It’s a hidden gem of the Allgauer Alpen and one of the deepest gorges in central Europe.
Author’s tl;dr: Breitachklamm offers a unique waterfall hiking experience, sculpted by the forces of nature and accessible to visitors year-round. Family friendly 2.3 km walk inside gorge with waterfalls in Bavaria. It’s one of the highlights of the Kleinwalsertal Austria region.
As you journey through this profound gorge, you’re surrounded by towering rock faces that echo with the sounds of the Breitach River, giving the adventure a soundtrack as powerful as the sight of the frothy water cutting through ancient stone.
What You Will Learn
Breitachklamm Gorge Hike Overview
The trail through the gorge is well-maintained and safe, with walkways and bridges allowing you to delve deep into the heart of this natural wonder without disturbing the environment.
Oberstdorf Gorge Hike Guide
- Location: Oberstdorf, Germany
- When to Hike: Summer and Winter: snowmelt closures spring/fall (check here)
- Distance: Multiple options from 20-45 min, or 2 hour circular routes (summer only)
- Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
- Parking Option 1 (paid)
- Parking Option 2 (paid)
- Bus: Schedule
- Entrance Fee: Yes
- Highlight: 7 pm winter torchlight hikes
- Lower Gorge Red Route: From P1, 2 km – 45 min
- Upper Gorge Blue Route: From P2, 1.5 km – 20 min
- Circular Routes: Multiple Options
Public toliets are near P2. This is not wheelchair friendly.
More Klamm or Waterfall Hikes Nearby
We loved hiking the Allgauer with our dog Ruby. The mountain huts here were welcoming of our dog. Also, the highest Bavarian mountain lake, called Schrecksee (because it’s so cold you shriek) is nearby and worth a hike if you can tolerate a lot of elevation gain.
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Planning your Breitachklamm hike is simple, with the entrance easily reached by public transportation or car, and parking available on-site.
Craving More Adventure in the Allgaüer Alps?
Don’t have time to read the whole article? No Problem! To sum up, here are the three best outdoor things to do in addition to awesome hiking. The Starzlach gorge is really close to the hike.
- Advanced Canyoning
- 3-4 Hours
- Start point
- Ages 15 and Older
- Extreme Hiking with Harness and Clipping into ladders
- 6 hours
- B and C rating
- Ages 10 and Older
Preparing for the Breitachklamm Hike
When you set out to explore the breathtaking Breitachklamm gorge, proper preparation is key. Ensuring you’re well-equipped and aware of safety considerations will make your hike both enjoyable and memorable.
Best Time to Visit
The Breitachklamm is accessible year-round, but your experience will differ vastly depending on the season. Summer offers lush, green landscapes and flowing waters, making it ideal for enjoying the vibrant scenery. Winter hiking, on the other hand, presents a dramatic icy spectacle, with frozen waterfalls and snow-covered trails; however, it also demands more caution and warmer gear.
Visiting in spring or fall can be a trade-off, balancing milder weather with less crowded paths.
Essential Gear and Tips
Embarking on a hike through Breitachklamm requires some essential items. Here’s a quick list of what to bring:
- Footwear: Sturdy, waterproof boots to handle slippery or uneven surfaces.
- Clothing: Dress in layers, particularly if you are hiking in the transitional seasons.
Remember, parts of the trail may include asphalt paths, but mostly you’ll be navigating a rocky, narrow gorge. Opt for comfort and durability when choosing your equipment.
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Safety and Regulations
The Breitachklamm gorge, while stunning, can be dangerous if you’re unprepared. Always stay on marked trails and beware of the potential for falling rocks. Germany has strict conservation laws, so respect the environment and abide by any posted signs regarding the Breitach area.
In winter months, the trail can be icy and treacherous; using microspikes can provide additional safety. And be mindful of the gorge’s opening hours and weather conditions, which can affect safe passage.
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How to Get There
To walk on the exhilarating Breitachklamm hike, you need to know where to begin and how to get there. Precise starting points and transportation options set the stage for your adventure.
Tiefenbach or Oberstdorf are your primary access points to start exploring Breitachklamm. Starting Point: You can choose to begin at the Breitachklamm entrance near Tiefenbach, or conversely, start from the south near Oberstdorf. Ensure you have a hiking map to navigate the paths and track your progression through the scenic trails.
Parking and Public Transport
- Parking: If you’re driving, parking is available at the Breitachklamm entrance. The lots can fill up quickly during peak season, so arriving early is advantageous.
Location Parking Spaces Notes Tiefenbach Limited Closest to northern entrance Oberstdorf More available Recommended for southern start
- Public Transport: For a stress-free journey, you can opt for public transport. Buses frequently run from Oberstdorf station towards Tiefenbach. Check the latest schedules before you plan your day to ensure a smooth start to your hiking experience.
Remember, the road to Breitachklamm can be busy during tourist season, so planning whether you choose public transport or personal vehicle is key to a timely and enjoyable start.
On the Trail
You’ll traverse a stunning trail that weaves through the majestic Breitachklamm gorge with its sheer cliffs and cascading waters. The journey is well-equipped with clear signage and numerous spots for rest.
The Breitachklamm hike covers a distance that can vary between 2.5 and 5 kilometers (1.5 to 3.1 miles), depending on your chosen route. Your ascent will range from 150 to 300 meters, as you navigate paths that are well-maintained yet can be narrow and occasionally steep. The elevation profile is easy overall, making this hike suitable for a wide range of fitness levels.
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Highlights Along the Path
- Natural Spectacle: As you trek deeper into the gorge, the thunderous sound of water accompanies you, with the Zwingsteg bridge offering a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding cliffs.
- Geological Fascination: Marvel at the geological formations carved out by the water over millennia, as sunlight filters down, creating a play of light and shadow on the rocks.
Refreshment and Rest Stops
- Alpe Dornach: This rustic inn is a perfect spot to enjoy hearty local cuisine with a view.
- Waldhaus: An inviting café situated toward the end of the trail where you can indulge in refreshments before concluding your hike.
Table of Rest Stops:
47.398° N, 10.279° E
|Food, Drink, Views
47.391° N, 10.279° E
Signage and Navigation
The trail is well-marked, with frequent signposts en route providing turn-by-turn directions to ensure you’re always on the right path. Keep an eye out for information boards as well, which provide interesting facts about the Breitachklamm gorge and its natural history.
👉 Best Hikes in Austria
When planning your hike through the Breitachklamm, it’s crucial to consider the klamm’s distinct seasonal transformations. From temperamental weather in Allgäu to fluctuating conditions in the gorge, each season alters your hiking experience.
Summer Hiking Dynamics
Weather: In summer, the Allgäu region generally offers pleasant weather, perfect for your hike. Expect warmer temperatures but be prepared for sudden rain (Regen).
Trail Condition: This season sees the trails largely dry with occasional muddy patches after rain.
Preparation: Always carry a waterproof jacket and sunscreen.
Klamm Features: The snowmelt from the higher mountains feeds the river, making the water flow in the klamm robust and the waterfalls particularly dramatic.
Weather: Winter transforms Breitachklamm into a frozen wonderland. Temperatures often drop below freezing.
Trail Condition: The trail can be slippery due to ice and snow. Crampons or anti-slip boots are essential.
Preparation: Dress warmly in layers and use winter-specific hiking gear.
Klamm Features: Mighty icicles and frozen waterfalls adorn the klamm, creating unique and stunning ice formations. Be aware that the gorge may close during extreme weather for safety.
Nature and Conservation
In your journey through the Breitachklamm, you will encounter a rich tapestry of biodiversity and breathtaking geological formations. This section guides you through the natural wonders you can expect to see, emphasizing the preservation of this unique environment.
Flora and Fauna
As you traverse the trails alongside the Breitach River, take note of the diverse plant life that thrives in the humid microclimate of this narrow gorge in Europe’s Allgäu region. The rock walls, frequently veiled in mist, harbor a variety of mosses and lichens, some of which are rare and protected species. Keep an eye out for:
- Rare Ferns: Such as the Maidenhair Spleenwort.
- Mosses and Lichens: Including the Breutelia chrysocoma moss, indicative of this pristine habitat.
The animal inhabitants are often discreet, but with patience, you may spot:
- Birds: The Dipper is commonly seen darting along the river, a testament to water quality.
- Insects: Look for the iridescent flutter of dragonflies, a staple of this natural spectacle.
Breitachklamm showcases raw geological beauty with features that tell a story of the earth’s ongoing transformation. You’re walking through one of the deepest and most impressive rocky gorges in Central Europe, carved over millennia by the persistent flow of the Breitach River. The key formations include:
- Stratification: Notice the distinct layers in the rock walls, revealing various stages of sediment deposition.
- Water Erosion: Aquatic forces sculpt the gorge, with swirling pools and smoothed rock attesting to the river’s might.
Golf enthusiasts will be delighted with the options available in Oberstdorf, Germany. The town offers two stunning golf courses: the Oberstdorf Golf Club and the Sonnenalp Golf Club. The Oberstdorf Golf Club features a challenging 9-hole course with stunning mountain views, while the Sonnenalp Golf Club boasts a more extensive 18-hole course with a mix of flat and hilly terrain. Both courses offer a unique golfing experience in a beautiful alpine setting.
Best Places to Stay in Oberstdorf
Based on my personal experience, these are my recommendations for hotels near Breitachklamm based on your situation.
- Amazing breakfast
- Sauna and spa
- Allows dogs
- Pool, sauna
- Cross country ski trail at door
- Michelin-star Maximilian restaurant
- Exceptional breakfast service
Best for Family
Waldhotel am Christlessee in Oberstdorf, Germany offers a peaceful and relaxing stay surrounded by nature, with a beautiful lake view and hiking trails nearby. The hotel also features a spa and wellness center, making it the perfect place for a rejuvenating getaway.
Most Sustainable & Best Budget
Explorer Hotel Oberstdorf has an amazing breakfast and really modern rooms. It’s young and vibrant and will even pack your breakfast to go if you want an early start. on the trails.
Das Freiberg Romantikhotel is a place you’ll never forget. Don’t plan an early hike here because you’ll want to savor their amazing breakfast and indulge in the pool and spa area. And with a Michelin star restaurant you may not want to leave.
Breitachklamm is a natural spectacle that combines raw beauty with an accessible trekking route. The information provided should prepare you for a hike that offers both scenic views and an invigorating challenge.
- Wear sturdy footwear: The path can be slippery.
- Weather awareness: Check conditions before your visit.
- Timing: Visit early or during weekdays to avoid crowds.
Accessibility: Breitachklamm is suitable for various fitness levels but does involve some steep sections.
- Keep children close due to steep drops.
- Stay on marked paths for your safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before you embark on your adventure through the stunning Breitachklamm gorge, here are some key answers you might find useful for planning your hike.
How long does it take to complete the Breitachklamm gorge hike?
The time it takes to hike through Breitachklamm can vary, but on average, you should allocate around 1.5 to 2 hours to comfortably complete the trail.
What is the difficulty level of the hiking trail through Breitachklamm?
The trail through Breitachklamm is considered to be of easy to moderate difficulty, suitable for most visitors including families. The path does include some stairs and steep sections.
Can you provide information on the distance of the Breitachklamm hike?
The Breitachklamm trail is approximately 2.5 kilometers (1.55 miles) long, taking you through dramatic gorges and stunning natural scenery.
Where can I find a map of the Breitachklamm trail?
A map of the trail can be obtained at the Breitachklamm entrance, or you may find one online at the official Oberstdorf website before your visit.
What are the options for parking when planning to hike the Breitachklamm?
You’ll find designated parking areas at both entrances of the gorge, with the main parking lot at the Tiefenbach entrance. Parking fees may apply.
What other hiking trails are available near Oberstdorf?
Near Oberstdorf, there are several other hiking trails, including routes towards the Nebelhorn, the Fellhorn, and the scenic two-country hike to Schönblick. These trails offer diverse difficulties and breathtaking views.
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We hope this guide filled with interesting information about the Breitachklamm hike has given you the proper information to plan your next adventure.
Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.