Herzogstad hiking destination

Hiking from Herzogstand to Heimgarten – Take the Best Photos of the Bavarian Alps

Herzogstand, a mountain in the Bavarian foothills, offers everything passionate hiker anticipates and dreams of – beautiful panorama, grand and impressive walls, breathtaking sunsets, and the wondrous night sky. Are you up for a challenge? All information you need to know can be found here, from distance and duration of the hike to amazing photos and the map of this popular route.

From Herzogstand to Heimgarten exists a magnificent ridge traverse. With heavenly views of the Bavarian Alps and their foothills, this hike may well be called the most beautiful hike in Munich’s local mountains! 

Many hikers leave Herzogstand  wanting more
A view on Herzogstand trip that puts things into perspective. A view we regularly share on our photo-hiking workshops.

A true pleasure tour for mountain lovers with an easy variant for casual hikers. Even the Bavarian dukes Wilhelm IV and Ludwig X knew to appreciate the view here. Towards the south, you look at the rugged Karwendel Mountains walls, while towards the north are the southern Bavarian alpine foothills. 

In between these two poles, Lake Walchen (Walchensee) and Lake Kochel (Kochelsee) sparkle and invite you for a refreshing swim on warm summer days. Those who see pure photography as the reason for their excursion can spend the night at the Herzogstandhaus (Herzogstand hut) or park at the Kesselberg parking lot and use the forest road on foot downhill (900 meters in altitude).

Lakes are only one of the reasons that make Herzogstand a popular hiking destination, and this photo shows why
Lakes are truly captivating on this popular hiking destination, and are certainly a part of the charm Lake Kochel in morning mist.

This is how your amazing Herzogstand-Heimgarten journey looks like on a map

The Herzogstand-Heimgarten traverse starts about 100m to the right of the cable car station (819m). The narrow path always leads up the steep southern slope directly to the Herzogstandhaus (1573m). Surefootedness and a slight head for heights on the steep grassy slopes and rope-secured places is recommended. 

Hiking map for you crossing of Heimgarten and Herzogstand. Start at Walchensee, hike up, cross over, and back down again. Sounds easy? Distance of the trip is 14.2 km, and expected duration is 7 hours.

From the Herzogstandhaus it is about 30 minutes on an easy hiking trail to the summit structure with the pavilion (1732m, slightly above the cross). Here is probably the most beautiful photo spot with a 360° view. The transition to Heimgarten is a steep ridge hike, which is, however, very well secured (alpine experience necessary). 

Some Herzogstand hiking trails are easier, and some do require greater experience. Good hiking equipment makes everything easier
This Herzogstand-Heimgarten hiking trail does require greater experience. Make sure to have quality hiking equipment with you.

After about 1.5 h you reach the equally scenic Heimgartenhütte (Heimgarten hut) just below the Heimgarten summit (1791m). The descent in the direction of Walchen leads without particular difficulty along a path across the Öhlstädter Alm (hut) through mountain pines, forests, and meadows. At the saddle (1413m) go straight ahead and after a short count ascent the well-built hiking trail which leads over many serpentines until shortly before Walchen. 

Here, finally, in the last kilometer keep to the left and over the Deiningbach (river) back to the starting point.

Easy variant: ascent with the Herzogstandbahn (gondola) and 30 minutes to the summit pavilion on an easy hiking trail. Take the same way back.

A regular camera and a phone camera are always a valuable asset and good pictures make your experience outstanding

Mountain Moments Photo Workshops provide Photo Tours for everybody, Alpine Experience for beginners and intermediate-level photographers with 3 to 6-hour routes, as well as Summit Experience for more advanced photographers and hikers. We have private workshops and group classes.

Photo tips for Kochel and Walchen that will make your Instagram pop

The most famous photo spot is directly at the summit of the Herzogstand at the summit pavilion. From here, it’s best to take photos at sunrise with a wide-angle to the west and main focus at Kochel and Walchen. 

The summit cross is located a few meters below the summit. The view from Heimgarten is no less impressive, with a magnificent panorama. As soon as the sun sets, it is advisable to also let your gaze wander towards the mountain peaks of the Karwendel (south) and to use a telephoto lens.

At nighttime, minimum light pollution offers amazing sky gazing. This sky looks surreal, but it is as real as it gets.
At nighttime, minimum light pollution offers amazing sky gazing at Herzogstand summit pavillion

Information about your Herzogstand-Heimgarten route

How to get there by public transport: From Munich to Kochel am See, from Garmisch-Partenkirchen or Innsbruck by train to Mittenwald. From here in each case continue with RVO bus No. 9608 stop Herzogstand cable car, www.rvo-bus.de (about every hour).

How to get there by private car: From Munich A 95 in the direction of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, exit Kochel am See via Kesselbergstraße to Walchen (parking Herzogstandbahn 4.00 euros, as of 2020).

Start/finish: Herzogstandbahn (806m) (coordinates: geogr. 47.595968, 11.316954, UTM 32T 674175 5273996)

Hike difficulty level: difficult

Distance: 14.2km

Duration: 7h

Ascent/descent: 1186m

Highest/lowest point: Heimgarten (1791m)/Walchen (804m)

Catering: Heimgartenhütte, Herzogstandhaus (overnight stay possible)

Safety tips: Surefooted and some head for heights necessary. Inexperienced people should choose the alternative route with cable car transport or hike from/to Kesselbergpass.

Contact: www.tourismus.kochel.de 

The most beautiful photo spots and hikes in the Alps – experience this hiking tour and 29 other exceptional regions now.

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Here we have compiled the most beautiful locations and photo opportunities. 30 hikes with 90 photo spots are selected and described in such a way that you can easily experience these wonderful landscapes for yourself – including GPS tracks and hiking map and all other information.

You can take a closer look at the ebook here – why not give it as a gift to someone you want to visit and photograph these places with!

Of course, you will find all the information about this hike in the ebook. After registering, you will also receive the GPS track, so you are on the safe side and won’t get lost and will find all photo locations easily.
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