’m sure one day I’ll come back and do a more thorough exploration.

Hintertux_078_07182018 - Context of the steep climb between the Kesselfall and the Schraubenfall
Context of the steep climb between the Kesselfall and the Schraubenfall

It was also possible to take advantage of the Gletscherbahn and do one-way downhill hikes from higher up the mountain and then return down to the valley via the Wasserfallweg.

Authorities

The Kesselfall and Schraubenfall reside 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_007_07182018 - Looking towards the village at the Hintertux Glacier Resort Area from the car park
Hintertux_005_07182018 - From the Hintertux Glacier Resort Area car park, I already started to notice this cascade on the Tuxerbach, which was way higher than both Kesselfall and Schraubenfall
Hintertux_014_07182018 - Looking back at the main part of the Hintertux Resort village en route to the Kesselfall
Hintertux_023_07182018 - On the walkway (Wasserfallweg) between the Hotel Der Rinderhof and the Kesselfall
Hintertux_035_07182018 - Looking up to see where the Gletscherbus was going as I was walking the Wasserfallweg to Kesselfall
Hintertux_041_07182018 - Beyond the Wasserwelt, I was now on the trail leading up to the base of the Kesselfall with the man-made cascade beneath some hydro facility on the far right of this picture
Hintertux_042_07182018 - Approaching the base of the Kesselfall
Hintertux_045_07182018 - Looking towards some kind of hydro facility coming off a diversion stream that was an offshoot from the same stream as Kesselfall
Hintertux_049_07182018 - Closer look at the hydro contraption and the cascade that came from it while making my way up to the Kesselfall
Hintertux_051_07182018 - Context of the trail leading up to Kesselfall and the diversion stream coming from the hydro facility
Hintertux_053_07182018 - Direct look at the Kesselfall
Hintertux_059_07182018 - Context of some of the people scrambling around the base of the Kesselfall
Hintertux_061_07182018 - One of the rest benches before the Kesselfall that people took full advantage of
Hintertux_062_07182018 - Continuing the hike beyond the Kesselfall in pursuit of the Schraubenfall
Hintertux_064_07182018 - The trail ducked beneath this pipe or contraption between the Kesselfall and the Schraubenfall
Hintertux_118_07182018 - This was the hidden break in the fence to continue on the Wasserfallweg towards the Schraubenfall
Hintertux_066_07182018 - Continuing along the trail towards the Schraubenfall after proceeding beyond the Kesselfall
Hintertux_070_07182018 - About to start on the steep climb leading up towards the Schraubenfall
Hintertux_075_07182018 - Lots of tight switchbacks in this dry gully leading up to the Schraubenfall
Hintertux_081_07182018 - Nearing the top of the steep climb up towards Schraubenfall
Hintertux_083_07182018 - Finally at a viewpoint of the Schraubenfall
Hintertux_096_07182018 - Looking down at the context of the Tuxbach and the people at the lookout for the Schraubenfall while continuing along the trail
Hintertux_101_07182018 - After a short distance further up from the lookout for Schraubenfall, there was another lookout back towards the lookout I was just at, where down below it was a cave or natural bridge that the Tuxbach flowed through
Hintertux_106_07182018 - Looking right into the gorge above Schraubenfall where there were natural arches and peek-a-boo holes
Hintertux_109_07182018 - The fencing around the Schraubenfall to prevent visitors from falling into the Tuxbach gorge
Hintertux_111_07182018 - Descending the steep part of the gully as I was returning from Schraubenfall and headed back towards the Kesselfall
Hintertux_115_07182018 - Looking back up at the steep ascent up to the Schraubenfall that I had taken to continue climbing after the Kesselfall
Hintertux_117_07182018 - Back at the fence obstacle between the Kesselfall and Schraubenfall
Hintertux_124_07182018 - Profile look across the base of the Kesselfall when I got back to it just as the sun was breaking through the clouds
Hintertux_128_07182018 - More direct look back at the Kesselfall during my return hike after having had my fill of the Schraubenfall
Hintertux_135_07182018 - Long exposed look at the Kesselfall when the sun was momentarily concealed by some local clouds
Hintertux_136_07182018 - Another long-exposed look at the Kesselfall during my return hike from the Schraubenfall
Hintertux_143_07182018 - Looking back at the context of the Kesselfall from near the fencing by the Wasserwelt Playground
Hintertux_145_07182018 - Contextual trail view of the Kesselfall Trail and the waterfall itself as I continued heading back towards the Wasserwelt Playground
Hintertux_146_07182018 - Contextual view looking towards the Hintertux Resort Area as I was returning from the Kesselfall and Wasserwelt Playground
Hintertux_153_07182018 - Another look up towards the Gletscherbus, which the Kesselfall Trail went underneath

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Kesselfall and Schraubenfall (i.e. the Tuxer Waterfalls, if you will) were 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.

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.

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

Next, we turned 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.

Hintertux_021_07182018 - Looking back at the innermost of the car parks from the start of the Wasserfallweg near the Hotel Rinderhof
Looking back at the innermost of the car parks from the start of the Wasserfallweg near the Hotel Rinderhof

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.

Video focusing on the Kesselfall, which was the first waterfall behind the Hintertux Resort area


Brief video checking out the second waterfall behind the Hintertux Resort area (Straubenfall)


Video showing the natural bridge or tunnel downstream from the Schraubenfall

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Tagged with: tuxer waterfalls, tuxbach, hintertux, wasserwelt, austria, waterfall, kesselfall, zillertal, tuxertal



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of 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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