Crossing a whole mountain range from one beautiful lake to the next sounds pretty tempting, right? Going from Attersee to Traunsee is exactly this, nicely doable with train from Linz or whereever you want to start. Very ambitious people who do not mind getting up early and walk fast can do it within a day, otherwise a sleepover at one of the two huts on the way is highly recommended. For going down you can choose between cable car (keep operation times in mind especially in the afternoon/evening) or simply walk down. Both Attersee and Traunsee are famous lakes for summer holiday in Austria so nice occasion as well to combine it with a longer stay somewhere. Several via ferratas, Traunstein, Mondsee, Bad Ischl, Hallstatt are also kind of close (maximum an hour away) and just the lakes give you enough program for hot summer days.
Overview: 1st day: arriving to Attersee and walking till Hochleckenhaus or Rieder Hütte; 2nd day: to Riederhütte, from there optional Höllkogel and then to Feuerkogel. In the later text I will give you some more options how to vary.
The article combines pics from 3 different hikes/seasons. One time only to Feuerkogel/Alberfeldkogel (when cable car was closed during spring 2020 lockdown), one time from Langwies to Höllkogel and then most snowy pics from the crossing itself.
This is probably one of the few tours better with publics than by car. If you have two cars it is all relaxed and parking one at Attersee and one in Ebensee works, if only one it is probably best parking at the cablecar station in Ebensee and then taking the publics as described below to Attersee.
Access public transportation
From Linz with 1-2x changing to Steinbach/Attersee Forstamt in appr. 1:30h. Return from Ebensee Landungsplatz (10min walking from cablecar station) to Linz in appr. 1:15h. Trains from Ebensee at least every hour, also till late so you will not be stuck there. If next stop is for example Gmunden, Bad Ischl or Hallstatt there is also direct connection to these places.
Day 1: it already starts with several possible paths to choose from to the Hochleckenhaus:
- the best choice in my opinion is from Forstamt the Brennerriesensteig: includes a long ladder but overall a very rewarding hike through the west face of the Höllengebirge and when standing at the bus stop you might wonder where the path should lead through, should take around 4:30h.
After reaching the top of the face with good weather you can see the Dachstein, the name Dachsteinblick has a reason. On the way to Hochleckenhaus you can add the peak of Brennerin to your trip, detour of like half an hour. After that long ascent you have your break deserved and can rest at Hochleckenhaus. Depending when you started and how the plan looks like for the next day, you might stay there and sleep in the hut or continue still to the Rieder Hütte, which is another 5h.
- if you want to start with a via ferrata difficulty D/E you can start from Forstamt with the (in)famous Mahdlgupf-Klettersteig. Keep in mind that E is the top end of the scale and every year several people need to be rescued from that one.
- other options please check from the homepage of Hochleckenhaus; it includes other nice hikes but they are more difficult to reach with bus.
Day 2: depending where you slept, in case Hochleckenhaus, the Rieder Hütte is your first aim of the day. Afterwards there are the following options:
- Großer Höllkogel: it is the highest peak of the Höllengebirge and to the peak it takes around half an hour. So if there is time and decent weather definitely something to include. But you can also skip it and take one of the options mentioned below or continue just from the peak to these.
- Probably the most obvious choice: going to Feuerkogel in around 1,5h. From there either cable car down (in 2020 it was around 16€) or walk in like two hours down to the cable car station. The begin is via a skiing slope but most of the hike is through the forest and very nice.
- Langwies: from Rieder Hütte or straight from the crossroad when coming back from Höllkogel you can also go down to Langwies instead of Ebensee. I would say the path is a bit nicer, less touristic as there is no cable car but you need to walk all the way yourself and do not have the help of the cable car. In Langwies there is also a train station, trains bit less regular than from Ebensee but also working, good connections especially to Bad Ischl/Hallstatt but as well decent to go back to Linz, etc..