Dachstein Shark – Hai – family friendly hiking experience

Hiking with kids is a great way to get outdoors, explore nature, and create lasting memories. At the Dachstein Krippenstein, there is a special experience waiting – a hike to the Dachstein shark! Starting at the mountain station Krippenstein and following the easy, extensively developed Heilbronn circular trail, it only takes about 30 minutes to reach the Dachstein shark. From there, you can continue the circular trail, or explore the magnificent World Heritage View, World Heritage Spiral, and 5fingers viewing platforms.

Are you looking for an exciting adventure that will take you into the depths of the ancient oceans? Look no further than the Dachstein Shark – a massive 8m long sculpture created by the Deubler company in Bad Goisern, Austria. This incredible piece of art is not only a sight to behold, but it is also inside accessible and walkable! After ascending a ladder, visitors have the unique opportunity to look out of the jaws of the shark and observe the prehistoric sea bed.

Our trip to Dachstein shark – Dachstein Hai

As an adventure enthusiast, I am always on the lookout for new and exciting trails to explore. Recently, I had the opportunity to hike the Dachstein Shark.

Last September, we had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful Dachstein region of Obertraun, Austria. After parking for free in the parking lot at the Dachsteinbahn, we purchased a family panorama ticket 2+2 for the Krippenstein cable car, with our sights set on the Welterbespirale, 5 Fingers and Dachstein Shark.

Our total planned route was just under 18 kilometers. At 11 o’clock, we boarded the cable car, which was half full. In less than 15 minutes, we were on the top of mountain, even with the transfer. We were a bit worried that it would be cold at 2,000 meters, but were pleasantly surprised to discover that it was quite warm in late September.

Dachstein Krippenstein Shark 5 fingers

1. Welterbespirale

First, we went to the nearest point – Welterbespirale, which is really just a few steps from the upper cable car. We had the perfect view from Welterbespirale – from the highest point of the mountain Krippenstein 2108m, we could marvel at the beauty of the Hoher Dachstein, the Five Fingers lookout and Lake Hallstatt in the third direction. It was a breathtaking sight!

2. Five fingers

There we were heading right after Welterbespiral. Since there were quite a few people at the 5 fingers viewpoint, we took photos right next to the Soldier’s Cross erected by Pioneer Detachment Krippenbrunn in 1936, re-erected in 1961 by Pioneer Baon 4 Ebelsberg. Moments later, the 5 fingers view cleared and we enjoyed the view of Lake Halstatt.

3. Refreshment at Lodge restaurant am Krippenstein

After enjoying the stunning views of Lake Halstatt, we decided to head back to the cable car for some much needed refreshment at the Lodge am Krippenstein. We had some delicious dumplings, beer and wurst.

After a much-needed break and rest, we set off on the Heilbronn circular trail – a walk the locals deem the most beautiful around the Salzkammergut. Although I personally could name at least 10 more equally stunning hikes in the area, this one was truly remarkable. The trail was simply stunning and a delight to explore.

4. Dachstein Shark – Hai

On the way to the Dachstein Shark, we stopped at the Krippensteinehohle cave, where we admired the remnants of snow and ice. If you go here, try to stop off the main road – it’s worth it! About 10 minutes later we reached the Dachstein Shark. We were there with the kids and luckily we had the whole place to ourselves. The children enjoyed seeing the shark from the inside and outside, taking photos inside and around it. Then they went to a nearby rock to rest on a bench overlooking Lake Hallstatt. It was a great experience worth having!

Overview of the Dachstein Shark

Dachstein Shark, the attraction on the Heilbronn circular hiking trail and take a unique journey into the prehistoric past of the Dachstein massif. In the middle of its former hunting ground, you can admire and visit an impressive 8m long petrified prehistoric hunter. Climb the ladder to get inside the shark and take in the stunning view of the former seabed and the Dachstein Glacier in the background. Discover the hidden history of the Dachstein massif, as the Dachstein Shark shows that it was once covered by sea water millions of years ago, inhabited by an ice shark, also known as the basking shark. Experience the prehistoric past for yourself, and take the perfect photo opportunity with the majestic Dachstein Glacier in the background. Don’t miss the chance to explore the Dachstein Shark on the Heilbronn circular hiking trail.

5. Descent down the slope back to Obertraun

After observing the majestic Dachstein Shark and its surrounding environment, we continued on the Heilbronn trail. On our journey, we spotted several quaint huts, before arriving at the hiking signpost where we could see the beautiful Heilbronner Kreuz. We then turned right towards the talstation Krippensteinbergbahn III. On our descent, we took a tranquil forest trail to the parking lot where we started from. By the time we finished, it was already 5pm and we had spent almost 5 hours hiking, visiting Krippenstein, the 5 Fingers, and the Dachstein Shark. To make the most of our last summer day, we decided to spend another hour at the Obertraun beach, as the boys were particularly fond of it there.

Strandbad Obertraun – beach, swimming

Trail Details and Difficulty Level

Our hike around the Krippenstein, Welterbespirale, Five Fingers, Restaurant stop, Dachstein Shark and final descent back to village took us about 4 and half hours to complete. The trail is well-marked and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The trail is easy to moderate, and it is suitable for hikers of all skill levels. Our children 8 and 9 years old boys were able to do, so I believe anybody can do same. Hikers should wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks.

Below you can see the whole hike in my strava app.

Best Time to Go on the Dachstein Shark Hike

To enjoy the Dachstein Shark hike to the fullest, I recommended to plan it from May to October. This period offers pleasant weather conditions and a snow-free trail. However, during winter, the entire trail is not be accessible due to snow and skiing down the slope. Nevertheless, with the right equipment like snowshoes, hiking to Dachstein Shark is still possible. The Heilbronn trail loop is open throughout the year. I would be begin the hike early in the day and extend the duration as much as possible.

Accommodation Options near the Dachstein Shark Hike

There are several accommodation options near the Dachstein Shark hike. The Krippenstein Lodge is at the top of the cable car station and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. There are also several hotels and guesthouses in the nearby villages of Obertraun and Hallstatt.

Reviews of Dachstein Shark

  • lease when in Dachstein gletcher make sure to take the walk towards the shark. It’s about 45mins, there is a big elevation drop at the beginning around the funicular station (you will need to climb if you take the same route back from the shark), but the environment is amazing. Different than the way towards the 5fingers. Less popular.
  • The hike around the area is beautiful, nice spot for a picture if you are with kids
  • It’s worth to walk to this place… there is a great view of the Hallstätter-Lake. The Shark Looks very funny… and you can take some cool pics. Especially in winter … recommended place to walk in the nature.
  • Cool photo spot. Is something that you don’t know and if you’re in the corner, you should have a look.

Conclusion – Dachstein Shark

Hiking in the Salzkammergut is truly an unforgettable experience, and the Dachstein Shark should be on your list when you’re looking for something to do in Hallstatt, Obertraun area.. The unique Dachstein shark, the surrounding natural environment, and the stunning views of Hoher Dachstein, Five Fingers, Welterbespirale and Lake Hallstatt are attractions worth travelling for. If you have time for more than one hike, then spend here a week.