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Hiking to the natural spectacle "Kessel" (Cauldron)

Bubbling World Heritage

It is probably the most unusual sight of the UNESCO World Heritage region of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut, due to the fact that this unique natural monument can only be admired on very special days. Because the periodically active giant karst spring only releases its impressive natural spectacle after rainy days.

Which way to go?

We begin our short walk to the “Kessel” (Cauldron), which this spring is also named by the locals, below the “Kalvarienberg” (Calvary) church by the P1 car park. Further along the L547 main road in the direction of Obertraun. On the paved road we pass two avalanche galleries and have a beautiful view of the southern part of Lake Hallstatt for the entire route.

After passing the central bus parking lot, we cross the street first from right to left and after a few metres further from left to right. A few more metres and we have reached the periodically active giant karst spring called "Kessel" (Cauldron).

From the depths of the mountain

The spring is fed by melting and rainwater from the Dachstein plateau. The flow-rate from the plateau to the spring is several hours. The water level in the spring cauldron fluctuates in rhythm of the daily summer snow melt. With prolonged rainfall, the cauldron can overflow and then offers a great spectacle.

Summer as well as winter

In summer, the rapidly flowing water exits with a temperature of 6 - 6.5 degrees Celsius. In winter, the water lingers longer in the karst cavities and can reach temperatures of up to 7 degrees Celsius.

First ask - then start

For those who want to play it safe, as to whether the "Kessel" is releasing its impressive natural spectacle, just ask your hosts or the local tourist office.

Further hiking

Between spring and autumn, in dry weather, hikers can combine the tour to the spring with a further hike to the unmanaged “Hirschaualm”. The steep ascent begins just after the spring and leads to the pasture in about 30 minutes. The approximately 45-minute return via the "Geisserbankerl" then gives you many panoramic views of Lake Hallstatt - and leads back to the P1 car park below Hallstatt's “Kalvarienberges“. Tip: You can also visit the karst spring with your own car as it is located just opposite the P4 car park (Hallstatt recreational area). Come by and have a look!

Safety Tips for Hikers

Admittedly, the landscape of the UNESCO World Heritage region of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut is the absolute pinnacle for hiking fans, mountain enthusiasts and nature lovers—unforgettable tours to incredibly beautiful mountain lodges and meadows, panorama views as far as the eye can see and cherished moments that will last a lifetime! However, you should remember that while hiking you might find yourself in high-alpine terrain. We’ve put together some resources to assist you: how to best prepare for your tour, recommended items for your backpack and steps to take in an emergency situation. Remember to always play it safe and enjoy your hiking adventure in the Salzkammergut!

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