Guide to Partnach Gorge (Partnachklamm)

The Partnach Gorge is a magical place in the Bavarian, German alps. The pathway takes you through tight rocks and a natural mountain stream.

In this guide, you will learn everything to help you organize your trip to the Partnach gorge.

Guide to Partnach Gorge pin

🗺️ Where and What is the Partnach Gorge?

It is better known as the Partnachklamm in German, and it’s located in the Reintal valley in the South German Bavarian city Garmisch-Partenkirchen. This is near the Austrian border.

The Partnach gorge is a tight rocky gorge, which was naturally formed over a million of years by rain and a mountain stream. The walk through the gorge takes place on the right side, right next to a crystal clear mountain stream.

The whole gorge is about 700 meters long and was proclaimed a natural monument in 1912.

In older times, the pathway was used to take tree logs from the mountains to the towns of Garmisch and Partenkirchen.

The logs were thrown into the river and drifted downwards. Accidents were not uncommon, and many men died in the gorge. Memorial plaques remember those brave locals.

Tourists started to visit the gorge in 1912. The two towns, Garmisch and Partenkirchen, were merged by Hitler in 1935 into one city. That was when the Winter Olympics were held there, and the gorge’s popularity increased.

✨ What to expect?

You will mostly start your walk at the Olympic ski stadium (three large ski jumping ramps) because that’s where the parking lot and local bus stand are.

From there you walk the direction to the Partnachklamm, which is a flat 30-minute walk.

Then you get to the ticketing counter and the entry point of the gorge.

The gorge is tight, wet, a bit slippery, uneven but stunning. You walk along the river rapids on the right side. Occasionally, you walk through a pitch-black cave.

The walk ends after 20-30 minutes and there will be enough other visitors taking the same walk.

From there you can choose to walk back or continue the hike.

caves and tight rocky area in the Partnach gorge

🌨️ When to Visit?

The Partnach gorge is very touristy.

We visited end of September on a weekday, Tuesday to be more precise at 10 am, and the place was already full of people.

The gorge will be all the more busy on a weekend in July or August.

I recommend that you come on a weekday, either early morning first thing or after 3 pm.

The gorge can be visited all year round. It can happen that it is briefly closed during the winter months, due to heavy snowfall and dangerous conditions, or in summer during the flood season. Check with the Tourism department.

There is no best time to visit the Partnachklamm because all seasons are beautiful.

  • Spring – The trees are blooming, and the snow melt water is gushing down the gorge. It can get rather cold, so get dressed well.
  • Summer – The gorge is a welcome place to hang out in the heat. It’s nice and cool between those rocks.
  • Autumn – Yes it’s getting colder but the colorfully vibrant tree leaves make it look like a surreal zen adventure.
  • Winter – It’s an Ice world wonderland and truly an ice-cold but worthwhile spectacle.
ticketing area partnach gorge
Ticketing area Partnach gorge

⌛ Opening Times

June to September – 8 am to 8 pm

October to May – 8 am to 6 pm

Last entry is 30 minutes before closing time, and keep in mind that those hours can change if COVID is a problem again. In that case, check with the tourism department.

During COVID times, it was open from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

🎫 Entry Fees

Here are the prices for 2022.

  • Adults: €6.00
  • Adults with guest card (Gästekarte for those with accommodation in the region): €5.00
  • Children (6-17 years old): €3.00
  • Handicapped individual (you need to show your badge): €4.00
  • Dogs (only on a leash): €1.00

Groups the size of 15 PAX onwards can get a group discount, for a fee of €5.00 per adult and €2.50 per child. Groups should contact the tourism department or the Partnach gorge before coming.

The entry fee can be paid right at the entry to the gorge at a counter or paying pod. At the ticketing counter, they take cash and card.

You can also get the tickets online in advance to skip the ticketing queue. A QR Code is sent to your mobile, and you just need to scan it at the turning gate.

Partnach gorge entry
Partnach gorge entrance

🚗 Getting There & Parking

You have various options to get to the Partnach gorge. By train, car, bus, or cycle.

The train station is located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and from there you can take a taxi to the gorge, or you walk for 30 minutes to the Olympia Stadium.

If you come by car, you can park at the Olympic ski jump stadium. That’s your only parking option, by the way, I explored them all.

The Olympia stadium parking is a pay parking, but the fee is reasonable.

You can also take the bus line 1 or 2. The bus stop is at the stadium.

From the Olympia ski stadium to the gorge ticketing center and entry point, it’s another 30-minute walk. Most people walk, the second option is to hire a horse carriage (only available in peak season).

The easiest way to get up to the Partnach gorge is with mountain bikes. You can leave and lock your cycle at the ticketing counter.

olympia ski jumping stadium
Olympia Stadium with Ski Jumping Ramps

📜 Sample 1 Day Itinerary

Option one is more suitable during the warmer season months. Option two can be done anytime of the year.

Option 1:

Morning: visit Partnachklamm

Lunch: At the Kaiserschmarrenalm or Partnachalm for an authentic regional feel.

Afternoon: Hike the surrounding wild life refugee, the Wettersteingebirge.

If you are interested in different hike trails, I recommend checking in with the tourism department.

Option 2:

Morning: Partnachklamm and Olympia Stadium.

Lunch: in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Afternoon: Hangout in the city center. There are small boutiques, a museum, and you can hire a guide to learn about the famous ski resort.

Tip: The walk from the Olympia Stadium to Garmisch Partenkirchen is just 20 minutes long.

walk Partnach gorge

🌄 Places to see nearby

Here are some other places worthwhile exploring nearby. Coming with a car or renting a car can be handy.

  • Zugspitze – Just located outside the city, this is Germany’s highest mountain top. It borders Austria and you can get there in a cable car.
  • Eibsee lake – a relaxing beautiful lake to hang out at.
  • Mittenwald and Wallgau – Visit these authentic Bavarian villages to experience the real local life.
  • Kuhfluchtwasserfälle – three steep waterfalls worth visiting if you love nature.
  • Ettal Abbey – A benedictin monastery. They have a distillery there too.

💡 Things you should know before visiting

  • The walk through the gorge is family-friendly and also ok with small children, but you still need to be careful.
  • It can get freezing in the gorge, and you may get a bit wet due to the waterfalls. We didn’t need a raincoat, but you may prefer walking around with one. BUT always bring a jacket with you.
  • The gorge cannot be accessed with strollers or wheelchairs. There are no ramps, in fact, it’s a rocky, very uneven pathway. They are planning to make the gorge more accessible in the future.
  • Some places along the pathway take you through caves, and it can get super dark. You may want to turn on your phone torch if you stumble easily.
  • Dogs are welcome, but have to be on a leash.
  • It’s a tight pathway and if you are not used to this, then taken it easy.
  • People can walk again up and down, two-ways. (This wasn’t possible during COVID)
  • You don’t get phone range there. Load your online ticket on your phone while you still have range.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.
  • Currently, in 2022, you don’t need a mask anymore.
PArtnach gorge in Germany

🎒 Must have things to bring

  • Hiking shoes – it can get slippery, and the ground is naturally uneven.
  • Warm Clothes – yep it gets cold and water splashed everywhere so you might appreciate a raincoat too.
  • Travel Insurance – for obvious reasons.

💭 FAQs

How do I get from Munich to Partnach Gorge?

In Munich, take the highway A95, direction Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The drive is about 56 miles (ca. 90 km) long. You will take 1 hour and 16 minutes to reach the main city, the Partnach Gorge is just outside the city.

Where to park for Partnach gorge?

At the Olympia Stadium. It’s a pay parking and there is plenty of space. It’s not all too expensive. There is no free parking in the vicinity.

How long does it take to hike Partnach Gorge?

The walk from the parking to the gorge is about 30 minutes long. The walk through the gorge is 20 minute long. If you walk the gorge back (which isn’t really recommended because it’s a busy road), you can do it all within 2 hours. If you make the tour like everyone else, that means hike the round back, then it will take in total about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

 
pinterest partnach gorge in Germany
Partnach gorge Germany image
Guide to Partnach Gorge (Partnachklamm) pin

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