Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 47.45700°N / 12.90297°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 8215 ft / 2504 m
Sign the Climber's Log


BreithornBreithorn south face

Standing high above Saalfelden and showing an impressive rockwall to the south and southwest, Breithorn, as one of the summits of the southern ridge crest of Steinernes Meer in the Berchtesgaden Alps, is rather easy to climb on its northeastern normal route. Those gently ascending, rolling stone waves, which gave the name Steinernes Meer to this huge stone and karst plateau, built up of Dachsteinkalk, a limestone created in the triassic Tethys ocean, give way for an interesting ski ascent (and descent !) in springtime, too. Thus Breithorn is nearly a whole year summit.

Being one of the “home summits” of the nearby alpine club hut Riemannhaus, Breithorn is often summited within a one or two day hike or a more extended traverse of Steinernes Meer and the adjacent mountain ranges. In winter / spring, Breithorn is one of the summits of an extended Große Reibn, the famous ski hike traverse around Königsee.

The Saalfeldener Höhenweg traverses Breithorn summit, being a beautiful high trail from Riemannhaus to Persailhorn and Peter Wiechenthaler Hütte on the southern slopes of Steinernes Meer.

Look out: you shurely will recognize the fossilized shells of the old scallop Megalodon in the Dachstein limestone; named “cows step mussel” as the lateral cut through this fossil resembles an imprint of a cow.

Getting There

BreithornBreithorn as seen from ascent to Schönfeldspitze

The main valley trailheads for Breithorn are Saalfelden or Maria Alm on the south side of Steinernes Meer.

You reach these neighbouring villages from

  • Kufstein / Inntal valley using road number 173 and 164

  • Traunstein or Berchtesgaden region in Germany by driving to Lofer on road number 178 and by going on on road number 311 to Saalfelden

  • Salzburg and Salzach valley by using highway A 8 (Tauernautobahn) to the exit Bischofshofen or Knoten Pongau and following road number 164 to Saalfelden

  • Zell am See and the southern regions by using road number 311 from Zell am See

  • You reach Saalfelden by train, too, from Kufstein - Wörgl - Kitzbühel or from Salzburg - Bischofshofen.
    For the schedules please refer to the ÖBB homepage.

    From Maria Alm follow the road into Griesbachwinkl and Sandten valley. After some kilometers the road changes into a dirt road which climbs up steeply to the parking area at about 1200 m height.

    After the parking area the road is closed for public traffic. Follow the road up to the supply cableway valley station of Riemannhaus. Follow then the trail number 401 steeply up into the valley between Breithorn and Sommerstein / Schöneck up to Ramseider Scharte and to Riemannhaus. Spectacular views to the Sommerstein tower.

    At the last switchback of the dirtroad (about 1.500 m high) before you reach the cableway valley station there is a trail junction with signposts “Breithorn Südwandsteig”, another more difficult ascent route from Maria Alm.

    Riemannhaus as starting point for the northeastern normal route can be reached, too, from the adjacent mountain huts:

  • from Kärlinger Haus / Funtensee via trail number 412 and Viehkogeltalsteig or number 413 via Baumgartl and Wunderquelle, one of the rare fountains on this karst plateau; trailhead to Kärlinger Haus is at the Sankt Bartholomä chapel / Königsee (to be reached only with a ferryboat from Berchtesgaden, see the schedule here)

  • from Ingolstädter Haus via trail number 401, Eichstätter Weg; trailhead for Ingolstädter Haus is Weißbach near Lofer; follow trail number 401 through the Dießbachtal to the hut

  • from Peter Wiechenthaler Hütte via trail number 412 to Weißbachscharte and Wegscheid and trail number 401 (Eichstätter Weg) to Riemannhaus; trailhead for Peter Wiechenthaler Hütte is Saalfelden / Bachwinkl, follow the signposts to the hut via Mueßbacheck and Kreuzweg

  • Red Tape

    BreithornBreithorn northeast ridge with the normal route from Riemannhaus

    Breithorn is not part of the Nationalpark Berchtesgaden.

    There are no special restrictions as far as I know.

    Main Routes Overview

    Saalfeldener HoehenwegBreithorn as seen from Mitterhorn

    Normal Route

    At Riemannhaus follow the signposts to Breithorn and Saalfeldener Höhenweg. The trail passes some nice karst features and climbes the northeast exposed, easy rock and scree slopes up to the summit without any extraordinary difficulties (marked with red - white signs).

    Short and quite easy trail.


    Up to now I unfortunately have only common information about this trail.

    The route is marked with red dots. From the trailhead at the last switchback of the supply road to the supply cableway valley station to Riemannhaus it traverses to a hunters cabin and ascends steeply up to point 1887 m (see Alpenverein topo map). It then traverses the southern rockfaces up to the summit, marked but with no fixed ropes or any other Via Ferrata devices. My information say that rock climbing up to UIAA grade III is required.

    If you have any more detailed information about this trail I´ll be happy to add them.

    Round trip Maria Alm trailhead - Südwandsteig - Breithorn - Riemannhaus - Maria Alm trailhead can be done as a strenuous days hike.

    Saalfeldener Höhenweg

    This alpine trail connects Peter Wiechenthaler Hütte and Riemannhaus via Breithorn, Mitterhorn and Persailhorn. This is a great traverse for the mountaineer experienced in rock scramble with UIAA grade I / II. For further information please refer to my Saalfeldener Höhenweg SP page.

    BreithornBreithorn (right) as seen from Persailhorn

    BreithornBreithorn as seen from near Persailhorn

    BreithornBreithorn as seen from Mitterhorn


    BreithornAt Breithorn summit

    Accomodations of all kind - hotels, bed & breakfast, campgrounds - can be found in all major villages around Steinernes Meer:

  • Saalfelden>

  • Maria Alm

  • Lofer

  • Ramsau

  • Berchtesgaden

  • The following adjacent mountain huts offer overnight stays:

  • Riemannhaus

  • Peter - Wiechenthaler Hütte

  • Kärlinger Haus

  • Ingolstädter Haus

  • Wasseralm ( only overnight facilities, not a guarded hut)

  • Mountain Conditions and Gear

    BreithornAscent to Riemannhaus from Maria Alm

    Mountain Conditions

    Breithorn is a nearly all year round summit.

    In late winter and spring it is a nice and easy ski hike which is done mainly from Kärlinger Haus and often in connection with the ski traverse Große Reibn.

    In summer and autumn it is an easy hike on the normal route. The ascent via Saalfeldener Höhenweg is more demanding and long. The Südwandsteig is - due to the information I have - a difficult and marked route with rock climbing up to UIAA grade III.


    You need normal hiking gear with good boots for the normal route.

    Helmet, hareness and Via Ferrata kit is recommended for the Saalfeldener Höhenweg (especially in connection with one of the Via Ferratas to Persailhorn). A rope for belaying can be necessary on the Südwandsteig.

    Bring enough to drink. As a karst plateau, Steinernes Meer nearly has no water for resupply.


    The following topo maps are recommended:

    Alpenvereinskarte scale 1 : 25.000
    Blatt 10/1, Steinernes Meer, 2006

    Topografische Karte von Österreich, scale 1 : 50.000
    Blatt 124



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    Berchtesgaden AlpsMountains & Rocks