Scenic Hike Jochberg


“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” ‍- David McCullough Jr.

Quick Facts

What To Expect





General InfoS

   Distance ~9 km

     Total time needed ~4.5 hours

  Total elevation ~750 meters

How To Plan

Sunrise Hike Jochberg

First things first - always come here for sunrise!

This might sound tough - but oh is it worth it. Don't expect to have this place to yourself, not even at 4 in the morning. But the magic you will find makes up for every single person up on the mountain with you. Besides, the people you will meet right there, will be like minded, usually polite and with all the wind, you probably won't hear a word they speak anyway.

Before I will tell you a little more about the way up, I just wanted you to enjoy the views.

Pro tip: Keep track on the weather and look for cloud inversions!

If you want to enjoy the sunrise up at the Jochberg peak, you should roughly start 2.5 hours prior to that. If you are not hiking frequently (in the dark), plan some additional time. The first and longest part of the hike up leads through forest, so remember to bring a headlamp, additional batteries and a flashlight just in case. The path through the forest is a nice hiking trail covered with roots and every once in a while it gets pretty steep. Once you are on your way for about an hour or so, you will be rewarded with the first mountain views - depending on how bright the moon is of course.

After roughly another hour you will reach the first lookout to lake Kochel and the tiny lights surrounding it. It’s quite the magical view. From there it is not long before you leave the forest and reach the last stretch of the hike up. Around the corner you will see lake Walchensee for the first time and at sunrise it will truly take your breath away - every time. 

The first time I have been on this hike was not for sunrise and the place was pretty crowed even though it was a brisk April day. Even then the view and most of all the color of the lake were unbelievably stunning. I knew back then already - probably about 5 years ago - that I wanted to return at a quieter time of day. 

Another tip to keep in mind, wear layers - lots of them - because it can get really windy once you leave the forest and are out in the open. And don’t forget to bring a blanket to wrap around you when you reach the top and enjoy the views. If you have a sleeping bag, you might even consider bringing this, since it will keep you even warmer and will also be water repellent - the ground is usually damp. 

This all sounds like a really great experience. However, I want to be honest and tell you that I didn’t know any of this or even thought about it, the first time I came here for sunrise. So let’s back up a little and I will tell you about my first sunrise mission.

The first time I went on a sunrise adventure was a few years back on this same exact route with my mom. We were eating out in a Spanish restaurant in Munich and had planned to go hiking early the next day. Somehow we started talking about going for sunrise instead - which I believe was around 5 am the next day. So we went back home, gathered our stuff, changed into our hiking clothes, prepared some snacks to take with us for breakfast, stayed up talking for a little longer and left the house around 1 in the morning. 

It was a spontaneous idea and we realized pretty quickly that we were completely unprepared. It was a mild summer night in Munich and for some reason we didn’t even think that at 1.690 m elevation it could be just a few degrees colder with icy winds. 

At least we brought blankets to sit on up top to watch the sun rise. So luckily, we could wrap those around us while walking up. It was a full moon that night and therefore okay that we only had one headlamp - as I said, we really weren’t prepared. We stumbled our way up for the first hour and a half before making it to the part where the forest clears out and you get the first views of mountain tops. The moon had begun to sink over them and made a beautiful scene on the purple turning sky. 

Views I will probably never forget and a memory I like to think back to when life gets tough. I remember, that we were freezing our butts off and possibly wishing we would have just stayed home and gone when temperatures were already higher and the sun out. But the moment we left the forest and turned to watch over lake Walchensee, all the negative thoughts just vanished in a heartbeat. Tears filled my eyes and I knew it was all so worth it. This feeling - we are so small standing in the middle of something so majestic. I watched the sun rise - a new day begin and couldn’t believe how lucky I was to live so close to such an amazing place. How lucky I was to experience this, how privileged I was to just stand up on a mountain and appreciate nature. 

Moments like these make me feel humble and have helped me realize over the past few years what life is really all about. But I guess I’m drifting off track here. So back to the hike. 
My mom and I went on the final stretch up to the peak of Jochberg, took many photos and ate some breakfast. We were completely exhausted, not only because of the hike but probably mostly due to the lack of sleep - it might just not be the best idea to go hiking without sleeping at all. 

“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” ‍- David McCullough Jr.

“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” ‍- David McCullough Jr.

After a while we headed back down and took a different route that would lead us past lake Walchensee at the end. The first part of the hike down is through sunny mountain meadows, which felt really good - sunshine on our faces and our tired bodies finally warming up after all. But we soon reached the forest again and I have to admit the way down of this hike isn’t too much fun.

You can either follow a steep graveled road the whole way or take some shortcuts which are rather comparable with the trail you have taken up. A few turns before you finally make it down to the lake, you will find some pretty views of the lake and the mountains in the back. A good place for a break, a drink and maybe another snack. By the way, I find there is no better sweet treat on a hike than the Nature Valley crunchy bars - I have recently fallen for the coconut flavor (this is not sponsored). Otherwise my favorite snack on the go are veggie sticks with hummus. 

The last stretch of the hike down is again on the graveled path where you should be careful not to slip and fall - it might have happened to me before. All the way down you reach a paved road and can either turn right to make your way back to your car. Or you turn left - which you always should! - and enjoy a cool dip in the lake with the most amazing views. Not only will this feel refreshing for your whole body after this hike, but it will also give you some new and probably much needed energy for your drive back (home). And if that energy isn’t quite there yet after your first dip, why not just take a nap and listen to the sounds of nature before heading home? 

Whatever you decide, you will walk alongside lake Walchensee and be rewarded with some more amazing views of the mountains in the distance. Beware that the last part back to the car will probably be up again to one of the parking lots. But it will have been worth it and by then you will know that too. 

Pro tip: Always wear a swimsuit on this hike!

I hope you found this article helpful and enjoyed the views as much as I did! I would love to hear your hiking stories and if you have been on this adventure - feel free to leave a comment below or contact me via email! 

November 18, 2020
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