Climatic travel conditions
The National Park Hohe Tauern is a high alpine region: this means that weather conditions can become quite extreme and can change very quickly. Spring and autumn are almost non-existent, winter last very long and even in the summer it may sometimes snow. In any case it is very important to get informed about the weather before planning any kind of excursion.
Winter (from November up to the middle of May) – the period of quietness
The mountains are often covered by many meters of snow and the hiking paths unrecognizable as such. The avalanche danger increases. Anyways particularly attractive ski tours are possible (the assistance of a alpine guide is strictly recommended). Snow shoe hikes are very popular and also for this sport the National Park Hohe Tauern offers many such possibilities. Park rangers offer regular excursion programmes.
Visitors should always consider that winter is a particularly hard time for wild animals – if they have to run away fast because people have disturbed them, they can lose a lot of energy that they cannot regain while it is still winter, which makes it imperative to leave them in peace.
Spring (from the middle of May up to June) – Life comes back
Hiking in the lower parts of the National Park is generally possible in the spring, although there is always a chance of heavy wet snow avalanches, but hikers should plan their routes carefully and proceed with the utmost prudence. Several animal species have their reproduction period in this season – thus also many bird species can be observed very well. Most of the alpine huts are in any case still closed.
Summer (from July up to the middle of September) – Life at its highest magnificence
It almost seems as though nature would know how short the „good“ time is ... In the National Park life flowers bloom in all their magnificence, either on flower-covered pastures meadows, on glacier moraines or on the forest edges. One single day is far too short for enjoying the natural beauty to the full. All alpine huts are open and offer meals and overnight accommodations. Long-distance hikes lasting more than 14 days are absolutely possible, but even during this time of the year good route planning is imperative. For high altitude tours, particularly for those which cross glaciers, the assistance of expert alpine guides is strictly recommended. Conditions (crevasses, snow, danger of drops off the mountain trails) constantly change, but the alpine guides are very experienced in all these respects.
Autumn (from September to October) – Golden Summer in the
The days become shorter and the temperatures become constantly lower, but the weather conditions usually stabilise. There is almost always an Indian summer characterized by particularly good weather. Larches show themselves with their golden coloured needles, thus giving a fascinating contrast to the blue sky, the pasture meadows begin to turn brown and some of the mountain peaks may already be dusted with snow. Some hiking paths are covered with ice – also many bridges crossing wild streams are dismantled before winter starts. Hikes in high alpine areas demand precise planning and up-to-date information about trails and routes conditions.
Autumn hikes to the lower-lying pastures are a popular highlight in the National Park year.