About Josefsthaler Waterfalls
The Josefsthaler Waterfalls 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. However, I found an opportunity to visit it 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.
These waterfalls on the Hachelbach consisted of an attractive main drop (probably at least 20m tall) with some surprising upstream cascades. I actually managed to take a longer and more roundabout rundweg (loop path) that made this excursion longer than it should have been, but 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. Personally, I’d recommend sticking with the direct route. There wasn’t 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. I’ll gloss over the rundweg later.
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. 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. 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. 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). The rundweg that I took (which began on the small street called Buchenweg) wound up taking me on a roughly 4km loop.
Finally, given the rather obscure nature of this waterfall (and I say obscure because there was neither a dedicated car park nor a whole lot of literature on the interwebs), I’ve seen this more commonly referred to by its German names as the Josefsthaler Wasserfall as well as the Josefsthaler Wasserfälle.
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.
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.
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, but in any case, the closer you park to the intersection of Josefsthalerstraße and Aurachstraße, the closer you are to the trail for the waterfalls.
The walking trail continues along Josefsthalerstraße towards its end to the south.
This 60km drive without traffic should take around an hour.
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. 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.
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