Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

Sep 4, 2017
by Ben Winder  
Lorenzo popping back down towards town.

Famous for its skiing, Saalbach Hinterglemm holds some wonderful mountain bike secrets. A resort located near the German border and just over the mountain from Leogang, it might stand in the World Cup media shadow but boasts some world class bike park and trail riding. That coupled with it being a family resort means that there's plenty to do: exploring mountain lakes, walking, and many other activities. Saalbach is one of the go-to MTB destinations in Austria, which has seen great development and improvements in the last few years due to mountain biking's rise in popularity.

The resort has four different lifts and boasts over 400km of mountain bike trails, varying in difficulty and styles from bike park to alpine singletrack. The town is well equipped to deal with riders; there are loads of fully stocked shops, bike washes at the gondola stations and at many of the hotels, and most importantly, a friendly attitude towards mountain bikers.

We arrived in Saalbach for a week earlier in the year, with Lorenzo Suding from the Italian Alps, and Kathi Kuypers from Bavaria, Germany. The team had a lot of riding destinations under their belts and arrived with a critical eye, eager to see what Saalbach had to offer. By the end of the week, the only disappointment we faced was Lorenzo’s broken shoulder blade. We were all mega impressed with Saalbach's extensive trail network and world class trails, which seems set to expand and improve even further in the next few years after talking to a some of the locals. A few days of the trip we were guided by Vali Höll, a local youngster who we can expect to see on the world stage next year at the World Cups—a total pinner.

All the lifts are mountain bike friendly and all have a quick turnaround to the top of the mountains.
All the lifts are mountain bike friendly, and all have a quick turnaround to the top of the mountains.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase
Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

Vali Holl leading Kathi out on one of the enduro trails fast and flowy fun little rises and drops.
Vali leading Kathi out on one of the enduro trails. Fast and flowy with fun little rises and drops.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

The trails snake down the hillside making the most of the hillside. Something that not many resorts are able to do.
The trails snake down the hillside, making the most of the terrain available. Something that not many resorts are able to do.

Kathi styling it up through one of the bikepark trails.
Kathi styling it up through one of the bike park trails.

Some of the downhill trails in Saalbach are tough and rough. We were slightly out of our depth on trail bikes. But on a downhill bike they d be incredible.
Some of the downhill trails in Saalbach are tough and rough. We were slightly out of our depth on trail bikes. But on a downhill bike, they'd be incredible. That's exactly what you want from your downhill tracks though.

The bike park has a few wooden features incorporated in Here Lorenzo styling it out of the wallride. On the last day I asked Lorenzo to see if he could go higher off it unfortunately he slid out and broke his shoulder blade... sorry Lorenzo.
The bike park has a few wooden features incorporated in. Lorenzo styling it out of the wallride. On the last day I asked Lorenzo to see if he could go higher off it, unfortunately, he slid out and broke his shoulder blade... sorry Lorenzo.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase
Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase
Vali, has a whole lot of style.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase
Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

The trails are constantly maintained and looked after by a trail crew.
The trails are constantly maintained and looked after by a trail crew.

Lorenzo in full attack mode.
Lorenzo, in full attack mode.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

Kathi Kuypers is a dirt jumper at heart. She loves a bit of airtime.
Kathi Kuypers, is a dirt jumper at heart. She loves a bit of airtime.

Lorenzo sliding it down towards down.
Lorenzo sliding it down towards the valley bottom.

There s a few gravel road transitions between sections of trail to make them more interesting the crew have built jumps and features to the side.
There are a few gravel road transitions between sections of trail. To make them more interesting the crew have built jumps and features to the side.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

With the lift pass Joker card you re able to go up the lift and ride over to Leogang and do one run per day then ride back over as a day trip to the other trails. This is what we decided to do on one of the days.
With the special lift pass, The Joker card, which is free for people staying overnight in Saalbach, you can use all the lifts in Saalbach but you're also able to go up the lift and ride over to Leogang, and do one run (per day) then ride back over as a day trip to the other trails. This is what we decided to do on one of the days.

After a short pedal from the top of the lift you drop into Leogang.
After a short pedal from the top of the lift, you drop into Leogang.

An incredible view from the top of the mountain.
An incredible view from the top of the mountain.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase
A nice little break before dropping into Leogang bikepark.
A nice little break, before dropping into Leogang Bike Park.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

It s good to be able to ride something different for a day.
It's good to be able to ride something different for a day.

After one run we headed back over towards Saalbach along a fun section of trail.
After one run, we headed back over towards Saalbach, along a fun section of trail.

Once back in Saalbach we went looking for some singletracks.
Once back in Saalbach we went looking for some more singletrack.

There s loads of marked singletracks which are technical fun and flowy. A lot of them are modified walking tracks.
There are loads of marked singletracks, which are technical, fun and flowy. A lot of them are modified walking tracks.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

Some of the best singletracks I ve ever ridden they re well used and yet still have support and exciting sections.
Some of the best singletrack I've ever ridden, they're well used, and yet still have support and exciting sections.

Lorenzo always found stuff to hop and play on.
Lorenzo always found stuff to hop and play on.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

From flow to technical root sections.
From flow to technical root sections.

The first time we rode this trail we couldn t stop. We had too much fun. We then had to go back up and shoot it.
The first time we rode this trail, we couldn't stop. We had too much fun. We then had to go back up and shoot it.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

Kathi attacking the singletracks.
Kathi attacking the singletrack.

An alpine lake in the mountains was a perfect way to finish of a day of riding.
Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

An alpine lake in the mountains, was a perfect way to finish of a day of riding.

Paddle boards mountains and lakes. What more could you want
Paddle boards, mountains, and lakes. What more could you want?

Incredible views from the top of the mountain early in the morning.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase
Incredible views early in the morning from the top of the mountain.

On our final day we were told we had to head up early and go for a sunrise ride.
On our final day we were told we had to head up early and go for a sunrise ride.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase
Ready to drop in at 5 30 after taking in the views.
Ready to drop in at 5:30, after taking in the views.

Kathi Kuypers.
Kathi Kuypers.
Lorenzo Suding.
Lorenzo Suding.


Kathi drops in first we missed the sunrise due to the clouds rolling in.
Kathi drops in first, we missed the sunrise due to the clouds rolling in.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

Yet still quite a magical experience being at the top of a mountain riding next to mountain horses.
Yet still quite a magical experience being at the top of a mountain, riding next to mountain horses.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase
Kathi forages for breakfast.
Kathi forages for breakfast.

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase

Exploring Saalbach Hinterglemm - Showcase
Alpine cows seem to be some of the most friendly cows.
Alpine cows seem to be some of the most friendly cows.

That s all from Saalbach it can be summed up in one word. Awesome.
That's all from Saalbach, it can be summed up in one word. Awesome.

Saalbach Hinterglemm mountain biking trails

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31 Comments

  • 16 0
 I wouldn't exactly frase it "After a short pedal from the top of the lift, you drop into Leogang." Rather a solid, 1 hour slogfest.

Great photos though! And a top riding destination.
  • 4 0
 Haha so true! 2 months ago me and my girl rode it after 2 days of solid rain, with fresh earthworks on the Trail the week before. Let me tell you, I've never been muddier (nor has bike) Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Thank you, i was seriously questioning my perception for a moment there. It's worth it though.
  • 3 0
 @LukasN89: Props! Big Grin
  • 2 0
 I would rather been drinking beer for 1 hour. Or 2
  • 1 0
 lol i was thinking the same while i read this. DEF not a mellow-cruise between....
  • 10 0
 Can confirm, its awesome. Also with the joker card, its a lot cheaper compared to other lift-assisted riding spots. Depending on where you stay (and with how many people etc) you can sleep and get the gondola for the same price a normal lift ticket costs elsewhere.
  • 3 0
 Damn. That's badass!
  • 6 0
 @therealtylerdurden: 30-35 Euros a night including breakfast and free uplifts is hard to beat. Plus great Kaasleberkaas at Spar grocery store, best in town.
  • 5 0
 Love this place!!!! Although i would not call stuffing 5 downhill rigs + riders in small gondola (excactly like 2nd picture) mtb friendly.

Jokercard is awesome, almost all hotels and appartments offer this,
unlimited free lift acces for the duration of your stay in saalbach and one ride on any leogang lift a day.
  • 1 0
 So is Saalbach the place to base a week with DH bikes, rather than Leogang or Hinterglemm?
Does any of the DH stuff require guiding?
  • 3 0
 @LemonadeMoney: Saalbach and hinterglemm are just some pedalstrokes apart and are both part of the jokercard area, where no guiding is required. As for leogang, i did not have the time to visit but frim what i l've heared, the climb from the top of reiterkogel to leogang, is a real bitch on the dh rig.
  • 2 0
 @LemonadeMoney: stay in Saalbach-Hinterglemm (the two places have basically grown into one), thus getting free tickets for the gondola there. If you want to go to Leogang for a whole day, it's around the corner by car, or a bitchy climb by DH-rig from a gondola out of Saalbach away ;-)
  • 3 0
 Agreed, I prefer hinterglem but in saying this if you don't use the joker card and would rather camp then it is not so easy,where as Leogang carpark is a riot! With toilets, and no fire bans, sadly the dh track ain't what she used to be. You have far more riding options in saalbach/hinterglem. If you plan a week you only need the last two days at leogang in my opinion it's a different location that is best reached by car.
  • 3 0
 @LemonadeMoney: more trails are in saalbach and it is significantly cheaper. but the trails in leogang are built a lot better (although the only trail with natural terrain is the hangman I from the top in leogang)...there are a lot of awkward tight berms in saalbach and the braking bumps rattled my derailleur nearly off after each run. the famous hacklberg trail is fun for about a third and the rest is too flat with awkward tables built with nearly no lip and then braking bumps until the valley.
  • 1 0
 If you're just looking at Austria then this is the place, if not then go straight to Morzine
  • 6 0
 Definitly one of the best spots to ride! Love this place!
Did the wedding photoshoot on that lake a few weeks ago :-)
  • 3 0
 I found it a little ridiculous that I had to wash my bike with a pressure washer before I was allowed to use some of the gondolas here. If you're opening your lifts/gondolas to mountain biking, suck it up. On top of that, try to employ people who actually have some desire to be there.
  • 3 0
 Review of Saalbach-Hinterglemm without mentioning X-LINE (6km, 1km vertical) or Evil-Eye trail? No picture of lower X-LINE roadgap? So much enduro...
here is the pic> www.pinkbike.com/photo/11311500
and this is the x-line> www.trailforks.com/trails/xline
  • 1 0
 Went for the first time last year. Bargain for the price with the joker card as others have said. Think it worked out about €53 a night for bed, breakfast, evening meal and lift pass!!! Love the trails especially Hackleberg youtu.be/j_nYlf8qcaQ
  • 4 0
 Its cool there. Season could be longer die to lack of snow these days
  • 2 0
 i love to know what camera are you using its so beautifull, nice ride i love to go there someday
  • 2 0
 Watch page in desktop mode or on a actual desktop and you can see all camera info/settings at the bottom right after you click on a picture
  • 2 0
 Awesome photos, awesome location. Want to be back there asap!
  • 1 0
 Sweet! I love Saalbach and just made a mini edit from there to.

youtu.be/Vsc87QrV8WA
  • 2 0
 "home of lässig"
  • 1 0
 go there in 2 weeks, where is that lake?
  • 1 0
 If its the one, where the wakeboard race was held this year then the lake should be at last bit of Hacklberg/Bucheggtrail - above Gerstreitalm!
  • 1 0
 Fantastic photos Smile
  • 1 2
 "Paddle boards, mountains, and lakes. What more could you want?" A jet ski?

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