When I heard about Herzogstand(1,731m), I said to myself that I wanted to conquer this mountain once I have the chance. Looking at photos made me even more eager and the anticipation staggered when I finally had a free weekend yesterday. I have been to Kochel before but we never managed to explore Herzogstand. I know for a fact that Bavaria has lot´s of amazing places but then this one is another gem…and it´s just 2 hours drive from Ingolstadt.At first I was in doubt if my 8 year old can do this hike but I was just amazed by her stamina!
We head out as early as possible and started to drive through Munich. We were greeted with lavender and magenta dusk skies and Autobahn was still so quiet on an early Sunday morning. I said to myself, it´s always better to be early than late.The moment we passed through the Ring, cars started to slow down and we kept on going through Road 95 in the direction of Garmisch -Partenkirchen exiting to the town of Murnau to the charming town of Kochel and all the way up to the winding roads o Kesselbergstraße.
I don´t know about you but I am certainly in love with mountains. I can´t simply describe in words the happiness I feel whenever I reached a peak and gazed upon the complete, genuine natural beauty in front of me.Everytime, the breathtaking views never fails to amazed me. I am speechless always by how beautiful Earth can be.Hiking taught me that to see beauty, it requires hardship and a different mindset. A mind that surrenders to keeping the goal in place and not focusing on getting it on the top.As always, when we reached the summit, I forget how hard the climb was.
It was a beautiful day for us, with lots of sunshine and over here, we called it “Goldener Oktober“…the time where Autumn sun sprinkles golden rays on the colorful foliage and everyone is just out enjoying the sun.The area of Kochel,Schlehdorf and Walchensee is a popular hiking destination and I just saw with my own eyes why.Everywhere I see, people are walking, cycling, running and just all smiles in between the wild orange forests.
We started our hike around 9.30 am. For beginners and doesn´t want the hiking struggle,there is also a cable car that will bring you to the summit just within 7 minutes instead of the sweet 2 1/4 hours from the valley.We have plenty of time so we took our time exploring the woods and the rugged forest. When I saw the zigzag of paths in the mountains I wanted to give up. I want to just sit on the bench and give in to my fears.
Would I really get there on top ?Why does it always takes stamina to gain stunning views?! My mind says yes and so my feet get moving.It just take another step, and another step further.
Walchensee and the surrounding mountains in Kochel is a very popular hiking area due to its extreme close proximity to Munich.In my opinion, this is probably one of the most breathtaking hikes in the Bavarian Alps! I guesss every residents of Munich have been here multiple times but looking at the cars in the parking area made me realized just how famous this place is.People came from different places so it made me think that if you prefer solitude and privacy, then this place might not be for you. The crowds can be huge especially on a nice weather like we are having this day.I would definitely consider this hike as “intermediate” and requires a level of fitness to be able to ascend and descent in a good pace especially with small children. I have seen many families with small children, either carried on slings or backpacks but the trek is not accessible with stroller. There are many paths where it is steep, rocky and muddy, plus it can really be both slippery. I imagine this place to be magical in winter but it offers some dangers as well.We are glad that we wore the right hiking shoes because walking for almost 5 hours in this type of terrain is no fun in normal sneakers.
These views are impregnated in my mind and I am simply satisfied. How many peaks I´ve seen is endless and I lost count.It looked like a page of my painting fantasies. The countless peaks, the different shades of blues, the peaceful skies, the glorious lakes and the trees seems to be talking as well.It´s like the mountains kept on calling and the trees are singing with their glowious leaves in gold, yellows, red and brown. There are paths completely covered with fallen leaves and I must say that doing this hike in Autumn is a great decision.From the start in the valley, the soft mist and fog makes this place so magical.
While walking, we saw lots of alpine flowers, and late summer blooms that only bloom on high altitudes.After 1.5 hours of hiking, the crowds started to come and more people are walking. I heard many different languages so this place is really a magnet among nature lovers.
Another guilty pleasure for my daughter is to find quirky tree barks and trees and there are lots of them here. She said that she loved the natural paths in nature and she just enjoyed sliding through the fallen branches, grabbing the grasses with her hand to help her descend ona steep path, and of course, looking for unique leaves.One thing I learned about hiking with children is that keeping them entertained with trivias and questions about the place or rather the scenery helps them to stay focus and keep going on walking.With this, it kept her curious and motivated as well.
I love watching my travel little Buddy enjoying herself so much in nature and exploring like crazy.
After we reached the Herzogstand and Heimgarten, we slowly made our way back to the restaurant just below it. This is what I really find amazing about hiking here in Bavaria.The Herzogstand Hütte or the “Berghütte” are such a fascinating place to reward yourself with a cold beer and indulge in traditional bavarian dishes after a tiring climb. Of course we tried the Kaisersmarrn since it´s mandatory for us in every hike.I´ve heard that King Ludwig II built this place as his residence in the 18th century and after his death in 1886, this place was acquired by the Bavarian state.Despite the fire disaster that destroyed it, it was rebuilt and now it even offers rooms and hospitality for adventure seeking individuals who wants to explore this place overnight.
After walking for almost 5.5 hours with many rest stops and playtime for my daughter, we finally reached the valley and parking lot once again. We are feeling so ecstatic and fulfilled, although our feet are sore and our muscles aches.It is really worth all the struggle of hiking since we have one of the best hike in our lives!
What a lovely day it was and yes, we are already itching for our next hike…!
Do you like hiking?
Until then, Tschüss!