Hiking at Lake Königssee - To the Kärlingerhaus and via Wasseralm to Lake Obersee

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Hiking at Lake Königssee - To the Kärlingerhaus and via Wasseralm to Lake Obersee

The Königssee is one of our favorite places in Bavaria. Who ever heard the echo of the Königssee, admired the Watzmann east face in St. Bartholomä and was at the Obersee knows why. We show you a two- to three-day round hike to the beautiful Steinerne Meer and with a fantastic view over Königssee and Obersee where you explore the beautiful corners of the Berchtesgaden National Park.


The starting point of the hike is optionally St. Bartholomä or the boat landing Salet. To get there you have to take the boat from Schönau. When buying a ticket, either buy only a one-way ticket or a mountaineer ticket since our return trip is not on the same day. In Schönau the car can be parked on the large parking lot (of course for a fee).

The tour

Our hike can be done as a two-day tour or a three-day tour. As a two-day tour, the hike leads on the first day either from St. Bartholomä (variant 1 Saugasse) or from Salet (variant 2 Sagerecksteig) up to the Kärlinger Haus. On the second day, the circular trail leads behind the Funtenseetauern over the Wasseralm down to the Obersee. If this is too much for you, you can also spend the night at the Wasseralm.

1st stage (variant 1 - Saugasse): St. Bartholomä - Kärlinger Haus

On this route, our tour starts in St.Bartholomä. From here, the hiking trail first leads along the lake to the Schreinbach Falls. After the waterfall, it continues steadily uphill through the forest. Further up you reach the so-called Saugasse. There the path leads in very steep serpentines up to the so-called Ofenloch. A little further up the path, the view of the Watzmann opens up again.

From here it goes less steeply further up until you reach the Kärlinger Haus at Funtensee. The lake offers the perfect reflection for the striking Schottmalhorn in the background and besides, of course, a welcome refreshment after hiking.

wanderer saugasse königssee kärlingerhaus
Hikers in the Saugasse

1st stage (variant 2 - Sagereckersteig): Salet - Kärlinger Haus

The alternative route starts in Salet at the end of Lake Königsee. Past the Mooskaser Alm, the path leads directly into the forest. Via the Sagereckersteig it then goes quite steeply uphill. After some time, you can catch a great view over the Königssee at sparse forest spots. Further up, the path continues through the forest and through the first washed-out karst rocks to Grünsee. Here you can take a break and refresh yourself in the lake after the steep climb. After that, the path leads up the Himmelsleiter again somewhat steeper through the forest. After the forest thins out a bit, you have a clear view of the Watzmann massif again. Shortly after the turnoff to Saugasse, our destination for the day, the Kärlinger Haus, comes into view, which you can reach from here in a few minutes.

sagereckersteig königssee kärlingerhaus
View over the Königssee from the Sagereckersteig


Who still has energy can hike to the sunset on the Feldkogel. From there you have a great view over the Königssee and the summit is characterized by washed out karst and therefore beautiful.

2nd stage (variant 1 - circumambulation Funtenseetauern): Kärlinger Haus - Wasseralm

The second stage leads from the Kärlinger Haus along the Funtensee. Then the trail continues up through the forest. Further up you reach one of the most beautiful sections of the karst landscape leads up to the Toten Weib. The further up you go, the stonier the landscape becomes. At the top, the path leads over large rocks around the Funtenseetauern massif and the Wildalmrotenkopf until you reach another saddle. From there it goes steeply downhill across meadows and then again through karst landscape. Further down, the Blaue Lache invites you to refresh yourself briefly. From there it is not far to the Wasseralm in the Röth, our destination for today.

hike around the funtenseetauern from kärlingerhaus
Ascent to the Toten Weib with a view of the Funtenseetauern
view watzmann funtenseetauern kärlingerhaus
View of the Watzmann

2nd stage (variant 2 - Funtenseetauernüberschreitung).

Another option is to cross the Funtenseetauern. However, this trail requires absolute freedom from vertigo and surefootedness and should only be walked in good weather. In addition, the path is not or little marked, especially in the last part.

The first part of the trail corresponds to variant 1. Shortly after leaving the forest, however, our trail branches off and leads up to the Stuhljoch. Via the Stuhljochgrad the path continues to the Funtenseetauern. From there you have a beautiful view over the Königssee and the Watzmann. The crossing leads over the ridge of the Funtenseetauern and at the end over meadows and forest steeply downhill. Short befor one reaches the Wasseralm one meets again the previously described path.

ausblick obersee vom röthsteig
View over the Obersee from the Röthsteig

3rd stage: Wasseralm - Salet

The last stage of our tour takes us across the Obersee back to the Salet boat landing at Königssee. Starting at the Wasseralm, the trail continues downhill through the forest. Via the Röthsteig it then goes steeply downhill with partly exposed parts. Here the forest clears and a wonderful view opens up over the Obersee to the Watzmann east face. After a few switchbacks, you again reach a forested section that leads you to the foot of the Röthbach Falls, the highest waterfall in Germany.

bathing in koenigssee am obersee
Jumping into the Obersee

After admiring the waterfall, we descend across alpine meadows to Obersee. After a refreshing swim with a super view of the Watzmann and Obersee, the path no longer leads quite so lonely around the Obersee to the well-known boathouse with a view across the lake to the Teufelshörner and the Röthbachfall. From here you reach your destination the Salet boat landing in a short time. From here you take the boat back to Schönau.

When planning, you should definitely find out when the last boat leaves, because you can’t get back to Schönau from Salet on foot!

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