With the deep blue Lake Kochel in the north and the turquoise-blue Lake Walchen in the south — both surrounded by the steep slopes of Herzogstand, Heimgarten and Jochberg — the Bavarian foothills of the Alps come with some serious scenery. And it's yours to discover: Around the two large lakes, countless hiking trails lead you up to exciting peaks, over lush mountain pastures, through quiet moorland landscapes and into pristine mountain forests. But no matter on which paths you explore the landscape, you can expect wonderful panoramas of the two lakes and the picturesque mountains.
We have selected the six most beautiful panoramic hikes between Lake Kochel and Lake Walchen. On the Loisach-Moos circuit, you'll stroll along flat paths through a quiet moorland landscape and look out over the steeply rising mountains. On the waterfall circuit, you'll follow narrow forest paths to the hidden Lainbach Falls. Or you can opt for an exciting mountainous hike and climb up to Herzogstand, Jochberg or Rabenkopf. For particularly adventurous hikers, there is also the ridge walk from Herzogstand to Heimgarten. Here, whether it's an enjoyable hike, a family walk or an ascent to the summit — you're guaranteed to find your perfect experience.
What's more, you can reach Kochel a. See easily from Munich. A train from the southern German city will whisk you off into the mountains in a blink of an eye — and all without the need for a car. As an added bit of relaxation, you can also jump into one of the two lakes on sunny days or let yourself be spoiled to your heart's content at the Kristall Therme, the thermal baths in Kochel a. See.
The Loisach leaves the Kochelsee on the northern edge and flows from here through a vast, original moor landscape: the Loisach-Moos. On a leisurely walk you can explore the river and the moorland and discover the special biodiversity of the flora and fauna.Starting point of your hike is the station Kochel am See. From here you follow the road to Loisachbrücke, where the trail branches off to the right. Directly on the banks of the Loisach you walk comfortably northwards. If you turn around here, you will enjoy a fantastic view of the Herzogstand and the other surrounding mountains of the Bavarian Prealps.You follow the trail along the river and wander past wide, natural moorland meadows. In addition to some special plants, you can also observe many different birds. Especially in late autumn countless migratory birds stop here on their journey to the south.Soon, the trail turns right and you leave the Loisach. Over long meadows, you finally hike back to the starting point of the hike and are again spoiled with a great panorama.
The Lainbachfall is one of the well-kept natural secrets around the Kochelsee and the Walchensee. While many hikers let the wind blow around their noses on the surrounding mountain peaks, you can follow the rushing Lainbach in the dense forests and discover nature on quiet paths.From Kochel am See train station, the starting point of your hike, you follow the signposted hiking trail first through the town past the town hall and on the "Old Street" to the outskirts. Here you already meet the Lainbach. On the banks of the lively babbling brook you hike along a narrow but varied hiking trail along the brook.You continue to climb through the shady mountain forest until you reach the wildly romantic Lainbachfall. Take a little time here to fully absorb the magic of the place. Especially on hot summer days, the moist air and the fine spray are an absolute blessing.From the waterfall, the circular hiking trail leads you through the forest and to the wonderful Kohlleiten meadows. Here the dense mountain forest opens up and while you leisurely descend on the comfortable hiking trail, you can enjoy a great view of the surrounding mountains. You will soon reach the outskirts again and a little later you will be at the starting point of the hike.
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In the 19th century, King Max II had the bridle path created to ride to his hunting lodge below the Herzogstand summit. Even today you can hike the same way from the pass between Jochberg and Herzogstand up to the mountain inn, continue to the summit and enjoy the truly royal panorama.The starting point is the Passhöhe Kesselberg car park, which is also served by bus line 9608 from Kochel am See. From here you hike up the signposted forest path evenly uphill through the dense forest. Soon the forest clears up a bit and you get a first view of the turquoise-blue water of the Walchensee.The wide, easily walkable path winds up through the forest. The forest opens just below the mountain inn and in some hairpin bends you hike across a wide, open mountain meadow. Magnificent views of the Jochberg and Kochelsee sweeten the last few meters to the inn. If you like, take a break now. Alternatively, you can hike straight on and climb a narrowing path to the top of the Herzogstand. Once at the top, take a seat at the pavilion and admire the unique panorama of the Kochelsee and the Alpine foothills in the north and the Walchensee and the Alpine peaks in the south.If you have had enough of the panorama, you can take the same route back to the starting point.
At 1,567 meters high, the Jochberg is almost 200 meters lower than the Herzogstand, but still a breathtaking view awaits you on top of the bare summit - especially because you have a clear view of the gray, steep rock faces from the Herzogstand. Particularly interesting for animal lovers: Sometimes the ibex make a trip to the Jochberg from the nearby Benediktenwand and enjoy the morning sun there.With your own car or from Kochel am See station with bus line 9608, you can go to the Passhöhe Kesselberg hiking car park, the starting point of the summit tour. From here you hike in many serpentines through the rustic mountain forest. It goes uphill steadily and shortly before the summit the forest opens and gives you a foretaste of the alpine panorama. Once at the Jochberg you can take a few moments to admire the view.Then it goes a little downhill to the Jocheralm, where you have really earned an extensive break. Here you sit on the sun terrace, enjoy the view of the landscape and watch the alpine cows graze. Freshly strengthened it goes through the mountain forest down to the Walchensee.The clear water on the shore invites you to take off your hiking boots and cool your feet a little. Afterwards you hike back to the starting point of the hike with a wonderful view of the lake along the shore.
If you have already checked off Herzogstand, Heimgarten and Jochberg on your tour list, then we have another summit tip for you here at Kochelsee: At 1,559 meters, the Rabenkopf also offers a spectacular panorama and the exciting mountain climb on the last few meters to the summit also lets you the heart of experienced hikers beat faster. There are also two cozy alpine huts that will pamper you with delicious snacks and cool drinks during a break.The starting point of the hike is the hiking car park in Pessenbach-Ötzschlößl. If you are traveling without a car, simply take bus line 9613 from Kochel am See station, which will take you straight to the start of the tour. From the parking lot, follow the signposted hiking path into the picturesque Pessenbach valley.The path leads steadily uphill through the dense forest, but if you turn from time to time on the ascent, you can already get a first view of the wide landscape of the Alpine foothills. Soon you will pass the open mountain meadows of the Orterer Alm as well as the alpine hut of the same name, which is open to hungry hikers on weekends. The path takes you a little further uphill then you reach the very cozy Staffelalm.After a first break, it is a short, rocky climb to the summit. As a reward for the ascent, a magnificent mountain panorama is ready for you: Below you the Kochelsee, to the south the Herzogstand, the Heimgarten and the Jochberg and in the distance the alpine ridge. From the summit, the way back is the same - of course a long break at one of the two huts should not be missing.
The crossing of the ridge from the Herzogstand to the Heimgarten is the royal tour among the mountain hikes between Kochelsee and Walchensee. To save a few meters in altitude, you first float up with the gondola to the mountain station and from there climb up to the Herzogstand. From now on it will be exciting: On a promising and exposed ridge path it goes over to the even higher home garden. The views on the hike are incomparable and the tour is the dream of every mountain hiker. For this tour, however, you should be free from giddiness and sure-footed.The starting point of the hike is the valley station of the Herzogstandbahn. There is a large car park here and the cable car station is also accessed from bus line 9608 from Kochel am See. First, the gondola climbs comfortably. A great view already accompanies you, but it is nothing compared to the later tightrope walk.Once at the mountain station, follow the signposted path past the mountain inn and gently uphill to the Herzogstand. This is where the adventurous section begins. In the constant up and down the mountain path winds over the summit ridge to the home garden. The rock faces drop steeply into the valley on both sides and the views of the surrounding landscape and the Walchensee are really unique.When you arrive at the home garden, you deserve a break in the rustic home garden hut. With a wonderful view, you can enjoy your snack here before you start the descent. In a few switchbacks it goes down into the dense mountain forest and on paths and forest paths you hike downhill to the valley station of the cable car.