A Travel Guide: Partnach Gorge in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

A girl hiking along the icy blue river with icicles formed on the rock formations along the partnach gorge in germany
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Explore the Incredible Partnach Gorge (Partnachklamm) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Since relocating to Germany, this gorge has topped my list of unforgettable experiences. Our family has been fortunate enough to explore the Partnach Gorge both in summer and winter. Each visit offers its own unique beauty and distinct adventure. I’m excited to share my journey and hope it may inspire you to plan your trip to the Partnach Gorge!

What is the Partnach Gorge?

Nestled in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (Bavaria), lies the Partnach Gorge (In German, known as the: Partnachklamm), recognized as a natural landmark since 1912. Stretching over 700 meters (2300 feet), the gorge is a symphony of waterfalls, rapids, caves, and pristine water basins, showcasing Mother Nature at her finest.

The gorge’s creation spans millions of years, with the Partnach stream gradually carving out what you see today. The depth of the Partnach River varies according to the melting waters of the adjacent Schneeferner glacier. As you venture into the gorge, be prepared for the shimmering blue-green waters, awe-inspiring cave passages, and impressive rock formations. Come winter, the gorge showcases its icy wonders to visitors. Today the Partnach Gorge is known as one of the most beautiful gorges to hike in Germany and hosts over 200,000 visitors each year.

A historical tidbit: From the 18th century, the gorge once played a crucial role in the local economy when logging was permitted in the surrounding valleys. The logs were treacherously transported on the river through the gorge and into the nearby valleys. This dangerous practice continued through the 1960s.

What do I need to know before arriving?

Before setting out for the Partnachklamm, always check their official website for any updates; the weather conditions can sometimes lead to temporary and sudden closures, especially during the winter months. On a winter trip to Bavaria, the gorge had been closed for a week, and we were unsure about our visit. Fortunately, it reopened on the day we hoped to visit! I recommend to keep checking back for the latest information. Generally speaking though, the gorge welcomes visitors from 8 a.m. year-round, but they do adjust their closing hours seasonally.

Some helpful tips: Sturdy footwear is crucial, as some spots on the trail can be very slippery. Despite the forecast, always bring a waterproof jacket — you’ll encounter dripping water along the trail. I would also recommend a fully charged phone for its flashlight function, especially in the darker cave sections. (And for photos, of course!)

For those with furry friends, dogs are welcome but must be leashed. However, the path isn’t suitable for wheelchairs or strollers, and considering the tight spaces and low overhangs, it’s wise to leave umbrellas at home.


Our journey from Garmisch-Partenkirchen was a brief 15-minute drive. We easily found a parking spot near the Olympic Skistadion, which was a cool little bonus to see the ski jump site for the 1936 Winter Olympics. We arrived earlier in the day on both of our visits and thankfully, we were able to find parking easily. You can purchase a parking ticket for the day for around 5€.

Adjacent to the parking area is the welcoming PartnachLodge Cafe with indoor and outdoor seating. They have an array of offerings, from warm beverages to breakfast items, and from snacks to sandwiches, it’s a great place to fuel up before your hike or unwind afterward. It is open Tuesdays through Sundays, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Additionally, restrooms are available beside the cafe for a small charge (around .50¢). (A restroom stop is always a great idea, before hitting the trail!)

Entry and Tickets

From the parking area, you have two options to get to the gorge’s entrance: a scenic 2km walk (approx. 30 minutes) or a charming horse-drawn carriage ride. We’ve experienced both and each offers its own unique charm. However, it’s worth noting that the horse carriages operate seasonally. While the exact months of operation aren’t clear, know that we took a ride in February for 6€ per person for a one-way journey.

You can purchase tickets for the Partnach Gorge directly at the entrance or in advance via their online ticket shop. Due to a lack of cell phone reception, it’s best to download or capture a screenshot of your online tickets in advance.

Walking through the Gorge

From the ticketing area, there is a steel entry gate leading to the first cave into the gorge. From here, your journey through the gorge can take around 30 minutes, depending on crowds, the path’s condition, and how often you stop to capture all the photo-worthy moments.

At the gorge’s end, the Partnach River and its stunning views are waiting for you. These views were just as phenomenal as walking through the gorge itself. During our summer visit, my daughter joyfully played with the river stones and waded in the water, while during our winter visit, my kiddos happily slid down the snow-covered slopes and had snowball fights. It’s truly a destination for all seasons!

Once there, you can either backtrack through the gorge to your starting point or venture further. For avid hikers, there are signs detailing additional trails. We visited during the COVID-19 phase which meant one-way foot traffic through the gorge, which led us to follow the trail to the Iron Bridge. Although slightly demanding at times for our family of 4, the panoramic views of the gorge from above made the effort worth it. We all enjoyed crossing the Iron Bridge.

Exploring Beyond the Partnachklamm

The Partnach Gorge is a wonderful starting point for numerous hikes suited for every adventurer. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, there’s a path waiting for you. Check out this list of recommended trails, complemented by a guide to nearby restaurants along the way.

Your Next Must-Visit Destination

So now you have all the details you need to start planning your visit to the Partnachklamm. It’s a must-see adventure during any season. Be sure it has a spot on your travel itinerary and check out the amazing photos and videos below for inspiration. You won’t want to miss this. Here’s to a memorable journey ahead!

General Info for the Partnach Gorge:

Essentials for Your Partnachklamm Adventure:

  • Slip-resistant footwear suitable for icy conditions during winter
  • A jacket that’s water-resistant or waterproof
  • A flashlight or a fully charged cell phone for navigating the dark caves
  • A camera or phone for capturing breathtaking views
  • Stay hydrated and energized: bring a water bottle and light snacks, especially for longer hikes
  • Note: Bicycles and trailers aren’t permitted.

For Families:

  • This is a family-friendly hike
  • Strollers are not permitted, carriers work great
  • There are railings for safety throughout the hike, but keep an eye on little ones


  • The last entry is 30 minutes before closing time
  • June until September- 8 am until 8 pm
  • October until May- 8 am until 6 pm
  • No passage is possible outside operating hours
  • Pro tip: Especially, in the winter months, the gorge can close unexpectedly due to weather. This is for the safety of all visitors. Always check their homepage before arrival to make sure they are open.


  • Adult €7.50
  • Children 6-17 years €3.00 (Children under 6 have free entry)
  • Dog ticket €2.00
  • Tickets can be purchased on-site at the ticket office (credit card accepted)
  • Tickets can be purchased online at the ticket shop
  • Print or download online tickets prior to arrival due to limited wifi or cell phone coverage in the area


  • Get there early to avoid crowds and ensure parking, especially during the summer months
  • By car – parking at the  Olympia ski stadium  (parking fee)
  • By bus –  lines 1 and 2   to the “Skistadion” stop
  • From the ski stadium: about 30 minutes on foot to the gorge entrance
  • By bike: Access to the ticket office is possible (parking areas available)


Partnach Gorge Wildenau 14, DE-82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

As always, I am eager to hear your thoughts or comments. If something sparks your interest or if you have any questions, please share them below. And if this piece resonated with you, please consider supporting my site through Buy Me a Coffee. Your support enables me to craft more stories to share with you all. 💕

Journeying Together, Kristie

Disclaimer: Please know that while I pour my heart and soul into providing you with the most accurate and up-to-date information, the world has its way of changing. The details and insights shared here were accurate at the time of penning them down. However, in time, some specifics might shift. Always double-check before making any plans. Safe travels and warm wishes.

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