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It really doesn’t matter what you call it:
- The Leutasch Gorge
- The Mittenwald Leutaschklamm
- The Leutascher Geisterklamm
- Mittenwald Gorge/ Mittenwald Klamm
As long as you just call it GORGE-ous (c’mon, you know I had to!!!)
No, seriously, the Mittenwald Geisterklamm (Klamm is German for “Gorge”) is truly stunning, and I’ve been to my fair share of gorges! It’s just one of the many things to do in Mittenwald, which is why on my most recent trip down to Mittenwald, I knew I had to trek through this one, compare it to the nearby Partach Gorge in Garmisch, and experience it for myself.
Maybe it was the fabled stories that the gorge is possessed and inhabited by spirits (Geist) and ghosts and even goblins or maybe it was just that the Leutascher Ache river than forges its way through the mountain is the most stunning color of blues, turquoise, and greens, but the Leutascher Geisterklamm really did have a magical feel to it!
You May Be Interested In Reading:
- Garmisch vs Mittenwald: Where should you go?
- The Ultimate 10 Day Bavarian Itinerary
- The Best Hotels in Garmisch
You have a few options to get to the gorge itself. You can either enter from the Austrian side (Leutasch- Blue arrow on map) or the German (Mittenwald- Red arrow) side.
Entering From Mittenwald
By Car: If you are driving, you can park at one of the Parkplatz in Mittenwald, such as the Busparkplatz or the Parkplatz Ried. From these locations, it’s about a 10-15 minute walk to the Gorge. Just know that even if you put in the “Mittenwald Leutaschklamm” into your GPS, it still will probably take you to the Austrian side. So, if you want to go to the Mittenwald side, it is best to put in a Parkplatz in Mittenwald or the “Wasserfallstieg” in your GPS.
By Public Transportation: This will depend on exactly where you are coming from, but essentially, you’ll want to get to the MIttenwald Bahnhof and from there, you can catch the 431 Bus to the “Leutasch Geisterklamm” stop, which will take about 10 minutes.
Entering From Leutasch (Austria)
By Car: If you have put in “Leutasch Gorge” into your GPS, this is most likely where it’s going to lead you. To enter the Leutascherklamm on the Austrian (Leutasch) side, you’ll pass over the border of Germany and into Austria and then wind your way around the mountain side. Do note that this is a tight mountain pass and at times, only one car can go at a time. Drive slowly and carefully.
Keep driving and you’ll soon see a big “Ghost” and signboards to the Leutasch Parking Lot.
Parking Lot Cost: 5 Euro
By Public Transportation: From Mittenwald, you can grab the 431 Bus in the direction of “Seefeld i. T. Bahnhof.” Ride this bus 7 stops (about 10-15 minutes, depending on the cars around the mountain) and get off right at the “Leutasch Geisterklamm” stop. From there, you just walk up the paths to the gorge.
Bus Cost: €2,70/ per direction
Leutasch Klamm Admission Cost:
Here is one of the things that I LOVE about the Leutasch Gorge….it’s free!!! (Well, mostly)
The only portion of the gorge that has an entrance fee is the waterfall itself. This is actually on private land, so they charge a small fee (3 Euro) for entrance to this section. I’ll go into more details below about this portion of the gorge if you want to go to it.
Cost: Free on all sections except the Wasserfallstieg
- 4 Euro/ Adult
- 2 Euro/ Child
- Cash Only*
Leutasch Gorge: You can actually go on the majority of the gorge all year round at any time.
Wasserfallstieg: 9am-6pm. However, in the fall and spring, it may only be open from 10am-5pm. Closed for Winter
During Inclement Weather and/or Heavy Rainfall: All portions of the gorge may be closed due to safety precautions
Leutasch Gorge or Geisterklamm?
You might see both of these names and it’s probably important to note that it is all the exact same place.
Leutasch is the location where the gorge is at, so naturally, the “Leutaschklamm” is the most correct term.
However, what makes this gorge fun for all ages is that you’ll find all sorts of ghost and goblin folklore throughout the gorge on signposts as well as activities for the kids (and kids at heart!) to participate in. The legend has it that the gorge is inhabited by a ghost (Geist) and his goblins often delight and dance in the crevices of the gorge….hence the “Geisterklamm” name.
The Hiking Paths
There are three main paths, all of which eventually intersect. You can choose to do one, two, or all three! I’ll cover each of them below. You’ll want to allow a bare minimum of 2 hours for all of the hikes, but if you want to slow down, enjoy the scenery, and take it easy, maybe even grab something to eat at one of the small cafes, then you’ll want to budget for more like 4 hours.
- Koboldpfad (about 2 kilometers) from Mittenwald
- Wasserfallstieg (about 200 meters): paid entrance free
- Klammgeisterweg (about 2.5 km) starting from Leutasch
Klammgeisterweg (Mountain Spirit Gorge Trail)
I’ll start with this path since it was, arguably, the most impressive of the three. You could easily just do this portion in 1.5-3 hours (I know, that’s a wide range, but if you are quick, you can walk it quite easily in about 45 minutes to an hour (and then that same time coming back) but if you are like me and want to take a million photos, it will take you significantly longer!)
You’ll start at the parking lot in Leutasch and pass the Cafe Restaurant where you’ll head into the woods.
Immediately, you’ll start seeing signs telling stories and legends of ghosts and goblins that live in the area. If you can read german, or have the time to translate the boards, it’s sort of fun to do so. If you’ve got high energy kids that don’t give two iotas about some fake ghost, then you’ll just have to keep on keepin’ on!
Along this path, just follow the signs for the gorge.
This is a loop, but I recommend taking the path towards the Höllbrücke first (this is well marked on the signs).
Along this route, you are mostly walking HIGH (and I do mean HIIIIGH) up on see-through metal walkways anchored into the cliffside. Sound terrifying? Only slightly. I was actually with a friend who is deathly afraid of heights and all she kept saying was, “WOW! I can’t believe how beautiful this is!!” or “Can you believe I don’t even care how high we are!?”
The railings went about chest high to me, but what is great was that they were (very strongly reinforced) mesh metal so that kids could see through them without giving parents a heart attack from fear of their kiddos somehow tumbling over. I think since the rails were so high and the metal footbridge below so sturdy, it helps anyone with a fear of heights remain (more?) calm.
I’ve been to several gorges and this route was truly unique. I loved how we were walking literally right above the gorge, with the rushing waters just (well, ok, a few hundred feet) below us. It was a really unique point of view and experience.
Along the Klammgeisterweg you’ll encounter two bridges. The first is the Höllbrücke. Don’t turn around thinking you’ve made it to the famous one yet though!
Leutaschklamm Panarama Bridge (Panoramabrücke)
Probably the highlight of the whole walk is this breathtaking (quite literally) bridge that hovers 75 meters (that’s almost 250 feet!) over the raging, turquoise water forcing its way through the mountain below you! And if that isn’t noteworthy enough, just do a 360 here. The Wetterstein Mountain looms so close it feels like you can almost reach out and touch the giant Alpine mountain from the bridge itself!!
As you walk, there are tons of really fun interactive stations as well, which tells the stories of the ghosts and goblins and teaches kids about the the gorge through things like sound and music.
Koboldpfad (Goblin Trail)
From the Klammgeisterweg, you can head onto the Koboldpfad loop. Or, if you are starting in Mittenwald, you can start on this section.
This part of the path isn’t by the gorge itself but rather in the forest wooded area nearby. If you want to learn more about the goblins in the area, this is a fun path for the kids to explore.
If you are starting from the Klammgeisterweg, heading into the Koboldpfad is a loop, so you can go either way, but I suggest taking the northern route first as you’ll reach the Klammkiosk for the falls a bit faster.
If you are doing the Wasserfallsteig, that is just an “in and out” path, so you’ll return to the Koboldpfad and continue on the loop.
On the return, you’ll pass the Gletscherschliff Restaraunt, where you can grab a bite to eat if you want before finishing up your hike back to Leutasch
Note: This was closed in 2022 when I went, so just check if you are planning on eating there
Back over on the German side of the gorge, you’ll find the Wasserfallsteig. There will be a kiosk where you pay the few Euros for entrance into the gorge.
There are a few important things to know about this section of the hike/walk
- You can do JUST this portion of the gorge without much other hiking if you want
- It is a paid entrance
- It is a SHORT path, I mean, we are talking .12 of a mile!
- This portion is NOT suitable for kids under 6 (who aren’t in carriers) as the railings are not completely barricaded from the raging river right next to the path
When you enter this portion of the gorge, it is signifincaly different from the Klammgeisterweg, where you were so high above. Here, it feels like you are practically IN the gorge. Ok, well, you ARE in the gorge!!! I mean, you are as close to being in it without getting swept away from the blue swirls right next to you.
(Note: If you are planning on seeing the Partnach Gorge in nearby Garmisch, then I actually think you can skip this part, as the Partnach has a similar vibe where you are walking within the gorge itself)
You’ll only walk a few minutes before you’ll come before the 23 meter (75 foot) high waterfall.
Which is better, Leutasch Gorge or the Garmisch Partnach Gorge?
This is tough because I think they both have big draws to each of them. I love how the majority of the Partnach is more like the Wasserfallstieg portion in Leutasch. It is RIGHT next to the gorge where you can feel it’s strength and power. However, the rest of Leutasch klamm is really unique because of how high it is and how you can practically walk over it.
I also love that the majority of Leutasch Gorge is free, whereas Partnach has a small fee.
I will also say that if you are wanting a more “Off the beaten path” experience, Leutasch is the way to go!
When is the best time to go to the Geisterklamm?
We went around 4pm (in early September) and felt like we had the entire place to ourselves! It was absolutely amazing! I imagine that in the summer, closer to 6pm would have a similar feel.
How much time is needed at the Leutasch Gorge?
If you want to do all the paths, plan on around 3 hours, give or take depending on how fast you walk and how many photos you like to take.
Is the Leutasch Gorge Dog Friendly?
Dogs aren’t forbidden, but the walkway on most of the paths are metal grate style and may not be comfortable for little paws. It is also quite high up and see-through.
Is it better to start the gorge from Mittenwald or Leutasch Austria?
It probably doesn’t matter a whole lot if you are wanting to see the whole gorge anyway. However, if you don’t have a car and are already coming from Mittenwald, then just starting from town and walking to the Gorge on the Germany side is probably the easiest. Also, if you definitely want to do the Wasserfallstieg, then starting in Mittenwald may be easier as well.
Is the Leutasch Gorge Child Friendly
This is a hard maybe. It depends on how old your children are and (let’s be honest) how well-behaved they are.
The Wasserfallstieg is not recommended for children under 6 (that aren’t in carriers) because the railing does not protect from falling. The rest of the paths are extremely high. They are safe but could be a little scary for littler ones.
However, my kids (ages 6 and 4) loved it! They had fun “trying to find the ghost” and there are so many interactive stations along the way that they had a blast!
Is the Leutaschklamm wheelchair/ stroller accessible?
No, there are lots of steps at various points
Is there a public bathroom anywhere?
At the Leutasch Parking lot, there is a bathroom that is open for public use only during open hours of the cafe
I’ll be honest and say that it is pretty hard to find hotels in Mittenwald if you don’t book in advance. You can also read my entire “Best Hotels in Garmisch” if you are looking there as well.
I typically find that when I am looking in the Garmisch/ Mittenwald area that hotels are almost ALWAYS cheaper and easier to find just over the border into Austria. If you are wanting to stay near Mittenwald, then Leutasch is the way to go! I was able to bounce back and forth each day to Mittenwald and the surrounding areas, with ease!
We stayed here at the Ahrnerhof and it was AMAZING!!! It was an amazing working farm guesthouse. The owner, Lydia, went above and beyond herself to make us feel at home! She left us fresh milk from the cows on the farm in the mornings. If you are traveling to Germany with kids, this is a HUGE winner! There was a trampoline and playset outside for the kids to play on, but what made it a place that I’ll be returning to was that Lydia let the kids help around the farm! They were able to ride the ponies in and out of the barn, helped move the bunnies from the cage out to the yard and even got to help in the barn feeding the cows, moving hay and watching them milk the cows!!!
Oh…and the views!!!!