Drachenwand am Mondsee - Via Ferrata Dragon Wall at Moon Lake

Drachenwand am Mondsee - Via Ferrata Dragon Wall at Moon Lake

Austria
Austria

When Is the Best Time

The via ferrata Drachenwand is one of the most spectacular climbs with scenic views of Mondsee – Moon Lake. This climbing path is located at Mondsee in St. Lorenz, a half an hour's drive east of Salzburg. I added lots of pictures and details from our recent climb in 2022.

The climbing route and location of the suspension bridge
Just to give you an idea of the climbing route - photo high resolution

The location is breathtaking, and so is the via ferrata offering excellent views. Most picturesque is the suspension bridge.

The sunspension bridge at Drachenwand via ferrata
The suspension bridge is categorized as A/B and one of the easy parts.

The best time to climb this via ferrata is from May to October, during days without precipitation. Don’t climb this via ferrata when rain or a thunderstorm is forecasted because it is an almost vertical climb to the summit of Drachenwand - Dragon Wall and also a steep alpine path back to the trailhead and car park.

The slippery, muddy, and steep trail back
The entire alpine route is well marked and steep.

The wall of this mountain and the trail back are slippery when wet even in dry conditions some parts of the wall are slippery because of the scuffed rocks from the many climbers. 

Several climbers are close together at Drachenwand
The via ferrata is a bit crowded.

The best day time to climb the Drachenwand via ferrata is the morning for two reasons; first, to avoid crowds and waiting times behind less experienced climbers, and second, the climb is even more demanding during the midday heat. It is an exposed climb with very little shade. Drachenwand is a popular via ferrata and well-frequented during the day.

Me at Dragon Wall with the suspension bridge in the back
The suspension bridge is a bottleneck - in the back, Mondsee or Moon Lake

Alternatively, you can do the via ferrata in the early afternoon in summer with plenty of daylight as we did. Crowds were bearable in the afternoon.

Parking Drachenwand (Google Maps)

The parking lot for the Drachenwand - Dragon Wall
The first parking to the left is free and feels up quickly in the morning.

It is a huge parking lot close to Gasthof Drachenwand with adequate spaces; even on bank holidays and weekends, a few spaces were left. The smaller first parking is for free, the bigger on the meadow requests a fee of 3 Euro from 6 am until 10 pm. No overnight parking!

The almost always vertical climb up on Drachenwand
Most of the climb is vertical, with an elevation gain of 486 m.

I give you a detailed climbing description also for the return alpine route. When I tried to figure out how difficult the trail – via ferrata is and especially the way back, it was quite an effort, and, in the end, I have to confess the climb is more challenging than often mentioned. 

Drachenloch - Dragon's Hole

Drachenloch or Dragon's Hole shortly after the summit
It looks more scarry as it is.

Don't miss out on the Drachenloch after the summit when you start the descent. Most hikers and climbers miss this excellent picture spot.

Packing List

Our climbing gear from helmet to harnish and shoes
Our climbing gear

Best Months to Visit

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Related Topics

Location and Tips

Mondsee
Austria
Austria

The best Via Ferrata Guide you can get. It covers all important climbing routes between Lake Constance and Vienna Woods including Via Ferrata's in Bavaria and Slovenia. Almost 500 different routes are described, and you get online access to the Topos.

The Drachenwand – Dragon Wall via ferrata is truly one of the most scenic climbs we ever did. Our friend Milan from the Czech Republic recommended the tour to us, and it was a fantastic day in the mountains.

Climbing Details and Route

The first possible break on a rock
One of the view spots where other climbers can pass - before marker 13 Franzosenschanze
  • Difficulty: moderately difficult – Not for beginners
  • Elevation Gain: 486 m from 575 m to 1060 m elevation Drachenwand summit
  • Ascent: at least 2 hours – it took us 2.15 hours with a couple of photo stops 
  • Descent: It is an alpine steep path back to the trailhead and may be demanding after the more than two hours climb. Decent 842 m elevation loss plus ascent 95 m
  • Categorized: Mostly A/B and B/C and one part C if you chose the easier part with the suspension bridge. We would categorize this via ferrata mostly C. 
The vertical climb at Drachenwand
The steep climb after marker 10 Nußkipferl

Honestly, this climb is tougher than often mentioned. I highly recommend this exceptional via ferrata but first, hike an easier trail to acclimate. Since we live close to the Alps we easily hike and climb such trails but not before we moved here.

The alpine track back on ladders with spectacular views to Mondsee.
The alpine and exposed track back.

Don’t underestimate the demanding climb on vertical parts and on the way back there are many steep ladders to get down. We overpassed several exhausted hikers on the way back. 

Drachenwand Via Ferrata Climbing Description

The 20 parts of the entire climbing route of Drachenwand
20 markers on the climbing route to the summit - photo high resolution

It is a short trail of 20 minutes to get to Drachenwand's entry point. The climbing route is excellently marked and separated into 20 parts. These markers give you an idea of how long it still takes during the tour. 

two ladders in the beginning
These two ladders are the entry point.

Most of this via ferrata is a steep climb and starts with two ladders. 

The thrilling view up to the entire Dragon Wall
View from marker 5 Gamserl Garten

Climbing this via ferrata works only if you do not have any fear for heights. It is a steep and exposed path up to the summit.

A big arrow to mark the track
It is a short walk to the right - don't continue straight forward.

The hiking route and walking path is well marked. Don't continue here into the canyon instead turn right and follow the sign.

The steep Dragon wall not much foot support
Climbing skills are essential - not much steel foot support.

However, the most strenuous and tricky part comes after the suspension bridge.

Several climbers at Dragon wall and on the suspension bridge
The bridge is the bottle neck and climber line up.

It is a popular via ferrata and there are other climbers around especially after the easier part which leads to the right and above the suspension bridge.

A sharp rock and a great view down to Mondsee
Some people struggled to overcome the sharp rock.

This sharp rock is another tricky point which you have to conquer. 

The last part of the vertical dragon wall
This is the last vertical climb before you reach the summit.

You get rewarded with a breathtaking view from the top of the Drachenwand - dragon wall down to Mondsee - moon lake. However, the way back is as strenuous as the via ferrata. 

Me on the peak of Drachenwand
The spectacular view from the top.

You need a proper meal or high-energy food to concentrate on the alpine path back to the car park. IMO the hike is in parts even harder because you are no longer secured by your climbing gear. When you are leaving the top of the Dragon Wall roughly after 5 minutes is the other highlight the Dragon Hole easily overlooked.

The steep path back leads through lush forest
Hiking poles maybe helpful.

Then continue on the exposed and narrow path for about 2 hours. 

A view back to the via ferrata and the bridge on top with Mondsee in the back
Do you see the small spots? These are other climbers and the bridge is on the top.

This is the best view of all on the hike back. You see other climbers on the via ferrata and on the top of the sharp rock to the left is the suspension bridge we crossed. However, it is still an hour back to the parking.

I am climbing down on the alpine path
It is not an easy way back and you need your hands.

The alpine path is steep and slippery in parts and a section was broken off by a landslide. 

Another metal ladder on the alpine track back to the parking lot.
Getting closer to our bikes and the excellent restaurant.

    It takes less than half an hour now to get back to the parking lot or the restaurant mentioned below. 

    My Tips for Mondsee – What to Do After the Via Ferrata

    The outdoor seating of Gasthof Drachenwand
    Gasthof Drachenwand where we went twice.

    By chance, we had an excellent dinner after the climb at the Restaurant Drachenwand which you pass by shortly before you reach the car park.

    Different meals at the Gasthof Drachenwand
    Eggplants with asparagus and risotto - veal escalope

    The food quality and taste were exceptional and we went there for lunch again. (This is not a paid ad – it is a great restaurant with fast service and attentive staff).

    Where to Stay: Hotels and Camping

    Our campground at Mondsee
    The closest campground is Austria Camp Mondsee with private access to the lake

    The entire area is popular and busy. Therefore we chose the closest and quietly located campground just 2 km by bike to the trailhead. We definitely come back to the super clean, nice, and quiet camping with a view of the Dragon wall - Drachenwand and a wonderful jetty to go swimming. Austria Camp Mondsee (This is not an ad just one of my recommendations).

    The crystal blue Attersee
    The crystal blue lake Attersee - blue because much deeper and famous for diving.

    The area is called Salzburger Land and is famous for its crystal clear lakes. The lakes Mondsee (by booking.com - Thanks, by booking via my website to support my work) and Wolfgangsee are warm, and Attersee is much colder, but all are magnificent for swimming. You can easily spend a weekend or an entire week in this region.

    Mondsee - Moon lake shimmering in emerald green on a sunny day
    Kreuzstein at moon lake - Mondsee Google Maps

     

    Some pictures are provided by my friend Milan. If you wish to use any of my pictures please, contact me.

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