I put together some of my favorite classics in Ehrwald: lakes Seebensee & Drachensee, mountain hut Coburger Hütte and the mountaineering tour up to the Zugspitze.
Lakes Seebensee, Drachensee & Mountain Hut Coburger Hütte
This is surely a classic, but always worth a visit. During spring, summer, fall or winter, the scenery is always breathtakingly beautiful. My all-time favorite is the tour via Hoher Gang. But no matter which route you pick, you will never be disappointed. However, make sure to bring along plenty of water and wear something on your head during summer, since it gets crazy hot out there.
At the Coburger Hut make sure to try their famous Kaiserschmarrn. It is to die for.
Zugspitze via Ehrwalder Gatterl
I think every mountaineer has this one on the bucket list: hiking or climbing up the Zugspitze. So did I.
There are many different routes for all kind of fitness levels. One route that is manageable for almost any regular hiking enthusiast with alpine experience is the tour via the Ehrwalder Gatterl. On sunny weekends it can get crowded, so I would recommend either a somewhat cloudy day during off-season or simply pick a weekday.
I first did the tour in summer 2020 and it took me about 6 hours from the Ehrwalder Alm up to the Zugspitze. Though I admit that I did several photo stops.
From the meadows to the Ehrwalder Alm you continue past the Pest Kapelle and via the Max Klotz Steig, past the Hochfeldernalm und up to the Joch ‘Am Brand’ (2,120m). Stay on the path to the Fledernjöchl which dips slightly to 2,041m. Continue until you reach the point where the path divides for the Steinernes Hüttl and take the left hand fork which heads in a north easterly direction on towards the Gatterl. The Plattsteig takes you over rough scree and snow fields to the Knorr Hut.
Continue to climb gently up to and across the Zugspitzplatt to the Schneefernerhaus and from there follow the marked path which is secured by cable in a north easterly direction to the peak. You could also take the Gletscherbahn up to the peak from the Zugspitzplatt if you prefer.
You shouldn’t do this tour without any training. And if you are not an experienced mountaineer, I recommend to take along either a friend or book a guided tour. Also note that there are still snow fields even during the summer months. Hence, start early so that you have enough time to take the cable car back down. If you are up for this adventure, send me a DM.
Sunrise & Sunset in Ehrwald
Whether you are at one of the mountain huts or down in the valley, the atmosphere, the light and the magic of the mountains are pure medicine for body and soul.
For an early morning walk, I can recommend the one-hour waterfall round tour at the valley station of the Ehrwalder Alm. For sunset, either enjoy the Coburger Hut or, in the valley, hike to the Sonnenhang and enjoy the view.
We spontaneously attended this year’s mountain fires at the Zugspitz Arena in Ehrwald, Tyrol, having a magical weekend. Most of you know that I always prefer the Austrian side of the Zugspitz Arena. The mountain ranges, endless trails and scenic views are just gorgeous and it is way more relaxing. I can easily escape the mass tourism and explore more difficult trails, if I like.
Mountain Fires in Tyrol
The tradition of lighting bonfires in the mountains around the 21 June dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (second Sunday after Corpus Christi) is still celebrated in many parts of Tyrol. It reminds of the year 1796, when an oath was sworn with the Sacred Heart of Jesus to protect Tyrol from the invading French troops. As a sign of the oath, Sacred Heart fires were lit on mountain tops and slopes.
This tradition continues in parts of Tyrol today. Numerous local clubs and associations climb into the mountains each year to build mighty fires high above the valley floor. Shortly after nightfall these fires are set ablaze and illuminate the mountains to create a mystical atmosphere.
Last weekend these spectacular fiery scenes were created in the mountain ranges of the Zugspitz Arena. It was breathtakingly beautiful. But see for yourself.
Hotel Tip: Zugspitz Resort
We stayed in a Junior Suite at the Zugspitz Resort in Ehrwald and I gotta admit that it has immediately become a new favorite place in this region: excellent service, extremely cordial and helpful, uncomplicated, quiet & private – if you like -, great food, very good spa services; just a home away from home.
Thanks for the great hospitality. I will definitely come back.
Photo credits: Ulf Fischer (DSLR shots of the Mountain Fires), Alexa Fischer, Munich Mountain Rebel
Since Austria is now considered a safe travel destination, I wanted to share some of my favorite spots in the regions of Scharnitz and Seefeld.
Gschwandtkopf in Seefeld
This is a nice, easy trail running route with amazing views of the Austrian Alps: Wetterstein Mountains, Karwendel, Ötztal & Stubai Alps. Just make sure to use the hiking / snowshoeing trail and not the forest road. Elevation gain: 400 m, 10k – depending on the route.
Isar Trails in the Karwendel Mountain Range
The source of the Isar is in the municipality of Scharnitz in Tyrol, surrounded by the mighty Karwendel mountain massif. Even today, the river is still part of the culture and history of the Alpine region. The source of the Isar, also known as “by the rivers”, can be reached from Scharnitz on foot, by bike or e-bike. The crystal clear, blue water accompanies visitors along the beautiful Hinterau valley. Here, you can basically pick ANY route. The views are breathtakingly beautiful.
However, make sure to carry along plenty of water during summer, since it gets incredibly hot in The Valley. Also, use sun protection and cover your head. When planning a tour, check the weather conditions. During a hot summer day, you might need longer than the given time frames on the signposts and in the afternoons, there is often a high risk of thunderstorms. Hence, I recommend to start early in the morning. I mostly do 6-7 hour tours in the Karwendel mountains, and it is always worth it.
This is one of my favorite gorges in the area, starting directly at the train station of Scharnitz. Most of the time, I do the longer round tour via the Isar valley, roughly 20k, elevation gain: 600 m, ca. 4 hours.
A huge plus: it doesn’t get too crowded. But be aware that it does get extremely hot during the summer months. Though the water is pretty refreshing, make sure to cover your head and drink lots of water.
I hope, some of these spots inspire you and that you get to enjoy this beautiful mountain summer.