Majestic hike at Königssee
Located at the southeasternmost tip of Germany, the Berchtesgaden Alps beckon with a unique natural gem. A hike at and above Lake Königssee offers spectacular panoramas and beautiful landscapes. From Königssee we hike to the idyllic Kärlingerhaus and from there, after an overnight stay in the rustic hut, we hike up to the Viehkogel before taking a different path back down to the lake.
A tour tip from Nina from the Sport Bittl shopping team.
What makes the tour attractive?
- Unique nature: Located in the middle of the Berchtesgaden National Park, the Königssee region attracts visitors with beautiful panoramas and a rich flora and fauna.
- Variety guaranteed: The landscape is more varied than almost anywhere else in Germany - lake, forests, rugged rocky peaks, lush meadows, it's all there!
- Good trail network: Even if you don't want to do the hike exactly as described here, at Königssee you'll find numerous hiking options in all lengths and degrees of difficulty.
- Highlight Königssee boat trip: At the beginning and end of the tour you have to rely on the boat - the electric boats glide quietly across the lake and offer great views of the surrounding mountains.
The most important facts
- Arrivalby train/bus: Good public transport: train to Berchtesgaden, bus to Königssee.
- Arrival by car: Parking in Berchtesgaden, TIP!!! - Parking - Ludwig-Ganghofer-Straße 44 in Berchtesgaden (on weekends even free of charge) from there you can walk to the main train station and take the bus directly to Königssee. Alternatively, you can of course park directly at Königssee, but this is very expensive (until 8h 10€, until 24h 20€).
- Season: June to October
- Overnight stay: Kärlingerhaus, opening hours end of May - middle of October, it is strongly recommended to book in advance.
- Difficulty: Demanding 2-day tour
- Length/ meters in altitude: Ascent from Salet via the Sagerecksteig to the Kärlingerhaus (1.631m) 6,4km/ 1190hm. Then ascent to the Viehkogel (2.158m) 5km/ 532hm. Descent via Saugasse to St. Bartholomä 9.7km /1297hm.
Ascent via the Sagerecksteig
The tour begins in a relaxed manner: From the parking lot at Königssee, you first take a boat to the Salet stop. Even the ride on the quietly gliding electric boats offers magnificent views of the surrounding mountains. Once you arrive at the Saletalm, you can make a short detour to the idyllic Obersee (approx. 30 minutes there and back) or start the ascent directly.
The path initially leads along the lake, but soon becomes steeper and you gain a lot of altitude on the Sagerecksteig. The steepest parts are secured with wire ropes and wooden stairs and the views down to the Königssee compensate for all efforts.
Up to the Kärlingerhaus
Further up the climb you pass the Grünsee, which impresses with its intense coloring. The trail continues a bit uphill before you finally reach the Kärlingerhaus (1,631m), where you will have earned some refreshments. The rustic alpine club hut is also the finishing point of the first stage and the overnight stop.
The Kärlingerhaus also offers a fantastic view of the enchanted Funtensee (on the right in the picture), which is considered the coldest place in Germany. Since it is located in the middle of the mountains in a valley depression, the cold air collects here in winter and in 2001 a temperature of -45.9 degrees was measured, which is an absolute record.
To the summit
After an overnight stay in the rustic Kärlingerhaus, there is another small challenge on the second day of the tour, but with a good 500 meters of altitude difference it is much more relaxed than the climb of the previous day. To get to the Viehkogel, you hike through an open meadow depression and first follow a steep and stony path in the direction of the Ingolstädter Haus until you reach a saddle.
From there you continue at the signposted turnoff towards the summit and you pass the Viehkogeltalhütte and continue the circumnavigation of the Viehkogel. From the back of the mountain you then approach the summit and walk the last meters towards the grassy summit slope.
On the summit of the Viehkogel (2,158m) you have finally reached the highest point of the tour and are rewarded with a magnificent view. The 360-degree panoramic view sweeps across the barren rocky landscapes of the Steinernes Meer.
On the other side you look down to the Funtensee and far out to the glittering blue of the Königssee. Time to enjoy, take a deep breath and enjoy a hearty snack before starting the descent on the same path as before. If you are lucky, you will surely meet one or the other curious marmot, ibexes and chamois are also resident in the national park, so it's worth keeping a watchful eye!
Descent via the Saugasse
On the descent from Viehkogel, shortly before reaching the Kärlingerhaus, you turn off this time in the other direction. After a short counter ascent, the descent becomes increasingly steeper.
Especially in the Saugasse it is really steep, you could also say steep, but the many serpentines and the fact that it goes downhill, make it much more bearable.
The serpentines lead down to the valley floor and to the right and left you are accompanied by impressive rock faces. Finally, there is a short stretch through the forest before the path passes directly by the lake again and again.
Back at Königssee
Once you arrive at the lake, you can treat yourself to a well-deserved cool-down in the crystal-clear water after the sweaty walk or at least cool off your tired feet a bit.
The rest of the way leads flatly along the lake to the famous baroque church St. Bartholomä. In addition to all the scenic highlights, the tour now also offers an architectural jewel that blends harmoniously into the natural surroundings.
From the small peninsula Hirschau, where the church is located, you can easily get back to the starting point of the tour by boat and enjoy the breathtaking lake panorama once again.
- Mountain boots with tread sole and ankle protection
- Trekking backpack
- (telescopic) hiking poles to relieve the knees
- cold and weather protection (clothing) according to the multi-layer principle
- hut shoes
- First aid kit
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Flashlight / headlamp
- Hut sleeping bag
- Sufficient food
- (Card) games for the evening
We wish you a lot of fun on the tour!