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Nature Trail Top

The Olympic Trail

Nature Trail · Zugspitz Region
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GaPa Tourismus GmbH Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Riessersee
    / Riessersee
    Photo: GaPa Tourismus
  • / Riessersee mit Kramergebirge im Hintergrund
    Photo: GaPa Tourismus
  • / Aulealm, 5 Minuten vom Bobmuseum entfernt
    Photo: GaPa Tourismus
  • / An der Partnach entlang, zum Olympiaskistadion
    Photo: GaPa Tourismus
m 1000 900 800 700 8 6 4 2 km
A culturally and historically fascinating walk will take you back in time to the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Olympics which took place in 1936.


9.4 km
2:15 h
264 m
233 m
The IV. Winter Olympics took place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen between the 6th - 16th February, 1936. Although in some cases their appearance has changed over time, the majority of the original facilities are still in use today and are open to view and for tours.


The Olympic Ski Stadium was the impressive backdrop for both the opening and closing celebrations. On the left-hand side, above the small jump, the first Olympic flame burned here. The main ski jumping event also took place here on the Olympic ski jump, which was originally a wooden construction, and it was on the Gudiberg – the slope behind the stadium to the right – that the Alpine slalom events took place.

The Olympic Ice Stadium was one of the first ever artificial ice stadiums and was originally built without a roof. More than 10,000 excited spectators watched the ice skating events here. Germany won the gold medal in the pairs skating event, thanks to Maxie Herber and Ernst Baier.

The Riessersee (Riesser lake) was adapted in 1936 as the location for the speed skating events and the preliminary rounds of the ice hockey tournament. A bob-sleigh course had existed on the upper part of the lake since 1910. The remainder of the Olympic course was constructed by sawing ice blocks from the lake and fitting these together. The “Bavaria Curve” in the middle section of the course became infamous, and much of the original course is still clearly visible today.

The finishing line of the Olympic downhill race was situated at the valley station of the Kreuzeckbahn cable car. The men's downhill course began at the Kreuzjoch and was 3,8 km long, the women's course was 0.5 km shorter. The women's combination gold medal was won by the German Christl Kranz, the silver medal went to Käthe Grasegger of the local Partenkirchen skiing club.


For a more detailed description of the tour, please refer to "PDF Print" above.

Author’s recommendation

For those that have a little more time on their hands, consider visiting the individual sports facilities. On Saturdays you can experience the excitement and fascination of ski jumping with an organised tour of the ski jump facility, or on Thursdays sign up for a tour of the original bobsleigh course which dates back to 1936. For more information and to reserve call the tourist information office on +49 8821 180 700. There's plenty to discover!
Profile picture of Garmisch-Partenkirchen Tourismus
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Tourismus
Updated: October 17, 2019
Highest point
Start Bobbahn, 934 m
Lowest point
Ziel Kandahar, 705 m
Best time of year

Tips, hints and links



Olympic Skiing Stadium car park (P13). (729 m)
47.482110, 11.116390
47°28'55.6"N 11°06'59.0"E
32T 659443 5260912


Parkplatz am Olympia Skistadion

Turn-by-turn directions

With the Skiing Stadium behind you, follow the asphalt path from the main entrance through the grassed area. The path soon turns to the west, with meadowland and haystacks to your left-hand side. After about 20 min turn left at the railway crossing toward the modern day Olympic Ice Sport Centre. Back on the main path the route takes you to the right of the base terminal of the Hausbergbahn cable car. When you see the signpost marked “Riessersee” turn left onto the forest track which climbs slightly before arriving at the beautiful Riessersee. Here you can visit the historic bob track, walking left- and upwards from the final curve at the opposite end of the lake until you reach the start – the route is signposted throughout. On your return, turn left from the forest track and after about 300m you will see the remains of the elevator used to draw the bobsleighs to the start of the track, and next to this, the bobsleigh itself. The path through the forest continues for a further 25 min, bringing you back to the new Kreuzeckbahn base terminal. To get back to the original starting point you can either take the regional bus (1 or 2) or else simple retrace your footsteps.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

The German Rail runs regular train services to Garmisch-Partenkirchen (hourly connections from München Hbf (Munich cenral station). From the station take the regional bus (route 1 or 2) to the Olympia Skistadion.


Getting there

Take the motorway A95 toward Garmisch-Partenkirchen to its end at Eschenlohe, continuing on the state road B2 to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. After the tunnel follow signs to the Partenkirchen part of town, follow the main road and close to the end of the town you will see signs for the Olympia-Skistadion.

Coming from Mittenwald follow the state road B2 to Garmisch-Partenkirchen then take the first left and follow signs for the Olympia Skistadion.

On the B23 enter Garmisch-Partenkirchen and turn right at the second traffic lights into Gernackerstraße and then follow this road (St.-Martin-Straße, Bahnhofstraße). At the town hall crossing turn right and remain on the main road. Close to the end of the town you will see signs for the Olympia-Skistadion.


Car park at the Olympic Ski Stadium (P13), partly paid parking.



47.482110, 11.116390
47°28'55.6"N 11°06'59.0"E
32T 659443 5260912
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

Entdeckungstour Olympia, erhältich in der Tourist Information und unter


Sturdy footwear.


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9.4 km
2:15 h
264 m
233 m
Healthy climate Refreshment stops available Family friendly Cultural/historical value


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