Hiking up a mountain normally involves some serious effort, physically and mentally —sometimes at an extraordinary level, such as when climbing up a volcano in Guatemala, the toughest hike I’ve ever done. But I promise this hike is going to be an easy one and the views will far exceed the effort involved. You can even admire the beauties surrounding you for absolute no effort, as you have the option to take a cable car up to the mountain. Have I convinced you yet? Great, let’s get out and enjoy a day in the nature!
|Panoramic Theatre Hoher Kranzberg|
The little mountain with fantastic views and an incredible effort-to-reward ratio is the Hoher Kranzberg in Mittenwald, located some 100 km south of Munich, just a little further south of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, home to the famous Partnach Gorge, another easy, yet gorgeous hike.
|Mittenwald town embraced by the Alps|
Our tour starts at the parking lot near Kranzberg Sesselift in Mittenwald. Here, you have the option to take the
chair lift up, or ascend directly on a paved road all the way up. After a short section on the road, though, we continue our ascend along the colourful forest paths to the
Hoher Kranzberg (when in doubt, follow the lift track).
It’s a relatively easy hike on a solid trail with gentle undulations; and the views are beyond incredible from start to finish. Any time of the year, it would rank as one of the most scenic trails, but at this time of the year when the nature starts awakening, it truly is magnificent.
About an hour and a half later we arrive at the mountain hut for a break. Here, you have the opportunity to fuel up with the delights of the Bavarian cuisine while enjoying the amazing views of the Karwendel Mountains.
From the hut, it is only 5 more minutes to the summit of Hoher Kranzberg (1391m) with theatre style seating to enjoy the view. Your efforts are now being rewarded with a “Panoramic Theatre” —with unparalleled 360-degree views overlooking Mittenwald and the surrounding mountains!
After enjoying the views for as long as you want —but no sooner than feeling a sense of freedom, you can either descend the same way you came up, or continue directly to the Lautersee to shorten the circuit hike by 4 km. Of course, we take the longer route to hit both of the two beautiful lakes: Ferchensee and
Lautersee. It takes us 1 hour and 30 minutes to the Ferchensee through the forest trail, still partially covered by snow in early spring.
Arriving at the Ferchensee, you will have the option to enjoy a lakeside drink or lunch, or the brave ones can have a refreshing bath. We won’t stop here for long and continue to the Lautersee, which is just another 30 minutes walk away.
Now it is time for another reward and we stop at the
Lautersee to enjoy the lake views
while eating at the hut or going for a swim!
From the Lautersee, the Kranzberg Sessellift is only a 30-minute gentle walk. This superb circuit hike eventually takes us back to Mittenwald.
I bet you feel absolutely dwarfed by the nature and second my opinion: the views far outweigh the effort!
|Mittenwald: A gorgeous town lying in the valley of the Alps|
Details Hoher Kranzberg Circuit Hike
Altitude difference: 450m
Highest point: Hoher Kranzberg (1391m)
Hiking skills: 1/5 (easy)
Endurance: 2/5 (13km distance, it can be shortened by 4km)
Equipment: hiking boots, weatherproof clothing, bathing clothes in summer, enough water, some food (opportunity for lunch at Kranzberghaus and along the Ferchensee/Lautersee)
Address for Navigation System: Am Kalvarienberg, 82481 Mittenwald (Parking area Kranzberg Chairlift). Alternatively you can take the train from Munich Central Station to Mittenwald.
Waypoints along the trail (the path is well-marked and signed):
Best time: You can do this hike any time of the year. Happy trails!