Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 49.16953°N / 7.97959°E
Activities Activities: Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 1348 ft / 411 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Großer HahnsteinGroßer Hahnstein west face

In the south of the Annweiler Region of the Südpfalz climbing area there are a number of standalone towers, all located on to of tree-covered mountains. The southernmost ones are Hundsfels and Lebersteine south of the Kaiserbach Valley while to the north you can find Kleiner Hahnstein and Großer Hahnstein, both located high above the village of Waldrohrbach. Kleiner Hahnstein, while being located on the higher hillock is the smaller of the two towers, Großer Hahnstein looks much more impressive.

The tower is located directly above the village of Waldrohrbach on the steep slopes of the hill which bears the same name. Thanks to the slope the south face is about twice as high as the northern one and the most difficult routes are located here as well. About 10m beneath the summit there is a large overhang, which protrudes from the south face like a large disk, resembling a UFO-like flying saucer. This overhang - as to my knowledge - is still unclimbed. The most difficult routes proceed to its base and then circumvent it on either side.

Großer Hahnstein, like its little brother to the north-west, is a solitary climbing destination. The Trifels ridge with its numerous towers, Asselstein to the north-west and Hundsfels to the south draw many more visitors. Therefore - even on a fine summer day - you will be able to avoid the crowds on this piece of rock. As a disadvantage the rock is hidden beneath high beech trees so that taking decent photographs is far from easy.

Climbing routes on Großer Hahnstein

Großer HahnsteinGroßer Hahnstein south face

In contrast to neighbouring Kleiner Hahnstein, Großer Hahnstein doesn't offer easy routes. The normal route is graded 3- and there are a couple of 3s. The rest of the routes is more difficult and the overhang - up to my knowledge so far hasn't been climbed at all. The following information is linked from the site of the Vereinigung Pfälzer Kletterer I link to their routes database directly with some summary info. Here is the link to the complete database.

For more information see the book by U. Daigger and H.-J. Cron (see below)
RegionRoutes linkSummary
Großer HahnsteinGroßerHahnstein9 routes ranging from 3 - 7-

Getting There

Großer HahnsteinGroßer Hahnstein east face

Großer Hahnstein is located between the villages of Bindersbach (north) and Waldrohrbach (south). It can be reached most easily from the parking lot south of Scharfenberg Castle, right beside the road from Annweiler to Trifels. Access from Waldrohrbach means climbing all the way from the village at 250m to the crag at 410m but is the much closer approach.

The closest airports are the ones in Frankfurt and Stuttgart with the following itineraries:

From Frankfurt

There are two possible routes which both take equally long
  1. Via Ludwigshafen
    • From Frankfurt take motorway A5 southward to Darmstadt.
    • There change to A67 south.
    • At Viernheimer Dreieck turn onto A6 west.
    • Leave it at Frankenthaler Kreuz for A61 south.
    • At Mutterstädter Kreuz take A65 south until you reach Landau.
    • At Landau turn on B10 west.
        Trifels trailhead
      • Take the exit Annweiler North after you have passed the second tunnel on the road.
      • Take B48 south but after 200m leave to the left, driving into the outskirts of Annweiler.
      • After another 300m turn right (sign Trifels) and follow the side road towards the castle. You'll pass Asselstein and Kletterhütte (parking lot), then head on for anothe 1.5km. Where the road turns into a one way road there is a small parking lot.
    • Waldhambach trailhead
    • At the exit "Birkweiler, Deutsche Weinstrasse" turn onto L508 south.
    • South of the village of Eschbach turn onto B48 north-west.
    • In Waldrohrbach look for a parking place right inside the village. The shortest access is from the easternmost part of the village
  2. Via Kaiserslautern
    • From Frankfurt take motorway A3 west
    • At Mönchhofdreieck turn onto A67 south
    • At Rüsselsheimer Dreieck take A60 west
    • At Kreuz Mainz Süd take A63 south
    • At Kreuz Kaiserslautern turn onto A6 west
    • At Kreuz Landstuhl turn onto A62 south
    • At Pirmasens turn onto B10 east
    • Take the exit Annweiler North and follow the instructions above (sign Trifels)

From Stuttgart

  • Take motorway A8 to Karlsruhe
  • At Karlsruher Dreieck turn north onto A5
  • Take the next exit to head for A65
      Trifels trailhead
    • At Landau turn on B10 west.
    • Take the exit Annweiler North after you have passed the second tunnel on the road.
    • Follow the signs "Trifels" until the road turns into a one way road. Use the parking lot there.
  • Waldrohrbach trailhead
  • At the exit Rohrbach leave onto L493 west west. At Klingenmünster turn onto L503 north for several 100m.
  • Turn onto B48 north-west until you reach Waldrohrbach

Red Tape

PheasantMale pheasant - Phasianus colchicus

Like most of the sandstone cliffs of the Südpfalz area Großer Hahnstein has been declared nature monuments, which saves it from any kind of destruction (like quarrying for sandstone blocks, building houses against them etc). Moreover several general rules apply for climbing the crags:

The sandstone of Südpfalz forms lots of caves and overhangs. Though this makes it most interesting for climbers, two species of birds of prey compete for this habitat: the peregrine falcons and the eagle owls. Both are endangered and wherever there is a eagle owl pair found nesting in the sandstone the crag will immediately be closed. Generally this closure lasts from the beginning of each year through Aug. 1st. If breeding is not successful the closures will be canceled even before that date. For a list of closures see the Closure List of PK.

The use of magnesia is not allowed in the whole Südpfalz region. This is rather a directive or an arrangement than an outright law. Thus you probably will get away with using it but do so only when absolutely necessary. Magnesia closes the pores which you find in the sandstone and together they form a smooth surface which will get very slippery in wet conditions. The rule of thumb is to use magnesia in the highest difficulty sections and only extremely sparingly.

A list of guidelines can be found here (in German).


There are hotels, apartments, inns and restaurants all over the Südpfalz area. Waldrohrbach and Annweiler are located to the far east of that region and thus you can take advantage of all the accommodation which is available along the Deutsche Weinstrasse tourist region. The nearest larger towns are Landau to the north-east and Bad Bergzabern to the south-east. There are quite a number of hotels, inns, apartments to be found in the area around Annweiler and Trifels. A good link (German, however) can be found here:

As for camping there is a youth campground to the south of Waldhambach, some 5km east of the trailhead at Waldrohrbach.

Weather information

Maps & Books


As for maps there is a good overview map (1:50000) by Kompass Verlag but the best ones are the official topographic maps by the state government of Rheinland Pfalz, scaled 1:50000, 1:25000 and 1:5000. All official maps can be found on the web page of Landesvermessungsamt Rheinland Pfalz

  • Naturpark Pfälzer Wald
    Kompass Map WK766
    ISBN: 3-85491-523-3
  • Annweiler am Trifels
    LVA RLP Map L6712
    ISBN: 3-89637-191-6

  • Annweiler am Trifels
    LVA RLP Map 6713
    ISBN: 3-89637-141-X


There are a number of climbing guidebooks on the region of Südpfalz. The best ones, however, have been published privately and are sold only in selected bookshops of the region.
    • Pfälzerwald
      B. & J.-Th. Titz
      Rother Verlag
      ISBN: 3-7633-4268-0

    Climbing Guidebook

    • Klettern im Buntsandstein
      U. Daigger, H.-J. Cron
      Westpfälzische Verlagsdruckerei St. Ingbert
      ISBN: 3-00-0155457-4
    • Pfalz ++, Klettern im Buntsandstein
      R. Burkard, P. Weinrich
      Published privately
    • Klettern im Naturpark Pfälzerwald
      Naturfreunde Lambrecht
      Published privately

  • Pfalz & Nordvogesen en bloc
    A. Wenner, Y. Corby, I. Bald
    Panico Verlag
    ISBN: 3-936740-19-4