Karwendeltour - Vom Kloster St. Martin Gnadenwald über die Hinterhornalmzur Walderalm
Ascent700 mDistance5,6 kmHighest point1532 mDuration2:30 h
It is no secret that the Walderalm is a very popular hike among young and old. The reason is obvious: different routes and levels of difficulty of the ascent, the fantastic location embedded in the Karwendel Nature Park and the excellent food speak for themselves. Find out how to reach this special place of power in the description below.
1. Family hike Hinterhornalm - Walderalm
There are different ways to reach the Walderalm. The most popular and easiest one is by car via the Hinterhornalm toll road. Park there and walk for about 30 minutes to the Walderalm. A wide forest path leads you very easily to your destination. Enjoy the spectacular views of the Inn Valley!
2. Karwendel tour over the Hinterhornalm trail
If you prefer to leave your car in the valley (St. Martin car park), you can either take the asphalted toll road or the steep trail up to the Hinterhornalm. This takes about 1.5 hours. Flora and fauna are very impressive here. From the Hinterhornalm it is another 30 minutes walk to the Walderalm - as described above.
3. Forest ascent over the Gungglkopf
Park the car a little further east of the St. Michael hamlet. From there you can walk through the forest and in about 1.5 hours you will reach the Walderalm. In the upper area near the forest boundary, this path meets the forest trail coming from the Hinterhornalm.
4. Circular hike Ganalm - Walderalm
This scenic and beautiful circular hike leads mostly through the forest, however you can also enjoy the mountain landscape. At Mairbach the forest path branches off on the southern slope of the Walder Joch and heads to the Maria Schnee chapel and the Gasthof Schönblick. Here begins the ascent from the Inn Valley to the Ganalm in Vomper Loch. The path leads on the northern slope of the Walder Joch west to the rustic Ganalm at 1,190 m. Then turn either leftwards and continue the footpath over alpine meadows or rightwards on the forest trail to the beautifully situated Walderalm. The direct descent is along the forest path to Gnadenwald. The duration of the circular hike is about 3.5 hours.
Who makes the best Kaspressknödel (cheese dumpling) in Tyrol? This is a very difficult and passionate question among Tyroleans. Why? Because everybody loves this traditional delicacy.
But for sure, one of the best cheese dumplings are cooked by Hermann Krismer, the tenant of the Walderalm. So what is his secret? The ingredients, of course, he uses 5 different types of cheese. One dumpling weighs about 200 grams. On average every third guest orders a Kaspressknödel either with salad, sauerkraut or in the soup. Every day the 61-year-old mixes five kilos of bread, three kilos of cheese, spices and other ingredients in a bowl with his big hands. With a laugh he admits that due to the heavy kneading his hands hurt in the evening. In order to make the work easier, a few years ago he bought a mixing machine. However, the guests recognized the difference immediately and today Hermann mixes and kneads the ingredients by hand again.
More details how to make delicious Kaspressknödel can be found in our blog.
The Walderalm is situated above the Inn Valley surrounded by meadows full of flowers. It is no wonder that the Walderalm is an ideal place for walking and relaxing. The various rustic huts are full of history and the alpine agriculture and dairy farming, which is still present today, has a long tradition. The whole area transport the visitor to another world. Not only tourists and locals appreciate the beautiful landscape, also the cows enjoy the lush meadows in the summer.
In the years 1965-67 a chapel was built above the alp to commemorate the return of the soldiers from the world war. It is consecrated to the Virgin Mary and her protection.
The Walderalm and its ponds have always been a popular photo motif. However, in the 1990s, the quality of the Walderalm ponds suffered massively. Therefore in 2011 a working group of the Karwendel Nature Park started a project to revitalise and to refresh the ponds in order to create an attractive habitat for local wildlife. However, the revitalisation has been completed, but now it is absolutely important to preserve the ponds in their splendour and to keep a right balance between alpine pasture management and nature conservation.
Volunteers can always help preserving the Walderalm ponds. You can find more information on the website of the Karwendel Nature Park.
Reference: Karwendel Nature Park
Open areas of shallow water above the timberline or in the alpine pastures can be found very rarely. Under these circumstances it is crucial to protect the ponds because they represent an important habitat for wildlife.
Typical animals in this area are the following: the Alpine newt, various species of dragonflies, the great diving beetle and the ringed snake.
But also the appropriate fauna is important to enhance the biodiversity: marsh trefoil, stoneword, different types of sedges, marsh marigold and moorland spotted orchid. Each plant has a specific function in order to improve the habitat quality and to increase the number of species.
Reference: Karwendel Nature Park
Josef Speckbacher, born on 13.07.1767 in Gnadenwald, was a Tyrolean freedom fighter and was a leading figure in the rebellion of the Tyrol against the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte between 1797 and 1809.
In his youth he was a famous poacher and well-known for his excellent hunting ability. The area around the Walderalm was his hunting ground.