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The classic Karwendel round trip

Length: 71km / Height: 1700m /  Time ca.: 6.5h





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by admin (08/2001)

Starting point: Mittenwald, Seinsbach
Stations (sorry, only in German):   Mittenwald (913m)  -  Ried (925m)  -  Scharnitz (964m)  -  Sonnenplatten (1100m)  -  Larchet Alm (1174m)  -  Karwendelhaus (1771m)  -  Kleiner Ahornboden (1399m)  -  Hinterriß (928m)  -  Vordersbacher Au (1282m)  -  Bärnbach (1109m)  -  Fereinalm (1410m)  -  Seinsbach (900m)

Synopsis: The it-is-a-must mountain bike tour in the Karwendel region. Anything you like is offered: great mountainous landscape sightseeing in the Alps, heavy uphills, fast downhills and comfortable lodges for a rest. And, if the descent to Kleiner Ahornboden has been freshly gravelled, you will have a nice down drift, too. See also the Karwendel Trip with GPS Data on MTB Germany

Variants: Stop and return at Karwendelhaus, or just ride with your kids and stop at Larchet Alm. If you are not breathing heavily at the Kleiner Ahornboden, you may add the trail to the Falkenhütte. For fans of gravelled uphills - ride the tour clockwise.


Your best starting point for this MTB trip should be Mittenwald. Mittenwald is a small town in the middle of the Alps located near munich in Germany and famous for its mountains and violins. Parking areas are located at the Seinsbach or at the Karwendelbahn. From here you can start with a warm up and speed down at the end of the day. The first 7km are flat rolling through the Ried to Scharnitz, where we turn in front of the church to the left following the signs to Karwendeltäler.

Die klassische Karwendelrunde

After crossing the bridge over the Isar river we leave this street to the left and have our first steep climb. At the first turn we say goodbye to asphalt and take the way to the right. At about km 10 you can lay back and enjoy the surroundings. Below the Sonnenplatten and along the Karwendelbach, passing Karwendelsteg, Schanzlklamm and Pleisenreise the ride climbs gently to the Larchetalm resort. If you are hungry, you may have a Kaiserschmarrn there - but better to wait with lunch until you have reached the Karwendelhaus after a comfortable ride to Angeralm and a steeper finish over about 300 meters of altitude over gravelled serpentines.

Fresh and well-fed we check the upward traction of our tyres on a short uphill to Hochalmsattel, fix our helmet and ride down the first 400 meters and 5 km down to Kleiner Ahornboden.

Die klassische Karwendelrunde

Whether the downhill is a struggle or fun depends on how fresh the gravel on the way down from Hochalm is. The first kilometer is often loose gravel. Afterwards downhill gets better most of the time and leads us down over rocky cart trails. Shortly before we arrive at the Ahornboden a deep gravelled trench waits for us. It is OK if you push your bike there. 

If you are still fresh at the Ahornboden, you may take an extra trip to the Falkenhütte. Turn to the right at the von-Barth monument and for 6 km in distance and 450 m more in altitude. Your reward will be a picturesque view to one of Karwendel's greatest climbing areas, the walls of the Laliderer.

The way further, after a short sun tanning rest, goes straight ahead, past the monument and onto the Johannistal downhill ride for the next 10 kilometers. Wide forrest roads let us set a new personal high speed and the small ascent at the dilapidated Johannestalalm may be taken with the large chainring.

We pass the sign "Schluchtweg gesperrt" in Rißbachtal and carry on straight ahead until we reach the street at Hinterriß. After the small village we leave the asphalt following the sign to "Fereinalm". We climb about 4 km on a comfortable forest road and climb 340 m in altitude when we pass the Vordersbacher Au and ride down to Bärnbach Furt. Depending on the depth of water we balance over the rocks or wade through the water. You should not turn to right then, because the way down to Vorderriß is heavily blocked for bikers. Die klassische Karwendelrunde
So we turn to the left and take the last 3 km and 270 m forest path uphill to Vereinalm and the new Krinner-Kofler Hütte. The old one was destroyed in winter 2001 by an avalanche.
Die klassische Karwendelrunde

The last highlight of our trip is a homemade apple cake. But it is only available if we are not too late and the weather forecast was not too bad. Then a last short uphill and we fly down to Mittenwald. Be aware of oncoming car traffic.