Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 47.75502°N / 12.84915°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Via Ferrata
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 5810 ft / 1771 m
Sign the Climber's Log


HochstaufenHochstaufen as seen from Padinger Alm

Hochstaufen can be named as local mountain of the town of Bad Reichenhall. Standing high above Bad Reichenhall northwest of the town and showing an equally high rockface to the north Hochstaufen is, together with the western neighbour Zwiesel, the esternmost elevation of the Chiemgau Alps within the so called Staufen subrange.

On sunny weekend hundreds of local people are flooding this prominent peak with its marvellous panorama. Offering five normal hiking routes and a difficult Via Ferrata, Pidinger Klettersteig, which overcomes the cold looking northern rocks of Hochstaufen, this mountain has multiple possibilities for traverses, ascents and descents.
And not to forget: what makes this summit so popular is Reichenhaller Haus, standing only some meters below the summit and offering food, drinks and lodging with a breathtaking view to the Berchtesgaden main peaks and spectacular sunsets and sunrises if you plan an overnight stay in this alpine mountain club hut.

Hochstaufen is near the European long distance hiking trail E 4 / Maximilianweg and thus a possible summit aim alongside this famous hiking route. And Reichenhaller Haus is for sure an alternative overnight stay for the E 4 hikers instead of the “regular overnight stay” at Zwieselalm, south of Zwiesel summits.

My favourite time for Hochstaufen (and Zwiesel) is May when I usually hike the Hochstaufen – Zwiesel traverse. The south sides and the Steinerne Jäger ascent are nearly snow free, the first spring mountain flowers are blossoming and the traverse tests your stamina: about 1800 m of altitude difference and 8 hours for the whole traverse; this is more than some high Berchtesgaden mountains can offer.

Hochstaufen and Zwiesel jutting out of the fog in the early morning lightHochstaufen (right) and Zwiesel as seen from Untersberg - thanky to MauriceRave
Hochstaufen, 1.771mHochstaufen as seen from the east - thanks to flow
Hochstaufen, 1.771mHochstaufen as seen from the east - thanks to flow

Getting There

HochstaufenView to Bad Reichenhall

Main trailheads for Hochstaufen are:

  • Bad Reichenhall / Padinger Alm

  • Piding

  • Inzell / Adlgaß

  • Use highway A 8 from Munich or Austrian highway (toll road) A 1 to the exit Piding / Bad Reichenhall.

    For Piding trailheads follow road B 20 a short distance in the direction of Bad Reichenhall. Leave this road to the west (Teisendorfer Straße) until you reach the little villages of Urwies (first trailhead) and Unterberg (second trainhead). There are parking areas for hikers and the via ferrata fans of Pidinger Klettersteig (signposts).

    For Padinger Alm trailhead follow the road number 20 to Bad Reichenhall. Leave the road to cross the river Saalach at the signposts to Schneizlreuth, Karlstein, Nonn.
    Immediately after the bridge turn right at the traffic light and follow the road to Nonn. Where the road turns to western direction take the first road to the right (signposts to Padinger Alm). The first trailhead, a small parking area in the woods, is to the right where the road ascends more steeply. The Padinger Alm trailhead is at the parking area below Padinger Alm at the end of the road.

    For Adlgaß trailhead leave the highway A 8, München – Salzburg – at the exit Traunstein / Siegsdorf and follow the road number 306 to Inzell.
    From Bad Reichenhall follow road number St2101 and 305 to Inzell.
    At Inzell follow the local roads to the east, passing Würau, Eck and arriving at the parking area of Adlgaß.

    Main Routes Overview

    HochstaufenMain Routes Overview

    There are five main routes to Hochstaufen summit, which can be combined easily to interesting traverses.

  • Piding trailheads
    Use trail number 14 from Urwies trailhead or trail number 15 from Unterberg trailhead until both trails meet.
    After this trail junction there is another trail junction:
    Follow the left hand trail up to Steinerne Jäger and the Steinerne Jäger Steig which uses the east ridge up to Reichenhaller Haus and the summit.
    Follow alternatively the forest road straight ahead to Kochalm and Steineralm. Use the trail to Bayerisches Stiegl and up the steep north slope to the summit.
    Follow alternatively the signposts to Pidinger Klettersteig.

  • Adlgaß trailhead
    Follow trail number 14 to Bayerisches Stiegl and the north slope trail up to the summit.

  • Padinger Alm trailhead
    Follow the forest road until a signposted trail junction:
    The left hand trail leads up to Bartlmahd and to Reichenhaller Haus / summit – this is the main normal summit route.
    The right hand route ascends to Steinerne Jäger and the trail junction with the northern trails, leading up to Steinerne Jäger. Follow the Steinerne Jäger route up the east ridge to the Reichenhaller Haus and the summit.

  • Traverse route:
    Hochstaufen – Zwiesel traverse.

  • HochstaufenSteinerne Jäger trail
    HochstaufenHochstaufen - Zwiesel traverse
    HochstaufenEarly blossoms

    Red Tape and Accommodation

    HochstaufenReichenhaller Haus as seen from Steinerne Jäger Steig

    There is no red tape as far as I know.

    All types of accommodation can be found at

  • Bad Reichenhall

  • Piding

  • Inzell

  • Weißbach / Jochberg

  • Mountain huts and inns

  • Reichenhaller Haus

  • Zwieselalm

  • Padinger Alm

  • Gasthof List

  • Gasthof Adlgaß

  • Gear, Mountain Condition & Maps

    HochstaufenSummit view to Hochkalter

    Hochstaufen is a spring, summer and autumn hiking mountain. The south routes can be snow free early in spring. The traverse Hochstaufen – Zwiesel is normally open in april / may until the first heavy snowfalls.

    The hiking routes require full hiking gear, good shoes and – as to Steinerne Jäger route and Hochstaufen – Zwiesel traverse route – some rock scrambling experiences (UIAA grade I, mainly secured with fixed ropes).

    Pidinger Klettersteig is a difficult via ferrata which requires some experience and full self belaying gear.

    The following maps can be recommended:

    Alpenvereinskarte Bayerische Alpen
    Scale 1 : 25.000
    Number BY 19, Chiemgauer Alpen Ost, Sonntagshorn

    Kompass Wanderkarte
    Scale 1 : 50.000
    Number WK 14 Berchtesgadener Land-Chiemgauer Alpen ISBN: 3-85491-017-7

    Current weather:

    Check the weather forecast here.



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    Chiemgau AlpsMountains & Rocks