Useful Information

Location: 2732 Würflach.
(47.777699, 16.049193)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=1,000 m, H=60m.
Guided tours:  
Address: Johannesbachklamm Würflach, 2732 Würflach, Telefon +43-2620-2410.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1902 trails built by the Wiener Naturfreunde.
1926 flood destroys trails and bridges.
1928 dam erected, a lake forms.
1938 lake filled with sediments, lake abandoned.
1960 trails and bridges renovated by the town.


The Johannesbachklamm is located at the eastern end of the town Würflach. It is a gorge which is about one kilometer long and 60 m deep, with almost vertical walls. A trail named Erlebnisweg Johannesbachklamm with 6 km length leads through the gorge and back to Würflach. The gorge was named after the river, the Johannesbach.

This gorge is located in Wettersteinkalk, the typical limestone of the Nördliche Kalkalpen (Northern Limestone Alps). The tectonic situation weakened the limestone here, and so the water eroded the limestone rather fast. Like most gorges it is rather young - in geologic terms - created by the melting water of Ice Age glaciers. The gorge connects two lowlands, the valley of Greith and the Steinfeld, which ends at Würflach. The creek flows around Rosental on shist rocks named Werfener Schichten, which are relatively soft and easily eroded. Then it enters the hard and resistant limestone, where it cut the gorge. When it leaves the gorge, the rocks change again, whe have now Rohrbacher Konglomerat. a conglomerate formed from the debris of the Alps, but rather young and easily eroded.

The gorge shows all the typical erosional forms, like scallops and dolly tubs. The biggest dolly tub is named Marientritt or Liebfrauentritt, which means "step of Mary". There is a legend which explains the name.

The gorge was developed by the Wiener Naturfreunde (Friends of Nature, Vienna) in 1902, by building trails and bridges. But the gorge is regularly flooded and each flood destroyed part of the trail. In 1926 was an extremely heavy flood, which destroyed not only the gorge, but also buildings in the town. As a result the gorge was closed for the public and the community erected a dam at the end of the gorge and canalized the river through the town. The dam was completed in 1928, and since this year a restaurant was lending rowing boats on the lake. This was discontinues when the lake filled with mud only ten years later. The lake was abandoned to reduce costs.

The trails and bridges in the gorge were restored in 1960, now by the town, who manage the gorge since then, and the gorge was reopened. That's more or less the current state of the trails.

It seems the lake, which was necessary in the early 20th century became obsolete by better weather, at least for some decades. But the global warming has changed the situation. The lake was reactivated in 1999 and after a flood in 2006 it was clear that the lake was vital as a buffer for heavy rains. The lake was enlarged and is now regularly cleaned by the community.