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The balcony of the Wettersteinwand

From Garmisch to Mittenwald, between gorges, Dolomite scenery and postcard-worthy lakes.
12:00 h


Two days of hiking, over 32km and 2000 meters of elevation gain to explore the valleys south of Garmisch, shrouded in coniferous forests. It's a straight-line route from Garmisch to Mittenwald — from there, you return to Garmisch by train.

First day: from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Meilerhütte.

We start from the Garmisch-Partenkirchen train station (approximately 700m) — it's ideal to arrive by train for those living in Munich or nearby. If coming by car, it might be better to park at the Olympia Skistadion. From the Garmisch station, we head out of town in a southeast direction. Outside the town, we walk along a cycle path through lush green meadows dotted with farmhouses.

We first reach the Olympic ski jumping stadium — an imposing neoclassical structure built for the 1936 Winter Olympics (you can recognize the style of those years...). From there, we follow the road to the entrance of the famous Garmisch gorge (Partnachklamm). The quickest way for the hike is through the gorge (entrance fee €6) — if you prefer to avoid it, you can hike up the gorge on the trail to the left of the entrance gate.

After traversing the gorge (797m, 1.30 hours), we take the Kälbersteig, a nice stepped path that quickly gains elevation, first through deciduous forests, then through coniferous ones. In a couple of hours, we emerge onto a dirt road that leads us with ups and downs to the Schachenhaus (1866m, 2.45 hours). This area is a haven for electric bikes (these long, gently sloping valleys are perfect for e-bikes — this itinerary is also suitable for biking, except for the ascent to Meilerhütte).

From here, it's worth climbing the exact 500 meters that separate us from Meilerhütte. The trail ascends first in switchbacks above Schachenhaus, then overlooks an impressive 700-meter cliff of the Oberreintal. Finally, through meadows and scree, we reach the terrace of Meilerhütte (2366m, 1.15 hours), perched on a panoramic saddle between Austria and Germany. You can spend the night here, enjoying the sunrise over Dreitorspitze.

Second day: from Meilerhütte to Mittenwald.

We return to Schachenhaus (if you're an experienced hiker, you can take a "shortcut" with fixed ropes that descends to the right of Frauenalplspitze). From Schachenhaus (1866m, 1 hour), we traverse scree until we reach Schachentor (1873m), then descend through beautiful meadows to the Wettersteinalm alpine pasture and refreshment area (1464m, 1.15 hours).

From here, we take the Bösplattensteig, at times just a faint trail in the forest. With a long traverse, always slightly downhill, we reach Ferchensee (1060m, 2 hours), and Lautersee (1012m, 0.20 hours), both dominated by the rocky mass of Karwendelspitze. The lakes, with their refuges and refreshment areas, are destinations for locals in these valleys. From here, we descend to Mittenwald on one of the various trails (940m, 0.30 hours).

From Mittenwald, there are trains to Garmisch every hour at xx.36 (€5.50 — you can check the schedule and purchase tickets on It takes about 20 minutes by train to return to Garmisch.






The mountains are a dangerous environment: make sure you always have the right equipment — hiking or trail shoes, warm clothes and waterproofs in case of unexpected changes in weather conditions, a small emergency kit.


I've made an Amazon "shopping note" to make sure you have everything — ps if you buy from these links, 3% goes to support the development and maintenance of Hikes of the World 🙏.


  • Breathable t-shirt ( example )

  • Sweatshirt, fleece, or light jacket

  • Waterproof windbreaker (for example: men / women )

  • Gloves and hat (you never know)

  • Backpack with rain cover

  • Trekking poles (not essential, but they help to unload the weight of the backpack and ease the impact on the joints)

  • Trekking or trail running shoes (in great vogue lately because they are lightweight. These Salomon ones - for men and women - are an excellent entry-level, preferably Gore-Tex)

  • For via ferratas: complete via ferrata kit (I have this one , very light and compact, with this harness and helmet — or you can buy complete kits ). Buy in store to receive ad hoc support

  • To sleep a night in a refuge: sheet or light sleeping bag

  • Water bottle or thermos

  • Light crampons if you think you will find ice or snow on the route

  • Power bank or cell phone charger

  • Camera

  • Drone, for those who love to "fly" (used in moderation and at a distance from other people. I have had the DJI Mini 2 for over 2 years and have found myself very happy with it. The DJI Mini 3 also allows you to take vertical photographs)

  • Small emergency kit ( example )

  • Sun cream (essential)

  • Sunglasses


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