Wildenstein Waterfall

Gallizien, Carinthia (Karnten), Austria

About Wildenstein Waterfall


Hiking Distance: 1.4km round trip
Suggested Time: 45-60 minutes

Date first visited: 2018-07-11
Date last visited: 2018-07-11

Waterfall Latitude: 46.53429
Waterfall Longitude: 14.50882

The Wildenstein Waterfall (Wildensteiner Wasserfall) was a free-falling 54m waterfall on the Wildensteinerbach at the foot of the Hochobir Mountain.

This was probably the southernmost of the Austrian waterfalls that we visited on our epic Summer trip in 2018.

Wildenstein_Waterfall_045_07102018 - The Wildenstein Waterfall (or Wildensteiner Wasserfall)
The Wildenstein Waterfall (or Wildensteiner Wasserfall)

A sign here claimed that it was the highest free-falling waterfall in Europe, but I somehow doubt that claim.

That said, it was certainly impressive and worth the detour as we were making the drive from Graz to Millstatt.

In any case, it certainly seemed that as far as the foreign tourist route was concerned, the state of Carinthia (or Kärnten in German) tended to be bypassed.

So that made this experience refreshingly naturesque and peaceful (though it also helped that we showed up pretty early in the morning).

Wildenstein_Waterfall_073_07102018 - Looking out towards Gallizien from the Wildenstein Waterfall Trail
Looking out towards Gallizien from the Wildenstein Waterfall Trail

Overall, our visit took us around an hour despite the signage suggesting it was 20 minutes on the way up (and thus probably a bit less time on the way back down).

Finally, I’ve seen this waterfall referred to as the Wildensteiner Waterfall as well as the Wildensteiner Wasserfall and Wildensteinerfall in German.

Wildenstein Waterfall Trail Description

Our excursion was on a well-established path that went uphill for 700m before arriving at the lookout with a direct view of the impressive plunge waterfall.

The signage suggested that it was 20 minutes one way on the uphill, but it took us a bit longer than that because we really took our time.

Wildenstein_Waterfall_072_07102018 - Wild raspberries that we noticed along the trail
Wild raspberries that we noticed along the trail

In fact, Julie and Tahia had lots of fun picking wild strawberries and wild raspberries right from the foliage flanking the trail.

There was one potentially confusing stretch where there was signage (the one that claimed this waterfall was the highest free-falling one in Europe) and a picnic table.

It was right before the part where the trail starting going up some switchbacks as the climb became steeper.

Right across from the trail at the turn was also a false trail that continued alongside the Wildensteinerbach, but it was too overgrown and erosion-prone so it wasn’t wise to go there.

Wildenstein_Waterfall_079_07102018 - Looking down at the false trail going into the overgrowth right at the switchback by the picnic table and sign along the Wildenstein Waterfall Trail
Looking down at the false trail going into the overgrowth right at the switchback by the picnic table and sign along the Wildenstein Waterfall Trail

Towards the top of the ascent, there was a trail junction that appeared to lead further up above the Wildensteiner Waterfall and eventually Eisenkappler Hütte as well as even further out to Hochobir.

It was said that there was also some ruins of an abandoned castle (that once belonged to the Wildensteiner family before its destruction by earthquake in 1348) that could be seen up that way.

I didn’t go up that way, but it was said to be roughly over 30 minutes of additional hiking to witness.

Anyways, continuing straight ahead beyond this trail junction, the path eventually made it to the dead-end with a nice frontal view of the Wildensteiner Waterfall.

Wildenstein_Waterfall_076_07102018 - This was the trail junction where the uphill trail on the left continued towards Hochobir as well as the Wildensteiner Castle ruins that was apparently destroyed by earthquake in 1348
This was the trail junction where the uphill trail on the left continued towards Hochobir as well as the Wildensteiner Castle ruins that was apparently destroyed by earthquake in 1348

Fencing had been erected to prevent us from going all the way to the base of the falls, where apparently it used to be possible to go behind it.

That said, the verticality of the underlying cliffs made me think that the rockfall danger was too great to allow people to go there freely.

We didn’t push our luck in hopping the fence and adding unnecessary risk in extending our experience at the falls.

So after having our fill of the scenery here, we headed back as the trail was pretty much all downhill at this point.

Wildenstein_Waterfall_058_07102018 - The lookout deck at the end of the Wildenstein Waterfall Trail, which stopped well short of backside of the waterfall's base
The lookout deck at the end of the Wildenstein Waterfall Trail, which stopped well short of backside of the waterfall’s base

Along the way, we had nice downhill glimpses of the pastures spread out in the immediate area near Gallizien.

Authorities

The Wildenstein Waterfall resides near the town of Gallizien in the state of Carinthia (Kärnten), Austria. It may be administered by the Gallizien government. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting their website.

Wildenstein_Waterfall_012_07102018 - The first switchback on the initial climb from the car park as we pursued the Wildensteiner Waterfall, where we were the first ones on it given our early morning start
Wildenstein_Waterfall_015_07102018 - As the Wildensteiner Waterfall Trail climbed, we were able to see some of the neighboring farm fields
Wildenstein_Waterfall_018_07102018 - Approaching the picnic table and signpost where the Wildenstein Waterfall Trail started climbing a bit more steeply.  That path leading into the overgrowth to the left was a false trail
Wildenstein_Waterfall_020_07102018 - A rest bench and fencing at one of the switchbacks on the ascent up to the lookout for the Wildensteiner Waterfall
Wildenstein_Waterfall_021_07102018 - Continuing up some of the switchbacks on the way up to the Wildenstein Waterfall
Wildenstein_Waterfall_069_07102018 - Continuing up more switchbacks as the Wildenstein Waterfall was starting to come into view
Wildenstein_Waterfall_071_07102018 - Julie and Tahia picking wild raspberries along the Wildensteiner Waterfall Trail
Wildenstein_Waterfall_023_07102018 - At a trail junction where we kept going straight to the Wildenstein Waterfall instead of continuing uphill on the right towards Hochobir and possibly the Wildensteiner Castle ruins
Wildenstein_Waterfall_077_07102018 - Looking back at the context of the trail and the views towards the pastures near Gallienz
Wildenstein_Waterfall_026_07102018 - Approaching the Wildensteiner Waterfall and its lookout deck
Wildenstein_Waterfall_060_07102018 - Making it to the lookout deck for the Wildensteiner Waterfall
Wildenstein_Waterfall_039_07102018 - Looking at the entirety of the freefall of the Wildensteiner Waterfall with more cascades downstream of its plunge pool
Wildenstein_Waterfall_047_07102018 - Another look at the Wildenstein Waterfall
Wildenstein_Waterfall_053_07102018 - Vertical context of the Wildensteiner Waterfall showing the overhanging cliff above the waterfall
Wildenstein_Waterfall_070_07102018 - Julie heading back down after having our fill of the Wildenstein Waterfall
Wildenstein_Waterfall_081_07102018 - Closer look at a picnic table and rest benches by the bottom of the steep part of the descent after having our fill of the Wildensteiner Waterfall
Wildenstein_Waterfall_083_07102018 - This was another one of the false trails descending off the Wildensteiner Waterfall Trail, which didn't really go anywhere when I explored it
Wildenstein_Waterfall_089_07102018 - Julie and Tahia still on the lookout for more wild raspberries along the Wildenstein Waterfall Trail as we made our way back from the waterfall
Wildenstein_Waterfall_093_07112018 - We spotted some other berries along the Wildensteiner Waterfall Trail during our return hike
Wildenstein_Waterfall_094_07112018 - Julie and Tahia making it back to the car park at the trailhead for the Wildensteiner Waterfall

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The Wildenstein Waterfall was near the city of Klagenfurt am Wörthersee so we’ll describe the driving directions from there.

Driving from city to city beginning from other starting locations can be looked up in apps like GoogleMaps.

From Klagenfurt, we’d drive east on the A2 autobahn and take the 298 exit (Grafenstein) roughly 9km east of the Klagenfurt Airport.

Once at the off-ramp, we’d head south on the L87 road (turning right).

Wildenstein_Waterfall_006_07102018 - Context of the car park and trailhead for the Wildenstein Waterfall
Context of the car park and trailhead for the Wildenstein Waterfall

Similarly, we could also drive east on the Road B70 for about 12km from the city center to the L87 road before turning right to go south.

Once on the L87 road, we’d then head south towards the L107 Road before turning left.

Next, we’d follow the L107 Road east then south for about 11km before reaching a junction with the B85 Road at Gallizien.

Turning left onto the B85 Road, we then turned right onto the signposted road leading to the Wildensteiner Wasserfall.

Wildenstein_Waterfall_010_07102018 - Looking back down at the parking area for the Wildensteiner Waterfall as well as for neighboring cafes and guesthouses
Looking back down at the parking area for the Wildensteiner Waterfall as well as for neighboring cafes and guesthouses

And finally after another kilometer on this rural road, we’d arrive at the car park for the Wildensteiner Waterfall.

Overall, this drive would take us about a half-hour.

For geographical context, Klagenfurt was 85km (about an hour drive) east of Millstatt, 135km (90 minutes drive) southwest of Graz, 140km (2 hours drive) south of Admont , and 85km (1.5 hours drive) north of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Video checking out the falls from the sanctioned lookout

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Tagged with: gallizien, volkermarkt, klagenfurt, austria, waterfall, slovenia, wild strawberries, wild raspberries



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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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