Length: 59,8 km
Elevation change: 3600 vm +/-
Maximum height: 2463m (Zitterauer Tisch)
Surface types: trail, gravel path, asphalt
Highlights: Ridge run at Graukogel
GPS-TRACK // You leave Bad Hofgastein directly behind the church via the Höhenweg. This runs approx. 150 metres above the valley floor and opens up wonderful views over the valley again and again. About halfway, you pass through the Gadauner Gorge with two short illuminated tunnels.
Shortly before the hotel village Grüner Baum (7.5 km), take the Kaiser Wilhelm Promenade in the direction of Bad Gastein. At its end you cross a road (attention: road not closed!) to reach the foot of the waterfall. Over the small bridge and the Grabenbäckersteig you reach the centre of Bad Gastein (= 1st aid station, drinks only, 10.4 km).
From now on you have to keep your legs loose as you are now facing 1500 steep meters of elevation up the Graukogel.
Passing the middle station ( = 2nd aid station, full, 13.2 km), a beautiful hiking trail leads you to Graukogel mountain station (= 3rd aid station, full, 15.2 km). Here you will be cheered on by lots of spectators before you circle Graukogel mountain. It’s worth taking a look to the right to the Palfnersee. At the Palfnerscharte (2321m) you have to keep left, because now follows the most challenging part of the loop: the Graukogel ridge. Traversing blocked rock you’ll reach Graukogel summit (2492m, highest point). Here the Gasteinertal lies at your feet.
Back again at the mountain station (again passing through the 3rd aid station, = 4th aid station, full, 21.7 km) you return on the same way to the middle station of the Graukogel (again passing through the 2nd aid station = 5th aid station, full, 23.9). Now take the forest road back into the valley to get to the Böcksteiner Höhenweg (26.6 km) towards Böckstein where you reach the 6th aid station (full, 31.1 km). Here you have covered half the distance!
The next 400 metres of elevation to Sportgastein (= 7th aid station, full, 37.1 km) are pleasantly ascending. Rest a bit here because passing the Bockhartsee on the way up to the Zittrauer table (2463m) will be exhausting enough. From a distance you can already see the mountain station with the 8th aid station (full, 45.7 km).
There are still about 14 km to go, most of it downhill: over trails and slopes you go to the Angertal (= 9th aid station, full, 51.5 km). Now only 100 metres of elevation separate you from the beautiful downhill (partly via the bird nature trail) back to the Alpen Arena.