Easy hike to a mountain lake in Bavaria – swimming included

Do you know that feeling after arriving at the summit on a hot day and all you want is a refreshing swim? Hiking to a mountain lake is perfect for this purpose – and we have many of them in Bavaria. That is why in this blog post I’ll show you one.

Today I’ll take you to a lake called „Unterer Gaisalpsee“.

It is also a new part of Bavaria which I haven’t discovered much yet. It is called „Allgäu“ and covers the Southwest of Bavaria. This is a very watery area by nature, meaning there are many swimming lakes, waterfalls and spectacular gorges. Most places are very scenic because there is also the second biggest mountain chain of Bavaria with the highest mountain being around 2600 meters high.

The goal of this hike is the lake. It will take you around 2 hours to get there. For those of you who are more ambitious, you can hike further for around an hour to the summit of Rubihorn or Geißfußsattel.


No time to read now? Pin it for later?


Summary of the hike to mountain lake Gaisalpsee:

Destination: Unterer Gaisalpsee (1428 meters)
Distance: approx. 9.5 kilometers
Difference in altitude: approx. 670 meters
Duration: 3.45 hours (2 up; 1.5 down)

Parking: You have to park at the village of Reichenbach. There are two parking spaces. The bigger one for a free and located here in Google maps.
And a smaller one next to the road and here in Google maps.

A detailed description of the hike:
https://www.outdooractive.com/de/route/wanderung/allgaeu/von-reichenbach-zum-unteren-gaisalpsee/120620165/#dmdtab=oax-tab3
(It is in German, but you can just use the translate feature of Google Chrome)

Description of the hike to the mountain lake Unterer Gaisalpsee:

The hike is scenic in every part and very versatile. Already when arriving at the parking you will have an amazing view of the massive mountains, lush green fields, if you are going there in spring many flowers and this typical little agricultural huts which make these typical alp views, no matter if in Germany, Bavaria or Italy.

Hike to mountain like in Bavaria, Unterer Gaisalpsee

Ok, sorry I wandered from the subject. As you see I am really impressed by the Allgäu area of Bavaria. It feels a lot like in the Dolomites in Italy.

After arriving at the parking, you either need to go through the village of Reichenbach towards the west or if you parked on the free parking of the road, take the little path through the fields towards North. During the whole hike, you need to follow the signs to „Gaisalp“.

The first part of the hike is leading through a little gorge along the Reichenbach river which forms many little waterfalls. There are two ways, one is along an agricultural street (to the right) and one leads a bit steeper up through the gorge – definitely take the one through the gorge. This is also very exciting for kids.

Hike to mountain like in Bavaria, Unterer Gaisalpsee, Reichenbachtobel
Hike to mountain like in Bavaria, Unterer Gaisalpsee, Reichenbachtobel
Hike to mountain like in Bavaria, Unterer Gaisalpsee, Reichenbachtobel

After around 30 minutes through the gorge, the next part of the hike starts and leads you through a wonderful flower field (in spring) which offers great photo opportunities. 

Hike to mountain like in Bavaria, Unterer Gaisalpsee

Now the real hiking trail up the mountain starts. It is a small trail with rocks and roots – which I personally prefer over hikes along streets or dirt roads. Therefore hiking boots are recommended.

Always follow this path until you arrive at the lake Unterer Gaisalpsee after around 1.5 hours. You will already see it from the distance.

Hike to mountain like in Bavaria, Unterer Gaisalpsee

On hot days, many people gather around the lake as it is quite easily reachable and also suitable for children (with a little bit of hiking experience). But luckily the lake is big and the grass around spacious so that everybody will find a peaceful spot.

The tough ones of you can jump in – but be aware, it is very cold, especially in springtime!

Hike to mountain like in Bavaria, Unterer Gaisalpsee

The ambitious hikers only have a short stop here at the lake and then head further either to the summit if Rubihorn, which takes a bit more than one hour of a steep hiking trail or to Geißfußsattel another 1.5 hours. 

To get to this view, you can also just follow the signes to Rubihorn for another 15 to 20 Minutes after having passed the lake:

Hike to mountain like in Bavaria, Unterer Gaisalpsee

How to get to the starting point of the hike?

The hike to Unterer Gaisalpsee is in the Allgäu area of Bavaria, in the South of Germany. The hike starts at a little village called Reichenbach, a bit before Oberstdorf.

Where to park?

To start the hike to Unterer Gaisalpsee, you can park at the hiking parking space just a bit before the village Reichenbach (861 m) on the left side of the street. Or the bigger parking with costs located here in Google maps.
The smaller one next to the road is located here in Google maps. On busy days it might be full already, then people usually park on the side of the street. However, try not to distract the passing cars when parking on the side. 

Further ideas in the area of Allgäu

As I mentioned in the introduction of this article, this area of Bavaria, called Allgäu is very very beautiful and there is much more to discover. There is for example a waterfall and you can swim in its pool. It is very exciting and evokes Bali feelings. And the good news is still to come: it doesn’t require a long and exhausting hike to get there. In just 40 minutes of an easy walk, you can get there. And it is even safe for kids – really a great adventure for hot summer days for the whole family, but also for adventurers. The brave ones even jump into the upper basin (on your own risk).

Where to stay?

This area of Bavaria is great to stay overnight or even for a more-day trip. I promise that you will never get bored their and most likely you will not want to leave. Beautiful places to stay close to the Allgäu Alps are Hotel Wittelsbacher Hof, Hotel Gams Oberstdorf or Alpenhotel Oberstdorf.

Have a look at my blog post about this waterfall or pin it for later:



I hope you enjoyed this blog post about this super easy hike to the mountain lake in Bavaria? Let me know in the comments if you are missing any information or you have an update about this place so that I can update my article.

Follow me | Instagram | Pinterest | Youtube


Follow my travels and sign up for my newsletter. You will receive my travel reports with real insider tips, adventures around the world and inspiring travel tips. No spam - I promise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *