Step-by-Step Guide: Mittelrhein Klettersteig Boppard Hike and Climb

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🪜 Fortunately, there are bypasses for the sketchy parts if you’re not ready to try the vertical ladders. It’s not a mild hike, but it’s also not technical or scary and the views are incredible!

mittelrhein klettersteig climb
From our last hike there in 2023 in April. Views of the rapeseed fields are worth the hike! Or you can just take the gondola if you don’t want to sweat.

It’s a 6 km loop that most people can do if they give themselves a total of 3 hours to enjoy the views, hike and places to stop and drink wine and eat cake.

This is a prime example of the “middle ground” and “intergenerational experiences” of which German tourism excels.

Traumschleife Mittelrhein Klettersteig Boppard Overview

  • Starting Point: Parking St. Remigius
  • Trailhead: GPS
  • Distance: 6.26 km (3.9 miles)
  • Total Time Needed: 2:30 – 3 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 404 m, 1325ft
  • Via Ferrata Difficulty: easy
  • Min Elevation: 82 m, 269 ft
  • Max Elevation: 377m, 1230 ft
  • When to Hike: April – October
  • Where to Stay in Boppard: Hotel Das Ebertor (budget), Hotel Zur Fahre (midrange), Bellevue Rheinhotel (luxury)
  • Best Place to Stay in Rhine Gorge: Burg auf Schönburg
  • Only in Boppard for a day? Do a boat tour after the hike

It is located on the 210 km long Rhine Castles Trail that frames the “left bank” of the Romantic Rhine River.

Youtube of the Mittelrhein Klettersteig

More on the Mittelrhein klettersteig (via ferrata in Italian)…

As a hiking enthusiast with a pretty healthy fear of heights, I had to try out this unique activity to prove that this middle aged lady still has it. 😅

This was definitely much harder than the Moselle’s Calmont Klettersteig located nearby, but doable even with my weak inner ear. I won’t lie, the delicious rhubarb cake at the Vierseenblick cafe at the top settled my nerves right back down.

This tiny-adventure is definitely one of my favorite things to do in Boppard Germany -located in the heart of the Upper Middle Rhine Gorge UNESCO site in Germany.

Short on time?

Skip Directly to Rhein Klettersteig Description Here

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Mittelrhein Klettersteig TL;DR
This unique activity is a perfect opportunity for both kids and adults to test their nerves on a very gentle klettersteig (via ferrata). If you’re not an experienced climber, don’t worry – there’s an alternative route to bypass the challenging sections. If you have people in your group that don’t want to hike, they can take the gentle Boppard chairlift to the top and meet you there for lunch.

The 2nd Most Fun Thing to Do in Boppard After the Hike??

views of a rhine river party boat
See the cruise boat? They run April to October and the views, stops, and wine onboard are amazing.

It’s the RHINE! Get yourself on a boat! This area excels at leisurely hop-on, hop-off boat cruises that allow you to check out the over 40 castles, the Loreley siren (what a lady!) and explore the myraid of micro and macro wine villages brimming with history, food, architecture, wine and Nature all mixed up.

Best Thing to do In Boppard

Go River Cruising to Spot Loreley

  • 2.5 hour river cruise
  • Departs from Boppard
  • English and German

Who is the Mittelrhein klettersteig hike for?

  • Kids just starting out with climbing.
  • Scaredy cat adults like me that want to dip a toe into climbing.
  • Hikers that want to test their climbing skills.
  • People that want a little thrill before they go wine tasting or boat cruising in Boppard.
  • The whole family (as there are bypasses for the challenging sections).

Who is this not for?

  • Experienced climbers
  • You must wear a “Via Ferrata” harness and lanyard – it’s forbidden to climb without one
  • People with SEVERE vestibular or balance impairment
  • Kids under 6 (all ages at your own risk)
  • Dogs

Want to book a hotel in Boppard so you can enjoy the klettersteig first thing in the morning like we did? Read until the end for my detailed hotel review so you can find the one that is right for you.

Mittelrhein Klettersteig route map

where to start the Mittelrhein Klettersteig Tour

Boppard Germany : Pearl of the Rhine

Boppard is the town where the Mittelrhein Klettersteig is located in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in southwest Germany. It is known as the “Pearl of the Rhine” and a vineyard town full out outdoor and historical things to experience.

From wine tastings, kayaking, leisurely boat tours and this awesome via ferrata hike, Boppard truly has a lot to offer.

How to get to boppard


It is an incredibly scenic train journey throughout the entire Upper Middle Rhine Valley and trains run frequently to Boppard from Mainz (from the south) and Koblenz (from the north).

It is a 10 minute walk to the trailhead from the Boppard station.

If you’re based in Germany, use the DB Bahn app to find the best train connections.

➡️ You can also use OMIO to find the best train, bus and airline connections within Europe. Frankfurt International, Frankfurt-Hahn, Luxemburg and Cologne-Bonn Airports are the closest airports.


You can also use the DB navigator or google maps to find bus connections, but the train is easier and more preferable.


It’s a 1:20 minute drive from Frankfurt to Boppard along the A61 to L209.

And, it’s a 20-minute drive from Koblenz to Boppard on the scenic B9.

If renting a car, I always use Discover Cars as they search for the best local and international prices to get a good deal.

Parking in Boppard

The pay by coin Parking St Remigius Parkplatz is located directly on B9 and very close to the trailhead. You must pay by coin at the outdoor terminal and place the receipt on your dashboard.

Parking Fee | It’s up to 4 EUR per day. You can pay by 15 minute increments. If you have a camper van you can stay overnight for 10 EUR.

Payment | Euro coins only

Exact Location | Click here for google maps GPS

When to Hike the MittelRhein Klettersteig

views from the boppard chairlift

In my experience, the beautiful towns along the Rhine River Gorge are best to visit in May and October because of good weather, less crowds and the intense Spring and Autumn Natural Colors.

The trails are open year round, but July, August and September will be the most crowded.

The best time of day to hike is after the sun has risen and the morning dew has evaporated to ensure the metal rungs are not slippery, but before the crowds come. You can rent gear from the ARAL service station starting at 6:00 am.

So it will depend upon what time of year you come to hit the sweet spot.

I really enjoyed going at 9:30 because there were minimal waiting times for the klettersteig variants, but many more people were coming up to start as we finished.

Essential Gear for the Klettersteig (Via Ferrata Kit)

Via ferrata gear is specialized equipment used by climbers to navigate steep and rocky mountain routes. It includes a harness, helmet, and a set of lanyards with carabiners that clip onto cables and rungs fixed to the rock face.

You can rent it, but also it’s possible to buy it if you intend to go more than 2-3 times to recoup the investment.

Climbing Harness


Rental gear Options

If you don’t want to invest in gear you can simply rent it at one of two locations within 5 minutes walk of the trailhead. If you want to wear a helmet, that is your choice on this very gentle via ferrata.

  1. Aral gas station. It is cash only and costs 8 euros to rent for the day. You’ll have to provide 20 euros of a deposit that will be returned to you when you give the gear back. They are open 6:00am -9:00 pm
    Exact location
  2. Basecamp restaurant. It costs 12 euros to rent for the day. They open at 10:00 am and close at 7:00pm.
    Exact location

MittleRhein Klettersteig Complete Route

Trail Guide for Mittelrhein Klettersteig Hike and Via Ferrata

  • Starting Point: Parking St. Remigius
  • Trailhead: GPS
  • Distance: 6.26 km (3.9 miles)
  • Total Time Needed: 2:30 – 3 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 404 m, 1325ft
  • Via Ferrata Difficulty: easy
  • Min Elevation: 82 m, 269 ft
  • Max Elevation: 377m, 1230 ft
  • When to Hike: April – October

There are three possible ways to approach this route.

  1. The first is to undertake each and every climbing section (there are 5-6) which is about 10% of the total trail distance. It is called the “klettersteig variant”.
  2. The second way to hike it is to avoid all the klettersteig and walk around those parts on a normal hiking path called a “wandervariant”.
  3. And the third way is to mix and match as you like. It’s incredibly well marked with signage so you can avoid or aim for the sketchy parts with ladders, rungs and cables.

Opening Times | The area is wide open but you’ll have to have either have or rent gear.

Gondola Pricing | Read my full guide on the Boppard chairlift if some of your group wants to do the klettersteig and others want to get to the mountain top restaurant and drink wine instead.

Other Considerations | It’s very steep here and can get slippery after the rain. My hiking time calculator can help you estimate the time if you aren’t sure of your speed. Klettersteigs have more rules than traditional hiking.

Non-Klettersteig Variant: I hiked here twice. Once doing the klettersteig with ALL the gear, and then once my dog Ruby, and it was quite fun.

Wandervariant (hiking only)

I have previously carried my dog on the Calmont Klettersteig on the nearby Moselle River, but the ladders here were too much for me to feel comfortable carrying here on the Mittelrhein Klettersteig.

I wouldn’t even try with a dog carrier so we did the “wandervariants”. It was a strenuous 5 km hike loop and beautiful.

Each place where there is a climbing section has a hiking path to walk around and we did that.

Klettervariant (some short stretches of climbing)

The second time I went with my husband and no dogs and we did all the klettersteig variants, except one because we got stuck behind a slow group and didn’t want to wait.

We just went around them by doing the wandervariant in that one section. It was faster than waiting for a group of 15 people to climb down a ladder. This was in April.

I think in summer, I would come early to avoid these problems with people and deal with the slippery metal ladder.

I hate waiting.

Your decision should be made in your own best interest and I’m not telling you what to do, just what we experienced.

Klettersteig | Basecamp – Vierseenblick – GedeonsEck (2 hours)

hiking up mittelrhein klettersteig

Exact starting point

Description of the Klettervariant

You’ll start this hike walking on a small path between the Basecamp restaurant (great wines and chill outdoor lounge) and the entrance to the Boppard Sesselbahn (chairlift). You’ll walk up a pretty steep grey-slate path right from the very start.

It’s almost like a staircase into the rock.

Throughout this first part of the hike you’ll be keeping the Rhine River on your right side as you traverse across the very steep riverside mountain.

signage for the mittelrhein klettersteig hike in boppard

Keep an eye out for the signs, they are very obvious. The path will diverge to either:

  • Klettervariant (climbing)
  • Wandervariant (hiking)

Each Klettervariant will have a slightly different challenge of varying difficulty.

  • Some parts are just a simple metal ladder attached to the rocks.
  • Other parts will include metal U-shaped rungs inserted horizontally into the rock face that you will walk across like a bridge.
  • And yet other sections have I-shaped metal tongs that you will walk up like a staircase. The final climbing section was the most fun for me but the most challenging.

After that section you’ll be near the top of the mountain and in the forest. You’ll wind your way onto a logging road (watch for the ancient tree it’s sign posted).

After passing the bike park, you’ll get to the Vierseenblick cafe with amazing views of the Rhine River in an illusion that it is 4 separate lakes.

vierseenblick mittelrhein klettersteig hike

Then just a short walk will get you to Gedeonseck, a lovely restaurant with a huge outdoor terrace where people eat, drink and go paragliding. Here there will be many people that took the chairlift up the mountain and are not hiking.

gedeonseck in boppard germany
Options for your friends that don’t want to hike or climb to meet you at this lovely restaurant on top.

Descent | Gedeonseck – Basecamp (:30 minutes)

mittelrhein klettersteig going down with gondola

I would recommend to take the chairlift down and save your knees for another day. It’s pretty much straight down on hard stone.

Or you can utilize trekking poles to ease the strain on your joints if you’ve got problems. I’ve written a guide on how to use trekking poles based on my 18 years of physical therapy experience.

The end of the trail is basically at the the end of the Boppard promenade. So if you’re staying in town, it’s very easy to walk back to your hotel and enjoy a sauna before going out to dinner.

Even better would be to grab a seat on one of the many Rhine River boat cruises and enjoy the ride.

Where to Stay near the Mittelrhein Klettersteig

hotels in boppard

Best Places to Stay Close to the Rhein Klettersteig

Budget | Hotel Das Ebertor : For more of a budget stay, I would recommend the Hotel Das Ebertor, it offers both hostel and hotel accommodations and is a little bit outside the main center directly on the water with a park.

Midrange | Hotel Zur Fahre  : Another scenic gem I came across is the Hotel Zur Fahre  situated right in front of the pier and the ferry stop. This lovely hotel offers convenience and gorgeous views of the river, making it a must-see lodging option.

Luxury | Bellevue Rheinhotel : One of my favorite hotels is the Bellevue Rheinhotel, a spa hotel nestled in the old town and close to the river. The view is simply fantastic, and I found it to be an excellent value for money. The lovely sauna stays open until 10:00 pm which is perfect if you need some relaxation after a long trip to get there.

Boutique Luxury | Burg Hotel auf Schönburg is hands down, the best place to stay in the entire Upper Middle Rhine River Gorge. My husband lost his wallet in the parking lot and it was saved for him and returned with every dollar and euro there. The thrones in the room were a nice touch too. 😍

Find an accommodation in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.

More Rhine River Travel & Hiking Guides

hiking in rhine river gorge


Love History?  The Kirner Dolomiten hike is stunning and has a free audio tour you can use on your phone.

More chairlifts over vineyards for people that a more relaxed way to explore:

Did you know that Boppard’s beginnings can be traced back to an early Celtic settlement? There’s so much history in Germany that makes adventure travel more interesting.

In the future I hope to tackle something more dramatic, like the Alpspitz klettersteig, Grünstein klettersteig, or Mittenwalder klettersteig.

More Klettersteigs Around GermanyGoogle Maps Location
Katrin KlettersteigView on Google Maps
Hindelanger KlettersteigView on Google Maps
Garmish Partenkirchen KlettersteigView on Google Maps
Salewa KlettersteigView on Google Maps

FAQ Mittelrhein Klettersteig

How do you get to Boppard?

There are several ways to get to Boppard, Germany, depending on your starting point. Here are some common options:

By train: Boppard is well-connected to several cities and towns thanks to the Regional Express Network. You can get to Boppard in 25 minutes from Koblenz, about 1 hour from Mainz, and about 1.5 hours from Frankfurt. You can use websites like Omio to plan your train journey.

By car: Boppard is located on the B9 highway, which follows the Rhine River. It is also located about 10 km from the A60 highway. If you are driving from Frankfurt, the journey takes about 1.5 hours.

By boat: Boppard is a popular stop for river cruises on the Rhine River. You can take a boat from several nearby towns and cities, including Koblenz and Rüdesheim.

By plane: The nearest airport to Boppard is Frankfurt (FRA), which is about 1.5 hours away by train or car. Other nearby airports include Cologne/Bonn (CGN) and Düsseldorf (DUS). You can use websites like Rome2rio to plan your journey from the airport to Boppard.

More Boppard hikes

This website has tons of great walks around Boppard and a cool harry potter style train.

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.