Hohe Tauern National Park
Founded in 1981, Hohe Tauern National Park covers an area of 1,856 km², making it the biggest national park in the Alps. Hüttschlag has been part of this nature sanctuary since 1991.
Guided hikes with national park rangers are offered every week during the summer months. The ranger will share with you fascinating insights into the plants, animals and mountains within Hohe Tauern National Park. Also be sure to visit the Valley Museum in Hüttschlag, with its exhibition “On alpine pastures – between heaven and earth” as well as the National Park Center in Mittersill, where you can look forward to a truly captivating introduction to Hohe Tauern National Park.
The National Park Idea
The national park idea was actually born back in 1872 in the United States, with the founding of Yellowstone National Park. This idea – of protecting extraordinary natural landscapes and making them accessible to the general public – would continue, gradually spreading around the globe. In fact, there are now over 3,000 national parks worldwide.
History of Hohe Tauern National Park
In 1913, 1,100 ha of land was bought up in Stubachtal and Amertal valleys in the Hohe Tauern mountains – with the intention of turning the area into a nature sanctuary, based on role models which already existed in the USA.
Dr. August Prinzinger initiated the project, while the buyer was the “Naturschutzpark Stuttgart-Hamburg” association. This initiative created a firm footing for a national park idea in the Hohe Tauern region. That said, due to wars and economic crises, it took decades before, in the 1980’s, Hohe Tauern National Park was actually founded, the first national park in Austria.
Spanning 1,856 km², it is the biggest national park in the Alps. The natural and cultural landscapes you encounter here remain original, authentic and unique.
Facts & Figures about Hohe Tauern National Park
- Covering 1,856 km², Hohe Tauern National Park is the biggest nature sanctuary in the Alps, and the largest national park in Central Europe.
- The National Park straddles 3 Austrian provinces: Salzburg, Tyrol and Carinthia.
- The area located in Salzburg province amounts to 805 km².
- Hohe Tauern National Park extends in an east-west direction for 100 km, and 40 km from north to south.
- 266 peaks over 3,000 meters
- 130 km² of glaciers
- 550 lakes
- 279 streams
- The core zone focuses on preserving virgin natural landscapes, while the outer zone nurtures local culture and hill-farming traditions.
- Golden eagles, bearded vultures, griffon vultures, chamois and other native wildlife inhabit Hohe Tauern National Park. (National Park)
- More than one third of all plant species in Austria grow here.
- More than half of all amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals in Austria live within the National Park.
- The crystalline treasures of the Hohe Tauern encompass some 220 different minerals.
- As you hike from the valleys up to the highest peaks, you will cross a wide range of geological elevations and climate zones.