The Saalbach-Hinterglemm (and Leogang) area is one of the mountainbike mekka’s in Europe.
There is a wide variety of trails for all levels, you will find blue trails that will get the beginners addicted to bikeparks, but are still interesting for advanced riders, up to the famous DH track in Leogang.
The Big 5 challenge takes you past the highlights of the area.
Some trails are natural with rocks and roots others are machine built with big berms and jumps.
Most of the trails start and finish directly next to the lift, some others, like the epic Hacklbergtrail, require a bit of pedaling.
The x-line has over 1000m. of altitude difference, you will get a nice mix of rocky alpine riding in the top part and rooty forest in the middle and lower part.
The lower trails usually get muddy and slippery during rain showers, but thanks to the excellent trail crew they will dry up fast.
Mountain biking in Saalbach-Hinterglemm
- Trails for all abilities and tastes
- Combined with Leogang it’s the biggest bike park in the eastern alps
- Fast gondola’s
- Mountainbike Mecca
- Enough to do for your non-cycling family members.
- The easier trails were getting abused and it was impossible to keep up with maintenance, hopefully the new trails have solved that problem.
- The Joker Card no longer gives you unlimited use of the lifts.
Saalbach-Hinterglemm is a famous wintersports destination. In summer the skiers and snowboarders are replaced by mountainbikers. The region is a regular on the UCI worldcup agenda.
Saalbach and Hinterglemm are two separate villages in the same valley.
Saalbach is slightly bigger and has a bit more “atmosphere” whereas Hinterglemm has more newer and bigger developments, but it still has a nice Austrian feel. Both have plenty hotels, restaurants and bars and anything else you might need to enjoy your holiday, even when you’re not riding a bike.
Hotels & apartments
When you are choosing an accommodation make sure it comes with a joker card, which means you can use the lifts in the Saalbach-Hinterglemm valley for free twice a day or gives you a 30% reduction on your lift pass.
There are 3 campgrounds in the area:
- camping-neunbrunnen.at this is probably the best option for families, although it is a couple of km’s away from the lifts.
It is in between Leogang and the Saalbach-hinterglemm valley, in the same valley as Zell am see , this makes it a suitable basecamp to explore the wider area. Also this valley is a bit wider, so bad weather will not hang around as long as in the narrower valley of Leogang and Saalbach.
The camping has a nice restaurant on site and is situated in a quiet location with it’s own small lake.
- glemmerhof.at this is a smaller camping in the Saalbach valley, it has 30 places, so it’s best to make a reservation if you want to stay here in the highseason. It is in between a noisy main road and a small river, if you are right next to the river you won’t notice the traffic. The sanitary is a bit dated, but clean and functional.
It’s about 30mins slightly uphill cycling to the lifts in Saalbach.
- you can camp in the parking lot of the Leogang Asitz lift. this is ok if you are staying 1 or 2 nights (in a campervan), but it is not the family friendly option. Camping costs €7/person/night, there are coin operated showers in the lift building, this building closes about an hour after the lifts close.
Z-Line This line is closed for 2019. it starts with a fast flow section with some small and medium rollable jumps and northshores and then down in the woods there are one or two tricky roots and some mud when it’s wet. Towards the end you can get your picture taken on the big wallride. (when the camera is working) Sadly there are usually a lot of brake bumps on the easy tracks in this area.
The Blue line is usually easier than the Z-line unless when it’s very wet. Because it’s more in the forest, so it will become more slippery. But there are less jumps and roots. For experienced riders it’s a fun warming up before the Pro Line.
Pro Line From the lift go right past the buildings to find the start. Which starts good with a steep roll-in, followed by an exciting ride down, with a constantly changing mix of bigger roots, steep sections, some medium size jumps and then when you’re almost at the bottom a big (man made) rock garden.
Next to the Pro Line is the Evil Eye jumpline which requires some serious commitment, make sure you check these jumps out properly.
I was a bit disappointed by the Hochalm trail to be honest, it’s all the way in the back of the valley, 500m’s of climbing from the Reiterkogelbahn. I expected more of a natural alpine single trail, the scenery certainly lives up to that. But the trail itself is wide and most natural features have been polished out. If you’re more of a XC/tour rider you will probably enjoy this trail more.
Monti Trail (formerly Milka Trail) is an easy flow trails with some table jumps, it’s in an open field facing south, so it will quickly dry up after rain.
It starts at the mid station of the Kohlmais lift, you can also stay in the lift to the top and ride the Panorama trail or the Wurzel trail.
The Panorama trail is similar to the Monti trail with it’s flowing berms and small table jumps, but it has a more natural character, whereas the Monti trail is clearly machine build.
The Wurzel trail is completely different, wurzel means root and that tells the whole story. Your tires will be touching the roots more than the dirt in some sections. You can ride the trail in both directions (100m’s up and down), so look ahead, or continue towards the top of the Asitz lift and descent to Leogang.
And keep in mind wet Wurzels are slippery Wurzels.
On the opposite side of the valley is the Schattberg lift and underneath it the famous X-Line. With over a 1000m’s of descending and although it is a build trail it has mostly a natural single trail feeling.
The top starts fast and flowing with big berms and tables after a traverse you dive down into the forest where you will have to pick your line through a never ending rockgarden. If you’re not running DH casing tires you will have to be very careful about your line choice here. Continue past the mid station for a number of tricky but fun roots sections and a long northshore in between. If you haven’t had enough roots then keep your eyes open for the small trail to the right just before the end. Or follow the main line for some jumps. When you reach the river turn left to go back to the lift, when it’s muddy you have to wash your bike after each run, before you’re allowed back in the gondola.
From the top of the Schattberg lift you will have to tackle a short but steep climb, can you ride your bike to the start of the Hacklbergtrail? The hard work is worth it. A flowing natural trail that has become more build up over the years to deal with the amount of traffic it see’s due to it’s popularity.
After a couple of hundred meters on the Hacklbergtrail you can take a right turn onto the Bergstadl trail, but only do this if you’re an experienced rider. Where the Hacklberg trail gently flows down, the Bergstadl dives straight down like a kamikaze pilot. It’s steep, it’s narrow, there are roots and rocks everything you need for an excellent mountainbike ride.
Both trails come together at the Bergstadl hut, and then continue down to the valley floor on the flowing Buchegg trail.
Books and maps
You will find free and up to date maps of the trails at all lift stations.
All the bikepark trails are waymarked, but you can download gps tracks by clicking the trails in this interactive map.
(or click the list or gallery options for a more user friendly experience)
Mtb trail map
Bike shops, guiding and Mountainbike rental
the main shop is bike-n-soul near the Reiterkogel lift, they also have a small rental and repairs shop underneath the Schattberg X-press lift in Saalbach.
sport Hagleitner Bikeshop, repairs and rental near the Schattberg X-press lift.
Gumpold Bikeshop, repairs and rental in Hinterglemm.
All three shops also organize guided rides and lessons. You have to make a reservation.
Tips and tricks
Most, but not all accommodations in Saalbach-Hinterglemm come with the Joker card which gives you free use of the lifts in Saalbach-Hinterglemm twice a day and a 30% reduction on lift passes.
It’s best to contact the accommodations before booking to check what card you will get and how much of use it will be for you.
(and also check if they have secure bike storage)
Gravity card This season ticket gives you access to 20 bikeparks including Saalbach-Hinterglemm and Leogang
Bike park Saalbach-Hinterglemm
The lifts are spread out through the valley, you can park for free at the Schattberg X-press in Saalbach when you buy a lift ticket or show your Gravity-card at the lift ticket sales point.
Glemmtaler Landesstraße 306, 5753 Saalbach, Austria.
Or in Hinterglemm go through the tunnel and park at the Zwölferkogelbahn.
Zwölferkogelweg 208, 5754 Hinterglemm, Austria
The paid parking at the Reiterkogelbahn is very expensive.
Leogang The trails of Saalbach are linked to Leogang and together they form one of the mountainbike mecca’s of Europe.
Sell am see and Kaprun Mostly Xc trails and one long lift accessed enduro trail on the Kitzsteinhorn.
Wagrain A smaller bike park with everything from easy flow trail to technical roots and also a partner of the Gravity card.
The size of the Saalbach/Leogang bikepark is unique in the eastern alps, if you want similar large areas you should check out these locations in France:
Portes-du-soleil The biggest bike park of Europe, you need to have been here.
Les-deux-alpes A large bike park with mostly flow trails and an epic long descent down to Venosc.
Alpe-d’Huez This large bike park is close to Les deux alpes, but the trails are not linked. Alpe d’Huez has more natural enduro trails. and is famous for hosting the Megavalange