Explore the most popular wildlife trails in Germany with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This route was a very challenging and great beginner introduction to alpine hiking and mountain climbing in general because of the varied terrain. I went in the middle of July so the route had absolutely no snow or ice save for the glacier itself.

You have some standard hiking through trails, the gorge, and up into the valley which should be achievable by anybody in average physical shape (the elderly/less physically capable should consider easier trails).

After the easier first half there is klettersteig/via ferrata to get up the first cliff face which will instantly gut check you whether you are truly comfortable with heights or not (turn around if aren't, it only gets worse at the top of the valley). Also, DO NOT be an idiot; use a klettersteig harness and use it properly for the cable sections!

Following this, there is a not too difficult scree field to cross and then the glacier which requires crampons (watched someone nearly die because they slipped and almost fell into a crevasse because they weren't wearing crampons). The second klettersteig route is much longer and more challenging but after 15 numbered sections you are at the peak.

Took my group about 7.5 hours from the hut in the valley at a steady moderate to slow pace with minimal breaks. You have the option of taking the cable car down if you don't want climb back down the mountain and there is plenty of options for food/drink at the top. If you find yourself arriving after the last cable car there is a hut with beds at the top as well.

Beautiful views, minimal training required thanks to klettersteig, and a great challenge for beginners like myself. Totally recommend!

its really good hike to start!

trail running
2 months ago

- The trail was suitable for running in most places.
- Downloaded map was very important. I had no/poor cell service for the majority of the first 6-7 miles. And more than a few time I had to reference the map to avoid a turn down the wrong trail.
- The last few miles of this trail run were definitely more running than trail... scenic landscapes, but not forrest... meadows and fields. The last mile or so was actually on a paved road. However, there are plenty of possible variations that would avoid roads altogether. I followed the highlighted trace on the AllTrails map, but the area is criss-crossed with other, very well maintained trails which show up on the AllTrails map.
- Also, the 9.5 mile loop could easily be shorted to 5-6 miles, or less, by using the aforementioned alternate trails shown on the AllTrails map... or extended, though 9 1/2 miles wore me out pretty well.
- 4 stars only because of the last stretch on the highway. There are certainly 5 star variations of this trail I just haven't tried yet.

hiking
2 months ago

Die meisten Teile sind als "easy" zu bezeichnen, lediglich die Passage an den Wuppersteilhängen ist etwas anstrengender. Leider ist ein Teil der Strecke nur auf der (wenig befahrenen) Straße möglich, aber der Rest ist einfach wunderschön. Start und Ende sind nur schwer mit ÖPNV erreichbar, daher sind 2 Autos erforderlich.

Amazing views and beautiful hike! However, the map shown here seemed to be a little outdated- we ended up going 13 miles instead of the 9 listed here! It made for a long hard day, but the views are worth it! Be prepared for a long day and consider getting more updated info before you go.

Easy to get to, very quiet place, easy hike. Some rocks are very slippery though! Waterfall is beautiful the trail is very well marked and you can't get lost!

hiking
3 months ago

What an amazing trail,, tons of water running and great views from tight canyons!! Only a 2.1 mile one way 4.2 round trip. Start in Germany and end up in Austria at the top. I would say is a moderate to easy trail. Breaitachklam trail A must is a must do if in the area.

The first 2/3 of the trail was very scenic and full of trees with fantastic trails cut into the side of the hills. It would have been five stars but the last 1/3 of the trail wasn’t quite as scenic and you end up walking along a road and through the town.

Beautiful views throughout the trail

Great views in every direction and easy to navigate.

J ai monter la en deux jours ds les années 1990

hiking
Sunday, July 09, 2017

A very beautiful trail but harder then I expected! Make sure you bring plenty of water and don't choose a day that's too hot. The hike takes a good 9h so plan accordingly.

Also, Garmish-Partenkirchen is a beautiful city. Worth a stay!

hiking
Sunday, June 18, 2017

This trail is not for the faint of heart as it challenges your endurance. It's rated moderate but I give it moderate/hard rating. There are awesome views of Lake Tegernsee and the Swiss alps. Even had some snow cover on the mountains to the left in June. There's definitely a payoff as you get close to to top as you pass cows out in a pasture and they have cowbells on which is music to your ears. The view at the top is stunning! Stopped in at the restaurant at the top for a celebratory beer and struedel! It took 1 1/2 hours to do the winter trail as there is a summer trail that's steeper but will cut off about 20 minutes. We enjoyed the ride down on the ski lift and got to witness a paraglider flying down the mountain we just hiked up. What a great way to connect with the area!

hiking
Friday, June 09, 2017

This was a wonderful and challenging day hike. It took my husband and I 9 hours to complete with a few breaks and a stop at the summit for lunch. We were so lucky to have perfect weather for our hike. The scariest part was crossing the snow on the slope on the backside of the mountain, but the views at the top were worth it. I recommend taking the loop counterclockwise as we did. The way down was a tad longer, yet easier than the ascent. We hiked this at the end of May on the Tuesday before Ascension Thursday and we only saw six other people on the trail. This has been one of my favorite hikes yet.

rock climbing
Monday, October 24, 2016

This is Germany’s highest summit, the Zugspitze, up the Höllental (Valley of Hell) route. This route has everything you could want: a spectacular gorge, tunnels, Alpine hut, hanging valley, glacier, Via Ferrata with nearly a kilometer of vertical exposure, and a beer garden summit destination.

The route starts in Hammersbach, goes up through the Höllentalklamm, past Höllentalangerhütte, then up a Via Ferrata route on the hanging valley of the Höllentalferner, onto the Höllentalferner itself (white in upper left), then up another Klettersteig to the summit.

Here is a photographic trip report: https://flic.kr/s/aHskKPtxqq

I booked a room ahead of time online at Höllentalangerhütte. I also joined the Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV) at the hut, which provides a membership discount on affiliated huts and coverage for helicopter rescue if necessary.

I arrived by Deutschebahn to Garmisch-Partenkirchen midday, stored my luggage in a locker at the Hauptbahnhof, stopped to pick up a topo map at Buchhandlung Adam (Am Kurpark 20), then took a taxi a few miles to the trailhead in the hamlet of Hammersbach.

Lots of little kids hike up to Höllentalangerhütte through the Höllentalklamm. After this, it's a completely different climb, requiring lots of mountaineering experience, or a guide, or both.

Though this route can be accomplished in a day, it's long. A safer option is to book a berth at Höllentalangerhütte, enjoy the Höllentalklamm in daylight, and depart right after first light after a good night's rest.

Minimum necessary gear for this route:
Helmet
Harness
Via Ferrata Lanyard with K-rated carabiners
Via Ferrata Gloves
Mountaineering boots
Crampons
Ice Axe
3 l water

Here's what happens if you fall off the rock with the wrong gear: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7Y2WgtnemY. And more on the necessity of at least an ice axe below. I was solo, so I also brought along a personal anchor system and tied a couple Prusiks, expected to be unnecessary for this B/C rated route, but that made me feel better. I was expecting to see a few sloppy safety practices, but was amazed by what I really saw: obviously unsafe gear, and oftentimes no gear at all, climbing this route with no protection whatsoever. Inappropriate gear and usage appears to be the cause of the regular climbing deaths on this mountain. Guided tours roped their clients for protection along the glacier. Individual hikers used ice axes in case self arrest was necessary. Several hikers used no self arrest protection whatsoever!

Crossing the randkluft and transitioning back to the Klettersteig is the most dangerous part of this climb. Incredibly, I observed many climbers packing away their crampons and axes while still standing on the ice uphill of large crevasses! The two on the right in the posted photograph are doing this. One little mistake and you'd be on a fast slide down to the bottom of the crevasse beneath us.

I learned after I returned and told this account that a German man died in August 2016 at this point by making this very mistake and sliding into this crevasse: http://goo.gl/8YUjFg. This local news article says that a Zugspitze climber falls into a crevasse every year.

I stood in line and removed my gear only after safely back on the rock.

A note on Via Ferrata lanyard usage: I thought the most unsafe practice I would see on this route was unclipping both carabiners at once. Nope. Several climbers were ascending and descending this Klettersteig with no protection whatsoever, like the climber in front of me in the posted photograph. The fall beneath these pegs is a few hundred meters, but the result is the same as a ten meter fall I suppose.

I climbed the Alpspitze the day after this climb. A German woman climbing without protection said to me in my Via Ferrata gear, "Zat iz not ze vay vee do it!" I replied that I'd "honestly never do what you’re doing."

If you visit these routes, do it the right way. There are too many accounts of people lost while climbing without respect for the conditions.

A famous point along the Höllental Route is "Die Schlüsselstelle"; the "key" to accessing the upper Klettersteig. This youtube video shows this part of the route: Abenteuer Zugspitze - Höllental-Klettersteig, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGDiYYsVad0#t=645s.

At the summit, many climbers and people in street shoes who ventured out to the Via Ferrata from the seilbahn were moving around the icy summit with no protection. That cross is built a few boot-lengths away from a cirque wall that drops about a kilometer back down to the Höllentalferner.

The safest options back down are the seilbahn (mind the time of the last car), or staying at Münchner Haus on the summit. You can also descend via the Rental route about 21 km and through the Partnachklamm back to Garmisch. Descending back down the Höllental route is extremely difficult and highly discouraged.

hiking
Friday, October 07, 2016

Beautiful and well-marked trail with amazing views of Zugspitze and the Alps. It's a steep climb, but not too difficult. The trail is popular with locals and quite busy, but definitely not overrun like the trails on the opposite side of the valley. Along the way are a bunch of alpine cabins & farms offering Bavarian food.
Another plus is that this trail is easily accessible by public transport, e.g. from Munich. Just take the train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen (approx. 1h) and walk from the train station to the trail head.

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