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Rheinland Pfalz, Germany, Europe
Hiking, Sport Climbing, Toprope, Scrambling
Spring, Summer, Fall
1040 ft / 317 m
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Created On: Mar 6, 2007
Last Edited On: Nov 21, 2007


Vorderer HornsteinVorderer and Hinterer Hornstein

Perhaps the Hornsteine crags to the east of Lug in the Südpfalz Region are not the most important climbing cliffs you can find but currently they are the most accessible ones, thanks to the fact that a recent storm knocked down the neighbouring trees. For once, the two towers and accompanying massif are not hidden beneath the forest canopy and since the fallen trees have already been removed access and views are as good as they can get.

The Hornsteine Crags are located low on the Heischberg south-west ridge to the east of the village of Lug and from the top of the formation you have good views across the village towards Luger Friedrich and Höllfelsen on the south slopes of Höllenberg. The three parts of the formation are aligned perfectly in west-easterly direction, in fact heading up all the way to the Heischberg summit. The westernmost part is Vorderer Hornstein, a prominent tower with a broad cone shaped base and a small, overhanging summit block. Its faces are structured, thus offering easy climbing routes, especially from the eastern side. The next in line is Hinterer Hornstein, a much smaller and plumper formation. However, though the crag is also quite structured, the south-west face offers a flat near vertical slab with a couple of difficult routes. The easternmost part of the formation is the Hornstein Massiv, rising out of and running up the surrounding mountain slopes - like so many of the Südpfalz crags do. Its west face is flat and slightly overhanging. Additionally there are a number of boulders to the east of Hornstein Massiv.

The Hornsteine can be a good alternative if the neighbouring crags (like Luger Friedrich, Höllenfelsen or Wernersberger Geiersteine) are overcrowded, which can easily happen on fine spring and summer weekends.

Hornsteine Climbing

Hornstein MassivHornsteinmassiv west face

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.

RegionRoutes linkSummary
Vorderer HornsteinVorderer Hornstein2 routes 2 and 6
Hinterer HornsteinHinterer Hornstein3 routes ranging from 2 - 6
Hornstein MassivHornstein Massiv3 routes rated 3+ - 4

Getting There

Lug and Luger FriedrichSummit view Hornsteinmassiv across Lug

The Hornsteine are located to the east of the village of Lug. They can be reached from the village itself by a short 5min hike along a forest path.

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.
    • Take the exit Annweiler North after you have passed the second tunnel on the road.
    • Take K65 through Sarnstall to Lug
  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 Hauenstein exit and drive along L495 to Lug.

From Stuttgart

  • Take motorway A8 to Karlsruhe
  • At Karlsruher Dreieck turn north onto A5
  • Take the next exit to head for A65
  • At Landau turn on B10 west.
  • Take the exit Annweiler North after you have passed the second tunnel on the road.
  • Take K65 through Sarnstall to Lug

Red Tape

Yes, there is red tape and lots of it. 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 Hornsteine are relatively low crags so that the birds usually avoid nesting there, however.

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).


The following accomodation link offers hotels in the larger region (50km circle).

Weather Conditions

The closest available weather information is the one for Pirmasens (40km to the north-west):
Pirmasens weather

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
  • Bad Bergzabern
    LVA RLP Map L6912
    ISBN: 3-89637-194-0

  • Bad Bergzabern, 6813, ISBN: 3-89637-148-7


    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

      • Klettern im Buntsandstein
        U. Daigger, H.-J. Cron
        Published privately and out of print
      • 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