Hochstaufen Loop

Heralded the ‘local mountain’ of Bad Reichenhall and just 20 minutes drive from Salzburg, you can get amongst real alpine terrain in the Chiemgau Alps, bagging a 1750m summit.

Trail Running Moderate

Distance
14 km
Ascent
1.3 km
Descent
1.3 km
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
495 m
High Point
1.8 km
Gradient
23˚
Hochstaufen Loop Map

There are a number of paths to take. For this circuit, begin from the parking place between Ausham and Piding (a short length of gravel road to get there). At a starting point of 500m D+, continue upwards via the well graded dirt road. Put yourself in a low gear and grind up the steady climb through a forest setting for approximately 4 kilometres before taking the trail that extends up the hillside and into the rocky terrain to your left. The signs along the route make for straightforward navigation.

Description

The final kilometres to the top become progressively steeper and the run morphs into a scramble up large rocks. Fixed ropes line some of the more worn sections. As you ascend the final climb, pass on the left the Pidinger Klettersteig – the hardest via ferrata route in Germany (difficulty D on the Schall scale of A–E).

From the peak, peer over to the east and you will find the Reichenhaller Haus – an alpine hut belonging to the Deutscher Alpenverein and a place to grab a drink or spend a night, giving you time to explore the multitude of other trails in the Chiemgau Alps, such as Zwiesel to the west. Hochstaufen is also nearby to the famous European long distance hiking trail (E4/Maximilanweg) and a possible extra summit to incorporate with an alternative overnight stay at the Reichenhaller Haus.

The summit boasts spectacular views over Bad Reichenhall and its surrounds. For the best experience, try this route for a sunrise summit, so you have the trails to yourself. During weekends, the mountain is extremely popular, so best to avoid the tourist hours if you want a fast ascent.

Difficulty

Moderate

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September, October, November