The Partnach Gorge or Partnachklamm is one of the main highlights when visiting the Bavarian town of Garmisch Partenkirchen. Walking the pathway between the narrow gorge walls with the turquoise water down below is sure to be a highlight during your time in the region. This guide will dive into the Partnach Gorge hike and how to take part of it for yourself.
1) Partnach Gorge Parking & Directions
Getting to the gorge is simple enough once you have made it to Garmisch Partenkirchen. You will have the choice between driving your own car, walking by foot, or heading there by bus.
» If driving your car, all you need to do is first make it to the parking lot of the Olympic Ski Jump Stadium and you will be on your way from there. The parking lot here is both for those visiting the ski jump as well as the Partnach Gorge.
» Another option (whether you have a car or not), is to walk on over from wherever you are staying in town. Some hotels may just be a few minutes away from the parking lot while others may be closer to half an hour. But if you are not in the rush and want to stroll through the town, then walking over is a great option for you.
» From the train station in Garmisch Partenkirchen you can hop on the local bus (lines 1 and 2) that will take you to the ski jump. The bus also makes some other stops in town along the way depending on where you are staying.
Now, once you are at the Olympic Ski Jump Stadium area, you will then need to walk along a paved 20 minute pathway towards the entrance of the Partnachklamm.
From there you can head on in and enjoy the remainder of the Partnach Gorge hike and the beautiful surrounding scenery.
2) Partnachklamm Location
Below is a Google Maps view of the parking lot near the Olympic Ski Jump, alongside the entrance point to the gorge itself. Once you arrive at the parking lot, you will see signs pointing you out in the right direction.
3) Hours & Cost
The great thing about the Partnach Gorge is that it is open year round (yes even in winter!). The hours for the gorge are as follows:
October to May: 8:00AM to 6:00PM
June to September: 6:00AM to 10:00PM
→ The last admission to the gorge is 30 minutes prior to closing time.
Helpful Tip: To avoid the crowds I would recommend arriving very early in the day or later on in the evening before sunset. The gorge is one of the most popular places to visit in the area and it can get crowded during the daytime on those narrow pathways.
Below is the Partnach Gorge entrance fee breakdown:
Adults: 6 Euro
Adults (with valid visitors’ card): 5 Euro
GP Residents: 5 Euro
Adult Group (15+ people): 5 Euro
Handicapped Visitor: 4 Euro
Children (6-17 years old): 3 Euro
Along with the hours and prices, here are some other notes for visitors that are on the entrance sign to the gorge:
↔ Please leash your dog
↔ Please do not take along canoes, bikes, strollers or other bulky items
↔ User of wheelchairs cannot pass through
4) Partnach Gorge Duration
Since this is a back and forth hike, you will need to walk the path from the parking lot to the gorge twice. Below is a little bit of a breakdown:
Parking Lot to Gorge Entrance: 20 Minutes (1.8 km / 1.1 miles)
Partnach Gorge Round Trip: 40 Minutes (1.4 km / 0.9 miles)
Gorge Entrance to Parking Lot: 20 Minutes (1.8 km / 1.1 miles)
Altogether the Partnach Gorge hike should take around 80 minutes (1:20 hours) round trip and will be around 4.8 km / 3 miles of walking.
» If you enjoy the Partnachklamm, you may also enjoy reading all about the Hollentalklamm Gorge
5) The Partnach Gorge Hike
Now that your have some solid background about the gorge, let’s get into the Partnach Gorge hike and what it entails.
When I visited the gorge, I actually did it as part of the hike up to Zugspitze mountain. Since I had a long day of hiking ahead, I was able to visit the gorge right at opening time, 6:00AM. As you will see in the photos, it was still a bit dark out as the sun was just rising, however it was great to visit the gorge with no one else around.
The first portion of trail will take you from the parking lot to the gorge entrance on an easy 20 minute paved trail. Once you reach the entrance, you can go ahead, purchase your tickets and enter the tunnel entryway from there.
Once inside, you will be welcomed to a turquoise river flowing down between the massive 263 foot / 80 meter gorge walls on either side of you. The pathway itself is relatively flat with a roped fence for safety reasons.
As you continue along, the gorge walls will become even closer together – just a few feet apart. The pathway here is actually etched into the gorge wall as you walk through this narrow passageway.
Above you there may be some light waterfalls, falling off the side of the wall and onto the path below. Due to this, the pathway can get wet at times so do watch your step as you are making your way through. Although I just got a few drops here or there, you may want to consider bringing shoes/clothes that you don’t mind getting wet.
The Partnachklamm will be a beautiful contrast of dark rock alongside green flora grown on the walls, and the turquoise water roaring through down below.
After about 20 minutes or so, you will exit the gorge and be welcomed to a wider river surrounding by the forest on either side. Depending on how much time you have, you can continue along the river for a bit before turning back around.
In order to get back to the parking lot, you will just want to head back in the same way you came as you get to experience the gorge from the other direction and then back on the pathway to the Olympic Ski Jump. Note that there is an alternative trail that heads up and around the gorge as well.
6) Partnach Gorge in Winter
While I didn’t visit the gorge during the winter time, I would highly recommend a visit if you do happen to be there during those months. Instead of having waterfalls coming off the side of the gorge walls, you will be welcomed to beautiful icicles taking over the gorge as you make your way through.
On top of that, the winter offers the chance to go on a guided torchlit hike through the gorge as you light up the gorge and the surrounding ice during the evening time.
In order to sign up for a torch lit hike, you will need to call to register. There are a few numbers to choose from including: Berggasthof Partnachalm, Tel: +49 8821 26 15 and GEO-TRIP (Josef und Vera Karner), Tel: +49 8825 562.
7) Partnachklamm to Zugspite
As mentioned earlier, when I visited the gorge, I did so as part of the hike up to the tallest mountain in Germany – Zugspitze. The total hiking time from the parking lot to the summit is around 8-10 hours so this should only be attempted if you are comfortable with such a hike. Many people also decide to split the hike up into 2 days by sleeping in one of the mountain huts along the way.
If this is something you are interested in, once you exit the gorge, you simply just need to continue on the pathway down the valley and you will come across signs pointing you in the right direction as you progress through the hike.
The hike will take you along the river, through the valley, and slowly up the side of the Zugspitze. Once near the top, you will pass by some glaciers, as you then make the final scramble to the top of Germany.
» I would recommend checking out the Zugspitze Reintal Route Guide that goes into much more detail about the hike to learn more.
That about wraps up the Partnach Gorge hike and how to take part of the Partnachklamm for yourself. If you do have any questions feel free to write them in below. Have fun out there and safe travels!