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Hike the Wendelstein Panorama Trail

Bayrischzell, Germany



6.5 miles

Elevation Gain

3543.3 ft

Route Type



Added by Susanna Kelly

A perfect day trip from Munich, Wendelstein has something for everyone. Challenge yourself with a rigorous hike or take the tram to explore a fantastic panorama view, a charming church, an observatory and a unique cave system.  

This adventure starts from the Munich Hbf. Catch an early morning 1.5 hour BoB ( Bayerische Oberlandbahn) train to Osterhofen (Oberbay.) Get on the train marked Tegernsee, but be careful, the train splits into 3 parts, so make sure you're on the car that goes to Osterhofen. It's usually the last few cars. **Pro Tip: If you have more than 2 people in your group get the group day ticket for the BoB and MVV, you'll save tons! Parking is also available on sight at the tram station, so if you have or are renting a car you can also drive.

For the intermediate hikers: Start at the base near the tram station, if you drove, or from the train station and follow the sign markings for trail #2. There are several forks on this trail, but your end destination should be the Bergstation, so follow signs accordingly. As with most hikes in the Alps you're hiking on farm land, so be courteous of the friendly cows as you progress. The trail is pretty steep for most of the hike with a few breaks in the valley. The total hiking time should be about 4 hours. Once at the Bergstation, continue on with the beginner guide. 

For the beginners or families with children: Start at the tram station and purchase a round trip ticket for the tram, about 15 euros. The tram runs every 15 minutes and has panoramic views of the valley and farm land below. It docks at the Bergstation and only takes a few minutes. 

Once at the Bergstation take a break and grab a beer with a view. It wouldn't be hiking in Germany without a beer, would it? The hike up isn't the most scenic, but it is worth it once you get to the top. Here you'll find rolling farm land spotted with cows, mountains towering in the distance and adorable red rooved villages throughout the valley. 

After your break, start on the Panorama Trail to the left which wraps around the peak of Wendelstein clock wise. This trail has some uneven ground and slight elevation gain, but overall it is a very easy. The trail has an option to take a small detour to the peak where the observatory rests. This option adds about 15 minutes to a 40 minute trip. After checking out the observatory, continue back down and around the peak. As you walk keep an eye out for sheep, goats and especially the rare Alpine Salamander (pictured.) This little guy usually only travels a 12m radius and some live near the cave system, so be careful where you step! 

As you near the end of the trail, take the right fork switch back up toward the train station and head down into the caves. It will cost you a 2 euro coin to get into the caves, so make sure you have coins on you. The cave system is fairly small and simple compared to others, but with interactive learning displays for kids and the home of several bat species it can be a fun 10 minute detour. Make sure to check out the church before you end the Panorama trail back at the Bergstation. Begin your decent down via the same trail you came up or the tram. 

An alternate option is to start the intermediate hiking from a town called Brannenburg, which scales the mountain from the other side. This hike also takes about 4.5 hours.  The easy route for this start point is to take the classic funicular train built in the 1912 and was Germany's first mountain railway. You will need to catch a different Meridian train from the Hbf to Rosenheim then to Brannenburg.

In the winter this area can be used for skiing or snowboarding. A few pistes can be reached from the top of the Bergstation and it's generally pretty quite during this time. 

All in all, this trip is wonderful because it offers so many options from hiking, train to tram and has something for everyone in the family. The best part is you can enjoy a full day of adventure and be home before dark. 

Happy Hiking!

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