(c)NPHT, Egger

Hohe Tauern
National Park

Magnificent Alpine Nature
at its Finest

Hohe Tauern National Park

From the valleys to the summit regions of the mighty 3000 metre peaks, the oldest and largest protected area in Austria preserves habitats of rich biodiversity. With 342 glaciers, the internationally recognised wilderness area of the Sulzbach valleys and traditional cultivated landscapes, the High Mountains National Park is an area filled with a special kind of nature as well as research and adventure.


The largest National Park in the Alpine region has an area of 185,600 ha and covers the provinces of Carinthia, Salzburg and Tyrol.


54% glaciers, rubble heaps, rock faces and dwarf shrub meadows
32% subalpine/alpine lawns and pastures
9% forest
4% alder and mountain pine shrubbery
1% water


The National Park Hohe Tauern was founded in 1981 and was recognised by the IUCN as a protected area under category II in 2001.


Good to know

With 15,000 animal species, the protected area is home to around one third of the fauna found in all of Austria.

A brook in the mountains
(c)NPHT Kurzthaler
At the summit in the Hohe Tauern National Park.
(c)Sebastian Hoehn

Natural Environment Hohe Tauern

The highest and most famous summit in Austria and the largest glacier areas in the eastern Alps dominate the face of the natural environment, as well as stunning waterfalls, silent mountain lakes and roaring glacial streams.

With its four altitude levels, ranging from valleys at 600 to 700 metres above sea level to the highest level beyond the 3,000 metre mark, the high mountain landscape forms a mosaic of diverse habitats and climatic regions. Crossing it is equivalent to a 4,000 km long journey from Central Europe to the Arctic.

In addition to untouched wilderness, the Hohe Tauern, which extend over 100 km of the Austrian Central Alps, is also home to traditional cultivated landscapes, such as alpine pastures and mountain meadows.


An eagle on a rock
(c)NPHT Kurzthaler
A marmot by a rock
(c)NPHT web

Fauna of the Hohe Tauern

The fascinating world of fauna found at the Hohe Tauern is truly magnificent. In addition to imposing birds of prey and large mammals, the protected area also provides a home to tiny animals, such as the smallest native songbird (goldcrest) and genuine “masters of survival” (such as the rock ptarmigan).

Bearded vultures, golden eagles, alpine ibex, chamois and marmot are known as the “Big Five” of the Hohe Tauern and it’s hard to imagine the protected area without them. However, in light of the fact that there are 15,000 animal species represented here, they are only a small part of the extremely diverse fauna.

Ibexes go up a path with stones
(c)NPHT Gressmann

Having almost completely disappeared from the Alpine mountain range at the beginning of the 19th century, the alpine ibex only returned to the habitat of the Hohe Tauern from the 1960s. Thanks to intensive and successful reintroduction efforts, the population now stands at around 1,100 animals.

A bearded vulture in flight in the Hohe Tauern National Park.
(c)Martin Lugger

With a wingspan of up to 2.9 metres, the bearded vulture is one of the most impressive birds of prey in the Hohe Tauern. The fact that the “king of the skies”, which disappeared in the 19th century due to hunting and drying up of food sources, is now circling over the National Park area once again is the result of a costly reintroduction programme.

A fish jumps out of the water

The brown trout is widespread in Austria. However, the type typically found in the Danube (the autochthonous brown trout) is threatened with extinction as it has been displaced by other trout over the past 40 years, such as the Atlantic salmon. The native trout population of the Hohe Tauern therefore enjoys special protection and has become a subject of scientific research.

Pink flowers and mountains
(c)Fabian Dalpiaz
A meadow with flowers and mountains
(c)Tobias Kaser

Flora of the Hohe Tauern

With around 3,500 species of plants (including lichens and algae), the Hohe Tauern National Park could also be called a “Noah’s Ark” from a botanic perspective. Whether it be larch-pine forests, belts of dwarf shrubs, mountain meadows, lichens, fungi or flowerage: the “garden” habitat of the Hohe Tauern is highly diverse and includes even the rarest of plants.

Many of these species have had to become “specialists” at adapting to extreme soil and climate conditions as they react sensitively to changes to their habitat related to climate change.

Two flowers with white bloom
(c)Jacqueline Moesslacher

The strictly protected edelweiss flower, which originates from Central Asia, symbolises alpine flora like no other plant. Its white-felt surface protects the button-like flower heads and upper leaves from cold, dehydration and UV radiation – and this means it can adapt perfectly to the harsh conditions of the high mountains.

Pink flowers and mountains
(c)Fabian Dalpiaz

The rusty alpenrose (also known commonly as the alpine rose) covers the early summer mountain slopes of the Hohe Tauern in bright pink. However, the plant doesn’t take its name from the colour of its flower, but rather the rusty brown scales on the underside of the leaf. It can be found in particular on humus-rich, acidic soils.

Purple flowers and stones

The rare Saxifrage Rudolphia can also be seen in the National Park territory: the plant forms compact cushions and can hardly be missed thanks to its purple flowers. The fact that the Saxifrage Rudolphia holds up very well in rocky crevices and on high alpine rubble heaps can be attributed to it’s very long roots.


More than 300 mountain peaks of over 3,000 metres above sea level and rich biodiversity make the Hohe Tauern National Park a first-class area of learning and adventure.

Trailer Hohe Tauern National Park


Mountains and yellow flowers
(c)Fabian Dalpiaz

Fabian Dalpiaz

Rocks and mountains in the fog
(c)NPHT Rofner


Meadow, lake and mountains in the background
(c)NPHT Philipp Vollnhofer

Philip Vollnhofer


The full richness of the National Park
People hiking at a rock in the mountains
(c)M. Steinthaler
People in the mountains
(c)M. Steinthaler

Heiligenblut Geo Trail

The Heiligenblut geo trail allows for close-up insights into the history of the Hohe Tauern. In addition to sinkholes, shafts, caves, atypical karst formations and the famous Tauern Window, the tour also provides amazing views over the range of peaks. The point of departure for the geological adventure is Schareck.

A sign with information for hikers
(c)NPHT Rieder
Forest and a small pond
(c)TVB Rauris Florian Bachmeier

Rauris Primeval Forest Themed Trail

The Rauris primeval forest is a very special natural gem with fenland ponds, old spiky spruces, fallen trees and clearings you would expect to find in a fairytale. The themed trail of the same name conveys the characteristics of the unspoilt forest, provides insights into the flora and fauna and invites visitors to take some time out to relax. The starting departure for the walk that takes at least 45 minutes is the Lenzanger car park in Kolm-Saigurn (Salzburg).

© Sebastian Höhn Photography
At the summit in the Hohe Tauern National Park.
(c)Sebastian Hoehn

Innergschlöss Glacier Trail

The Innergschlöss glacier trail takes you on a journey into the “eternal ice” of the core zone. On the tour to the Schlatenkees glacier (at the foot of the Grossvenediger), visitors will find out about the landscape-forming force of the glaciers and the consequences of climate change. This one-day alpine hike has more to offer apart from the “ice giants”, other rewarding discoveries include the Felsenkapelle cliff-side chapel, Almdorf Innergschlöss and Auge Gottes lake. The glacier trail starts in Gschlöss valley, continues over the Salzbodensee lake and ends at the glacier mouth of the Schlatenkees.


The Best Start
to Experiencing Nature

Accessible all year round and 24 hours a day, the Hohe Tauern National Park can be reached from various side valleys of the Pinzgau, Pongau, Lungau, Isel valley, Lienz valley floor, Möll valley and the Malta valley. The visitor and information centres of the National Park federal states offer an overview of the many possibilities for exploration.

The visitor centre in Mallnitz.
(c)NPHT Fessl

Visitor Centre Mallnitz

The “univerzoom nationalpark” exhibition and “rangerlab” workshops invite visitors to the Mallnitz visitor centre (open seasonally) to explore Hohe Tauern’s natural environment. Secrets of nature, such as the Auernig landslide and survival strategies of the fauna are explored here, as well as climate change, the water cycle and native herbs.

All centres and exhibitions



Mallnitz Visitor Centre

Mallnitz 36, 9822 Mallnitz
Tel: +43 (4825) 6161


The National Park Centre in Mittersill in the Hohe Tauern National Park.
(c)Harry Liebmann
National Park Centre Mittersill
(c)NPHT Krug

National Park Centre Mittersill

The largest National Park visitor’s centre in Central Europe introduces its guests to the habitat and natural environment of the Hohe Tauern all year round. In the eight themed areas of the multimedia exhibition “National Park Worlds”, nature enthusiasts can learn interesting facts about the formation of the Alps, flora and fauna in the Hohe Tauern and habitats in the protected area. A 3D cinema and 360° panorama allow visitors to experience the spectacular nature and summit all year round.

All centres and exhibitions



Mittersill National Park Centre

Gerlosstraße 18, 5739 Mittersill
Tel.: +43 (6562) 40849-33


A house for visitors
(c)Martin Lugger
National Park Centre Matrei
(c)NPHT Martin Lugger

National Park House Matrei

With its interactive “Momente des Staunens” exhibition, the Matrei National Park House (open seasonally) provides a comprehensive introduction into the habitats of the protected area. Spectacular 360° videos of National Park hotspots and six adventure spaces set the mood for experiencing nature in an authentic way and for going on tours into the National Park territory. During the summer months, special exhibitions that change each year are great additions to range of information on offer.

All centres and exhibitions



Matrei National Park House

Kirchplatz 2, 9971 Matrei in Osttirol
Tel.: +43 (4875) 5161 10



Contact and Directions

Sekretariat des Nationalparkrates

Kirchplatz 2, 9971 Matrei in Osttirol
Tel.: +43 (4875) 5112 0

Nationalparkverwaltung Kärnten

Döllach 14, 9843 Großkirchheim
Tel.: +43 (4825) 6161 0

Nationalparkverwaltung Salzburg

Gerlosstraße 18, 5730 Mittersill
Tel.: +43 (6562) 40849 0

Nationalparkverwaltung Tirol

Kirchplatz 2, 9971 Matrei in Osttirol
Tel.: +43 (4875) 5161 - 0


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