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Getting to the Schachen

There are 3 routes to the Schachen:

1. From Schloss Elmau

The most popular route starts at the Wanderparkplatz (hiking parking area) near Schloss Elmau (1,010 m). The forestry road, Koenigsweg, leads in a south westerly direction along the Kaltenbach and then through the forest. Shortly before the Wetterstein Alm (1,465 m), the road forks; the right fork leads to the Schachen; the left fork to the Wetterstein Alm (ca. 5 minutes away) where one can buy food and drink. The Alm is the halfway point in the hike.

Requirements: 3 – 3.5 hours hike; 10 km with 850 m difference in altitude; no really steep parts.

To get to the Wanderparkplatz: From the B2, between Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Mittenwald, turn right to cross the railway line, then right again into Klais. At the T-Junction turn left to reach the toll road to Schloss Elmau. The Wanderparkplatz is about 1 km on from Schloss Elmau.

Variation to 1: At the fork in the forestry road, circa 1.5 hours from the start of the hike, take the left fork to the Wetterstein Alm. Behind the Alm buildings there is a path leading up onto a higher meadow and then on to the Schachentor, the saddle between Frauenalpspitz and the Schachentorkopf, from there the path leads across the scree to the Schachen.

Requirements: The path up to the Schachentor has steep serpentines and is slippery when wet; there is no shade in the morning hours; proper hiking boots and sure footing are a must for the scree.

2. Through the Partnachklamm

The hiking path through the Partnachklamm and up the Kälbersteig is a more strenuous tour, but one is rewarded with attractive views of the landscape along the way. The path first leads through the 700 m long Partnachklamm; a steep gorge through which the Partnach River flows, with a secured path cut into the rock wall; follow the Partnach River and cross over the Ferchenbach stream running into the Partnach from the left. On the other side is a forestry road; diagonally across to the left is the start of the Kälbersteig. The Kälbersteig joins with the Königsweg at an altitude of 1,660 m, follow the sign to the Schachen and turn right into the Königsweg.

Requirements: 4 – 4.5 hours hike; 9 km; 1,150 m difference in altitude; there are steep parts in the Kälbersteig.

Getting there: Starting point is at the parking area at the Olympia ski stadium (by car: turn right at the end of town on the road to Mittenwald; with public transport: from Garmisch-Partenkirchens train station, take the Bus number 1 or 2 in the direction of the Kreiskrankenhaus).

Variation to 2: After the Partnachklamm turn right onto the forestry road and follow the Partnach River which the road crosses twice. Shortly after the second bridge take the left fork leading into the Oberreintal. After steep serpentines through the forest the Teufelsgesaß appears. Keep left on the path and follow the steep serpentines up the Teufelsgesaß to the Schachen.

Requirements: Steep serpentines for approximately 2  hours; sure footing necessary, especially in wet weather; beware of scree paths and wooden steps.

3. From Mittenwald

There is also a path to the Schachen from the east. It starts on the westerly end of Mittenwald and passes the Lautersee and Ferchensee. The path leads through the forest until it joins with the Königsweg at an altitude of 1,260 m. Go left along the Königsweg, keeping right at the fork to the Wettersteinalm.

Requirements: 4 – 4.5 hours hike; 13 km; 950 m difference in altitude; without any steep parts.

Getting there: By car or train to Mittenwald

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