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Kaprun Ski Resort Guide

Kaprun, Austria

Rated: 4/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForExpert Skiers, Intermediates, Beginners, Snowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski!
Total Piste Length130km81 miles
Highest Lift3,030m9,941ft
Resort Height800m2,625ft
 Nearest AirportsSalzburg and Innsbruck Airport
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Shares a ski area with Zell am See but not quite lift linked. A regular ski bus links the high altitude skiing on the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier where there are powder bowls. The toboggan runs care illuminated for night sledging.


The Austrian ski resort of Kaprun is in the Austrian Alps at an altitude of 800m2,625ft, with 130km81 miles of marked runs.

Kaprun is part of the Europa Sport Region ski area with access to 130km81 miles of downhill skiing, with 81 marked pistes, served by a total of 53 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Kaprun itself (130km81 miles of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Europa Sport Region ski resorts of Kitzsteinhorn and Zell am See.

With ski lifts as high as 3,030m9,941ft, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Kaprun?

The next notable snow forecast is 29cm11in, expected on 31 July.

See our long-range Snow Forecast for the latest update, or   Join our Snow Mail Here

Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Kaprun

Ski Area Stats

Kaprun Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
 4 7km4 miles
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
 9 22km14 miles
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
1632km20 miles
Total Length
130km81 miles
Cross Country
Total Length
20km12 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts

Europa Sport Region Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
Total Length
130km81 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts


Kaprun Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift3,030m9,941ft
Resort Altitude (Kaprun)800m2,625ft
Lowest Piste770m2,526ft
Max Vertical2,260m7,415ft

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Kaprun
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers

Kaprun Overview

Kaprun is the best-known partner of Zell am See. But Zell has had a reputation for being a large, traditional ski centre from the early days of winter sports tourism, and thus with a somewhat aged lift system. Kaprun, however, has the image of a hi-tec, high altitude, glacier resort, with year round skiing above 3000m, accessed by a state of the art gondola and six seater chairs.

In fact neither reputation is quite correct! Zell am See's ski area has invested heavily in new lifts and snow making whilst Kaprun has managed to retain its pleasant Tyrolean village atmosphere and is actually at only a slightly higher elevation than Zell am See, 5km (3 miles) away. It has its own small ski area on the Maiskogel, but to reach the high altitude skiing of the Kitzsteinhorn you first need to drive or take a bus (15 minutes) to the base of the funicular or gondola. They will lift you high up to the ski area and its networks of gondolas, chairs, funiculars and drags.

Kaprun is an ancient village, first mentioned in documents of 931 AD (February 9th to be precise!) when it had a slightly more wordy title: 'Chataprunnin in Pisoncia'. A castle was built there during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and remained in the control of two wealthy families for over 500 years. The Napoleonic Wars saw defeat for the area and the castle passing to Bavarian control. In 1812 a local forester bought the castle and it changed ownership a dozen times before being purchased by the Gildemeister family in 1921. Currently it is owned by a private association who use it for a variety of events.

Kaprun's reputation changed from that of a run-of-the-mill farming community to a centre for climbers and mountaineers about a century ago. More fame developed in 1955 when two huge beautiful reservoirs were completed above the village higher in the Pinzgau valley. These great feats of engineering still attract many visitors today. Another, in 1965, the Gletscherbahn underground railway up to the Kitzsteinhorn glacier, made Kaprun's name as one of the first year-round winter sports centres, bringing more international fame.

Kaprun now attracts more than 700,000 guests annually, a sizable chunk of the two million plus visitors to the Europa Sport Region as a whole. Although tourism is obviously the main industry, farming continues quietly in the background.

 Notable Ski Runs

The longest possible descent in Kaprun is 7km4 miles long.


Guests staying in Kaprun have a choice of three ski areas every morning. There's the year round skiing on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier, Kaprun's most 'local' ski area on the Maiskogel, or the most extensive Schmittenhöhe skiing above Zell am See, but accessible by a gondola from a car park at Schüttdorf between the two resorts. A regular free ski bus service which runs every 15 minutes connects all the areas and resorts.

The Maiskogel ski area is served by a cable car (tram) from the edge of the village, or a modern quad chair, and there's another quad and a drag lift at the top of the cable car serving largely easy blue runs through the woods, with a single red. Lower slopes are on a wide open sunny meadow. This area is a complete contrast, almost the antithesis of the nearby high altitude glacier skiing where there is of course not a tree to be seen. The one next to the resort is good for beginners serving nursery slopes on either side, with snow making covering both. The higher drag following on serves an intermediate red. Either side provides a good half day's skiing for the intermediate skier.

The Kitzsteinhorn is a large sunny bowl criss-crossed by a network of more than 20 lifts, including a cable car (tram) in addition to the access gondola from the valley, which take you on up to the highest point at 3029m. In addition, there are two quads and a six seater chair lift, plus a network of drags. This is the area formerly served by the underground funicular railway that was destroyed and many people killed in the infamous tragedy.

For cross country skiers the 3km Höhen Loipe is open all year at a height of 2800m above sea level. a second loipe around Kap[run itself is floodlit at night. It is also 4km long and part of 18km of cross country trails in the area.

Most of the trails on the mountain are graded easy or intermediate (red). Unfortunately, although the area is up to 2450 metres above Kaprun and the valley base station, it is not possible to ski all the way back down on-piste, because of the formation of the terrain. Instead you need to take the gondola back down from the base of the glacier ski area, which covers a vertical approaching 1000m. Queues at this point to go down, and indeed to come up, can be bad especially at busy times and when snow cover is thin at less snow sure destinations.

The Kitzsteinhorn management, not content with having a glacier, have added snow making to the glacier's lower slopes to ensure superb conditions.

Zell am See's 75km (47miles) of trails make up around three fifths of the Europa Sport Region and are largely located on the Schmittenhöhe mountain behind the town. More than 50km (31 miles) of the terrain is graded red and blue, including an 8km (5 miles) trail, the Schutt, descending the full 1200 metre vertical back down to the resort.

Advanced skiers have several long medium-steep blacks descending through the forest back down to the resort to enjoy, several usually mogulled, and Zell has a reputation for good off-piste powder when conditions are right. Zell am See's sunny slopes do have good snow-making cover on nearly two thirds of the piste.

Cross country skiers have up to 200km (125 miles) of trails around the valley, including a 10km (six miles) track on frozen Lake Zell and a six kilometre illuminated track at Kapun.

There are a variety of pistes to suit all levels of skier ability, from Beginner to Expert.


The Kitzsteinhorn glacier is one of Austria's major 'boarding destinations, with the added attraction of year round opening. If the weather is good you can even hit Lake Zell in the afternoon for a beach party - a regular occurence during the summer. It is extremely boarder-friendly with snow parks and natural pipes and 'boarder friendly access by cable car, which travels direct to the heart of the action.

Chairlifts take over to serve the rideable terrain itself, the highlight of which is the Langwied sector which has natural half pipes and bumps. Professional 'boarders train here and summer 'boarding camps are organised.

The park features 23 jumps, rails, and boxes on nearly 30,000 square metres of glacier snow. Intersport Bründl at the main lift station offers rentals, sales and service on the glacier itself. The ski school also have 'boarding divisions.

In winter, at neighbouring Zell am See, there's an additional half pipe at the Glocknerwiese and there's plenty of surfing and cruising terrain all around the Region. A test centre provides demo boards on the slopes here.

Location and Map

Where is Kaprun?

This ski resort is in the Austrian Alps.


Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Kaprun is Salzburg, 90 minutes drive away.

Innsbruck Airport, Munich, Klagenfurt, Linz and Ljubljana airports are all within three hours drive.


Ski Lift Capacity

The 25 ski lifts are able to uplift 35,500 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, on 29km18 miles of ski runs, with 200 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Kaprun open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

Usual opening is Mid September, and usual closing is Mid May.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

Piste Map

Kaprun Piste Map

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Kaprun, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Kaprun Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Kaprun

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Kaprun Webcams

The Webcams in Kaprun are not always up-to-date. Please check the date on the image to ensure you are seeing current snow conditions.

Mountain Bike Hire

There is downhill mountain biking available and you can rent Mountain Bikes in Kaprun.

Aprés Ski

Kaprun has a relatively active nightlife with a majority of quaint rustic bars and eateries but with the snowboard boom helping to fuel a lively bar scene as well. Top choices include Partykeller, Kitsch and Bitter, Pub no1, Pavillion, Killy's, Partykeller, Paletti and the Baum Bar.

There is plenty to do besides party in Kaprun - bowling, toboggan run, sleigh ride, swimming, skating and a host of other opportunities. Then you can always go on down to Zell am See.