Partnachklamm Hike: Explore The Hidden World Of Germany’s Favorite Gorge

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Partnachklamm Hike: Explore The Hidden World Of Germany’s Favorite Gorge
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Deep in the south of Germany the land rises up to what is known as the Bavarian Alps. Rugged mountains covered with evergreen forests and picture perfect mountain pastures make this part of the Alps an outdoor heaven for everybody. One of the absolute highlights of the region is impossible to witness unless you're in it: the spectacular Partnachklamm gorge.

For millennia the Partnach river has carved out the mountains south of charming Garmisch Partenkirchen, creating a huge crevasse in the green foothills of the Bavarian Alps. It's a true natural gem, with impressive vertical walls and a thundering river slicing through it. The good news is that you can actually hike through the gorge. The walkway across the Partnachklamm is a great day out, or if you're keen, a perfect start for a 2-day trek that we call the Partnachklamm Explorer's Hike.

Partnachklamm: A Hidden Gem in the Heart of Bavaria

The mountains on the southern border of Germany form a formidable natural barrier, also known as the Alps. From gentle rolling hills the landscape suddenly changes, with jagged peaks dominating the horizon. It is Germany's prime outdoor playground, with a vast trail network used by hiker's and mountain bikers. But there's more to it than meets the eye. There are some subtle, hidden natural wonders that you would only notice if you know about it. One of those treasures is the Partnachklamm.

The Partnachklamm is a spectacular gorge just south of Garmisch Partenkirchen, world-famous for its iconic ski jump. It's 700 meters long, 80 meters deep and was declared a natural monument in 1912. The river Partnach pushes its way violently through the canyon, and especially in spring time this can be an impressive sight. In the olden days the gorge was inaccessible. The fast flowing water was used to transport wooden logs from higher grounds to town by just throwing them in the river. These days there's a walkway, including a 250 meter long tunnel, and people from across the globe flock to this place to admire this incredible landmark. It's an easy stroll, and you can extend the hike to a full day hike or even longer!

Partnachklamm: A Hidden Gem in the Heart of Bavaria

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When to Visit Partnachklamm?

In principle, the Partnachklamm can be visited year round. Occasionally the gorge closes in low season for repair work on the footpath. It gets busy in the summer season, when the majority of the 200,000 annual visitors marvel at the steep walls and the roaring Partnach river. Outside the summer months the gorge is relatively quiet and if you’re lucky you’ve got the entire place to yourself. In February there’s a good chance the gorge has transformed into a cathedral of icicles, hanging from the rocks.

Photography: September and February

Hiking: May until the end of October

Just visiting: Anytime of the year

When to Visit Partnachklamm?

How to Get to Partnachklamm?

As said, the Partnachklamm gorge is located just south of Garmisch Partenkirchen in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. It is easy to reach with both public transport and car.

By plane: The biggest and best-served airport is Munich, though you can fly to Innsbruck as well (and combine the Austrian and Bavarian Alps!). Below we’ll explain how to travel onwards from these cities.

By car: Drive from Munich to Garmisch Partenkirchen via the A95, which takes an hour and a half. From Innsbruck, drive east on the A12 and head north on the B177 and B2. It only takes an hour. Park your car at the ski stadium, which is very close to the entrance of the Partnachklamm gorge.

By train: From Munich you can hop on the RB6 leaving from München Hauptbahnhof on a regular basis. From Innsbruck, take the direct train S6 or RB6 with final destination Garmisch Partenkirchen. It’s a very scenic train journey.

How to Get to Partnachklamm?

Can I Hike in the Partnachklamm area?

You could see the Partnachklamm as the gateway to the Bavarian Alps, with a wealth of walking paths that wind through the forests and on top of the mountain ridges. The local trails are well-managed and often quite wide, making it accessible for novice and easy-going hikers. It’s easy to find a great terrace to sip a beer while looking at the biggest mountains in Germany. The highest of them all is the Zugspitze, and if you’re tempted to climb it then join us on our 3-day hut to hut trek to the roof of Germany.

We created a couple of great hikes in the direct vicinity of Partnachklamm suitable for most hikers.

Can I Hike in the Partnachklamm area?

Partnachklamm Explorer's Hike

The Partnachklamm Explorer's Hike is a two day hike that obviously includes the gorge, but gives you the opportunity to explore the direct environment of the gorge. There are two variations. One for the leisure hiker and one for those who want to head out for a long stroll in the woods. Which ever you choose, epic views across the Bavarian Alps and fresh Apfelstrudel guaranteed.

Partnachklamm Day Hike

We plotted a brilliant 7 km hike that runs through the Partnachklamm gorge and loops back via the top of it. The walk is doable with children and allows you to take in this wonder of nature from every angle.

Partnachklamm Explorer's Hike

This quick 2-day hike is a short trek in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps, capturing the essence of hiking in southern Germany. There's a choice between two routes on the second day: One is a short mild hike with the possibility to take the cable car down. The other is a more spicy hike, yet very doable for most hikers. The overnight stay in the more than 100 years old Bayernhaus is the cherry on the cake.

Garmisch Partenkirchen - Bayernhaus

Duration: 02:00 h
Distance: 6.8 km
Ascent: 590 m
Descent: 60 m
From the ski jump stadium follow the Partnach river upstream until the entrance of the Partnachklamm. After paying the fee you enter the stunning gorge, which includes walking through a 250 meter long tunnel. Just before the confluence of two rivers a path bends sharply to the left and up. Pass the restaurant (or grab a drink here) and keep left after, crossing the bridge on top of the gorge. The trail climbs towards the Partnachalm, where there's yet another place to eat and drink. Turn right and take the trail to the left 200 meters further. After the steep part, keep left at the junction. 1 kilometer further keep right and you'll reach the beautiful Bayernhaus shortly after.

Berggasthof Bayernhaus

Berggasthof Bayernhaus

Bayernhaus - Garmisch Partenkirchen

Duration: 03:00 h
Distance: 9.9 km
Ascent: 720 m
Descent: 350 m
Walk past the small reservoir and the base of the ski lift and turn left, away from the lift. Follow the trail, called the Ochsenweg that goes through the Wildschutzgebiet Reintal. Before a junction of trails next to the stream called Bodenlaine is a small restaurant where you can eat and drink something. Continue on the trail underneath the southern slopes of the Kreuzjoch through the forest. At the top of the Bodenlaine valley it's a steep climb to the top of the ridge. Turn right on the top and you'll be at the top of the Kreuzeckbahn and the Kreuzeckhaus for a well-deserved drink. Take the cable car down and hop on the train back to Garmisch Partenkirchen (5 minutes only). Or walk back to town.

Is It Worth To Visit Garmisch Partenkirchen?

Garmisch Partenkirchen is Germany's prime destination for both summer and winter mountain sports. What about the town itself? Well, when you walk around Garmisch Partenkirchen it is as if you have been dropped straight into the Hans and Gretel fairytale. Colorful houses, locals in traditional dress and forested mountains around the town. It is a typical Bavarian place, that still maintains lots of traditions. One of these traditions is the most prestigious event of the year, the ski jumping competition on New Year's Day. In summer, apart from outdoor sports, you can pamper yourself by visiting one of the luxury wellness centers. Only an hour west of Garmisch Partenkirchen you can find one of the most beautiful castles in Germany, Neuschwanstein once inhabited by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. And if you're just into hiking? Climb Zugspitze or hop across the border to Austria and hike the Adlerweg or the Stubaier Höhenweg!

Is It Worth To Visit Garmisch Partenkirchen?

Where Can I Book the Partnachklamm Hike

At you can book the self-guided Partnachklamm hike and many other treks. We take care of all the details for you, including arranging accommodations and providing you with relevant information well in advance of your trek. Find our offers here. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to browse and compare different trekking options and find the perfect fit for your interests, abilities, and budget.

If you have any questions about a specific trek or need help choosing the right one for you, our team of trekking experts is here to assist you. Simply reach out to us and we will be happy to provide you with personalized recommendations and advice to help you plan the trekking adventure of a lifetime.


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