I’m posting this in the off-chance it may help some future traveler who wants to find the same kind of day hike I did, so that he/she can enjoy it as much as I did. I recently spent a few days in München and wanted to take a day trip to the Alps for a hike. I was having an awful time finding any actual hiking routes, so I just kind of figured I would wing it once I got there. So I boarded a train the south for a city called Garmisch-Partenkirchen. On the train I asked a fellow rider (German) if they knew of any hiking trail out of G-P. While not immensely helpful, he did suggest to me my starting point.
The idea was to set out from the train station in G-P for a gorge called Partnachklamm (the Partnach river is the river that has cut the gorge); from there I would just continue climbing and wandering up trails and the mountains until I got tired and then head back down. The Partnachklamm begins about 1 km up a small road that begins at the Olympic Ski Jump facility. The hike I followed was ~19 km, or approximately 10 km up and 9km down. HERE is a .kmz file so that you can see the approximate path I followed, you may have to click “view raw” in order to initiate the download (please note that I just mapped this now in Google Earth, and it does not necessarily map the exact trails I followed!!).
So for some direction, the hike I enjoyed could be mapped as follows (be sure to enjoy the scenery along the way too!).
- Head out to the north and east of the train station, along St. Martin-Straße toward the east. When you near the river, head south on Partnachhauenstraße which runs along the river. Here there is a neat “geology of the Alps” exhibit that actually has some spectacular specimens. The path crosses the river at Schornstraße. Continue to follow the path to the ski jump stadium.
- To the west of the stadium (right hand side as seen from your approach) is a paved road. Follow it (and signs) for the Partnachklamm. There is a 4 euro entrance fee to the Partnachklamm, which may seem unfair, but it was definitely worth while to me. Enjoy the hike through the Partnachklamm.
- Once out of the gorge, you will follow the path up a series of switchbacks, following signs for “Das Graseck”. This will take ~30 minutes.
- Continue beyond Das Graseck and take the paved road up the hill on your right. Eventually the pavement ends in favor of a dirt path at the “peak” of a hill. You then want to follow the small dirt path up, in the steepest direction up a long series of switchbacks through a dense pine forest. This will be the path to the “Berggasthof Eckbauer”. This will take ~45 to 60 minutes.
- Finally you will reach the Berggasthof Eckbauer. Have a pint and enjoy the spectacular view.
- My final piece of advice is when you return down, you will want to follow the same path you followed up, but once you pass Das Greseck, you will follow a steep path down and to the right. This path will lead you down to some waterfalls and you will see a sign warning that the trail is for experienced hikers only. You should heed this warning, but also don’t be frightened by it. This path will return you to the “tollbooth” of the Partnachklamm but allow you to walk above the gorge and get some different perspective.
Lastly, here is my new computer background. Go and hike the spectacular German Alps.