How to get to the natural pool at Lake Königssee – update 2020!

Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake

Did you also wonder how to get to the natural pool at Lake Königssee which is shown in the picture above? And did you also wonder if it really exists? Yes, it really exists! And yes it is kind of a secret place! Is that possible nowadays at a busy and touristy place like Kingslake (Königssee in German) close to Berchtesgaden in beautiful Bavaria? Yes, it is.

! Update 2020 !

Unfortunately, the situation at this beautiful waterfall has changed a lot and nowadays it is a very busy place! Especially in the summer months and weekends. The Instagram hype brought many people to Kingslake and its natural pool. I have been at the pool lately again (in late October) and actually the government (or tourism organization) tries to stop people from getting there. They placed a chain which shall prevent people from entering the abandoned path. At first, I was not sure if I can still go, but I saw quite some people just climbing over the chain and go there, therefore I decided to give it a try.

Why are they trying to close down the path to the natural pool?

There are 2 main reasons:

First of all there were some accidents and people fell down the waterfall. After this basin which you can see on the picture, it goes down steeply for around 100 meters. So it is a bit dangerous if you are not careful, if you are trying to stand on the edge or if it rained a lot or during snowmelt in spring. Also non-experienced hikers tried to get there with flip-flops which is also super dangerous. This is an abandoned hike and you need proper hiking shoes and a bit of hiking experience to be able to get there. Never ever try to go there with flip-flops. Besides, don’t go there when it is raining or has been raining the previous day, because they way will be too slippery and dangerous.

The second reason is that people left their trash at this beautiful place which really makes me personally very angry. How can you do that? How can you destroy nature and our beautiful earth because you are too lazy to take your trash home? Please, don’t through your trash in nature!

These two reasons make it totally reasonable that the government or tourism organizations want to close down the way to the natural pool at Kingslake.

Can I still go to the natural pool at Kings lake?

Decide for yourself. Fact is that the locals and the government try to protect this natural paradise from being destroying. If you are an experienced hiker and conscious about nature you can probably still go there. If you only want to go there for the perfect Instagram shot, you don’t care about nature and you don’t have hiking boots, you should not go there.

Ok enough said, here is the description how to get there. Please also make sure to read through the rules you should follow when visiting this natural pool. List of rules is placed below.

Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake

Research on how to get to the natural pool at Lake Königssee

I first saw this picture on Instagram from two bloggers and was so fascinated by the beauty of this place. That is why I started to google where it is. But surprisingly I couldn’t really find out where exactly it is. The only information I found is that it is at Kings Lake in Germany. And I was even more surprised that I don’t know about it. Me, the discoverer of Bavaria, knowing all the beautiful places in the south of Germany?! This evoked my curiosity and wanderlust even more and I started to research more on how to get to the natural pool at kings lake. But still, I couldn’t really find out where it is exactly and which hiking trail leads there.

After some research, I found out that this natural pool is part of the Königsbach Waterfall at Lake Königssee. But how to get there? There seemed not to be any hiking trail leading to this spot. But still, people seemed to find their way there. After researching using various keywords I finally found out that there is an old, abandoned hiking trail leading there. This trail was supposed to be non-official, not secured and sings warns of mortal danger. Now my inner wanderlust made me, even more, wanting to go there.

Still not sure how to get there, my boyfriend and I drove to Lake Königssee and we actually found this beautiful place. So here is how you get to the natural pool at Lake Königssee.

How to get to the natural pool at lake Königssee: Königsbach waterfall

Drive to Schönau am Köngissee and park your car at the parking (Seestraße 3, 83471 Schönau am Königssee).

1st part of your way to the natural pool: Hiking trail to Malerwinkel

Your hike to the secret natural pool starts with a very easy hike to Malerwinkel, which is an easy to reach viewpoint just around 20 minutes from the parking away. Leave the parking in the direction to the lake and cross the very very touristy main street of Schönau. The fact that the starting point of the way to the natural pool was so busy and touristy made me doubt even more if this is really a secret place. I was wondering if it would be as busy as it was here.

When arriving at the lake, keep left and walk behind the boathouses of the lake. Then the hike to Malerwinkel starts, just follow the yellow signs. After a few hundred meters of a steep gravel road the hardest part of the hike is already done and after some more minutes you already arrive at Malerwinkel, which is a not very high but so much the better viewpoint:

Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake
Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake
Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake

2nd part of your way to the natural pool at Lake Königssee: Follow the signs to Rabenstein.

Now you leave the Malerwinkel loop round and instead you follow the signs leading to „Rabenstein“ this gently inclined way leads you another 30 minutes along the lake till you reach another viewpoint, similar to Malerwinkel viewpoint but located a bit higher.

Important notice: I received many messages from people who didn’t find the way. Mostly the problem was, that they didn’t make the way to Rabenstein viewpoint. So remember: The next viewpoint after Malerwinklen is not Rabenstein viewpoint. You have to walk another 20-30 minutes to reach Rabenstein viewpoint.

This is how Rabenstein viewpoint looks like: It is a bit more elevated than Malerwinkel and the other viewpoint which you passed. And there are 4 benches (2 in the front, 2 behind these) placed very closely together.

Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake

3rd part of how to get to the natural pool at lake Königssee: abandoned hiking trail through the forest

Now the adventurous part of the hike starts. From the benches of the viewpoint of Rabenstein, don’t go back to the hiking trail of Rabenstein. But just pass the benches and the big rock and you’ll find yourself at the abandoned trail already. It is a narrow path leading into the forest. You will realize as there are no signs, the way is a bit overgrown with plants and it is quite narrow.

Update 2020:

Nowadays it is even way easier to find the way, because the start of the path is marked with a signs and a chain which shall stop people from getting to the natural pool.

This is how the beginning of the path looks like:

Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake

WARNING: Be aware that this is not an official hiking trail, meaning it is not maintained well. Walking there is at your own risk! Make sure to wear proper shoes, that you are free from giddiness (at least at the beginning of the trail), sure-footed and mind every step you do. Sometimes the path seemed to be very loose.

Now start following this little path in the forest. It goes always parallel to Kingslake and sometimes there path splits in two ways which are both fine and will lead together at one point. There are several overturned trees in the way, but normally you can always guess where the path is leading along and crossing the overturned trees makes the way very exciting.

Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake
Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake
Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake

Depending on your speed this way through the forest, only gently inclining, takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour, till you finally hear the water of Königsbach waterfall flowing. And then it goes very fast and you’ll finally arrive at one of the cascades of Königsbach waterfall. This is the cascade where the natural pool is located.

Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake
Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake

Take a dip in the freezing cold water of the waterfall! And yes it is really really cold! But luckily there are some rocks around on which you can sunbath and heat up your body after the cold but refreshing bath in the natural pool of Königsbach waterfall.

Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake
Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake
Natural pool Königssee - how to get to the natural pool at Kings lake

Short summary of how to get to the natural pool at Lake Königssee:

Parking: Seestraße 3, 83471 Schönau am Königssee (fee of 2,50 Euro per day)

Summary of the hike:

  1. Go to Malerwinkel viewpoint
  2. Follow sings to Rabenstein viewpoint
  3. After Rabenstein viewpoint: Follow the abandoned path through the forest, parallel to kings lake

Level of difficulty: easy on the official trails, sure-feet and free from giddiness required on the abandoned path.

WARNING: And one more time I want to mention that the path through the forest is not official, not well maintained, and loose at some parts. Walking there is at your own risk!

As I added in the introduction: this place is quite crowded nowadays and the public authorities are about to close down the path if the situation doesn’t improve. Therefore I listed some rules you should follow if you decide to go there:

Rules when visiting the natural pool at Lake Königsee

#1: Wear proper hiking equipment

This includes at least hiking boots, proper clothes that allow you to move, and a backpack so that both of your hands are free and you can hold up in case you slip. If you are not a sure-footed person you should bring hiking sticks in order not to slip and risk to fall.

#2: Don’t go when the ground is slippery

You can’t get there safely if the path is wet or slippery. So if it has been raining the day before (or few days before) or it is raining on the day you want to go, DO NOT GO, you will risk your life.

#3: Don’t go if you have no hiking experience

If you have never been hiking up a mountain, if you have no head for heights or if you are not sure-footed or have any constraints with your feet, you should not try to go to the pool. It will be extremely dangerous.

#4: Don’t harm nature by any mean

Don’t break any branches, don’t kick any stones down (because people might walk under you), don’t jump in the natural pool with sunscreen, don’t do anything which might harm nature or the waterfall.

#5: Don’t litter nature or the waterfall

Don’t through your trash in nature. Put it back in your backpack and bring it home or through it at a trash bin in Schönau.

#6: Camping is not allowed

Camping is not allowed at Lake Königssee. Even if the imagination of walking up directly at the waterfall is tempting, please stick to this rule. Each disrespect might cause that the waterfall and the natural pool at lake Königssee will be closed down.

#7: Bonfire is not allowed

Also imagining this might be tempting to the one or the other, but please follow the rules and don’t do it.

Where to stay at Lake Königssee?

You can stay directly at the lake in the village of Schönau. However, I would not recommend that because this village is extremely busy and crowds of people wander through the few streets all day long. A better choice is the town of Berchtesgaden or Ramsau (a bit further away than Berchtesgaden). I can personally recommend Berghotel Rehlegg* which has a beautiful & quite location as well as spacious rooms and a heated outdoor pool – you will have way more peace there than in Schönau, directly at lake Königssee. You can get to the hotel by clicking here.*

If Ramsau is too far away for you, you can use the following search tool* to find a suitable accommodation in Berchtesgaden:

This beautiful place showed me that being curious, letting your wanderlust overcome your rational thinking and taking a risk is so worth it and rewards you with such a beautiful experience – if you stick to the rules!

So never stop being curious and of course never stop exploring!

*All marked links are so-called commission links. If you click on the link and buy via this link, I will get a small commission for your purchase. The price stays the same for you. This is how you can support my work on my blog. Thanks so much for your support!

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10 thoughts on “How to get to the natural pool at Lake Königssee – update 2020!

  1. Thank you for sharing! Is being in the cascade dangerous? Looks gorgeous but I wouldn’t like to fall 🙂

    1. Well I would say there is certain risk yes. When I was there it didn’t feel dangerous, there waa not so much water and current. But I could imagine if it rained a lot that the water pressure is higher.

  2. Thanks for the info, I’m passing by Konigsee in August and will definitely try and do this hike. Do you think there’s anywhere around this spot that would be suitable for a bivouac? or maybe a hammock?

    1. Hi Sam, I hope my answer is not too late. Well, there are plenty of trees around so I’m pretty sure you will find a spot for your hammock. Let me know how it was!

  3. Great read! Thank you for sharing a detailed report. How long would you estimate it takes to hike to the pool and back? (from/to parking)

    1. Hi mike, I would say around 1.5 hours one way. Enjoy your time there and let me know how it was!

  4. Hello! Firstly, I know this post is old but it’s still relevant and helpful to locals and tourists alike, plus your writing style is entertaining to read, so thank you so much! Although I’ve lived near Paris for almost four years now, the stringent rules and language barrier have so far put me off going swimming (I’ve never found the time anyway) but I’m really missing swimming recently, and could use the exercise, so am thinking I might finally try it out!

    1. Hey Lisa, thanks for your comment. I hope I could inspire you to go! This place is not really for swimming, more like for a dip in the water. But I also wrote a blog post about lakes around Munich for swimming. That one might help you as well. Enjoy reading!

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