Jochberg: Why You Need To Do This Hike In The German Alps

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The Jochberg is a popular mountain for day hikers and is accessible year-round.

The Jochberg offers an amazing opportunity to drink in the wonderful views not only but in winter too. Considering that I love snowshoeing, this hike is high on my list.

View of Kochelsee from the summit.

Where Is Jochberg?

Jochberg is just 80.5km away from Munich and makes for an excellent day trip. It is located near Urfeld and not far from the town of Kochel, near the Kochelsee. The mountain is 1567m high and is part of the first range of mountains of the Alps in southern Germany. Jochberg sits in the middle of 2 great lakes, the Kochelsee and the Walchensee, which makes it a popular destination for locals and residents of Munich. Its popularity makes the hike anything but solitary, but the spectacular views from the summit make the lack of solitude worth it.

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Hiking The Jochberg

The Jochberg is an easy hike from the start of the trail in Kesselberg, which makes it popular for people of all ages. Although the hike is easy, you will find some of the trail can get quite steep where the climbing elevation is confined to a small distance. But if you are moderately fit you shouldn’t really have a problem here. The trail is also frequented by paragliders who use the summit as a launch site. I would imagine that it is probably a great experience, especially since the lakes are so beautiful.

On a clear day you can see the Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower) in Munich to the north.  Despite peering into what I thought was a northern direction for some time, no Olympiaturm came into sight. The Olympiaturm is located around 60km away, pretty neat if it doesn’t elude you.

When you get tired of looking at the Kochelsee,  or the evading Olympic Tower, simply turn around and look over the other side.  Here you will have a great view of the Walchensee, a popular lake for windsurfers.  And for the more adventurous, you can dive and search for the rumored treasure.

The Jochberg is a nice easy summit that can be completed in ~ 4 hours round trip.  It has an elevation gain of 703 m.  It gives you a nice workout without feeling like you want to keel over and die. If you are looking to make the hike a little more challenging then you can always start from the town of Jachenau or Kochel instead of Kesselberg.

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View of the Walchensee from the summit
View of the Walchensee from the summit

Why I Enjoyed This Hike

While the view of the Walchensee is good from the Jochberg, they’re even better from the nearby peaks of Herzogstand and Heimgarten, favored by Bavarian Royals.  We were fortunate enough to have a sunny 15 C day in November so I was soaking in the view for all it was worth.  I  spent over an hour on the summit thinking about my upcoming vacation plans.  All the while conversing in both English and attempted German with my new hiking friends.

Between the months of May and October, you can stop at the Jocheralm. The Jocheralm is a small farmhouse near the summit where you can enjoy a cold drink and some light meals. It is a popular place for hikers and mountain bikers to stop when descending. The Jocheralm is usually open every day in this period besides Mondays.

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Views of the Bavarian Alps
Views of the Bavarian Alps

What To Know Before You Go To Jochberg

  • It is reachable via public transport.  The bus stop just steps away from the trailhead on Kesselberg Pass Road at the northern end of the Walchensee.
  • If your a climber and enjoy ice climbing then visit Jochberg during winter when the north face of the mountain offers some great climbing opportunities. If your not a climber though then I would advise that you should stick to the normal trail where you can snowshoe.
  • The hike is popular all year round, perfect for the all-season adventurer.
  • If you are visiting during the busier months I would advise that you try to do the hike in the early morning as there are fewer people and you can spend more time enjoying the summit.
  • You can find accommodation in Walchen at the Gästehaus Seehof, which is located on the edge of the Walchensee. You can also find accommodation in Kochel near the Kochelsee at the Hotel Sonnenspitz. It’s a great way to spend a weekend away from the big city.

I would definitely hike the Jochberg again.  It’s great as a shoulder season hike that’s not too far from Munich.  And it offers great views for relatively minimal effort.

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