Josefsthaler Waterfalls

Schliersee / Miesbach District, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany

About Josefsthaler Waterfalls


Hiking Distance: 2km round trip; 4km round trip for rundweg
Suggested Time: 45-60 minutes; over 2 hours for rundweg

Date first visited: 2018-06-28
Date last visited: 2018-06-28

Waterfall Latitude: 47.68662
Waterfall Longitude: 11.88359

The Josefsthaler Waterfalls (I’ve also seen it spelled as Josefstaler Waterfalls) were on the Hachelbach consisting of an attractive main drop (probably at least 20m tall) with some surprising upstream cascades.

They were kind of obscure in that there wasn’t a whole lot of literature devoted to it when I was doing my trip planning research.

Josefstaler_Waterfall_081_06282018 - The main drop of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
The main drop of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls

Nevertheless, I’ve seen this waterfall more commonly referred to by its German names as the Josefsthaler Wasserfall as well as the Josefsthaler Wasserfälle.

I say this waterfall was rather obscure because there was neither a dedicated car park nor a whole lot of literature about it on the interwebs.

In any case, I found an opportunity to visit this waterfall when we were leaving the Garmisch-Partenkirchen area and heading towards Munich.

Given the lousy weather when I made my visit, it turned out to be a good waterfall to visit on a day dominated by driving long distances.

Josefstaler_Waterfall_050_06282018 - The main part of the uppermost drop of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
The main part of the uppermost drop of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls

As far as experiencing this waterfall, I actually managed to take a longer and more roundabout rundweg (loop path) that made this excursion longer than it should have been.

However, that was how I wound up finding out about the upper waterfalls, and why I refer to these waterfalls in its plural form.

Indeed, had I gone in the correct direction, this excursion would have only taken me around 30-45 minutes tops.

Instead, the rundweg that I took wound up being about 100 minutes to complete.

Josefstaler_Waterfall_065_06282018 - An intermediate tier of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls between the uppermost and lowermost drops
An intermediate tier of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls between the uppermost and lowermost drops

Personally, I’d recommend sticking with the direct route, but continuing further upstream to the upper cascades before turning back.

I didn’t think there was that much to see on the rundweg unless the goal was to spend a bit more time in quiet solitude.

So given that, I’ll just focus this writeup on the most direct path first, then I’ll gloss over the rundweg later.

Josefstaler Waterfalls Trail Description – the direct out-and-back route

After finding street parking on the Josefstalerstrasse or the Aurachstrasse (see directions below), I would then walk south along the Josefstalerstrasse as it started to parallel the Hachelbach.

Josefstaler_Waterfall_101_06282018 - Passing by some private homes en route to the shortest trail to the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
Passing by some private homes en route to the shortest trail to the Josefsthaler Waterfalls

A short distance after the bridge over the creek, I then kept right to remain on the Josefstalerstrasse.

Eventually, the road ended and the trail continued on with signage suggesting the falls was only 10 minutes from here.

The path quickly skirted by someone’s property before entering a forested area flanking the Hachelbach.

Within minutes, the trail headed right up to the main drop of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls with its pleasant segmented characteristic.

Josefstaler_Waterfall_095_06282018 - People hiking along the Hachelbach en route to the base of the Josefsthaler Waterfall
People hiking along the Hachelbach en route to the base of the Josefsthaler Waterfall

In order to get all the way up to the base of the waterfall, I would have to leave the trail and get my feet wet.

So I was merely content to get my views and carry on.

Next, the trail climbed steeply as it eventually skirted by partial views of the main drop at the top, then continued further upstream.

After nearly another 400m, the trail started to skirt by some attractive upper cascades.

Josefstaler_Waterfall_078_06282018 - Ascending the trail continuing beyond the main drop of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls towards its upper drops
Ascending the trail continuing beyond the main drop of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls towards its upper drops

The terrain here was a bit rockier and more slippery in order to try to get a closer look.

In any case, after experiencing these cascades, I’d suggest that this would be the turnaround point.

Distance-wise, the direct trail would have been merely about 2km round trip (depending on where you park).

Josefstaler Waterfalls Trail Description – the rundweg (loop trail)

The rundweg that I took began on the small street called Buchenweg, which was actually further away from the other trailhead mentioned above.

Josefstaler_Waterfall_007_06282018 - Walking up the Buchenweg on the longer rundweg to the Josefsthaler Waterfall
Walking up the Buchenweg on the longer rundweg to the Josefsthaler Waterfall

This side street eventually continued as an unpaved road, where I then followed the signs pointing to the Josefsthaler Waterfalls.

After passing by a wooded area with some logging remnants, the trail eventually descended towards the top of the upper cascades of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls.

The trail continued to descend alongside the cascades and ultimately towards another descent downstream of the base of the main waterfall.

From there, the trail picked up as described in the out-and-back route.

Josefstaler_Waterfall_020_06282018 - The rundweg to the Josefsthaler Waterfall went by some logging activity or relics
The rundweg to the Josefsthaler Waterfall went by some logging activity or relics

This entire loop wound up being roughly 4km in total length taking about an hour.

Authorities

The Josefsthaler Waterfalls reside near Schliersee in the state of Bavaria (Bayern), Germany. It may be administered by the Schliersee government. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting their website.

Josefstaler_Waterfall_003_06282018 - When I started the hike to the Josefsthaler Waterfalls, I had no idea that there was a shorter trail. I only saw a sign by the Buchenweg saying anything about the Josefsthaler Waterfalls so that was what I pursued. This photo faces in that direction along the Josefsthalerstrasse
Josefstaler_Waterfall_013_06282018 - Following the unpaved Buchenweg as there was clear evidence of logging being a big driver of the economy of the local area of Josefsthal
Josefstaler_Waterfall_014_06282018 - Continuing to hike up the unpaved part of the road beyond Buchenweg as I pursued the longer loop trail towards the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
Josefstaler_Waterfall_016_06282018 - Signed trail junction pointing the way to the Josefsthaler Waterfalls as well as other trails along the rundweg
Josefstaler_Waterfall_018_06282018 - On the forested path leading to the Josefsthaler Waterfalls as part of the longer rundweg
Josefstaler_Waterfall_021_06282018 - Following the forested path leading into the low-lying rain clouds that clung over Josefsthal en route to the Josefsthaler Waterfalls via the rundweg
Josefstaler_Waterfall_023_06282018 - More logging relics along the Josefsthaler Waterfalls rundweg
Josefstaler_Waterfall_024_06282018 - Still continuing along the forested rundweg en route to the Josefsthaler Waterfalls in the counterclockwise direction
Josefstaler_Waterfall_027_06282018 - A rest bench or lookout along the rundweg to the Josefsthaler Waterfalls though this didn't yield much of a view on this rainy day
Josefstaler_Waterfall_032_06282018 - Eventually the rundweg finally started descending along this boardwalk and towards a different trail junction, where the continuation of the descending trail would ultimately lead to the upper cascades of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
Josefstaler_Waterfall_034_06282018 - Looking back at the trail going clockwise on the rundweg beyond the Josefsthaler Waterfalls. I'm not sure what the red and white tapes were for, but maybe the trail I was on was supposed to be closed?
Josefstaler_Waterfall_037_06282018 - Looking down over wildflowers towards the lower parts of the trail as the rundweg descended towards the trail junctions and the Hachelbach Creek
Josefstaler_Waterfall_038_06282018 - Continuing the descent towards the Hachelbach Creek and footbridge with trail junctions further below en route to the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
Josefstaler_Waterfall_040_06282018 - My first glimpse of parts of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls after finally getting to the other end of the rundweg
Josefstaler_Waterfall_043_06282018 - Looking directly up at the uppermost drops of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls as I was descending alongside it
Josefstaler_Waterfall_044_06282018 - Looking downstream over some tumbling cascades while still descending alongside the Hachelbach and the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
Josefstaler_Waterfall_045_06282018 - Looking up at the slippery and rough surfaces around the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
Josefstaler_Waterfall_058_06282018 - Portrait view of the most interesting part of the upper drops of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
Josefstaler_Waterfall_063_06282018 - Looking back at the context of the trail alongside the Hachelbach and part of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls to the right
Josefstaler_Waterfall_067_06282018 - Focused on another one of the upper cascades further upstream of the main drop of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
Josefstaler_Waterfall_068_06282018 - Contextual look at the vibrant greenery alongside the Hachelbach and the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
Josefstaler_Waterfall_073_06282018 - Looking back at the upper cascades of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls while continuing my downstream hike to complete the rundweg
Josefstaler_Waterfall_076_06282018 - Partial view over the top of the main drop of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
Josefstaler_Waterfall_086_06282018 - Looking upstream at the main drop of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
Josefstaler_Waterfall_089_06282018 - Portrait view of the main drop of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls. You can see that getting closer meant having to stream walk
Josefstaler_Waterfall_093_06282018 - Looking back upstream along the Hachelbach and the trail with the main drop of the Josefsthaler Waterfall in the background
Josefstaler_Waterfall_094_06282018 - Continuing to hike downstream along the Hachelbach to further complete the rundweg encompassing the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
Josefstaler_Waterfall_097_06282018 - Looking along some fencing as I continued the end of the rundweg encompassing the Josefsthaler Waterfalls
Josefstaler_Waterfall_098_06282018 - Looking out across a lawn area as I approached the Josefsthalerstrasse after the Josefsthaler Waterfalls Trail was giving into civilization
Josefstaler_Waterfall_102_06282018 - Looking up the Hachelbach Stream as I was crossing the bridge over it whilst still on the Josefsthalerstrasse en route to where I parked the car and thus ending the rundweg

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The Josefsthaler Wasserfalls was in the town of Josefsthal, which itself was near the Schliersee Lake.

We drove there from Füssen, but we could have easily gone there from Garmisch-PartenkirchenGarmisch-Partenkirchen or even München (Munich).

For simplicity sake, we’ll describe the driving directions from Munich.

Later, I’ll briefly gloss over how we did this drive from Füssen.

Driving from Munich to the Josefsthaler Waterfalls

From Munich, we would head south on the A8 autobahn towards Chiemsee and Salzburg.

After about 32km, we’d take exit 98 near Weyarn for the St2073 Road.

Then, we’d head south on the St2073 before turning right at the roundabout (first exit) onto the B472 at Miesbach after 9km.

Once on the B472, we’d continue south as the road became the B307, and we’d follow it all the way towards Neuhaus/Josefsthal after another 12km.

Josefstaler_Waterfall_001_06282018 - The street parking situation on Josefstalerstrasse at Josefsthal
The street parking situation on Josefstalerstrasse at Josefsthal

Turning right onto Josefsthalerstraße, we then followed this street for the last 1.5-2km or so.

It was at this point that we had to find street parking on Josefsthalerstraße.

I think there might also be the possibility of parking on Aurachstraße as well.

In any case, the closer you park to the intersection of Josefsthalerstraße and Aurachstraße, the closer you are to the trail for the waterfalls.

Josefstaler_Waterfall_105_06282018 - This was the street that continued towards the direct out-and-back route to the Josefsthaler Waterfall
This was the street that continued towards the direct out-and-back route to the Josefsthaler Waterfall

The walking trail continues along Josefsthalerstraße towards its end to the south.

This 60km drive without traffic should take around an hour.

Driving from Fussen to the Josefsthaler Waterfalls

From Füssen, we drove east on a series of B roads and St roads towards the town of Miesbach.

Then, we followed the Josefsthalerstraße as described above.

Josefstaler_Waterfall_004_06282018 - Looking back along the Josefsthalerstraße towards the longer rundweg by the Buchenweg street
Looking back along the Josefsthalerstraße towards the longer rundweg by the Buchenweg street

Overall, this 123km drive took us a little over 2 hours.

For context, Munich was 46km (over 30 minutes drive) north of Miesbach, 89km (over an hour drive) north of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 133km (over 90 minutes drive) northeast of Füssen, and 144km (over 90 minutes drive) west of Salzburg, Austria.

Checking out the main drop of the Josefsthaler Waterfall


Examining the upper cascades of the Josefsthaler Waterfalls

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Tagged with: josefsthal, schliersee, miesbach, germany, waterfall, hachelbach, neuhaus



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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