The Lauterbach wasserfall is an astonishing beautiful waterfall in the Echerntal, near Hallstatt in the region Oberösterreich, Austria.
The Lauterbach wasserfall can be reached by foot, from the centre of Hallstatt, in about 1-1,5 hour. It is also possible to drive to the parking at the beginning of the Echerntal (gps (47.549613, 13.631023). In summertime somebody is standing at the main to road to prevent cars to drive in the town, but just say that you are going to the Lauterbach wasserfall and he will let you through.
From the parking at the beginning of the Echerntal there are several trails you can take. During our stay at Hallstatt beginning of August 2020 we decided to follow the trail at the left side of the river paralel to the river. At the first bridge you see, cross the river and follow the path that runs to the first big waterfall, the Schleierfall (a 15 minute walk).
Continue following the trail to a cave (Eulenloch). A little further go right (before the bridge) where the path runs (a little steep) up to the end of the valley where three waterfalls meet each other, among which the Waldbachstrub wasserfall and Lauterbach wasserfall. From the parking you can reach the viewpoint in 30 minutes.
The upper viewpoint on the three waterfalls is amazing and they belong to the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen in Austria. It is also quite unique that three powerful waterfalls meet each other at one point: at the left the Waldbachstrub wasserfall, in the middle the Lauterbach wasserfall and at the right an unofficial named waterfall the Klausalm wasserfall (???).
A little down there is also a lower viewpoint on the Lauterbach wasserfall and the other waterfalls you shouldn’t miss.
The Lauterbach wasserfall is the highest with a single drop of 85 meter. The height of the Waldbachstrub wasserfall was more difficult to measure because you couldn’t see all of the waterfall. The lower part, which drops down with great force, has an almost single drop of 20 meter. The total height (if you measure from the bridge you see above the waterfall) is approximately 90 meter.
The Waldbachstrub wasserfall was definitely the most powerful waterfall. A mass of water plunges over the edge of a 90m high gorge and rushes roaringly and thunderously over three levels into the depths. I don’t know if the waterfall is always that powerful? The night before it rained a lot and it hard to imagine how much water was thundering down. This is difficult to see on the picture and even on the video but it was unbelievable…
Afterwards I decided to walk to the bridge I saw above the Waldbachstrub wasserfall. Walk back down from the viewpoint to the bridge and cross it. A hundred meter further you have to take the path right that goes up to the Glacier Garden.
The Glacier garden is a natural monument and is a relic of the last glacial period, whose glaciers retracted from the Echerntal about 12.000 years ago.
After 10 minutes I reached the river Dürrenbach with an even more powerful waterfall, the Dürrenbach wasserfall (?). I also saw a sign with Felsentor which means rock gate. Water was thundering over the viewpoints along the river, so much water was thundering down. Very spectacular to see! A little up at the stone bridge you also have a good view on the upper part and if you look down you also can see the Schleierfall again with Hallstatt in the background.
I followed the asphalt road further up and as a surprise I got some very nice views on the Schleierfall and the Hallstatter see. After another 15 minutes from the stone bridge over the river Dürrenbach I reached the bridge over the river Waldbach with in the deep the Waldbachstrub wasserfall. Looking upstream you will see another powerful waterfall in the river Waldbach with a height of approximately 10 meter. Actually the river is one big waterfall, but nevertheless…
Time to walk back to the parking, but not until I was treated with some gorgeous views on the Halstatter see, on the Schleierfall and a view which combined the Schleierfall and the Lauterbach wasserfall.
I was so glad I did this hike. It rained and we (me and my daughter) where searching for thing to do. On a map I saw that there where two or three waterfall in the Echerntal ( I counted 6 waterfalls!!!). The rain radar said it should be dry in the afternoon so we did go.
Best time to visit the Lauterbach wasserfall is probably from late spring until the late summer. Especially after a period of rain.
In Hallstatt itself there is another waterfall coming down but this one is nice but certainly can’t be compared with the beautiful Waldbachstrub wasserfall and Lauterbach wasserfall.