Kunst in der Hütte: Franz Marc verewigt sich an einer Wand in der Staffelalm
7 Summits for Connoisseurs

Seven mountain tours on which you can stop at particularly beautiful huts. Car-free travel by bus and train is also possible on these tours

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7 Worthwhile Mountain Huts in Bavaria

Summit of the Teufelsstättkopf

1

On Royal Tracks: Over the Teufelstättkopf to the "August Schuster House"

For Bavaria's monarchs, the Ammergau Alps were a special place of longing. King Ludwig II built Linderhof, one of his favourite castles, down in the valley. And his father Max II (1811-1864) also came to the valley in summer when he used the specially built huts to indulge his passion for hunting. Today, the "August-Schuster-Haus" stands on the back of the Pürschling mountain, one of the most charming mountain huts in the entire Ammergau.

From Unterammergau, the trail leads past the Schleifmühlklamm gorge in the direction of Mount Teufelsstättkopf. At the first major junction after about two kilometres, turn right and continue uphill via the unmanaged cow pasture. Surefootedness is required in the summit area, with small scrambles, but without too much difficulty and without the use of a via ferrata set.

To the "August-Schuster-Haus" with its tempting refreshment stop on the sun terrace, it takes 15 minutes to descend comfortably from the summit. After refreshments, continue downhill along the Pürschlingweg and past the Josefskapelle chapel, built in memory of St. Joseph and those who died in the mountains. On the last stage, the path joins the first part of the ascent. The final highlight is a walk through the wild Schleifmühlklamm gorge and past the workshops of the whetstone makers who once worked here.

  • Total distance: 14 kilometres
  • 910 metres in altitude
  • Rest stop: August-Schuster-Haus (only in German)
  • How to get there: By train to Unterammergau
Art in the hut: Franz Marc immortalises himself on a wall in the Staffelalm

2

To the Green Stags of Franz Marc: Via the "Staffelalm" to the Rabenkopf

With its landscape, its atmosphere and also thanks to its colours, the Blaue Land (Blue Land)  is a synthesis of the arts, an opus magnum of nature. It is hardly surprising that the area around Murnau and Lake Kochelsee has always fascinated great artists, such as Gabriele Münter, Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc a good 100 years ago. A place of great longing for Marc was above all the "Staffelalm" below the Rabenkopf mountain, where he immortalised himself with a work of art on the wall.

The tour starts in Pessenbach. From the bus stop on the B11 road, head east on the hiking trail towards Rabenkopf. Wide forest paths alternate with bumpy trails. After the caldera at the Orterer Alm, a narrow path winds upwards towards Pessenbacher Schneid, a small plateau with a summit cross and a first outstanding view. Continue along a small path to the "Staffelalm", where you can marvel at the two green deer that Marc left as a fresco on the wall during one of his many visits.

Whether you treat yourself to a well-deserved hut snack and art show before or after the final 240-metre climb to the Rabenkopf is a matter of taste. In any case, the view from the Rabenkopf summit of the lakes of the Blaue Land and the entire Alpine broadside from the Mangfall Mountains to the Ammergau Alps is magnificent. On the descent, head south from the mountain pasture, always following the signs to Kochel.

  • Total distance: 14.8 kilometres
  • 880 metres in altitude
  • Rest stop: Staffelalm
  • How to get there: By train to Kochel, continue with bus 9612 to Pessenbach/Ötzschlößl. Return by train from Kochel
Zur Stärkung gibt es im Schachenhaus Brotzeit und klassischen Bergsteigerschmankerln

3

The refuge of the fairytale king: From Elmau to the "Schachenhaus" (1,866 metres)

This is probably one of the most unusual mountain huts in the Bavarian Alps: the "Schachenhaus", which King Ludwig II had built on the Schachen in 1870, together with the bizarre-looking Schachenschloss castle right next to it, his secluded retreat from which he enjoyed the view of the Wetterstein mountains at the time and where he celebrated his birthday every year.

The hike starts at Schloss Elmau castle, the venue for the G7 summits in 2015 and 2022. After one kilometre on asphalt to the west, the trail turns right onto the Königsweg, the royal path that the King once used to be chauffeured up to the summit in a carriage. Now begins the first gentle, later somewhat steeper ascent of this physically demanding, but for that all the more magnificent mountain tour. After about eleven kilometres, the Königshaus (Kings House) am Schachen is enthroned at 1,866 metres above sea level, with a simple chalet-style exterior.

Inside, however, splendour and pomp reign, especially in the Turkish Hall on the upper floor, with fine carpets, luxurious divans, fountains and plenty of oriental splendour. Also worth seeing in the immediate vicinity is the botanical alpine garden with more than a thousand plants from all mountain regions of the world. For refreshments, the "Schachenhaus" invites you with snacks and classic mountaineering delicacies. On the descent, first return three kilometres on the Königsweg, then turn left towards Garmisch-Partenkirchen and at the end through the thundering Partnachklamm gorge to the Olympic ski stadium.

  • Total distance: 21.2 kilometres
  • 918 metres in altitude
  • Rest stop: Schachenhaus (only in German). Visit to the Königsschlosses at Schachen only with a guided tour
  • How to get there: By train to Klais, continue with bus 4608 to Schloss Elmau. Return from Partenkirchen ski stadium with local bus 1 and 2 to Garmisch-Partenkirchen railway station
View of Benediktbeuren Monastery in front of the imposing Benedikten Wall

4

At the Foot of the Rock Face: To the "Tutzinger Hütte" and Crossing the Benediktenwand (1,801 metres)

The mighty rock face of the Benediktenwand rises almost 500 metres vertically. A spectacular sight that hikers can enjoy from the terrace of the "Tutzinger Hütte", one of the most imposingly situated mountaineering bases in the Bavarian Alps and on this one or two-day tour a stopover on the summit traverse towards the Isarwinkel.

From Benediktbeuern railway station, the trail leads first east and soon southeast through the village, always following the signs for Lainbachtal and "Tutzinger Hütte". Next to the small Mariabrunn chapel, the trail then branches off into the mountain forest. Now on a forest road along the Lainbach stream. After the so-called Tutzinger Blick with a view of Lake Starnberg, turn left along a path towards the "Tutzinger Hütte".

If you want to take it easy, stay overnight at the hut (be sure to book your room or campsite in advance!). If you're early enough, continue via the east ascent up to the "Benewand". At the lofty summit, a brilliant panorama spreads out to the Chiemgau mountains in the east and the Allgäu mountains in the west. Up and down, the trail leads past the Achselköpfe moutains towards Brauneck. Those who want to save themselves the descent after the strenuous tour may deservedly take the mountain railway from Brauneck down to the valley. Otherwise on foot on the Direttissima via the Garland slope down to Lenggries.

  • Total distance: 25 kilometres
  • 1,500 metres in altitude
  • Rest stop: Tutzinger Hütte, (only in German) Brauneck-Gipfelhaus (only in German)
  • How to get there: By train to Benediktbeuern. Return by train from Lenggries

5

On the East Side of the Isarwinkel: To the "Lenggrieser Hütte" and up to the Seekarkreuz (1,601 metres)

This is one of the best-known huts on the east side of the Isarwinkel: the "Lenggrieser Hütte", which is of course also ideal as the destination of a hike before the subsequent descent. Or you can round off the tour with the ascent to the Seekarkreuz, a magnificent, treeless lookout peak with a phenomenal panoramic view.

The tour starts at Lenggries railway station and heads south-east via Schloss Hohenburg castle to Mühlbach. From there it is signposted via the Grasleitensteig to the "Lenggrieser Hütte" and then a final climb of just under 300 metres up to the Seekarkreuz, a striking grassy hump which, along with the Brauneck, is certainly the most popular excursion peak in the area. On the way back, a stop at the hut awaits, where home-made snacks and dishes are served, with the ingredients coming almost exclusively from regional farmers, hunters and butchers.

For the further descent, the route now leads north over the Sulzersteig and the Hirschbachtal valley, where the last kilometres lead back to Hohenburg on the forest road. To finish, we recommend a short walk around the enchanted Schlossweiher pond hidden below the Lenggrieser Kalvarienberg mountain.

  • Total distance: 17.2 kilometres
  • 912 metres in altitude
  • Rest stop: Lenggrieser Hütte (only in German)
  • How to get there: By train to Lenggries

6

To the Eagle's Nest on the Rock: the "Tegernseer Hütte" Between Roßstein and Buchstein (1,701 metres)

 

It lies in the middle of the saddle, high above a steep rock face. The location is exposed and unique, hardly comparable with any other hut in the Bavarian Alps. Not surprisingly, it is also called the "eagle's nest" in many hiking books: the "Tegernseer Hütte" mountain hut between the peaks of the Roßstein and Buchstein.

Right from the bus stop, the hike goes uphill without "wasting any time". On the first kilometre alone, there are 300 metres of altitude to overcome. The trail continues in the same vein and after less than three kilometres you reach the first stage destination, the "Tegernseer Hütte", a traditional refuge that was first built in 1903 and burned to the ground in 1965 after a lightning strike. Today, after new construction and general renovation, the hut presents itself with the most modern environmental concept as an ecological prime example of sustainability in the mountains.

The menu is small but fine, and in any case the hut's food gives you plenty of energy for the last short climb up the easy-to-climb Roßstein and the Buchstein, which is much more challenging because of its climbing passages. From the hut, the trail descends a short distance to the north. After a good kilometre, the trail branches off to the left, from there on a longer, but no longer quite so steep path down into the valley.

  • Total distance: 9.1 kilometres
  • 802 metres in altitude
  • Rest stop: Tegernseer Hütte (only in German)
  • Getting there: By train to Tegernsee, continue with bus 9550 or 9556 to the Tegernseer Hütte stop

7

High Up on the Rocky Ridge: Via the "Brunnsteinhütte" to the Nördliche Linderspitze (2,372 metres)

Ein Klassiker für Urlauber, Ausflügler und Einheimische: von Mittenwald auf die „Brunnsteinhütte“. Immer wieder ein Highlight dank der feinen Gerichte und dem kolossalen Blick von der Sonnenterrasse. Absteigen kann man auf dem Anstiegsweg. Oder man wagt sich, wie hier beschrieben, noch auf den Mittenwalder Höhenweg hinauf.

From Mittenwald railway station, the tour starts in a southerly direction, crossing the Innsbrucker Straße on the other side of the B2 road on an initially leisurely ascending path that turns sharply to the east after a good 2.5 kilometres and leads over serpentines to the "Brunnsteinhütte". The hut is also a popular destination for families with children from about eight years of age, especially because of the petting zoo with sheep, dwarf goats and the dwarf donkey Frederico.

If you want to go even higher, you’re welcome to: From the hut, head up towards the rock, via the Heinrich-Noe-Steig to the Mittenwald Höhenweg, which leads to the Nördliche Linderspitze at airy ridge height. From there it is only a short way to the mountain station of the Karwendel cable car, which takes you downhill to Mittenwald. If you look through the windows of the gondola to the left during the ride, you can take another look at the course of this fabulous tour.

  • Total distance: 12.2 kilometres
  • 1,698 metres in altitude
  • Rest stop: Brunnsteinhütte (only in German)
  • How to get there: By train to Mittenwald

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