Walcher Waterfall

Ferleiten / Fusch an der Grossglocknerstrasse, Salzburg, Austria

About Walcher Waterfall


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2018-07-12
Date last visited: 2018-07-14

Waterfall Latitude: 47.17382
Waterfall Longitude: 12.80783

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The Walcher Waterfall was an impressively tall series of cascades tumbling down a mountainside very close to the toll booths for the Grossglockner High Alpine Road at Ferleiten. According to the maps, this was where the Walcher Bach tumbled a reported 520m down several disjoint cascades.

If they’re counted together, it’s possible that this could very well be Austria’s highest waterfall by cumulative height. However, it’s a bit subjective to consider whether this stringy but seemingly consistent-flowing cascade ought to be considered as such.

Walcher_Waterfall_228_07132018 - This was the most contextual view of the Walcher Waterfall that I could get, which was from the Grossglockner Road before reaching the toll stations
This was the most contextual view of the Walcher Waterfall that I could get, which was from the Grossglockner Road before reaching the toll stations

In any case, this waterfall was kind of obscure from the standpoint that it didn’t appear to be mentioned by name on any of the maps we came across, including the Grossglockner fold-out that they handed out to us once we paid the hefty 36 euro toll to go onto the famous high alpine road. Fortunately for this waterfall, I didn’t need to pay that hefty toll since it could be seen before reaching the toll stations.

I did notice that this waterfall could also be referred to as the Schleierfall (a seemingly popular name amongst German and Austrian waterfalls as I believe it means “Bridal Veil Falls”). Nevertheless, this was essentially a roadside attraction as I found the views were best from the road where the cross-valley view yielded the most contextual look at the entirety of all the cascades comprising the Walcher Waterfall.

That said, there wasn’t an official or sanctioned pullout conveniently yielding the best roadside view. Instead, I had to walk carefully along the road until I spotted openings between the obstructing trees to get the best views. It was also possible to park in one of the parking spaces further down the road at Ferleiten, but all that yielded me was a closer look at the falls, which appeared smaller as the forced perspective of the slopes supporting the falls obstructed chunks of it.

To make matters worse, I believe the trail to climb up alongside the Walcher Waterfall was closed indefinitely because of the high exposure to dropoffs combined with the rockfall danger. There must have been evidence of geological instability as well as fatalities for the authorities to be erecting stern warnings suggesting an unnecessary risk to life if one were to attempt it. I was only able to get as far as a junction in the trail, where some construction work was being done, and even that access trail was closed during work hours, which was pretty much all the daylight hours.

Maybe one day, they may re-open the trail alongside the Walcher Waterfalls, but it certainly doesn’t seem like the risk versus reward was there to justify such an undertaking.

Grossglockner_028_07112018 - The pullout and relaxation area nearest to perhaps the best view of Walcher Waterfall
Grossglockner_020_07112018 - This was the partial view of the Walcher Waterfall from the pullout along the Grossglockner Road
Grossglockner_002_07112018 - Upon closer inspection, you can see that the Walcher Waterfall was pretty thick, and it only looked thin because of its height
Walcher_Waterfall_209_07132018 - This was toll to go on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which was a pretty hefty price tag. Luckily, if the Walcher Waterfall is all you're after, then you don't need to pay this toll if coming in from the north
Walcher_Waterfall_213_07132018 - This was the Walcher Waterfall as seen across the valley from the Grossglockner Road
Walcher_Waterfall_224_07132018 - This pair of duck happened to be sharing the road with me while I was seeking out a better view of the Walcher Waterfall. Fortunately, the traffic was light when I did this as I was concerned they'd get run over
Walcher_Waterfall_226_07132018 - Continuing along the Grossglockner Road as I was seeking to improve the views towards the Walcher Waterfall
Walcher_Waterfall_253_07132018 - This was probably the best view that I was able to get of the Walcher Waterfall
Walcher_Waterfall_006_07132018 - From the car park area at Ferleiten this was the view towards the toll stations for the Grossglockner High Alpine Road
Walcher_Waterfall_017_07132018 - This was the partial view of the Walcher Waterfall as I was walking closer to its trail for a closer look from Ferleiten
Walcher_Waterfall_192_07132018 - Looking in the other direction, this was the view further up the valley towards some cascades as well as the mountains that the Grossglockner Road was going to climb to get past the north face
Walcher_Waterfall_036_07132018 - Construction vehicles being dwarfed by the height of the Walcher Waterfall
Walcher_Waterfall_044_07132018 - Looking back at the farm road that was also a trail as I was trying to get closer to the Walcher Waterfall
Walcher_Waterfall_055_07132018 - Zoomed in on the uppermost drop of the Walcher Waterfall
Walcher_Waterfall_062_07132018 - Another look at the disjoint Walcher Waterfall when viewed from this vantage point near the trail junction that would have led closer to it
Walcher_Waterfall_068_07132018 - This was the trail leading closer to the Walcher Waterfall, but the stern warnings (as shown by the crossbones and skull) warned of the risk to life to continue further
Walcher_Waterfall_093_07132018 - Looking further down the valley towards more farm roads along the Walcher Bach
Walcher_Waterfall_165_07132018 - Context of cows grazing in the pastures before the Walcher Waterfall

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To access the Walcher Waterfall (or at least the viewpoints), you only need to drive to Ferleiten if coming in from the north. That’s how we did it from Zell am See, and that’s how I’ll describe the driving directions in this section.

From the center of Zell am See, I drove south on the Brucker Bundestraße as it entered some tunnels leading me onto the B311 going south. Once out of the tunnels, I remained on the B311 due south for another 4km before taking the ramp on the right to go south on the Glocknerstraße.

Walcher_Waterfall_005_07132018 - Some of the empty parking spaces at Ferleiten early in the morning
Some of the empty parking spaces at Ferleiten early in the morning

Once on the Glocknerstraße, I then headed south for about 13km to a pullout with a little relaxing area on the right. From this spot, it was possible to leave the car and walk carefully along the Grossglockner Road until the views across the valley improve.

Alternatively, it’s possible to continue driving for another 500m to the parking spots in the hamlet of Ferleiten just before the toll stations. While most of the parking here was for the animal park and the guesthouses here, there might be a chance that a spot would be available to get out and go for a short walk to improve the views.

In any case, this 20km drive would take under 30 minutes.

For geographical context, Zell am See was 14km (about 15 minutes drive) south of Saalfelden am Steinernen Meer, 28km (about 30 minutes drive) east of Mittersill, 40km (over 30 minutes drive) west of Sankt Johann im Pongau, and 92km (about 90 minutes drive) north of Lienz via the Felbertauern Road as opposed to the much slower Grossglockner Road, and 88km (under 1.5 hours drive) south of Salzburg.

Panoramic sweeps showing Walcher Waterfalls from across the valley on the Grossglockner Road


Video showcasing the various components of the Walcher Waterfall as well as the valley and other cascades in the area

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Tagged with: ferleiten, grossglockner, austria, waterfall, toll, grossglockner road



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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Walcher Waterfall (Austria) April 10, 2016 3:00 pm by Ruth Williams - The beautiful Walcher waterfall for some reason does not receive a lot of publicity and yet it is one of the tallest in Austria. The Walcherbach stream cascades down the mountain in five main falls for about 520 meters. It is situated near the village of Ferleiten near the toll booths to the Grossglockner High… ...Read More

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