Berchtesgaden National Park - Germany's only Alpine National Park

Germany's only Alpine National Parkzurück zum Anfang

Lofty, wild and majestic, “King�? Watzmann (2713m) reigns over the Berchtesgadener Land as he surveys his kingdom: Berchtesgaden National Park. High mountains, deep valleys and crystal-clear alpine streams define this protected area bordering Austria. “Allow nature to remain in its natural state�? is the motto of Germany’s only Alpine National Park.

Berchtesgaden National Park is located in the southeast of Germany, in Bavaria and adjoining the Austrian Salzburg region. Founded in 1978, the park includes an area of 210 square kilometres and is owned by the federal state of Bavaria. In addition, the park is the core and buffer zone of the biosphere reserve Berchtesgadener Land.

The National Park’s aimszurück zum Anfang

Nature Protection

The principle aim of the National Park, covering an area of 210 km², is to allow nature to follow its own course. For this reason all human intervention is avoided in the core zone in order to allow an unhindered development of nature.

Environmental Education and Public Relations

“One only appreciates and protects that which one knows�? is the motto of the National Park’s team in its mission to offer visitors a variety of programmes. Among other themes, they can discover the secret lives of chamois, marmots and other elusive animals. Berchtesgaden National Park’s educational work aims at communicating the National Park’s concept, at helping people experience nature’s relationships with all five senses, at awakening a passion for nature and at promoting both eco-friendly interaction and a sustainable lifestyle.


The National Park’s research contributes to gaining a better knowledge of nature’s processes. Thanks to these findings, improved protection of certain species, natural processes, as well as an eco-friendly land use outside of the protected areas can be learned. In this way Berchtesgaden National Park’s work reaches far beyond its own borders.


Each year around 1.5 million guests visit Berchtesgaden National Park. The area is covered by a network of some 260 km of walking paths and steep mountain trails. From walks accessible to the physically impaired to the challenges of a via ferrata, there is something here for everyone. In summer numerous huts in the high mountain pastures, offer refreshments and provide overnighting for those who wish to spend several days exploring the National Park.

Visitor Informationzurück zum Anfang

All important information and tips about your visit to the national park, the National Park Centre "Haus der Berge" in Berchtesgaden. Opening times, admission prices, Arrival information and further information about the National Park Centre, see

In addition, the following information points are located directly with small exhibitions in the National Park.

Hiking programszurück zum Anfang

Our varied program of themed tours through the national park is only offered in German language.

Only for groups of 7 persons min.:

If you are interested in an English-speaking tour (for a small fee) please contact us in advance by e-mail at

School classes / children or youth groups/ university groups:

We offer extra education for teachers, educators, team leaders, etc. If you would like to participate in an English-language specialist excursion into the National Park or in an event at the Educational Centre of the “Haus der Berge�?, please don't hesitate to conatct us (excursion) or (education centre “Haus der Berge�?)

Hiking Suggestionszurück zum Anfang

A network of 230 km hiking trails in the National Park offers something for everyone: light trails in the valley, challenging walks in the mountain pastures, alpine mountain tours to the summit or multi-day hut trips. Before you start your hike, please remember to bring sturdy shoes, warm and waterproof clothing according to the season, hiking map and plenty of food. We recommend hiking maps of Bavarian Ordnance Survey: "Berchtesgaden National Park" 1:25.000 or "Berchtesgaden Alps" 1:50.000. These are available from the National Park Centre "Haus der Berge" in any books or business.

1. Round-trail to Malerwinkl

  • Trail distance: approx. 3.5 km
  • altitude difference: approx. 130 m
  • duration: approx. 1 h
  • difficulty level: simple mountain trail

From the boat quay, the round-trail leads around to the left past the boathouses of Königsseeschifffahrt. Follow the broad path up to the “Malerwinkl�? viewpoint. Here, you can enjoy panoramic views over Königssee lake. On the trail you will then pass through forests before you arrive at the valley station of the cable car Jennerbahn. From there, you can return to your starting point.


Take some time to enjoy the outstanding view over Lake Königssee towards St. Bartholomew peninsula.

2. Simple Trail to the Eiskapelle (St. Bartholomew)

  • Trail distance: approx. 6 km (round-trip)
  • altitude difference: approx. 250 m
  • duration: approx. 1 1/2 h (ascent)
  • difficulty level: simple mountain trail, disabled access in parts

From the national park Information point in St. Bartholomew, the flat trail 446 leads to the St. Johann und Paul chapel. The trail then continues more steeply up through the mixed mountain forest until it reaches the large snowfield at the foo of Watzmann’s east face. You can return back to St. Bartholomä using the same trail.


The size and shape of the “Eiskapelle�? changes through the seasons. It is not always easy to find. Please do not enter it: Danger to life! The glacier could collapse at any time.

3. Family trail to the Fischunkelalm

  • Trail distance: approx. 6 km (round-trip)
  • altitude difference: approx. 200 m
  • duration: approx. 1 h (one way)
  • difficulty level: simple mountain trail, disabled access in parts

From the boat quay in Salet, route 424 runs past Mittersee lake to Obersee lake. After Obersee lake, you reach a well-secured route up the rock face to the Fischunkelalm, which is farmed in summer. Here, you have the option of going south across the alpine pasture to the head of the valley, which offers a beautiful view of the Röthbach waterfall.


Ensure that you do not miss the last boat!

4. Trail to Bindalm (Klausbachtal Valley)

  • Trail distance: approx. 13 km (round-trip)
  • altitude difference: approx. 330 m
  • duration: approx. 2 h (ascent)
  • difficulty level: simple mountain trail, disabled access in parts

From the national park information point Hintersee (Klausbachhaus), route 481 leads along the Klausbach stream to the national park information point Engert-Holzstube. The route then continues up to the Bindalm, with this section steep in parts. From there, you have the opportunity to continue on to the Austrian border crossing at Hirschbichl. You can return back to the starting point using the same trail. From May to October, you can also use the “Almerlebnisbus�? between Hintersee and Weißbach.


This walk is also accessible for wheelchairs up to the rest area after the suspension bridge. Get information on the current conditions from our service staff or at the information point Hintersee. The information point is staffed throughout the year.

5. Trail to the Halsalm (Klausbachtal Valley)

  • Trail distance: approx. 6 km (round-trip)
  • altitude difference: approx. 440 m

Starting from information point Hintersee (Klausbachhaus) follow the paved road a short distance before veering to the right. A continued rise leads to Halsalm, a narrow path through the pasture to connect the shelter to a superb viewpoint on Hintersee and the Ramsau valley. Continue towards Ramsau and parking. From here a footpath runs along the road to the starting point.


With any luck you might spot the 'king of heaven' (“König der Lüfte�?), the golden eagle! Long drives that are worthwhile.

6. Trail through the Wimbachtal Valley

  • Trail distance: approx. 17 km (round-trip)
  • altitude difference: approx. 700 m
  • duration: approx. 3 h (ascent)
  • difficulty level: Simple mountain trail

From the Wimbachbrücke national park information point, route 421 first leads up the tarmacked road to the Wimbachklamm gorge (entrance fee required). Further on, the moderately steep path runs along the Wimbach stream and through the mixed forest to the Wimbachschloss, which is open for business in summer. From here, the route leads in parts over the debris and then back onto a forest path until you reach the Wimbachgrieshütte lodge, which is also open in summer.


In the rear part of the Wimbachtal valley, you can discover a botanical rarity: “Pinus mugo - uncinata�? mountain pines, the upright-growing version of “Pinus mugo - mugo�?.

7. Trail to Gotzenalm

  • Trail distance: approx. 18 km
  • altitude difference: approx. 1100 m

From the parking lot at Königssee, pass the station télébennes Jenner until the last houses. Take the right fork on the trail Hochbahnweg (No. 493). The shady forest path leads to the forest road you will follow up Königsbachalm (refreshments in summer). At the intersection, continue on the path 493 and, through many zigzags and Gotzentalalm you reach the top of the world, Gotzenalm (refreshments in summer). Enter either parking lot or down to the docks Hinterbrand Kessel or Salet in Königssee.


In Gotzenalm a 10 min walk takes you to the point of view Feuerpalfen overlooking the peninsula of St. Bartholomä and Königssee!

8. Trail to the Watzmann lodge

  • Trail distance: approx. 12 km (round-trip)
  • altitude difference: approx. 1300 m
  • duration: approx. 4 h (ascent)
  • difficulty level: Simple mountain trails with medium/difficult ascents

From the Wimbachbrücke national park information point (Wimbachbrücke car park) first take a left over a small bridge and then directly take a right onto trail 441. You then follow this trail uphill, past the Stuben and Mitterkaseralm. From here, the surfaced path narrows into a climb and leads over the Falzalm up to the Watzmannhaus lodge, which offers food and drink in summer.


If you are considering getting a closer look at Watzmann, you require mountain experience, excellent physical conditioning and appropriate equipment.

Useful addresses zurück zum Anfang

National Park Centre Berchtesgaden „Haus der Berge“

Hanielstrasse 7
83471 Berchtesgaden
Tel. +49 8652 979060-0

Information point Hintersee/Klausbachhaus

Hirschbichlstrasse 26
83486 Ramsau
Tel. +49 8657 1431

Berchtesgaden National Park Authority

Doktorberg 6
D-83471 Berchtesgaden
Tel: +49 8652 9686-0
Fax: +49 8652 9686-40