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On the heels of the pioneers – through the Reintal to the Zugspitze

· 1 review · Mountain tour · Zugspitz Region
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GaPa Tourismus GmbH Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Bockhütte
    / Bockhütte
    Photo: Bettina Plank, GaPa Tourismus
  • / Blick ins Reintal
    Photo: GaPa Tourismus GmbH/Martin Gulbe, GaPa Tourismus GmbH
  • / Blick von der Zugspitze
    Photo: Sammy Hart_RSF2019, GaPa Tourismus GmbH
  • / Zugspitzgipfel
    Photo: Bettina Plank, GaPa Tourismus GmbH
m 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Schneefernerhaus Geotop Partnachursprung Partnachklamm Knorrhütte Reintalangerhütte Mitterklamm Hinterklamm Reinthal
One of the most famous ascents to the Zugspitze begins with the wild and romantic Partnach gorge and continues through the visually spectacular Rein valley via the Schneeferner (glacier) to the summit of the Zugspitze.
21.4 km
10:00 h
2,422 m
242 m
This trail truly takes you in historic footsteps: this was the route taken in 1820 by the second lieutenant Josef Naus, the first man to reach the summit of the Zugspitze. A breathtaking beginning through the Partnach gorge lead on to further Alpine highlights: the ascent through the Rein valley is one of the most beautiful routes to the Zugspitze summit. This route is also one of the longest, but makes up for this by being slightly less demanding and is very well signposted. With the Reintalanger and Knorr huts offering the chance for lunch and/or overnight stops, you can this tailor this trail individually into one or two day stages.


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


Author’s recommendation

If you plan to split the hike over two days, you can afford to start on the first day as last as the afternoon. The journey to the picturesque Reintalanger hut – your first chance for an overnight stop – only takes about 4 hours.


The cross at the summit of the Zugspitze can be accessed from the summit terrace via a steep, narrow footpath, which is suitable only for the sure-footed who do not suffer from dizzy spells. Be particularly careful when the ground is wet! The view from the terrace across to the summit is also very beautiful.

In the summit station of the Eibsee cable railway there is an exhibition on the history of the Zugspitze and its development as a tourist attraction which features many interesting and entertaining pictures, films and original exhibits.

Highest point
2,962 m
Lowest point
730 m
Best time of year

Rest Stop

Gletscherrestaurant SonnAlpin
Münchner Haus

Safety information

High Alpine trail - you should have some Alpine experience, be fit, sure-footed and should not suffer from dizzy spells. Please check the Zugspitz rail schedule beforehand. Given the length of this trail, we recommend an overnight stop in one of the DAV huts. Overnight stops should be booked/reserved in advance – especially during holiday seasons.


Tips, hints and links



www.zugspitze.de (Cable car schedules)

www.alpenverein-ga-pa.de (for telephone numbers of huts to make reservations)

www.charly-wehrle.de (Reintalanger hut)


Olympic Ski Stadium (729 m)
47.481830, 11.116290
47°28'54.6"N 11°06'58.6"E
32T 659437 5260881

Turn-by-turn directions

Your journey to the summit of the Zugspitze begins at the Olympic Skiing Stadium, directly below the futuristically designed ski jump. From here go around the stadium and follow the Wildenauer Strasse toward the Partnach gorge. About half way to the beginning of the gorge you will pass the Lenz'n hut, where you should cross the Partnach. The path continues from here to the start of the gorge. Along this way you will first see the Partnach gorge power station on the opposite bank of the river, then shortly after this the Gasthof Partnachklamm and then the beginning of the Partnach gorge itself.


The next part of the trail takes you into the fascinating world of 702m long Partnach gorge, which reaches depths of up to 80m and which was sliced into the rock face over millions of years by the power of water alone. The path is secured on both sides by wire handrails. At the end of the gorge the valley widens once more. Here you should cross a small bridge over the Ferchenbach river, and proceed to follow the river as signposted toward “Reintal / Zugspitze”. The forest path eventually narrows and you will pass the Bock hut (2hr 45min), the Quelle an den sieben Sprüngen, the “Blaue Gumpe” –  a small mountain lake which was almost completely covered with boulders in 2005 – before reaching the romantically situated Reintalanger hut (a further 2 hr, altitude 1370m), which offers the chance for an overnight stop. The trail – from this point on with Alpine markings of red circles painted onto the stone – continues past the source of the Partnach river, and after a steep stretch of path you will pass the Veitlbrünnl and eventually arrive at the Knorr hut (2 hr, 2051m), which also offers overnight accommodation. The hike to this point should take about 8 hours in total.

From here the route takes you across the rubble-covered landscape of the Zugspitz plateau up to the SonnAlpin and the Zugspitzbahn, which in winter form the heart of the Zugspitz skiing region (1hr 30min, 2600m). After passing the glacier, the trail continues steeply uphill, passing the Schneeferner house along a well secured trail up to the summit of the Zugspitze. Alternatively, you can take the cable car to the summit from the Zugspitz plateau (SonnAlpin) and enjoy a more comfortable ride for the final 300m of altitude.

The descent is possible either with the Eibsee cable car from the summit or the Zugspitz funicular railway from the Zugspitz plateau, which takes you all the way back to the Garmisch train station. From here you can take the regional bus number 1 or 2 take back to your starting point at the Olympic Ski Stadium.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Take the train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen (hourly connections from Munich). From there take the local bus route 1 or 2 to the Olympia Skistadion.

Getting there

Take the motorway A95 to its end at Eschenlohe, and then follow the state road B2 to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. After the tunnel drive in the direction of the Partenkirchen part of town. Near the end of the town, follow the signs to the Olympia Skistadion (Olympic Skiing Stadium).

If you are coming from Mittenwald, take the state road B2 to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Turn left at the first possibility. Follow the signs to the Olympia Skistadion (Olympic Skiing Stadium).

If you are coming via the state road B23, drive to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and turn right onto Gernackerstraße at the second traffic lights. Follow the course of the road (St.-Martin-Straße, Bahnhofstraße). Turn right at the intersection at the town hall and stay on the main road until signs point you to the way to the Olympia Skistadion (Olympic Skiing Stadium) near the end of the town.


At the Olympia Skistadion (Olympic Skiing Stadium), some of which is paid parking (P13).


47.481830, 11.116290
47°28'54.6"N 11°06'58.6"E
32T 659437 5260881
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

GaPa Wanderführer mit KOMPASS Wanderkarte (1:35.000), erhältlich bei Garmisch-Partenkirchen Tourismus und unter www.gapa.de. Alpenvereinskarte, Wetterstein- Mieminger Gebirge, Östliches Blatt (1:25.000) freytag & berndt, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Wettersteingebirge, Werdenfelserland (1:25.000). Die Tourist Information verleiht kostenlos einen digitalen Wanderführer mit interessanten Tipps zu Sehenswürdigkeiten, Pflanzen und Tierwelt sowie Einkehrmöglichkeiten. Weitere Infos unter +49 8821 180 700 oder auf www.gapa.de


Having the right equipment is important: mountain boots, telescopic walking sticks, sufficient provisions and fluids, sun protection for face, eyes and skin (glacier!) and weatherproof clothing (the weather at this altitude can change very suddenly).


Questions and answers

Question from Micaela Lucía Cubela · July 20, 2020 · Community
Hi! Does anyone know whether this route includes any climbing? I'm looking for a route to the summit that doesn't require climbing equipment. Thanks!
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Answer by Alexander Hartmann · July 20, 2020 · Community
Moin Micaela! For this Route is no climbing equipment requiered. Greatings and have fun on the tour Alexander
1 more reply


Sebastian Ritter
July 05, 2020 · Community
Der absolute Wahnsinn! Landschaftlich kann der Trek mit dem Himalaya mithalten. Hinzu kommen die anspruchsvollen Anstiege mit Klettersteigen. Die Tour bietet einfach alles was das Wandererherz begehrt 💪🏻
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Photos from others

21.4 km
2,422 m
242 m
Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical value Geological highlights Cableway ascent/descent Summit route Dog-friendly


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