In this blog post I tell you about my first spring hike near Munich in Bavaria this year: just under an hour from Munich is the Hirschhörnlkopf near Lake Walchen. This was the goal of the hike.
It was one of the first really warm spring days after a long and cold winter here in Munich. The sky was already bright blue at 7 am, the sun was already peeking out from between the trees and you could already guess that it was going to be a wonderfully beautiful spring day. I didn’t know at the time that it would even break the 20-degree mark. Perfect to start the hiking season and go on the first hike of the year in spring. I didn’t want to drive more than 1 to 1.5 hours from Munich and wanted to climb a peak with spectacular views. When it comes to impressive views near Munich, the peaks around Kochelsee and Walchensee are a great choice. In addition, the hike should not be much higher than 1500 metres, otherwise there might still be too much snow on the summit, as well as on the whole hiking trail. That’s why I decided on the hike to the Hirschhörnlkopf. Due to its proximity to the much better-known Herzogstand and Jochberg, the Hirschhörnlkopf is less well-known and less visited, but as worth-it as the other two peaks.
Summary of the hike Spring hike to Hirschhörnlkopf
Summit: 1,514 metres
Length: ascent 2:15; descent depending on route 2 – 2.5 hours
Distance: 9 or 12 kilometers
Altitude difference: 750 hm
Detailed route description and GPS tracks: https://www.bergtour-online.de/bergtouren/bergwanderungen/leicht/hirschhornlkopf/
Description of the spring hike to Hirschhörnlkopf
The spring hike to the Hirschhörnlkopf in Upper Bavaria starts in the idyllic village of Jachenau. The journey through the so-called sunny valley, the high valley of Jachenau, is already a highlight: lush green meadows, the mountains towering up to the right and left and the idyllically situated chapel of the village centre put you straight into a holiday mood.
When you arrive at the car park, from where the hike to the Jochberg and other peaks starts, keep left and follow the wide forest road. In March there can still be some snow at this altitude. After about 15 minutes, the forest road splits into two directions and we keep to the right and follow the signs to Hirschhörnlkopf. The entire hiking trail is very well signposted. Now a steep path starts and we go uphill, mostly on serpentines, steadily in the shade. After about 1.5 hours with little view, you reach a point from where you can see the mountains of Walchensee and take a short break in the sun.
After this break continue for a few minutes until you reach a mountain pasture and already have a breathtaking view of the lake Walchensee. To reach the Hirschhörnlkopf you have to take the steep trail in front of you, that is short but sweaty. However, you will be rewarded by an even more breathtaking view at lake Walchen at the summit cross.
Here you can find a cosy spot in the meadow, eat your own snack in the sun and enjoy the view of the lake.
Especially on a sunny spring day, the warm sun on the skin, the fresh smell of the meadow in the nose and the slightly cooling breeze just felt great. Spring can go on like this.
There are two options for the descent from Hirschhörnlkopf: Either you take the same path back again – this option is somewhat faster. Or turn right at the hill, shortly after leaving the summit cross, in the direction of the Kotalm. The Kotalm is not a restaurant, but you can fill up your bottle with fresh mountain water here. This route first leads north in serpentines until you reach the Kotalm after about an hour. From here a forest path leads back to Jachenau. This route drags a little, as you take a relatively large bend out towards Jochberg. But you have a bit more variety and can spot the Walchensee a few more times. In March there can still be snow on this forest path almost all the way down to Jachenau.
After 2 or 2.5 hours, both paths lead directly back to the starting point.
Stop for refreshments during the spring hike to Hirschhörnlkopf:
Unfortunately, there are no restaurants on this hike. Both the Bärenhauptalm, which you pass on the plateau shortly before the summit, and the Kotalm, which you pass in the case of the circular hike, are not managed. It is therefore best to bring enough snacks and water with you.
How to get to the Hirschhöndlkopf in Upper Bavaria:
The spring hike to the Hirschhörnlkopf starts at a hikers’ car park in Jachenau. The address for is: Dorf 71/8, 83676 Jachenau. Unfortunately, this car park fills up quickly, even on a weekday, as a route to the well-known Jochberg also starts from here. If the car park is full, there are several other car parks for hikers in Jachenau. You have already passed a few of them on your way.
Insider tips for hiking the Hirschhörnlkopf in Bavaria:
1) Arrive early, even during the week. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the car park fills up very quickly. Secondly, the last part of the hike is in the blazing sun, which could be rather unpleasant and very sweaty in summer.
2) Bring hiking poles – especially in spring. In March, there can always be snow on the entire route. Snow is very likely at the latest at the summit and the steep last part of the ascent. At the same time, the spring sun is already thawing away a lot of snow, which is why the route can be very slushy and slippery in March and April. Hiking poles make the descent much easier.
3) For experienced hikers – continue hiking to the Jochberg. You can also make a circular hike to the Jochberg out of a short, easy hike. Both summits are relatively close to each other and one magnificent view of the Walchensee trumps the next. Here is a detailed description: https://www.outdooractive.com/de/route/wanderung/toelzer-land/ueber-hirschhoernlkopf-zum-jochberg/102423962/
What equipment do you need for the hike to Hirschhörnlkopf?
Due to the melting snow, hiking boots and hiking poles are a must in spring, as the entire trail can be muddy or even still snow-covered or frozen. In addition, you should not forget your snack, as there are no places to stop for refreshments.
More hikes in Bavaria
Do you already know the hike to Hirschhörnlkopf and want to discover more hikes in Bavaria? Then check out my collection of the best hikes in Bavaria – spectacular views included!
I hope you enjoyed this spring hike near Munich to the Hirschhörnlkopf in Bavaria? Have you already done it? Then tell me about your experience of this hike in the comments below!
And don’t forget: Never stop exploring!