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Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

Hiking at Wendelstein

For a fantastic day hike near Munich, try out Wendelstein.  A friend and I started at Osterhofen and made it to the peak in a few hours (1,047 meters of height gain).  Although I’ve only hiked the Osterhofen trail, there is a similar trail from Bayrischzell, and a longer one (1,329 meters of height gain) from the town of Brannenburg.  We departed on foot from the gondola station at Osterhofen, where there was a nice map.  The view from the parking lot is very scenic:

Wendelstein from Osterhofen

Wendelstein from Osterhofen

Along the way we passed the Bergcafe Siglhof.  On the way down we had some tasty Bayrisch food there; I can recommend the Obatzda (a kind of cheese you spread on a big soft pretzel).

Huberhof Hochkreut, near the Siglhof cafe

Huberhof Hochkreut, near the Siglhof cafe

It was easy to follow the signs; we didn’t make any wrong turns.  One amusing sight that I didn’t snap was an elderly couple who had obviously taken the Seilbahn up and decided to walk down.  His smooth-bottomed leather shoes weren’t gripping too well on the damp trail, and her one-inch heels weren’t exactly the wisest choice either.  After a couple hours of hiking we got a nice view from the top:

View from the top of Wendelstein

View from the top of Wendelstein

Watch out for the local wildlife while eating at the restaurant near the top.  This little sucka was trying to eat my plum cake!

Hungry crow, plum cake, beer, and snow-capped mountains. Nice combination!

Hungry crow, plum cake, beer, and snow-capped mountains. Nice combination!

For the infirm and those with small kids (also for the lazy…), here’s one of the other ways to get up to Wendelstein.  Note that it doesn’t go to the actual peak, but a hundred meters or so below it.  Still a great view, even if you don’t choose to follow the sidewalks to the top.

Wendelstein train as it nears the top of the mountain

Wendelstein train as it nears the top of the mountain

One last note about hiking the mountains in Europe: most of them have gondolas to the top (think ski season), so you’ll hike for hours and find people at the summit who got there in 15 minutes with zero sweat.  It’s sweet to see old ladies making their way around the peak restaurant on a cane, but it can be frustrating.  If that bothers you, don’t hike at Wendelstein where there are both a Seilbahn (gondola) and Zahnradbahn (mountain train) operating.  The good news is you can get a great meal and a beer at the top.

Here’s a gratuitous photo of chickens doing the tango, near the Bergcafe Siglhof:

Expect to see chickens as you hike. Oh, and cows, too… right on the trail.

Expect to see chickens as you hike. Oh, and cows, too… right on the trail.

Website of the cable car and train operator: http://www.wendelsteinbahn.de/

Towns: Osterhofen for the Seilbahn, Brannenburg for Zahnradbahn.  Alternatively you can hike from either of those, or from Bayrischzell (and a few others I haven’t named).  You should be able to get there by car or train (BOB), though as a car owner I can’t help much with the train connections.  Google maps is your friend.  Have a good trip!

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Posted in Munich Area 7 years, 7 months ago at 5:40 pm.

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