The hike to Kenzenhütte from Halbech near Füssen is a lovely, easy walk mainly along tracks that is possible at any time of year.
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This walk starts at the Wanderparkplatz zur Kenzenhütte on the southern edge of Halbech, about 10 minutes drive north of the castles. Alternatively, you can start in Buching, for example from the Alpchalet Neuschwanstein*, a guesthouse where we stayed before the hike. It’s about 1.5 hour’s drive from Munich.
Tips for Kenzenhütte Loop Walk
- The Kenzenhütte is open from May until mid/end October and serves food and drinks (cash only). You can also stay overnight.
- If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the overnight hike from Füssen to Linderhof Palace, staying at Kenzenhütte.
- This hike is mainly on tracks and it’s possible to do in Winter, though it can be very cold.
- In summer you can extend the walk through a beautiful mountain bowl, while in winter you can walk to the bowl viewpoint and back.
- In summer, you can take the Kenzenhütte Bus up to the hut and walk back, or visa-versa. The best route for walking is the first half of the hike described here, via Buchenberg
- If you’re hiking in winter, take a headlamp* in case you’re still out when it gets dark – the way back is on tracks so it’s possible to continue walking as the sun sets.
- In winter, take hiking poles* and potentially crampon micro-spikes* as the route can be slippery, especially any extensions from the hut.
- Stay right by the start of this hike at Alpchalet Neuschwanstein*, a great place to stay with balconies and mountain views, and a delicious breakfast.
- Find other great hikes on our Germany Hiking Page.
Kenzenhütte Loop Walking Route
From the car park, head right along the small road, and then left just before the main road. Turn left just after the farm and before the trees to walk into the town of Buching. At the crossroads, head left and follow the road as it bends around. At the next junction, you’ll see a hiking signpost.
Walking up Buchenberg
Take the fork heading upwards towards Buchenberg. You’ll soon leave the village and enter a field, with the first nice views over to the Alps. After a little way through the fields, head slightly left to continue walking up in the woodland by a little stream.
The path becomes steeper and bends left towards the top of Buchenberg. There are some nice viewpoints as you get higher up. Soon you’ll leave the forest behind and reach Buchenbergalm, a hut at the top of the mountain. In winter it’s only open for refreshments at the weekends.
There are fantastic views from the hut and another great viewpoint behind the hut and mountain goats to the right. After you’ve admired the views, continue along the track behind the hut, signposted Kenzenhütte.
Hiking to Kenzenhütte
After a short section of forest, you come out in a lovely field with views of the mountains beyond. The route continues into the woodland, right at the next junction. Look out for the signpost to Kenzenhütte in a short distance along this track. The route now takes a smaller path to the left that’s easy to miss if you’re not looking out for it.
Walking through beautiful woodland, and slightly downwards, you pass through a mix of forest and open areas. Eventually you reach a junction just after a bridge over a stream. Turn right here, following the signs still to Kenzenhütte. This route follows a track up by the side of the stream and you soon reach Bockstallsee, a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains.
Cross over the dam and continue along the track. Turn left after the lake along a path towards Kapelle Wankerfleck. After crossing the field, the chapel is on your left just after the bridge. It’s a super cute little wooden chapel in a beautiful setting, with a high rocky mountain looming up in the background. There’s also a little shelter here in case it’s raining and you need a break.
This is a crossing point of the routes up and down from Kenzenhütte, so you return to the chapel again later. For now, head up the hiking route to Kenzenhütte (i.e. not the ‘Fahrweg’). This hiking route leads up a track on the other side of the bridge to the chapel.
After a few hundred metres, the track ends and becomes a path. This path crosses the stream and zigzags upwards to rejoin the main driving route to Kenzenhütte. On the main track, keep heading upwards. There are a few other private huts here, walk past them and still upwards and soon you’ll be at Kenzenhütte.
In summer you can stay overnight at Kenzenhütte and its open during the daytime for refreshments, including full meals. There’s also a bus to and from here back down to the car park where you started, leaving several times a day. In winter the bus does not run and the hut is fully closed.
Kenzenhütte Hiking Extension Options
From Kenzenhütte there are a few options to extend the hike. In summer you can walk the beautiful Kesselrunde. This heads upwards to Scheinbergjöchl on the edge of the bowl, before descending into it and out of the other side back to the hut.
In winter, you can walk as far as Scheinbergjöchl, which is a great viewpoint. It’s highly recommended not to attempt the descent into the bowl. The route out of the other side is extremely precarious in the snow (if you even manage to find it). If there’s a lot of snow, the walk to Scheinbergjöchl may be very tough if you have to tread your own path, and snowshoes could be very useful. If people have already walked this way, it’s easier but still quite tiring through the snow.
In both summer and winter, you can hike up to Grubenkopf Peak. This is an out-and-back walk from Kenzenhütte up a peak with great views at the top. In winter people still do this hike, though you should definitely have hiking poles* and potentially crampon micro-spikes* as it can be slippery.
Hiking back down from Kenzenhütte
From the hut, the route back down initially follows the same track. Return via the main driving track to the Wankerfleck Chapel and take some more photos if the light is now better. After the Chapel, instead of taking the path you used before, head straight on. This heads along the road, which soon becomes tarred.
You’ll pass a few farmhouses. About 1.5 km after the chapel, turn left down a track, following the signs for Halbech. This track leads down to the river at the bottom of the valley, and the junction you passed on the way up. Make sure not to take the track halfway down the slope, as this is a dead end.
Other Hikes in the Snow
Walking along the River
At the junction, this time head right to walk along the river to the next lake, or reservoir. You’ll notice a few buildings by the water, which control the level of the reservoirs and the stream flow to try and avoid any flooding, especially in springtime. The route is now very easy. You follow this track all the way as it continues along the river down to the Reiselsbergbrücke.
At this bridge, turn left along the small paved road. From here it’s very quick walking along the road, by the stream in a narrow valley through the forest. If you started in Buching, you can take a shortcut over a low ridge and through some fields back to the town, rather than heading via Halbech.
If you parked in Halbech, keep walking straight onward and you’ll leave the forest as the river widens out. From here, it’s short distance back to the car park. This is the end of the Kenzenhütte Loop Day Walk.
Guidebooks to explore more of Germany
As mentioned, you can check the Füssen Walking Tour to explore the town further. For other hikes in the area, you can stroll around Alpsee, walk from the castles to Füssen, or go on an overnight hike from Füssen to Linderhof Palace. Check out our Germany Hiking Page for more great hikes nearby and walking tours of the famous Bavarian cities.