The Buckelwiesen are a geological peculiarity of the landscape in Werdenfelser Land around Mittenwald. The ground is not smooth but consists of countless hummocks. The soil was shaped by the glaciers of the last ice age, then erosion deepened the structures. In winter the snow-covered surface looks like a sculpture.
Originally they were covered in forests but the areas have been cleared for use as pastures. Many farmers have "flattened" the surfaces for easier work, but those which are preserved are now protected nature reserves, so please stay on the path.
Shortly before Mittenwald the trail leads through a bit of forest, then reaches the road from Garmisch - this is the only bit which runs along a larger road - and the Northern end of Mittenwald. Walking through the back streets takes you along a small creek which runs through this quarter. In snow and sunshine everything is pretty, so there is material for more photos. Soon the baroque steeple of the main church aappears in the distance so you know the direction to the town centre.
Halfway along the trail there is a little lake, Schmalensee or Schmalsee, at the bottom of the valley. The lake is private property and used for fish breeding and fishing by the local fishing club.
In mid winter the lake was frozen over and invisible under the snow. Only the reeds and the unusually smooth surface indicated its presence.
The little wooden huts in the meadows, either built from logs or wooden structures covered with planks, are a typical feature of the valleys in Werdenfelser Land. They serve as storages for hay, and probably also farm tools during the hay-making season - and they are a nice addition to landscape photos.
The whole way you walk towards the fabulous mountain panorama of Karwendel range on the left, Wetterstein range and Zugspitze massif on the far right. The valley is wide and the mountains form a theatrical setting around it.
Photo 4 shows why you should do the hike from Krün to Mittenwald and not in the opposite direction. This is the view North as you'd see it when walking towards Kürn. Nice but... compare to the other pictures. For the "wow" factor you'd have to turn round and look back. Better walk towards it and enjoy it all the time while you walk.
A short walk along the trail you'll spot a cute little chapel under a large tree in the fields: the pilgrimage chapel of Maria Rast ("Mary's rest"). The chapel has a distinctly baroque appearance but in fact it has only been inaugurated in 1998! It is located on a stretch of the Camino di Santiago which passes here.
I like the imagination of Mary sitting down to rest in this pleasant spot and enjoying the landscape views...
Krün is a picture-book Bavarian village with pretty old and new houses and the little church in the centre, gardens and meadows around. Not spectacular but charming.
The bus drops you off in the centre of the village. The quick detour to the Kurhaus is recommended in case you need a) maps or b) a public toilet. To find the Isar valley trail, though, you have to walk in the opposite direction past the village church and then keep West along either Feldstraße or Wettersteinstraße over to "Am Bärnbichl", the suburb or hamlet in the West of the village. The first street left, named Hochstraße, is the beginning of the trail and there it is signposted.
We took a bus from Garmisch to Krün, then walked over to Mittenwald and took the train back. This hike has deeply impressed me. We walked towards the gorgeous mountain panorama of Karwendel and Wetterstein mountains all the way, with the sun in our faces and the wide snowy landscape all around. It was a perfect day.
This is an easy hike, more a walk, with just very short ascents and descents in the wavy topography of the valley ground. Perfect for an untrained person like me. The estimated time is officially 2 h 15 - we needed 3 hours because we took so many photos. Distance from Krün to Mittenwald centre The walk is on a paved country road which is cleared from snow in winter. In theory it is closed to traffic but people from the adjacent farms can use it, so there will be the occasional car or tractor passing. 95% of it is exposed to the sun, no shade, which is pleasant in winter, spring and autumn but could be boiling hot in summer.
The following tips will describe more details about this hike.
When traveling in Europe whenever you are visiting a restaurant or a museum, try to use their WC facilities if at all possible. Typically they are maintained and are free. But sometimes you are just walking around the town and find you have a need. If you find yourself in this predicament, it is helpful to know where to “go”.
It is always wise to carry change with you for this purpose since many public restrooms charge for their use and cleaning. Some of the more primitive WCs do not supply paper or washing facilities, so I keep a supply of tissues and hand sanitizer in my camera bag, just in case.
Mittenwald had a very nice, large public bathroom in the center of town in the Dekan-Karl-Platz. It was well maintained and was free, which means it was also very busy.
The town of Mittenwald is a cute little place south of Oberammergau on the way to Innsbruck and is just one of those places you should stop and see.
Entering the town is a little confusing and you are never quite sure where the city center is but just park near the tourist information center and they will be more than happy to help you.
The main walking street has a water drain running down the side of it and has some neat water fountains but be careful when you are walking, as some of the trough is open. So this time I am telling you to make sure you look down as well as UP. There are some awesome paintings on the buildings that are somewhat of a tradition in Bavaria, which is so neat.
There are a few tourist shops on the main street but you will find mostly day-to-day shops where the locals shop.