Spitzenwanderweg Long-Distance Trail: All Sections At A Glance

 // by Sonja Wilms
Spitzenwanderweg Long-Distance Trail: All Sections At A Glance
Tuesday, 08 February 2022

The 'Spitzenwanderweg' was introduced just a few years ago. This long distance trail leads you in 12 sections across 200 kilometers through the picturesque manifold landscape of the Zugspitze region. With a total elevation of 6.800 meters, this route is quite sporty.

But it's worth the effort. The route goes through a number of alpine landscape varieties and lets you visit numerous culture monuments. The trail starts and ends in the picturesque town of Murnau. On the way you would have to spend two nights at the alpine chalets: the Soiernhaus and the Schachenhaus. Across 200 kilometers hikers enjoy tremendous views of the Alps, blooming alpine and moor meadows, deep blue alpine lakes, whirling torrents, the spectacular Partnachklamm and Hell Valley gorges, pre-alpine hills with panoramic views, cultural monuments like Schachen and Linderhof royal castles, as well as typical Bavarian localities like Murnau, Krün, Mittenwald, Grainau or Oberammergau. There is a lot to discover on and aside the path.

Anticipation is the best joy, so we would hike one section after another, as the route will be a special experience for us locals as well. Sonja Wilms will walk the trail alone or sometimes with her colleague. Follow us on the route!


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Section 1: From Murnau To Eschenlohe

The Spitzenwanderweg Trail would be my tenth long distance trail that will definitely bring me a few more insights into the German natural and cultural landscape. It would be the trail with the highest altitudes as well, and I find this really impressive. However, the first sections are easy, so you can gradually gain tempo and get used to the trail.

Section  1: Murnau - Eschenlohe


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Section 2: From Eschenlohe To Garmisch-Partenkirchen

The Second Section takes the hiker from Eschenlohe to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The 16 km long section goes through the meadows and moor landscapes, past the famous 'Seven Springs'. If you are in the mood for more, you can make a detour to the Kuhflucht Waterfalls, one of the highest waterfalls in Germany. An the fantastic panorama of the Alps lies before your eyes all the time. Here we go!

Section 2: Eschenlohe - Garmisch-Partenkirchen


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Section 3: Through The Partnachklamm Gorge From Garmisch-Partenkirchen To Krün

Along its 25 kilometers the Third Section of the Spitzenwanderweg long distance trail in the Zugspitze Region offers multiple highlights and fantastic views. Starting at the foot of the famous Olympic ski jumping hill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, across the nature theatre in the Partnachklamm Gorge to the amazing panoramic views of the Wetterstein and the Karwendel chains, this is a way of nature wonders and discovery.

Section 3: Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Krün


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Section 6: From Mittenwald To Schachen

The Sixth Section of the Spitzenwanderweg Trail takes you from Mittenwald up to the King's House on Schachen, one of the historic buildings that used to belong to Ludwig II, the 'fairytale king' of Bavaria. The King's House is located at 1.866 m altitude, you can only reach it on foot or by mountainbike, which gives it an additional flair of adventure. Beside that, Section 6 should be combined with Section 7 and includes an overnight stay at the famous Schachenhaus Chalet. So these two sections are a very special experience for the hiker.

Section 6: Mittenwald - Schachen (in German)


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Section 7: From Schachenhaus To Kreuzeck

The Seventh Section of the Spitzenwanderweg Trail first leads you from the Schachen down into the Reintal Valley, only to bring you to the start point of the following 700 m high ascend to Kreuzeck. This is a scenic hike that requires a head for heights and surefootedness. Don't let yourself be distracted by the beautiful views into the valley during the descent. On sunny days you would enjoy wonderful panoramic views. From your start point on Schachen, you can see both the final destination of today's hike in the distance and your whole way down into the valley. The crystal-clear Partnach River and the sound of rushing water accompany the hiker on this route.

Section 7: Schachen - Kreuzeck (in German)


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Section 8: From Kreuzeck Through The Höllentalklamm Gorge To Grainau

The Eighth Section of the Spitzenwanderweg Trail promises great views of the surrounding alpine ranges as well as into the valley, it takes the hiker along the most popular routes in the alpine village of Grainau. While the previous sections were quite demanding with multiple hundreds of vertical meters to climb, the route in Section 8 goes mainly downhill. In addition, you would visit the spectacular Höllentalklamm Gorge. The trail provides for refreshment stops as well: the 'Höllentalangerhütte' in the middle of the route and the 'Klammeingangshütte' ('Höllentalklamm Entrance Chalet') keep their doors open for the hikers.

Section 8: Kreuzeck - Grainau


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Section 9: From Grainau To Linderhof Castle

Following in the footsteps of King Ludwig II, our hike today brings you from the idyllic resort of Grainau to the Bavarian king's favourite castle. The picturesque forest route goes past the Loisach River and takes the hiker around Mount Kramer. On the way you would enjoy magnificent mountain views along with streaming water of any kind. And at the end of the tour Linderhof Castle invites you for a visit. Don't miss the opportunity for a guided tour through the small but impressive castle.

Section 9: Grainau - Linderhof Castle


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Section 10: From Linderhof Castle To Unterammergau

The Tenth Section of the Spitzenwanderweg Trail leads you across the Ammergau Alps from Linderhof Castle to Unterammergau. You would climb the 1,566 m high Mount Pürschling and join the European Long Distance Trail E4, which is the longest hiking trail in Europe with a length of over 10,000 km. In contrast to Section 9, this section has alpine character that leads you on narrow, rocky trails, often covered with tree roots, through the mountain forest up to Mount Pürschling. On the other side, you can take a forest trail or a wide forest road to get down to the village of Unterammergau.

Section 10: Linderhof Castle - Unterammergau (in German)


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Section 11: From Unterammergau To Bad Kohlgrub

The Eleventh Section of the Spitzenwanderweg Trail runs from Unterammergau to Bad Kohlgrub. Another peak has to be climbed: Mount Hörnle. You can even climb three peaks at once if you like, as Mount Hörnle actually consists of three mountains called Vorderes Hörnle (1,484 m), Mittleres Hörnle (1,496 m) and Hinteres Hörnle (1,548 m). The Hörnle is a popular hiking destination with the locals. There is a nice chalet on the summit that invites you for a cosy stopover. Once you have reached the top, it goes downhill all the way to your destination Bad Kohlgrub.

Section 11: Unterammergau - Bad Kohlgrub (in German)


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Section 12: From Bad Kohlgrub To Murnau

The Twelfth (and last) Section of the Spitzenwanderweg is also the longest one. 27.1 kilometers have to be hiked from Bad Kohlgrub to the finish point in Murnau. However, this section is quite level with only 140 vertical metres. From Bad Kohlgrub, the trail leads you through the idyllic foothills of the Alps to the picturesque Lake Staffelsee, past alpine meadows, fields and moorland. This section can be hiked in any season, but the best time is in summer: beside the abundant plants and flowers blooming around on the rich moors, Lake Staffelsee invites you to dive in.

Section 12: Bad Kohlgrub - Murnau (in German)