About Muhlbach Waterfall
The Muhlbach Waterfall (Mühlbachfall; meaning “Mill Creek Falls” or “Mill Brook Falls”) was visible in plain sight while strolling the main drag through the beautiful lakeside UNESCO World Heritage town of Hallstatt. While it was probably one of the most seen waterfalls in Austria given the sheer quantity of tourists overwhelming the town, it actually wasn’t all that obvious to get a better look at it.
The key was to walk uphill from the main drag either on the Oberer Marktplatz, Badergraben, or the Gemeindestiege starting at the well-photographed Marktplatz. It was at the upper parts of these inner walkways that I was able to go up the stairs of the Müllerstiege or a separate set of steps up the Oberer Marktplatz. The steps eventually led up to a hidden car park between a pair of tunnels with a nice view over the town towards the Hallstättersee as well as the Muhlbach Waterfall itself.
That panorama and car park was also known as the Parkterrase. You’d think that with a view like this, it would be crowded with tourists, but surprisingly, there weren’t that many around when I made my visit in the Summer of 2018. Indeed, most of the tour bus crowd was content to just walk the main drag, and thus that made this experience all the more satisfying.
Overall, the walk from the P1 car park (see directions below) to get up to this spot was about 2.2km round trip. It took me around 30-45 minutes total.
Hallstatt is pretty easily accessed by car or by bus. We did it by car so we’ll describe how we drove here from Salzburg. Even though the driving was all on well-marked highways, the tricky part was parking. So in order to avoid disappointment, I’d recommend getting here as early in the morning as you can or pretty late in the afternoon (say after 4pm). It’s quite dicey during the peak periods of the day from late morning to early afternoon.
From Salzburg, the quickest approach was to head south on the B150 towards the A10 autobahn. After about 19km going south on the A10, we then took the ramp for the Golling exit, which led us on the B159 and then onto the B162 due east.
About 22km from the exit of the A10, we reached a fork with the B166 road. We kept left at this fork, then we continued another 23km before turning right onto the L547 Road (Hallstättersee-Landesstraße) towards Hallstatt. We took this narrow road south passing through a tunnel that deposited us right at some crosswalks by the entrance to the pedestrian walking zone of Hallstatt.
From here, we continued driving south for about another 500m before turning off to the right for the P1 car park, which was sheltered. There was also a car park for the P1 parkplatz, but that one was unsheltered and there was usually someone standing at both the Demelgasse and Malerweg to prevent people from attempting to park there at peak times.
Overall, this drive took us about 75 minutes.
There was also a more scenic route heading east from Salzburg towards Bad Ischl via the B158 and B145. This route was slower because it was curvier, but it yielded some nice panoramic views of other lakes of the Salzkammergut Region. It was too bad that there weren’t too many placees to pull out though because there were plenty of spots I really wished I could have stopped the car and soaked in the top down views of the lakes along the way.
Finally, while it’s possible to park the car at the Parkterrase right in front of the Mühlbachfall, it doesn’t seem likely because it was almost always full. Even the proprietors at the accommodation we were staying at said they don’t have much luck scoring a spot there. But if you must try, the key is to take one of the exits inside the tunnel if you’re headed north or taking an exit on the left if you’re headed south before entering the tunnel. I can’t elaborate more on this since I haven’t tried this.
For context, Hallstatt was about 72km (about 90 minutes drive) southeast of Salzburg, about 70km (under 90 minutes drive) east of Sankt Johann im Pongau, 79km (under 90 minutes drive) west of Admont, and 289km (about 3.5 hours drive) west of Vienna.
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