Entrance of the Hündeleskopfhütte, the first vegetarian hut in the Alps near Munich.

Hiking guide: alpine huts

Short alpine hut restaurant guide

It is said that there are some people who only go up into the mountains so that they can build up an appetite and really enjoy a meal in an Alpine hut restaurant. It does not matter what people’s individual motivations are: With this selection of alpine hut restaurants, everyone will find their ideal destination.

 

For people who really care about food: Hündeleskopfhütte

A real culinary treat in the truest sense of the term awaits hikers in the Allgäu region. The Hündleskopfhütte (1180 m) is probably the only alpine pasture in Bavaria where only vegetarian food is served. This is an exceptional situation because cuisine in the mountains is otherwise normally so substantial and so rich in meat.

But since chef Silvia “Silli” Beyer went over to vegetarian cooking, many journalists have popped in to see her because of this change. The Bavarian Broadcasting Service even sent a whole camera team up the mountain to take a closer look at things there.

The menu is easy to follow but still good: She serves specialities, such as cheese sandwiches made with mountain cheese made with Allgäu “hay milk,” or bouillon with strips of pancake (Flädlesuppe - “pancake soup”) served with different types of seasonal salad items.

Directions: A96, Exit for Jengen/Kaufbeuren. Follow the B12 through Marktoberdorf to Nesselwang, there turn off onto the main road/B309. The ascent begins in the Kappel district of the town at the forest rope park (Bürgermeister-Franz-Keller- Straße 13, 87459 Pfronten) and takes 45 minutes.

For families: Blomberghaus

The Blomberghaus (1203 m) is in a very low-lying location. This is its great advantage. Whilst other skiers may be performing their wedeln style of skiing in the spring, it is also still possible to go up the Blomberg mountain on foot. Anyone choosing to walk up the mountain will need no more than an hour to reach the summit and even less than that if they go by the chairlift – it could hardly be any faster than that.

We recommend, however, that you wear sturdy footwear: Icy patches can remain on the ground for a long time. The Blomberghaus itself operates the whole year round. You can enjoy spectacular views of the Bavarian Alps from the sun terrace. The more daring may want to pop in on the climbing forest and the high ropes course winds its way between the densely grouped trees in the woods.

It is, however, definitely worth transferring on the summer toboggan run for the journey back. This runs from the half-way station of the chairlift down to the valley over a distance of 1,300 metres. It is attractions like this which make the Blomberg mountain so attractive to families especially. 

Directions: A8 exit for Holzkirchen/Bad Tölz, via the B13 and B472 to the Blombergbahn chairlift (Am Blomberg 2, 83646 Bad Tölz-Wackersberg); alternatively A95 exit for Sindelsdorf and B472. From the valley station of the Blombergbahn chairlift, you can reach the summit by either the hiking trail (rated as easy, takes 45 minutes to 1 hour) or the Forstweg path (rated easy, c. 1 1⁄2 hours, both routes reach 703 m). Anyone wanting to can carry on from the Blomberghaus as far as Zwiesel (easy route, 30 minutes, 144 m.). This route may lead over a snow field in the Spring, however.

For connoisseurs: Obere Maxlraineralm

Live like a god in the Alps: There is probably nowhere else on earth where life is as good as it is on the Obere Maxlraineralm (1520 m) by the Spitzingsee lake. This mountain hut has a very good kitchen and provides specialities such as spinach dumplings or the notorious Maxlrainer curry wurst sausage, which may not be at all healthy but which is absolutely delicious!

The view from the sun terrace has been described as being “the most beautiful panoramic view in Upper Bavaria.” The thing which really sets this alpine hut apart from the competition is its swimming pool. Here you can jump into the refreshing and cooling water while enjoying a glass of cool white beer. – This is how relaxing a day spent on a hiking holiday can be!

The mountain hut can also be hired for events and your guests can even take the “farmer’s A-levels” in subjects they missed out on in school. Subjects offered include nailing, sawing, milking and butter churning.

Directions: A8, Exit for Weyarn. Follow the B742 to Miesbach, follow the B37 to Schlier- and Spitzingsee lakes. There is car parking at the valley station of the Taubensteinbahn cable car (Spitzingstrasse 12, 83727 Schliersee). The ascent on foot goes via the Schwarzkopfweg (1 1⁄4 hours, 340 metres above sea-level); anyone wishing to use the cable car to the mountain station should keep to the upper right-hand side (10 minutes).

For true mountaineers: Münchner Haus

The Alpine hut of all the superlatives is called, naturally enough, the Münchner Haus (Munich House) (2959 m). It is impossible to be any higher above sea-level in Germany than here. High up on the summit of the Zugspitze mountain, the mountain hut defies the wind and the weather. And above all the snow. Even in summer it can be freezing cold up here.

Visitors should therefore always wear a warm jacket and sturdy shoes. The panoramic view from the top is worth all the effort of getting there, however, and on clear days you can even see far into the mountains. The Münchner Haus itself is managed by the third generation of the same family and even has its own solar power system – naturally enough we need to use another superlative here as it is the highest solar power system in Germany.

Directions: A95 to the end of the Autobahn, continue on the B2. The mountain railway starts in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Olympiastrasse 27, 82467) and the Eibsee cable railway begins in Grainau (Am Eibsee 6, 82491). Inexperienced hikers should never undertake the ascent on foot and should instead take the mountain railway up the mountain. The easiest, but at the same time the longest ascent goes from the ski stadium in Garmisch via the Reintal valley to the summit (takes 8 to 10 hours, 2,232 metres above sea-level). This should be undertaken only by people who have sufficient stamina and the right equipment.

For "mountain goats": Tegernseer Hütte

Many visitors also refer to the Tegernsee mountain hut (1650 m) as “The Eagle’s Nest.”

They are right to do so: Situated on apparently inaccessible terrain, it is located on a ridge between Rossstein (1698 m) and Buchstein (1701 m). On one side the mountain slopes steeply up to the summit and on the other the rock face descends vertically.

The view of the foothills of the Alps is fabulous, however. The ascent should be made only by those with the suitable experience in mountain hiking and who have the appropriate equipment. Anyone looking for a challenge can extend the tour by going on the fixed-rope route and climbing passage while those who want to stick to the hiking trail should allow themselves more time to make the ascent and avoid the steepest sections.

Overnight guests can enjoy a view of the sunset from the terrace in the evenings. The Alpine hut is open to guests only in the Summer.

Directions: A8, exit for Holzkirchen, through Tegernsee, Rottach-Egern and Kreuth towards Achensee (Austria). In Bayerwald there is a car park for hikers (Bayerwald 8, 83708 Kreuth). The ascent goes via the Sonnbergalm (including a fixed-rope route) or via the easier “Altweibersteig” route (there is also a car park further to the North). The ascent takes between 2 and 5 hours (covers about 800 vertical metres).

 

Text: Nansen & Piccard; Photos: Frank Stolle

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Entrance of the Hündeleskopfhütte, the first vegetarian hut in the Alps near Munich.

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