5 MTB routes around the Zugspitze to swimming lakes

Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot

Are you an eager mountain biker who wants to ride during the sweaty summer months, but can’t deal with soaring temperatures even in the shade? Then this Collection is for you.


We have selected the most beautiful mountain bike tours in the Zugspitz area for you, which will take you to lakes that are perfect for a refreshing swim. Here, you will of course find all-time favourites lakes such as the Eibsee, Blindsee and Plansee, as well as more hidden highlights such as Ferchensee near Mittenwald which you can perfectly combine for more mountain biking fun.

The routes are great during spring and autumn, not just in the summer – as nature awakes from winter sleep and is painted by autumn's colors. It’s up to you whether you dare to jump into the not so warm mountain lakes at these times of year, but it’s definitely possible!

Each route is a relatively challenging ride: some follow mostly single trails whilst others cover large distances and high elevation. You should come with your strong legs – you’ll need them on most of the routes. At the end of each ride, you’ll have earned a dip in the lake!

Mountain bikers who enjoy great views will especially enjoy the Plansee route or the Panorama route to Lake Ferchensee. Here, you will ride through stunning landscape with less focus on single trails. Enduro enthusiasts should check out the Blindsee trail and the Eibsee round to the Hochthörlen hut – you will find lots of downhill fun on trails (S1-S3). Just read the route descriptions carefully to find out if the route is suitable for you.

In order to fully enjoy the lake rides in this Collection, you should bring a well-maintained mountain bike with good suspension. For the single trail routes, we recommend using a cross-country or enduro bike, whilst the long tours are easier to master on a light hardtail. Make sure you don't forget to pack your swimsuits, towel, sun cream, enough water (at least 3 litres) and a few snacks. Although the routes pass huts and restaurants at regular intervals, you can run out of strength during the tough passes faster than you might think, especially in summer.

You can reach all of the routes via public transport. From Munich, there are hourly regional trains to Garmisch-Partenkirchen where you can then take the regional train to Lermoos and Untergrainau – or extend your ride by cycling from Garmisch to the starting point.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    05:06
    38.0 mi
    7.5 mph
    2,075 ft
    2,075 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    This tour is something for connoisseurs. The difficulty here is less in the driving technique than in the distance - 61 kilometers are not little. However, these are perfectly loosened up by the bathing possibilities at the Plan and Heiterwanger See.If you start in the morning in Grainau at the train station, you can have a great break at one of the lakes at lunchtime before you start your return journey.The first few kilometers you drive through the beautiful Loisachtal and have a few smaller climbs in the program until you reach the Plansee. There are beautiful single trails on both sides of the river, which are absolutely mobile even for not so experienced mountain bikers and a lot of fun.Either you are already pausing here and enjoy the clear waters of the Plansee, or you can finish the trail to the lake Heiterwanger, where it is also excellent relax.Then follow the panoramic trail at the foot of the mountains to Lermoos, then continue via Ehrwald back to Grainau. On the way there is always the opportunity to take one or the other singletrack - or you just enjoy the beautiful view of the valley while your bike carries you through the countryside.Do not miss the waterfall near Ehrwald - how often do you have the opportunity to stand behind a waterfall?

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  • Difficult
    03:52
    22.4 mi
    5.8 mph
    3,250 ft
    3,250 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to carry your bike.

    This tour is a great mix of scenery and driving pleasure. You'll pass the Eibsee twice, so you can jump into the fresh water twice - we recommend that you do this especially after the demanding single trail descent.Who is not technically quite so versed, can leave the Hochthörlenhütte on the forest road in the direction of Ehrwald and then drive through the valley back to Grainau.At the beginning everything is still quite relaxed on this tour - a (mostly) casual uphill takes you through the beautiful nature to the Eibsee, where you can relax on the shores of the first exertions.Then comes the much longer increase, but which is done on a forest road and no technical challenge - only a bit of stamina you should bring. On the way there are several beautiful viewpoints to pause, where you can admire the Eibsee from above. At the Hochthörlenhütte you can relax and strengthen yourself for the fun singletrack downhill that awaits you now.The trail is shared with hikers, consideration and an adapted pace is therefore required. You can expect some tricky spots, a few bigger steps and some loose ground. For an experienced mountain biker, however, it is wonderful to drive and a lot of fun.After your swimming break at the Eibsee, there is still a bit for the thighs: A technical Uphill Trail challenges you the last meters of altitude of the tour, before you roll back to Grainau on forest roads and side roads.

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  • Difficult
    04:42
    26.8 mi
    5.7 mph
    4,525 ft
    4,525 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    This tour has not only some crisp climbs and a few quite technical passages but also one thing: landscape. But almost 1400 vertical meters are not a cardboard stem, especially because you are the majority served in a rise.If you already have the feeling at Fernstein Castle that you are not in good shape today, why not take a leisurely tour around the Fernsteinsee and then drive back to Lermoos via the same route?From Lermoos you start over the old Roman road in the direction of Schloss Fernstein. This tour section is part of the Via Claudia, a popular transalp route that is not only used by mountain bikers. Right at the beginning you come past the Weissensee, which invites you to swim and linger.The subsequent Fernpass Trail is one of the more technical sections of the tour, but it is easy to ride. You will be rewarded with the castle Fernstein, which is definitely worth a stop to discover. Then it's easy to go downhill towards Nassereith - where the real challenge of this round begins.The ascent to the Marienberg Pass is long, hard and challenging - but you will be royally rewarded with an absolute dream panorama and delicious food on the Marienbergalm.From here it is mostly on gravel roads only downhill to the valley and back to the starting point.

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  • Intermediate
    03:36
    26.7 mi
    7.4 mph
    2,325 ft
    2,325 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Admittedly, you could reach the Ferchensee much faster than by a 19-kilometer drive from Garmisch (namely just from Mittenwald) - but then you would miss the wonderful panorama on the way there. This tour offers you everything you want on a beautiful summer day: views, nature, a lake and good food on the way.The first few miles to Garmisch you drive on side roads or bike paths in the direction Mittenwald. Then you turn off towards the mountains and soon have the first lake of the tour, the Schmalensee on your left.After about 15 kilometers you have wound the first climb and are on the way to Mittenwald. From here it goes uphill to the idyllic Ferchensee, where it is wonderful to catch a breath - and swim - leaves.If you fancy a bit of downhill skiing, then you drive the fun S1 trail in the direction of Mittenwald and then crank up again to Ferchensee. Everyone else drives straight on in the direction of Schloss Elmau, which offers a postcard-like view amidst the mountain landscape.Shortly after Elmau one of the most beautiful sections of the stage starts through the Ferchenbachtal, which turns into a fast descent (slope up to 25 percent!) Over an asphalt road - please check your brakes again and see if your wheels are tight!The last few kilometers are relaxed again when you roll back comfortably in the direction of Garmisch.

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  • Difficult
    03:36
    18.5 mi
    5.1 mph
    4,050 ft
    4,050 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to carry your bike.

    This tour is something for tight calves - if you do not want to replace the crunchy Uphill on the forest road with the gondola. So only a few meters are left, but there are still plenty of depth meters.You should bring a lot of trailer experience in both cases. The Grubigalm Trail is marked as S2, but is quite steep especially at the beginning and also demands a lot from experienced bikers.The Blindseetrail (S2-S4) comes up with switchbacks and scree channels à la Garda Lake, which require a strong nerve costume and braking finesse. If you have both, it is an absolute departure dream and one of the most beautiful trails in the German Alps. It pays to stop in between and enjoy the view of the Zugspitze and the Blindsee.Once you have left the waterfall behind, you roll over a forest road for a while. You're forgiven, if you think the trail is over now - he's by no means. The last part of the Blindseetrails is a wild ride over very demanding root fields, first a little bit downhill, then along the lake in wave form.The Blindsee itself is an idyllic jewel with crystal clear water, which invites you to jump into the (cold) floods in several places. Definitely take bathing suits!The way back to Lermoos begins with a carrying passage, which theoretically can be bypassed by another round trip choice on the other side of the main road. It is worthwhile, however, as you get to the very idyllic Loisachtal, which offers a small lake and beautiful nature in addition to a few nice little S2 trails.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    5
  • Distance
    132 mi
  • Duration
    20:52 h
  • Elevation
    16,200 ft

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