The Lammerklamm – a Gorge Near Salzburg

The Salzkammergut has numerous attractions of natural beauty. The Lammerklamm is a deep gorge that’s technically not in the Salzkammergut, but it lies on the way to Hallstatt from Salzburg, and it’s well worth a stop.

The Lammerklamm is a deep chasm about 30 km south of Salzburg, Austria, and around 10 km west of Golling, just as you enter the Alps (see map). It’s a wonderful place to stop on the road to Hallstatt and spend a few hours in one of Salzburg’s Natural Areas.

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The Klamm – short for gorge – was carved by the Lammer River which cut a narrow cleft through the limestone of the Tennengebirge, the northernmost range of the Alps.

In Austria such gorges are often called “Oefen” – literally ovens – probably because the water seems to boil in places as if in kettles on a stove.

Indeed the Lammer is confined in a deep and narrow chasm where it churns as if heated. You could almost spit across the cleft, it’s that narrow.

The Lammer Oefen, literally "Ovens" in English

Look into the Lammer Oefen

The gorge widens downstream from the Oefen into a canyon, and the canyon soon widens into a narrow river valley.   The entire Klamm is about 1.5 – 2km long and around 43 m (140’) over that distance, according to Wikipedia.  The Lammer River then continues on down the valley where it flows into the Salzach near Golling.

A kiosk with an attached restaurant stands at the entrance to the the gorge.

Restaurant and Kiosk at the Entrance to the Klamm

The entrance to the Klamm is just 1.5 km past a place called Oberscheffau.  There is a well marked parking lot next to the the road.  A short path leads you to a kiosk where you pay a small fee for the privilege of viewing the “Oefen”. There is a small Cafe associated with the kiosk, you can stop there for a bite to eat or something to drink before you continue or when you come back. The people there are friendly and full of good information.

Wooden Stairs and Walkways lead you to the Oefen

Descending to the Oefen by way of Wooden Stairs and Walkways

From the kiosk you descend into the gorge over secured walk ways and stairs hugging the cliff.  It’s steep in parts and narrow, but there is no danger of falling off unless you do something stupid. At the Oefen  the spectacle of the churning water never ceases to impress me, and I’m even more impressed when I see people in Kayaks shooting through.

A Wooden Walkway Hugs the Cliff

A Wooden Walkway Hugs the Cliff

When you’ve seen enough, you walk back toward the cafe. You can leave at this point, but you’d miss out on the best part of the walk.  Paths and walkways, still well secured and solidly built in good Austrian fashion, take you downstream through the canyon and beyond.

Bridge over the Lammerklamm

Best place for a view of the Klamm.

There is a place where the Klamm becomes narrow again. There a foot bridge crosses the canyon and the path continues on the other side. One of the best places to admire both the upstream and downstream aspects of the gorge and canyon is from the middle of the brigde.

 

There are Inns at the End of the Trail

 

A short distance further downstream you are walking along the river until you reach the village of Oberscheffau.  There are a couple of inns (Gasthaus or Gasthof) for resting your legs, and for some food and drink if you wish, before you hike back the way you came.

 

 

 

 

The Lammerklamm is one of my favorite stops on may way to Hallstatt, and the Salzkammergut around it, by way of Golling.  Rushing waters, steep canyons covered with lush,  emerald vegetation – it never fails to refresh me. It’s not overrun with tourists, relatively few people hike down-river from the cafe. I find it a good place for restoring my senses and shaking off the tourist bustle of Salzburg. You might experience it the same way.

 

Here are a couple of additional links to the Lammerklamm to give you a better sense of place.

Lammerklamm Homepage :  (there is tab on top of page for an English version, but last time I checked it was mostly blank. There are a few nice pictures with the German text, though.)

Wikepedia (in German – but has beautiful pictures)

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