Hoher Fricken

Hoher Fricken

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 47.53195°N / 11.15434°E
Additional Information County: Bavaria
Activities Activities: Hiking, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 6365 ft / 1940 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Hoher FrickenHoher Fricken summit and Wetterstein range (april 2011)

Together with Krottenkopf, the highest peak of Estergebirge and the whole Bavarian Prealp range, Hoher Fricken is the most frequented summit of Estergebirge. This is mainly due to the fact that there are several easy hiking routes leading to the top which can be combined to nice traverses. It is, too, the beautiful landscape, the awesome views from the summit and the possibility for a combined “biking and hiking” which makes this summit a main target within Estergebirge.

Standing north of Wank and separated by Esterbergalm, a broad meadow col, Hoher Fricken is the southernmost “high summit” of Estergebirge, dominating the southern part of Loisachtal valley and Garmisch - Partenkirchen to the northeast.

Hoher Fricken is simply the highest point of a south - north and northeast running ridge which drops down with nearly 1.300 m of altitude difference to Loisachtal and Farchant, one of the trailhead villages. Steep meadows and woods are orientated in southeastern direction down to Finzbach valley and to the broad valley of Wallgau and Krün. To the northeast Hoher Fricken is separated by an unnamed col from the neighbouring summit Bischof.

On the southwest side of Hoher Fricken is located the Kuhflucht spring, a huge karst spring which has nearly the whole Estergebirge as drainage area. In times of high precipitation or during snow melting this spring can deliver incredible high amounts of water. The name has nothing to do with fleeing cows. It is a strangely altered latin name: ad confluctum, at the confluence. It is the confluence of this creek with the Loisach riverwhich gave the name for this interesting karst feature.

The Kuhflucht trail to Hoher Fricken is my favourite ascent route, very steep in parts but with beautiful views to the spring, the cascades and to the adjacent mountains and valleys.

Short video of the lower Kuhflucht cascades:

Getting There

Hoher FrickenHoher Fricken and Kuhflucht cirque as seen from Farchant (april 2011)

Main trailheads for Hoher Fricken are
Farchant and
Garmisch - Partenkirchen / Wank cableway valley station.

From Munich

use highway A 95 and road number B 2 to reach Oberau, Farchant or Garmisch Partenkirchen, Wank cableway station.

  • For the Wank cableway parking area follow the signposts to the cableway at the northern rim of Partenkirchen.

  • For the Oberau trailhead leave the road number B 2 at Oberau railway station, cross the railway and follow Lagerhausstraße, Flößerstraße to the right. Park your car before or after crossing the bridge over river Loisach.

  • For the Farchant trailheads leave the road number B 2 after Oberau (signposts to Farchant) before entering the long tunnel which bypasses Farchant. Leave the road at Farchant / Hotel Alter Wirt to the left (Bahnhofstraße) and cross the railways and the river Loisach. Take the second road after the bridge to the left (Kuhfluchtweg) and go on to the parking area (2011: no fee).
    Alternatively steer right after the bridge and follow Esterbergstraße until you reach some meadows. The beginning of a forest road crossing these meadows is the trailhead. Go on for about 300 m, there is a parking area on the right hand of the road.

  • Hoher FrickenLower Kuhflucht cascades (april 2011)
    Hoher FrickenKuhflucht spring(april 2011)

    From Innsbruck

    or Inntal valley leave the highway A 12 (toll road) at the exit Zirl and follow the road number 177 to Scharnitz and B 2 to Mittenwald and Krün. From there choose B 2 to Partenkirchen or Farchant.

  • For the Wank cableway parking area follow the signposts to the cableway at the northern end of Partenkirchen.

  • For the Farchant trailheads leave the road number B 2 at the northern end of Partenkirchen (signposts to Farchant) before entering the long tunnel. Leave the road at Farchant / Hotel Alter Wirt to the right (Bahnhofstraße) and cross the railways and the river Loisach. Take the second road after the bridge to the left (Kuhfluchtweg) and go on to the parking area (fee required).
    Alternatively steer right after the bridge and go on for about 400 m until you reach some meadows and a (good) Italian restaurant on your left. Park your car alongside the road (Esterbergstraße) were it is allowed.

  • For the Oberau trailhead see above, section “from Munich”.

  • Railway

    The railway München - Innsbruck gives access to the Loisach valley and the trailheads Oberau, Farchant and Garmisch - Partenkirchen. There are railway stations at these villages.
    See the railway schedule here .
    It is best to use the Farchant trailheads with the railway because Farchant station is very close to the trailheads.

    Main Routes Overview

    Hoher FrickenView from Kuhflucht trail to Zugspitze(april 2011)

    There are several hiking routes which can easily be combined to nice traverses of the mountain. Good hikers may summit neighbouring Bischof summit or go on to Weilheimer Hütte and Krottenkopf.

  • Farchant trailheads:
  • Kuhflucht trail, starting at the end of Kuhfluchtweg (parking area; 2011: no fee):
    Follow the forest road to the Kuhflucht creek and the trail running parallel to the creek until you reach the lower Kuhflucht cascades and a bridge. Cross the bridge and start to zigzag up a steep and narrow trail to the top of the cirque. Don´t forget to have a look on the higher Kuhflucht cascades or the Frickenhöhle (cave).

  • Above Kuhflucht cirque there is a trail junction (no signposts). The trail to the right goes to Esterbergalm, the trail to Hoher Fricken ascends to the left and traverses the west slopes of Hoher Fricken. In the dwarf pine zone the trail abruptly turns right and ascends the northern summit meadows to the north ridge near the summit (summit cross is not on the highest point of the ridge.

    Hoher FrickenKuhflucht trail panorama (april 2011)

  • Esterbergalm trails:
    Some steps north of the trailhead parking area a forest road starts on your right. Follow the road some 400 m to signposts leading you to Hoher Fricken and Esterbergalm. Follow the trail up to the forest road from Partenkirchen to Esterbergalm (trail numbers TKW, W1, K6) and follow this road to the left until you reach the col and the meadows of Esterbergalm.
    Short behind the col there is a trail starting at your left (signposts). Follow this trail up to the saddle between Hoher Fricken and Bischof and use the northeast ridge to Hoher Fricken.

  • Alternatively follow at a trail junction near a clearing and an Alm hut (no signposts, can easily be missed when ascending) the trail to the left; this trail uses the east slopes and the south ridge to reach the summit.

  • You reach Esterbergalm, too, starting at Krün or Wallgau and following the Finzbach valley (trail numbers 450, 451, 452, 453, KRE) with the interesting Finzbach canyon at the end of the valley up to the Esterbergalm inn and the starting point of the Esterberg trails. As the Finzbach valley is a long hike this can be better done with a mountain bike.

  • Partenkirchen / Wank cableway trailhead.
    Simply follow the forest road to Esterbergalm (trail numbers TKW, W1, K6) and go on as described above (Esterbergalm trails).

  • [
    Hoher FrickenEsterberg trail signposts (april 2011)
    Hoher FrickenEsterberg trail Hoher Fricken south slopes(april 2011)

  • Oberau trail:
    Trail number Ost leads you from the parking area in southeastern direction across the Loisachtal valley to Brandgraben, where a steep zigzag trail starts ascending to Schafalm and Frickenkar. In Frickenkar the trail bends in northern direction and reaches a trail junction. Straight on is the direction to Weilheimer Hütte, the Hoher Fricken ascent is to the right. The trail reaches the unnamed col between Hoher Fricken and Bischof and the trail junction with the Esterberg trail. Follow the northeastern ridge to the summit.

  • Ski tour route:
    Ascend the forest road to Esterbergalm, starting at Wank cablecar valley station. Go on to Hintere Esterbergalm. The first route leads up (or down) steep Tränkgraben just before you enter the clearing of Hintere Esterbergalm and uses the south ridge to gain the summit.
    The second route uses the southeast slopes of Hoher Fricken starting 1 km northeast of Hintere Esterbergalm where the forest road of Finzbachtal and the trail to Weilheimer Hütte meat.

  • Red Tape & Accomodation

    Hoher FrickenHoher Fricken as seen from the north (april 2011)

    In general there are, as far as I know, no restrictions around Hoher Fricken.
    There are, however, two winter protection zones to be respected by ski tourists and snowshoe hikers: Hoher Fricken northeast ridge between the summit and the unnamed col between the summit and Bischof (retreat zone of snow grouses) and the lower wood zones directly north of Esterbergalm.

    All types of accomodation can be found at

  • Oberau

  • Farchant

  • Garmisch-Partenkirchen

  • Krün

  • Mountain huts

  • As private mountain inn Esterbergalm, southeast of the summit, offers food.

  • Weilheimer Hütte (1955 m; 6414 feet)

  • Wankhaus (1780 m; 5840 feet)

  • Hoher FrickenAuricula primula (april 2011)
    Hoher FrickenCrocus (april 2011)

    Gear & Mountain Condition

    Hoher FrickenStrange trees on Kuhflucht trail(april 2011)

    Hoher Fricken is a nice hike during spring, summer and autumn.

    The south and east orientated trails are normally free of snow from may to late autumn. In winter and early spring Hoher Fricken can be tackled with snow shoes, too.

    Kuhflucht trail and Oberau trail can be a bit tricky with snow cover in their upper parts - there is some avalanche danger at the northwest orientated summit meadows, too.

    Normal hiking gear and good boots are sufficient. Gaiters can be useful during a springtime hike.

    Hoher Fricken can be climbed with skies, too. It is not a very popular ski tour. Due to the steep, in some parts dwarf pine overgrown slopes the downhill routes are not dream routes! Please respect the winter protection zones as described in the Red Tape section.

    Current Weather:

    Map & Guide Book

    Hoher FrickenHoher Fricken northeast ridge trail(april 2011)

    Alpenvereinskarte, scale 1 : 25.000
    Blatt BY 9: Estergebirge, Herzogstand, Wank
    DAV, 2009

    Topographische Karte von Bayern, scale 1 : 50.000
    Karwendelgebirge, Werdenfelser Land

    There is no hiking or mountaineering guide book for Estergebirge or this summit.

    Doris Neumayr, Thomas Neumayr: Skitourenführer Karwendel, Rofan, Wetterstein: mit Ammergauer Alpen, Estergebirge, Isarwinkel, Mieninger Kette, Panico Alpinverlag; Auflage: 2. Auflage. (Februar 2010) ISBN-13: 978-3936740462



    Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

    Bavarian Pre-AlpsMountains & Rocks
    EstergebirgeMountains & Rocks