Alps Scenic Hikes - From Ehrwald to Lake Seebensee and Ehrwalder Sonnenspitze peak

Alps Scenic Hikes - From Ehrwald to Lake Seebensee and Ehrwalder Sonnenspitze peak

This hiking and climbing trail starting from Ehrwald in Tyrol leads you along many incredible photo spots to lake Seebensee passing Lake Drachensee at Coburger Hütte and on a demanding mountain trail up to the peak of Ehrwalder Sonnenspitze. From there you get panoramic views of Zugspitze, deep-blue lake Seebensee down below and all the surrounding mountain tops. This hike is especially beautiful in autumn when all the larches have turned yellow (but be aware that the Sonnenspitze lays at 2400m and early snowfall can make the ascend impossible and dangerous).


Where to park your car?

The hike starts from the town of Ehrwald in Tyrol just a short drive from Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria. You can park your car at the parking lot of the Ehrwalder Almbahn cable-car. You can either start the hike from your car or take the cable-car up and start from there. You can find opening hours and prices on their website.

sonnenspitze sunset autumn tyrol
Sunset near Ehrwald with the Sonnenspitze in the back

Ehrwald to Lake Seebensee

As mentioned before there are multiple options to get up to Lake Seebensee. The first and easiest option is to take the Ehrwalder Almbahn cable-car and then walk along the easy walkway through the forest from Ehrwalder Alm up to Lake Seebensee. We chose this option and took our bikes up so we could ride them down in the evening and wouldn’t need to take the cable-car for the way down. The trail from Ehrwalder Alm to Seebensee can also easily be driven by mountain-bike. For hiking up to the lake there are three options:

1. Immensteig

The Immensteig is marked as hard on the trail difficulty scale. It is the easiest opportunity besides taking the walk from Ehrwalder Alm. Nevertheless you need to have some hiking experience in alpine terrain for this trail as there are some exposed parts and a little bit of scrambling along the way.

2. Hoher Gang

This trail is the quickest option to get to Seebensee and is also marked as hard. There are some parts secured with steel rope and there is some scrambling involved. You should also be free of giddiness as there are some exposed parts on the trail.

3. Via Ferrata Seebensteig

The Via Ferrata up to Seebensee is marked with a difficulty of C/D and is only suitable for people experienced in doing Via Ferratas.

Seebensee to Ehrwalder Sonnenspitz

From Seebensee you can make the hike to Sonnenspitz peak a round trip. This option is only suitable for people experienced in climbing as there is climbing in the second difficulty degree involved on the way up! The easier option is to take the same way up as in the round trip is taken for hiking down. I will describe the whole trail in the following.

lake seebensee autumn tyrol
Lake Seebensee and yellow colored larches in morning light

Seebensee is a really cool photo spot with photo opportunities on each side of the lake shore. From the South shore, where you arrive when walking up to the lake you get perfect mirroring of Sonnenspitze peak and Drachenkopf framed by yellow larch trees in autumn. The first part of our trek you walk around the lake to the North shore, from where you see the mirroring of the Zugspitze mountain peak in the lake. This is the most famous photo spot at lake Seebensee. Our trail then leads in serpentines up through the forest to Drachensee and Coburger Hütte. After about one hour you reach the mountain hut Coburger Hütte that lays directly next to Lake Drachensee, a beautiful deep blue mountain lake. During summer months the hut is open and you can get yourself something to drink or have an early lunch or late breakfast there.

sonnenspitze hike ehrwald autumn tyrol
View from the trail up to Sonnenspitze to Seebensee and Zugspitze

Following the signs to Ehrwalder Sonnenspitze, we walk further up while the trail is getting narrower. After about another hour you arrive at the 2000m height mark. Our trail now parts from the main trail so you need to turn right onto a smaller trail. From here the climbing and scrambling part begins. The trail upwards is signed as a climbing trail with a difficulty of two. For this trail, you need to be experienced in climbing in alpine terrain and free of giddiness. It is advised to bring a helmet because of the possibility of stonefall, besides that no further equipment is needed.

sonnenspitze hike ehrwald autumn tyrol
View from the trail up to Sonnenspitze (from the little grassy plateau)

Watch out for trail markings and look at your GPS trek to not lose the trail, as we did in the beginning. The climb up is great fun and going up further you get more and more spectacular views of the Wetterstein mountains and the Mieminger mountain range. At some point, you reach a little grassy plateau from where you get the first view down to the valley of Ehrwald. From here it is not far to the top. After some more climbing, you reach the pre-summit of the Sonnenspitze from where you can already see the summit cross. Now there is a bit more scrambling to do in some parts on a narrow ridge. Then you reach the summit of Ehrwalder Sonnenspitz. Up here you have an incredible view of Lake Seebensee down below, the peak of Zugspitze directly on the opposite and back down into the valley of Ehrwald. After a nice “Gipfelbrotzeit” and taking a ton of photos, it is time to leave this incredible place and hike down.

ehrwalder sonnenspitz tyrol autumn
View from Ehrwalder Sonnenspitze peak down to Seebensee

On the other side from where we came starts the way back down to Seebensee. For those of you that are not as experienced in climbing you can take this way for hiking up, too. The trail down can be a little bit slippery in the beginning but is getting easier after the first part. There are many nice photo spots on the hike down from which you see the Zugspitze and Seebensee. After walking through some parts with mountain pines you reach the larch forest around Lake Seebensee. In autumn you can take nice pictures of yellow larches around here. After taking some last photos of the sun setting behind the mountains including a nice sun star it’s time to descend further down. We brought our bikes up until the lake so now came the fun part, riding them down back to our car!

larches autumn seebensee ehrwald autumn tyrol
Yellow larches in fall near lake Seebensee


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