Highlights of the Nagelfluhkette
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/ Unterer Gipfelgrat am StuibenPhoto: Simon Reuter, CC BY, Outdooractive Editors
/ Auf dem Weg vom Mittag zum SteinebergPhoto: Simon Reuter, CC BY, Outdooractive Editors
/ Kleiner Wasserfall im Naturpark NagelfluhkettePhoto: Simon Reuter, CC BY, Outdooractive Editors
/ Stuiben GipfelkreuzPhoto: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Premium
/ Sennalpe MittelbergPhoto: Outdooractive Editors
/ Abendstimmung am Großen AlpseePhoto: Simon Reuter, CC BY, Outdooractive Editors
Exposed ridges, wild waterfalls and gentle alpine pastures - experience the whole diversity of the Nagelfluhkette Nature Park on a challenging mountain hike.
More highlights can hardly be packed into a single day's hike: The adventurous ridge traverse of the Nagelfluhkette brings us, partly secured by wire ropes, to the panoramic peaks of Steineberg and Stuiben. A leisurely descent is followed by a well-deserved break at the alpine dairy, before we descend through mountain forests and alpine meadows to the Alpsee. The Mittagbahn cable car saves us a strenuous ascent at the beginning, so that we can tackle the ridge hike with fresh legs. For the first half of the tour, it is essential to be sure-footed and have a head for heights. Those who do not dare to climb the long ladder to the Steineberg and the exposed summit ridge to the Stuiben can, however, avoid both.
At the Mittelberg alpine dairy, you can not only taste delicious homemade cakes and fresh buttermilk, here you can also buy great mountain cheese directly from the producer.
We start our tour with a relaxed ride in the double chairlift up to the summit of the Mittag. Particularly ambitious hikers can of course also do this climb on foot, but then you should allow a good two hours more. At the Mittagberg we briefly enjoy the impressive panorama of the Allgäu mountains from the Grünten to the Hoher Ifen, before we set off on the gravel road towards the Bärenkopf. We leave it on the left (more impressive peaks await us) and follow the marked path over the broad mountain ridge to Steineberg. A few small serpentines lead up through a piece of forest, from here on we always follow the highest ridge until the summit of the Steineberg towers up in front of us with the already clearly recognisable ladder to the top. If the long ladder is a little too dizzying for you, you can bypass the summit massif on the right below on an easy path. Those who master the two dozen or so rungs will find the first summit cross of the tour at the top.
From the Steineberg summit, we experience how spectacular the inconspicuous mountain range of the Nagelfluhkette in the foothills of the Allgäu High Alps can feel. Sometimes narrower, sometimes wider, the ridge presents itself, with steep grassy slopes to the left and often vertical to overhanging rock faces to the right. In spring and early summer, a veritable sea of flowers awaits us here between the typical conglomerate rocks. However, you should be reasonably sure-footed and free from vertigo - if you already feel unwell here, you should definitely bypass the Stuiben ridge later on and descend directly to Alpe Gund. Short, secured sections in this first part of the ridge traverse are, however, generally still easy to complete, even for hikers who enjoy themselves.
After a while, the path leaves the ridge ridge and we descend slightly downhill between two rocky ridges to a saddle. There you can branch off to the right if you don't feel up to the Stuiben ridge. We keep to the left and climb up to a few proud rock jags on the ridge crest. The path now winds first to the right, then to the left past the Nagelfluh towers and finally to the wire-rope-secured but not difficult end of the ridge, which takes us in a direct line to the astonishingly wide summit plateau with picnic table and wonderful panoramic views of the Allgäu Alps.
We cross the Stuiben summit and thus the highest point of our tour and descend to the saddle between Stuiben and Sederstuiben. There we keep to the right and follow the wide high-level trail steadily downhill to the saddle directly above the Alpe Gund. This is the first opportunity to stop for a bite to eat. From the saddle, we follow the gravel path for another 500 metres before we leave it in a clear left-hand bend and continue across the marshy alpine meadow past a bench under pine trees. A well-trodden and marked path leads down through the mountain forest until we come across a gravel road again and can already see the roof of the Sennalpe Mittelberg behind a hilltop with a slender wooden cross. Here, cold refreshments, delicious cakes, hearty snacks and homemade mountain cheese await us.
Well fortified, we leave the gravel road directly behind the sun terrace and descend on a path to the left into the hollow. A short climb in the opposite direction brings us to the asphalt road, where we keep to the left. In the next stretch of forest, this becomes a gravel road and leads us to Kempten's Naturfreundehaus - another opportunity for a leisurely pit stop.
At the Naturfreundehaus, we keep to the right and follow the marked trail down through the forest. Once we reach the gravel path, we turn left and descend comfortably to the fantastically situated alpine meadow with waterfall of the Kessel-Alpe. The little road becomes a path there and leads, first close to the mountain stream with its small waterfalls, later in a north-easterly direction down through the forest. We reach a small plateau with several mountain dairies in sight. At the next opportunity, we keep to the right and follow the little road past the Hochberg-Alpe, which is also serviced, down to Bühl am Alpsee.
We cross under the main road in the pedestrian tunnel, then walk past the car park down to the nature park centre on the lakeshore. Depending on the weather and your mood, there are various options here: The exhibition in the nature park centre reveals exciting insights into the flora and fauna of the area. In summer, a swim in the Großer Alpsee lake promises refreshment and the kiosks and cafés on the lake promenade tempt you with coffee, ice cream and other delicacies.
To return to the starting point of our tour, we turn right directly behind the nature park centre and follow the "Badeweg" across the meadows back towards Immenstadt. Shortly before the mobile home park, we cross the railway tracks and walk to the roundabout, turn right there and follow the road towards the forest. Here we turn left onto a path that takes us to the flood barriers of the Steigbach stream. We cross the small, covered wooden bridge and leisurely walk the last few metres back to the Mittagbahn valley station.
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- 11 Waypoints
- 11 Waypoints
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