Hiking from Garmisch to Klais

On September 4 we hiked from Garmisch to Klais and then caught a train to get to our hotel in Mittenwald.

Sunlit Mountains

My daypack was definitely too heavy. It’s all the little things, the doubles of things, the what-ifs. I’ve read somewhere that you pack your fears. If you are afraid of being hungry, you bring too much food. If you’re afraid of being cold, you bring too much insulation. Clearly I’m afraid of those things, and in addition I’m afraid of being thirsty, and afraid of being being without extra power for my phone, and being out in the world without some connection to the data stream.

I was so excited to start the hike. The weather was great and I’d worried so much that it wouldn’t be. We had GPX tracks to follow so I didn’t have to check the map obsessively and second guess whether this was indeed the signpost the instructions were referencing or some other sign post. Second-guessing-anxst-ridden-doubter is my middle name. Not really. Actually it’s Clark. You probably didn’t know that about me.

High water in Garmisch

The hike was officially supposed to start next to the ski jumps which was only about a half mile from our hotel. We walked along the river, raging from the recent heavy rains that had made it so hard for us to get to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The path was also an interpretive geology path but trying to translate the signs to English would have taken me longer than the hike itself so I just satisfied myself with thinking “Cool rocks. I wonder what that sign says.”

Trail to Partnach Klamm

We were supposed to hike through the Partnach Gorge (or Klamm) for the first leg of the hike and I was really really really disappointed when we got there and it was closed. It said it was for security reasons but I think that really is the same as safety. I assume that the high water made it unsafe to pass through that way. I admit I might have been kind of pouting and staring at my maps trying to change the sign with my mind.

Good old maps.me made it easy to find a way around and after we climbed an incredibly steep paved road up up up we found ourselves in the most beautiful alpine pasture with cow bells jingling in the distance. I got over my disappointment pretty quickly. It just felt like we were hiking through a movie back drop. It seemed like it couldn’t be real somehow.

Alpine Pasture (Alm)

After the pasture we hiked uphill on switchbacks through pine forest for a while and then came to a mountain top restaurant. We weren’t hungry and it seemed too early for a radler so we just stood on the deck and gaped at the mountain view.

We hiked along this ridge for a long time with views in many directions. It was hard to keep moving. I found myself stopping every 5 steps to take another picture. It’s not easy to complete a hike when you stop every few minutes to do a whole photo shoot.

We arrived at our first cattle gate not too long after the restaurant. Lots of hiking trails go through cow pastures and you may or may not encounter cows on the trail.

We ran into our first cows a little later. They were just relaxing, chewing their cuds, and were’t all that interested in us. We heard bells and I thought they were far away but they were just right around the corner.

Lunch Break

We stopped for lunch at a sheltered picnic table. I love that these seem to be everywhere you go in Germany. I shot a time lapse while we ate… I’m still getting the hang of my tools and had to adjust it in the middle.

We hiked all the way to Klais and there we caught a train to Mittenwald to get to the Posthotel where we were staying that night.

We walked around Mittenwald and spotted something in a bakery window that I had to have. We made a plan to stop by and get some the next morning to be our mid-morning hike snack.


Mittenwald is a cute little town in Germany, right on the border of Austria. They’re known for the murals they paint on their buildings. We saw this in a lot of the towns on our hike but there were lots and lots of them in Mittenwald. I didn’t take enough pictures of these.

We had dinner at Der Kleine Kartoffelsack (little potato sack). I got some goat goulash with spaetzel and and pear with cranberry sauce. It was SO good. Brian had a steak with potatoes. He’s trying to avoid yeast and dairy, which is really challenging in a place like Germany, nevertheless it was good. I had a taste.

I got some apple strudel for dessert and I have no regrets.

Then we wandered back to the hotel and fell asleep watch-heckling Star Trek TNG.