About a half-hour drive from Alpbach in the heart of Tyrol is Wolfsklamm Gorge and St Georgenberg Monastery. It has a hiking trail through forests, bridges, and viewing galleries built into rocks over emerald green water, to canyons with cascading waterfalls that lead up to a monastery.
I understand why it is considered to be one of Austria’s most beautiful gorges and definitely one to be added to your next trip to the Tyrol region.
1. Wolfsklamm gorge and St Georgenberg Monastery
The hiking trail through Wolfsklamm Gorge to St Georgenberg Monastery is well marketed. You can either be tackled as part of a group or independently depending on your confidence.
Either way, make sure that you wear good walking/hiking shoes as it gets slippery, especially when it has been raining. Also, don’t forget your camera for those gorges and waterfalls.
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I explored the Gorge and was taken to the Monastery for lunch as a part of an Ingham excursion while in Alpbach Austria. The 20 plus group was led by a lovely lady, Jane. It was one of the optional excursions that are offered to Inghams guests while staying in the area.
2. Distance and additional information
The hiking trail distance is 6kms with an elevation gain of 350m, which took roughly a few hours round trip. This is incorporating both the Wolfsklamm Gorge and the walk up to St Georgenberg monastery. The hiking trail requires a moderate level of fitness. As there are some of the sections requiring steep walking and upstairs along the ridges.
There are also uneven areas as well as rocky canyons through the gorge.
- Distance: 6 kms
- Suggested hiking time: 3hrs
- Fitness level: – Moderate
- Entrance fee: – €4.50
- Closed: – During the winter season
- You can book this tour through your Inghams Rep and they will organise your transfer. They will also book the lunch but the meal will be at an additional fee.
3. Route Map of Wolfsklamm gorge to St Georgenberg Monastery
4. About St Georgenberg Monastery
Perched on a cliff looming above the trees is St Georgenberg Monastery, one of the oldest pilgrimage sites in the Tyrol region. According to tradition, the site’s first use was as a hermitage in about the middle of the 10th century. Only in 2000 was the 1050th anniversary held for the Georgenberg(St George’s Mount).
Today St Georgenberg monastery still serves as a pilgrimage site and the church is open all year round. However, there is now a small shop, a Gasthaus (German-style inn) with a bar and a restaurant that has a terrace with beautiful panoramic views. Not to mention the old covered wooden bridge you need to cross to reach St Georgenberg Monastery dating back to 1497.
5. Have lunch at St Georgenberg Monastery
The St Georgenberg monastery serves traditional hearty Austrian food from the region. It is a great way to fuel up before heading back down the mountain. Make sure to have lunch on the terrace that has beautiful views across the gorge while enjoying your hearty Austrian meal.
I had a delicious meal of Weiner schnitzel with fries, cranberry sauce, and a side salad. The portion sizes were huge and I wished knew beforehand as I wouldn’t have ordered so much. There were two massive pieces of schnitzel and it could have two people. I did try and eat both of them but unfortunately, I was not successful!
- Book your lunch at the St Georgenberg Monastery before you arrive, as it gets really busy and you don’t want to miss out on the great food.
6. Overview of the hiking track to St Georgenberg Monastery
6.1 The Gorge
After you have paid your small fee, you will take a hiking trail through the forest for around 10-15 minutes. Before arriving at the starting point of the gorge path. The hiking trail through the Wolfsklamm gorge leads over wooden steps, ridges and rocky canyons with some areas much steeper than others.
However, the views of the cascading waterfalls and the emerald green water rushing through definitely make everything worthwhile. Make sure you stop off at the viewing deck above one of the waterfalls and take it all in, even just for 5mins.
Be careful and make sure to wear good hiking shoes or boots as there are some parts of the hiking trail that are slippy from the moist.
6.2 The halfway mark
Just as you come up out of the gorge, if you look up you are greeted with an amazing view of St Georgenberg Monastery perched on a clifftop. You have roughly reached the halfway point.
It is also the point where you can turn back and retrace your steps or go across the small bridge and head back down via Fiecht. This is also known as the way of the cross over Weng or Maria Tax.
6.3 Take a break & dip your feet into the stream
From here, you will start your ascent up to St Georgenberg monastery. On your way up (5 minutes) you will come across a section considered to be the beach, where you could take a refreshing break and dip your feet into the water.
7. The walk up and the wooden bridge
After your dip, you continue your hiking trail up to the monastery for lunch. The trail up is more of a wider path and is not as steep as some of the parts within the gorge. As we are walking up through the lush forest the monastery looms high above us.
There are spots along the way where you can not only get pictures of the monastery but of the stunning old covered wooden bridge known as the Hohe Brücke (High Bridge). It is considered to be Tirol’s oldest wooden bridge dating as far back as 1497.
You will need to cross over the Hohe Brücke to reach St Georgenberg monastery. Make sure that you stop on the bridge and take in the views below.
8. St Georgenberg Monastery
Once you have crossed over the bridge, it is only a 2min walk up hill to St Georgenberg Monastery. When you arrive, you can enjoy your traditional Austrian lunch on the terrace, while taking in the views. Before taking a walk around the church and monastery before making your way back.
9. Getting to Wolfsklamm Gorge
Wolfsklamm Gorge is located in Stans Tyrol which is a part of the Karwendel Silver Region. It is about an hour from Innsbruck and about 30mins from Alpbach. Making it easily accessible by train, bus, or car, especially for a weekend.
9.1 Bus /Train
You can catch a train ( ÖBB Austrian Rail) to Stans and then Wolfsklamm Gorge is only a 5-10 minute walk from there. If you are coming from Innsbruck there is a direct train that takes around 30mins.
If you are coming via bus there are several bus services that cover the area of Stans Tyrol.
9.2 How to drive there
The best way to get to Wolfsklamm Gorge by car is via the A12 motorway and then take the exit for Schwaz. A car park is available right next to the entrance of the Wolfsklamm Gorge, however, it is small and private. It belongs to Hotel Brandstetterhof and if you are not staying in the hotel there is a fee for parking only.
There are other areas where you can park your car for free in Stans, like the railway station, the football grounds, or next to Laurentius Church.
9.3 Hire a car for the day
Alternatively, you can hire a car to drive to Wolfsklamm Gorge, especially if there is a group of you or if you have a family. If you like to get a FREE, easy and fast comparison of hiring a car, then try out Skyscanner’s car comparison site.
9.4 Address for Sat Nav
The address for the Sav Nav if you are driving to Wolfsklamm Gorge & St Georgenberg Monastery, is Wolfsklamm Parkplatz • Oberdorf 73 • 6135 Stans
10. Would I recommend Wolfsklamm Gorge
I recommend hiking the trail through Wolfsklamm Gorge up to St Georgenberg monastery. Adding in the lunch and back via the Pilgerweg trail to Stans. The gorge is stunning and a great day out which you can do with a group or as a family.
If you are taking children, please beware of the steep steps and uneven sections. That can get slippery especially when it has rained.
Even though it is only 6kms, it’s best to do this hiking trail in a day, especially if you stop for lunch at St Georgenberg monastery. By the time you hike up, stop for photos, dip your feet into the water, and have lunch. Then look around the Monastery instead of being 3hrs it would be more likely to be 5hrs round trip. Afterwards, head to the Park Igls Medical Health Spa not too far away from there for some relaxation.
11. Hiking tips for Wolfsklamm Gorge
- Wear appropriate gear for all types of conditions (wet and hot). Layers are best (waterproof jacket, spare socks, hiking boots, and gaiters). Quick dry convertible hiking trousers work well.
- Dogs are allowed on a lead in Wolfsklamm
- There are no toilets along the trail route apart from near where you pay and at the St Georgenberg Monastery
- A 1 Litre bladder bag (Also known as a Hydration bladder)or a water bottle sports water bottle will do the trick. The hiking trail is only 6kms long and you can get water at either end of the trail.
- Depending on the Austrian weather carry some sunscreen and a hat
- Make sure that you take water and snacks for the trail hike
12. Other hikes around the world
Interested in discovering other hiking routes around the world? Then you might be interested in the following articles. All are great options for a weekend trip with friends or with family hiking.
Sunrise hike & breakfast on an alpine farm– Morgins Switzerland
Hiking Trails Lerderderg State Park – Melbourne Australia
Helpful Hints for tackling Everest Base Camp, Nepal– Himalayas Nepal
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Thank you for reading this article ‘Hiking Wolfsklamm Gorge & St Georgenberg Monastery’. I hope it helped you to decide what hiking trail to do while in Tyrol Austria area.
Have you been to Wolfsklamm Gorge & St Georgenberg Monastery before or any other National parks in Tyrol Austria? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.
Remember that you need to get some good Hiking Boots before your next adventure.
Here are some good suggestions for day backpacks for walking and hiking, all are reasonably priced.