Heimgarten is located at the northern end of the alps with no higher mountain further to the north. This provides a spectecular panorama to the north with all the lakes of southern Bavaria. On bright days even Munich (about 70km away) is cleary visible. Additionally to a nice view to the north the summit is a perfect viewpoint for Karwendel and Wetterstein mountains as well as Ammergau Alps. But this is still not enough. From the summit the Walchensee and Kochelsee lakes complete the splendid and perfect panorama.
Because of the panorama and its easily reachable trailheads the mountain is very popular and crowded on sunny days in summer and winter. Another reason for the crowds is the near cablecar up to Herzogstand which saves you about 800m of altitude difference. From Herzogstand you have a nice and easy ridge route to Heimgarten which is said to be one of the most beautiful ridge tours of the alps. But since the cablecar goes up Herzogstand, the summit of Heimgarten is not as crowded as Herzogstand.
During the winter months the mountain is a bit more lonely since the cablecar isn' t operating. But this doesn' t mean you' re alone there. Ski touring Heimgarten is also very common. As I visited the mountain in winter I met several people at the summit talking about how often they visited it (some summited very often!).
Summing it all up Heimgarten is a perfect viewpoint and worth a visit. To enjoy the mountain a bit mor lonely I recommend to ascent from Ohlstadt since this route is more unknown but beautiful and the views along the trail are exiting.
Maps And Routes Overview
MapsUnfortunately I only know one map with all routes visible.
- KOMPASS #7 - Murnau-Kochel-Staffelsee (1:50 000, ISBN: 978-3-85491-009-1)
A good overview map of the laked area of southern Bavaria
- From Ohlstadt
Follow trail #441 up to to summit. Additionally you may visit Käser Alm via trail #443. Both trails join close to the summit. Another variation is trail #442 leading along Buchrain and Rauheck (I guess that one is pretty lonely).
- From Eschenlohe
You need to pick one of the trails to Hirschauhut. From there follow trail #404 up to Ohlstädter Alm and from there further up to the summit.
- From Walchensee
Simple follow trail H5 from the village up to the summit.
- East ridge from Herzogstand
This easy and secured ridge from Herzogstand to Heimgarten is said to be one of the most beautiful ridge tours of the alps. The trail follows the ridge starting at the summit of Herzogstand. There is a chairlift up to Herzogstand or follow the trail starting at Walchensee. Combinded with the route from Walchensee up to Heimgarten this ridge offers a splendid traverse.
Public transportationYou have to get on the train from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen which stops in Ohlstadt and Eschenlohe about every hour. From Garmisch-Partenkirchen you have train connections to Innsbruck (Austria) and Rheutte (Austria). From Munich a train to nearly every destination is available. For more information about time tables visit the homepage of the Deutsche Bahn. As said above, the trailhead at Walchensee is not easily reachable by public transportation. Bus 9608 leaves from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Walchensee (not very often) and the ride lasts about one hour.
CarFirst of all you have to get to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Both trailheads Eschenlohe and Ohlstadt are accessible from the highway A95 from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen or road B2 leading to the north. At Eschenlohe there is a parking lot below Heldenkreuz. The parking lot at the trailhead at Ohlstadt is very small so make sure to be there early especially in winter.
To get to Walchensee you have to follow road B2 from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Austria (Mittenwald/Seefeld). At the town of Krün you have to leave the road and follow B11 towards Walchensee. I think there is a parking lot close to the falley station of the cablecar up to Herzogstand.
When To ClimbHerzogstand is a very popular mountain and visited the hole year. During the winter mounts you have to be careful, since the slopes of Heimgarten are reasonably steep so avalanches may be a threat.
Red TapeThere are no permits, fees or seasonal closures. The mountain isn' t part of any nature reservation area.
The parking lot at Ohlstadt is free (but very small). I don' t know about parking at Eschenlohe or Walchensee.
CampingThere is a hut close to the summit of Heimgarten, which is open from May to Octobre. Note that there is no possibilty to stay overnight at the hut. Since Heimgarten is not part of a nature reservation area, it is not forbidden to pitch a tent on an ice spot.
Multilangual homepage of the Deutsche Bahn providing information about train connections not only in Germany.
Producer of good hiking maps of the hole alps.
Homepage of the cablecar up to Herzogstand. Unfortunately this page is in german only.