The Top Berchtesgaden Hiking Trail | Schneibstein Kleine Reibn
While most people who visit Berchtesgaden focus on visiting the Eagles Nest and Lake Konigssee, the hiking opportunities of Berchtesgaden National Park are not to be missed. One of the top Berchtesgaden hiking trails is called Kleine Reibn. The trail takes you from the top Jennerbahn cable car station to the summit of Schneibstein mountain, then down to Seeleinsee lake and finishes off at the middle Jennerbahn station. Read on for everything you need to know about the trail.
1) Kleine Reibn | Schneibstein Hiking Details
The Kleine Reibn hike is no doubt a full day activity and should only be hiked if you are comfortable with close to 7 hours of walking. Below are some important stats to expect on the trail to better prepare you for the hike.
Trail Name: Kleine Reibn
Location: Berchtesgaden National Park
Starting Point: Jennerbahn Top Station
Ending Point: Jennerbahn Middle Station
Highlights: Schneibstein & Seeleinsee
Length: 15.4 km / 9.6 miles
Duration: 7 hours
Elevation Gain: 729 meters / 2,392 feet
2) Berchtesgaden Hiking Map
The trail can be broken up in a few sections. The first part of the trail is the hike up to the Schneibstein summit marked 2 on the map (where all the elevation gain for the day will happen). From there you will head down to Seeleinsee lake (marked 3) and then wrap around straight towards the Jennerbahn Middle Station.
Below is a screenshot of the circular trail to better visualize what the hike looks like:
3) Elevation Profile
I thought it would also be helpful to point out the elevation profile of the hike. As you can see, the first part of the trail is when you will see all that elevation gain as you head up the Schneibstein. From there it will be mostly a continuous downhill until you reach the cable car station.
4) The Jennerbahn
While you can technically start your hike in Hinterbrand and add an additional couple of hours of hiking to the trail (and double the elevation gain), most people opt to head up/down the Jennerbahn cable car at the beginning and end of the day.
The cable car has two stops – the middle station and the top station. For the hike, you will want to take the Jennerbahn all the way up to the top station to start the day, and then will end up at the middle station once you complete the trail.
There is a massive parking lot at the base of the Jennerbahn, which is used for people taking the cable car as well as those that are visiting Konigssee Lake. If you have a car, simply make your way to the parking lot and leave your car there for the day. You can also take the #841/842 bus from Berchtesgaden that stops right near the parking lot.
Note: don’t forget to pay the parking fee if driving your own car!
Below are the prices for the Jennerbahn as well as the cable car hours:
Jennerbahn Round Trip Prices
Adult (18+): 32 Euro
Youth (14-17): 25 Euro
Child (6-13): 15 Euro
Generation Card: 85 Euro
-> Generation Card is valid for maximum 2 adults and any number of children up to the age of 17. It also applies to grandparents with their grandchildren.
Summer Season: 8:00AM – 5:00PM
→ Ticket office opens at 7:30AM
Jenneralm Top Mountain Station Restaurant: 9:00AM – 5:00PM
Halftime Middle Station Restaurant: 9:00AM – 5:00PM
5) Kleine Reibn Berchtesgaden Hike
Now that you have some solid background info about the hike, let’s get into more detail about what to expect on the trail. Below I have broken up the hike in a few sections along with some pictures of what the landscape and surrounding mountainsides will look like along the way.
A) Mountain Station to Schneibsteinhaus (30 minutes)
After making your way to the Jennerbahn parking lot, buying your tickets and heading to the top mountain station, it is time to set forth on the Kleine Reibn trail.
Tip: before starting the trail, you can opt for the 20 to 30-minute detour up to the true summit of Jenner Mountain.
Whether you opt for the detour or not, you will then want to catch the trail pointing you along to the Schneibsteinhaus. The Schneibsteinhaus is a mountain hut just below the Schneibstein mountain and is where the ascent up begins.
The trail from the mountain station to the Schneibsteinhaus is a mix of easy short downhills, uphills and flat sections, and is the perfect way to get yourself warmed up for the remainder of the hike.
As you set off for the trail, following signs to the Schneibsteinhaus, you will walk along a well-established dirt/rocky path. You will begin to take in some great views of the surrounding greenery and mountain landscape as you continue along the trail.
After around 30 minutes or following the trail, the Schneibsteinhaus will quickly be approaching. If you get an early start to the day (which I recommend you do), the hut may not be open just yet for drinks/food. It is a nice spot to enjoy though, before you head up on the toughest part of the trail.
B) Schneibsteinhaus to Schneibstein (2 hours)
After leaving the mountain hut, you will begin the ascent up the Schneibstein mountain (2,276 meters / 7,467 feet). On one side you will have these vast valley views with some seemingly never ending mountains further out in the distance, while on the other side you will see the top of Jenner mountain and the surrounding peaks.
The trail up the Schneibstein will be much more technical than the beginning of the hike. You will have a very rocky, uneven terrain ahead with some steeper inclines as well. Along the way be sure to follow the red and white trail markers so you don’t wander off the route.
As you begin to get higher, be sure to take some breaks, hydrate and refuel, and enjoy the views in every which direction. The higher you get, the better the landscapes will get too.
After a couple hours of climbing, you will reach the Schneibstein summit. The top of the mountain has a flat topography and is nice and spread out. So, instead of everyone trying to balance on a rocky peak, you will have plenty of space to wander and rest.
You will really be able to take in those 360 degree views with mountains, valleys, greenery, and even some glaciers in every which direction. Once you have had enough time on the summit, it is time to continue on to the next section of trail.
C) Schneibstein to Seeleinsee (2 hours)
The next destination of the day will be the beautiful lake of Seeleinsee. From the top of Schneibstein, it will be mostly a decline trail with some sections a bit steeper than others.
Start off by walking to the opposite side of the summit on the rocky path, passing by some packed snow areas. Soon the trail will become much less technical and you will be able to follow the carved out path around the surrounding mountains.
Be sure to pay attention to the signs throughout the trail to make sure you are heading in the right direction. There are several other trails throughout Berchtesgaden National Park that veer off from the Kleine Reibn hike.
After passing along the above pictured path, the trail will begin to descend even more towards Seeleinsee. During this portion of trail there may be a couple sections that are still covered in snow/ice. If you aren’t comfortable walking through the snow portion, there may also be the opportunity to walk around it as well.
Shortly after passing by these snow crossings, you will be surrounded by even more greenery as you make the final approach to Seeleinsee. The aqua colored clear lake sits at the base of a mountain, and is the perfect spot to rest those legs.
D) Seeleinsee to Jennerbahn Middle Station (2 hours)
The final portion of trail loops around from the lake as you cross the mountainous landscape and end up at the Jennerbahn middle station. During this portion of trail, you will simply follow the signs on trail #497.
From the lake, the trail curves around and down into the forest as you will soon be surrounded by trees and greenery all around you. After walking through the forest for a bit, the trail will open up and you will once again have some great views of the surrounding Berchtesgaden National Park.
As the trail opens up, you will have some views of the Watzmann mountain out in the distance and will soon see a small mountain hut come into view – the Priesbergalm. This is a great spot to sit down and have lunch/drinks at if you are looking for a bit of a meal.
From the Priesbergalm you will have a nice wide gravel/dirt path for the remainder of the way to the Jennerbahn station. The next 1+ hour of trail will take you down and alongside the greener parts of the mountain with continuous beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. As you get closer to the end of the trail, the town of Berchtesgaden will also come into view in the valley down below.
Soon enough the trail will come to an end, and the Jennerbahn Middle Station will be out in front out you. From here you can decide to eat/relax at the restaurant or just hop on the cable car back down the mountain.
6) Where to Stay in Berchtesgaden
Berchtesgaden is a fantastic small village located down in the valley. From town you will be able to see the massive Watzmann mountain out in the distance and be right alongside the river that winds it way past town.
The main downtown of Berchtesgaden is perched on a hill, meaning if not staying directly in town, you will need to walk a bit uphill to reach many of the restaurants and bars. Below are some great options to choose from located within a 15 minute or so walk from the main downtown area.
Budget: Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten
I hope you now have a better understanding about one of the top Berchtesgaden hiking trails in the area and what it is all about. If you do have any questions about the Schneibstein / Kleine Reibn trail, feel free to add them in below.
Also, don’t forget to check out some of the other top outdoor activities in the Bavarian town of Garmisch Partenkirchen. These include: