The best day hikes from Munich

Panoramic views of the Alps and the deep forests of Bavaria

Are you visiting Munich for a couple of days and want to experience the Alps? Within an hour or two there are literary hundreds of amazing and beautiful treks. The hardest part as a foreigner is too narrow it down and find the best ones. This is a list of my 5 best day hikes in the Alps and the forests surrounding Munich. And best of it all, they can all easily be reached with public transportation.

Herzogstand to Heimgarten

360 view of the plains and the Alps

Length: 10 km
Walking time: 4 h 45 min
Elevation: +1100 m -200 m
Difficulty: moderate/difficult

This hike has a lot of things going for it, it has a great view of both the German plains and the Alps and if you do it in the summer you can take a swim in the beautiful Walchensee when you are done and want to cool off.
The way I like to do the hike is to hike up at take the cable car down, but you can also do the entire loop. The hike starts  off  with a slow ascend through thick forest. Trees drop away and eventually, you emerge on top of the ridge at Herzogstand with panoramas of the entire Alps. At the top you can stop for a meal or a beer at the hut. When you are ready to move on you will trek along a long ridge with amazing views both over the Alps and the German plains. At the next peak there’s another hut and from here you can either walk down or take the cable-car.

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Photos: hike.the, , Michael_kraus_photographer & thomas_wuerl. More inspirational pictures for day hikes in the Herzogstand & Heimgarden Alps close to Munich.

Westliche Karwendelspitze

Through forests and moon landscape up into the clouds

Length: 8 km
Walking time: 4 h 30 min
Elevation: + 1475 m
Difficulty: difficult

This hike really makes it feel like you are on the top of the world. It’s a hike that can’t be done in the height of winter, but it’s stunning to do when there is some snow on the peaks.
The way I like to do the hike is to hike up at take the cable car down. When you do that you start out by walking through an old forest, followed by what looks almost like a moon landscape and finally ending up at the top of the alps, with an amazing 360 degree view.

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Photos:  hike.the, petedijkgraaf, hike.the & peakture_mountaineers. More inspirational pictures for day hikes in the  Karwendelspitze Alps close to Munich.

Höllentalangerhütte loop

Hike through a narrow gorge and cliff paths

Length: 12.2 km
Walking time: 5 h
Elevation: +/- 690m
Difficulty: moderate

This is an easy hike from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, while most people visit Patchnammklamm, I prefer this gorge because I find it a bit more challenging and more varied.
You start off ascending along a stream up through a forest before you reach the spectacular gorge. Once you enter it, you snake your way along the sides and sometimes the tunnel through the mountain on your way up. At the top of the gorge you can enjoy traditional Bavarian cuisine  at a typical mountain hut. To get back down I prefer to take the path up on the ridge that afterwards takes you on a bridge over the gorge. This can give you a spectacular view or just as nice, sometimes you experience a thick fog coming in from the river bellow. See the picture.

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Photos: leben.und.loslassen, tristaaaaaaaaaaaanhike.the. More inspirational pictures for day hikes in the Hollentalklamm Alps close to Munich .


Cliff jumping in the Bavarian forest

Length: 12 km
Walking time: 3 h 30 min
Elevation: +/- 288m
Difficulty: very easy

This is one that you probably won’t find on other lists since most hikes around Munich is associated with the Alps, it’s also one that isn’t as well known, but it’s one of my favorite summer hikes.

Half of the hike is through what you would imagine a stereotypical Bavarian landscape would be, green hills, cows and old houses. The other part is though a great lush forest next to a river. But the highlight is the river itself. Here you’ll find Scheibum, a beautiful stream with cliff/rock jumping opportunities. First time I went here I was walking down the shallow stream and saw a crazy person dive straight down into what I thought was a very shallow part of the stream.

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Photos: finjamarx, nicokrziwanie & chris.diepold. More inspirational pictures for day hikes in the hills and forests of Scheibum-Ammerdurchbruch.