Steinheim Meteor Crater Circular Walk

Walking around Steinheim Meteor Crater in Bavaria, Germany
Walking around Steinheim Meteor Crater in Bavaria, Germany

By Vicky · Published May. 10th, 2024

This walk circles Steinheim Meteor Crater, with ups and downs, information panels, and great views from the crater rim.


Steinheim Meteor Crater is located between Stuttgart and Augsburg in southern Germany. The walk around the crater starts from a free car park for hikers next to Sontheimer Wirtshäusle Hotel. It’s just over 5 minutes walk from the Meteor Crater Museum.

Steinheim Meteor Crater Hiking Map

Get the route by downloading the .gpx or .kml file below. For navigation with on your mobile phone, simply download the .kml file and open to add it to the bookmarks.


  • For refreshments, the Heiderose is a lovely traditional German restaurant and Biergarten roughly one-third of the way around this walk, right next to the Glider Club runways. Bear in mind, it’s not open every day and most days only in the afternoon.
  • Head to nearby Nördlingen to visit another much larger crater and go on a walk to learn more about the geology. Alternatively, find other great hikes on our Germany Hiking Page.

Steinheim Meteor Crater Walking Route

On the rocky crater edge of Steinheim in Bavaria, Germany
A sunny day in southern Germany

From the car park, head towards the town. You’ll see a signed hiking path to your right at the first road junction. Take this, and head up Burgstall, a rocky, grassy hill. At the top is the first of many crater viewpoints on this walk. From here, you can see most of the crater and the route you’ll walk.

Continue following the path around and down the other side of the little hill to a track through the fields. Hiking signs around the Steinheim Meteor Crater Walk make it easy to follow. After walking through the fields you’ll walk along the edge of a valley.

Layered rocks seen on a circular walk around Steinheim Meteor Crater in Bavaria, Germany
Sheep in Germany
Woodland in Germany

There’s a short detour (about 100 metres) here to the right, down some steps, along a slightly overgrown path, and back up again. The point is to take you to some dark, layered rocks, which show the original structure of the crater. You can miss this detour and head straight onward if you prefer.

After returning to the main trail, you pass through a little woodland where there are often sheep. Continuing onward, you cross one large valley and head up the other side to a Glider Plane Club with two short tarmacked runways. There’s a nice little restaurant and Biergarten here called Heiderose (open afternoons and mornings only on Sundays).

The Northern Edge of the Crater

Yellow fields and trees seen while through Steinheim Meteor Crater
Yellow flowers and woodland on a circular walk around Steinheim Meteor Crater in Bavaria, Germany

Keep to the signed trail as it winds through some fields and up along a little valley. You then head back up into the woodlands on the north side of the crater. This next section of the walk is along the edge of the trees so you have great views down over Steinheim crater to your left. There are some lovely little valleys, covered in flowers in springtime.

Leaving the woodland you cross some fields and return to a small section of forest. You’re quite high up here, and in some places get nice views of the grassy valley far below. The track continues down to this narrow valley, which is a popular place to walk.

A viewpoint of a valley in Germany
Yellow dandelions in a field on a hike around Steinheim Meteor Crater

After reaching a car park, you walk along the path at the foot of a slope and then cross over the road. A short distance afterwards there’s a choice between the new, official Steimheim Crater Circular Walk, and the older route.

The new section was created to comply with the rules of ‘Beautiful Trails of Germany’. It leads on a smaller path through some trees. If you take this route, make sure to look out for the right turn shortly after you reach the houses as it’s easy to miss. The older route leads along narrow lanes, but they both meet up about 1 km later. It doesn’t really matter which path you take.

The final section of the walk takes you mainly through forest, with optional short out-and-backs to viewpoints over the crater. Soon you’ll enter the little town near where you parked the car. Turn right on the main road and you’ll be at the car park and the end of the Steinheim Meteor Crater Circular Walk.

Guidebooks to explore more of Germany

Head to nearby Nördlingen to visit another much larger crater and go on a walk to learn more about the geology. Alternatively, find other great hikes on our Germany Hiking Page.


When was Steinheim Crater formed?

Steinheim Crater was formed at the same time as the larger Ries Crater, roughly 14.8 million years ago.

How was Steinheim Crater formed?

Steinheim Crater, the little sister of the Ries Crater, was probably formed by a small rock that broke off the larger meteorite that formed the larger crater. The meteorites hit the earth at great speed, vaporising both rocks on the earth and partly the meteorites themselves.

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