Urach Waterfall

Bad Urach / Swabian Alb / Reutlingen District, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

About Urach Waterfall

Hiking Distance: 4km round trip
Suggested Time: 1.5 hours

Date first visited: 2018-06-23
Date last visited: 2018-06-23

Waterfall Latitude: 48.48265
Waterfall Longitude: 9.36452

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The Urach Waterfall was one of those attractive limestone type waterfalls with that mossy, weeping characteristic which we tend to see a lot of back in the coastal regions of California. That kind of made it more unique amongst the 50+ waterfalls we had visited in our trip to Germany and Austria in 2018.

In terms of its characteristics, this waterfall was where the Bruhlbach (Brühlbach) was said to plunge 37m before taking its time cascading an additional 50m in cumulative height over a limestone surface full of long grass-like growth and moss. And while this waterfall in the limestone-rich Swabian Alb was beautiful, it seemed like this excursion was very popular with German families as I had seen many of them bring toddlers along for this family-friendly experience.

Bad_Urach_Waterfall_018_06232018 - The easy and flat trail followed alongside the Bruhlbach, which was used extensively by kids and by kids at heart for cooling off
The easy and flat trail followed alongside the Bruhlbach, which was used extensively by kids and by kids at heart for cooling off

Indeed, from the huge car park (P23) in near the spa in Maisental Valley (see directions below), I followed a very flat and wide trail that went alongside the Bruhbach Creek off to the east side of the broad pastures of the valley. Given the calm nature of the creek, there were plenty of spots along the trail where people (especially the kids) would play in the water. The flat terrain allowed multiple generations of people to enjoy the experience.

After around 1km, I finally started to see the Urach Waterfall in the distance towering over the hikers at its base. The flat stretch of hiking persisted for another 300m more or so before reaching the base of steps that then climbed alongside the limestone slope of the waterfall.

After another 200m or so of going up the steps, I reached a couple of ledges yielding closer views of the main plunge of the Urach Waterfall, including one spot where I noticed people scramble to almost get behind that main drop.

The trail continued to climb up towards the top of the waterfall where there was apparently a meadow and a cafe. I didn’t go up there, however, as I was content with the waterfall experience, and then returned the way I came.

Bad_Urach_Waterfall_035_06232018 - Approaching the towering Urach Waterfall as the trail was starting to reach the head of the Maisental Valley
Approaching the towering Urach Waterfall as the trail was starting to reach the head of the Maisental Valley

Altogether, my GPS logs suggested that this was a 4km round trip hike, and it took me around 90 minutes to do it. However, I’d bet it would take at least 2 hours at a more leisurely pace while allowing for a little more exploration.

This excursion would take most of the day if had I done the entire 10km Wasserfallsteig loop hike that would have also encompassed the Gütersteiner Waterfall in addition to the Urach Waterfall. It was about 4.3km from the base of the Urach Waterfall to the Gütersteiner Waterfall according to the signage.

When I was done with my excursion, we had lunch at the Maisentalstüble, which was a reasonably-priced lunch spot and beer garden by the car park. And given its close proximity to Bad Urach (bad means bath in German), it wasn’t surprising to see a spa area as well.

Indeed, there was quite the diversity of activities on offer here, and it was no wonder why this waterfall was as popular as it was (even though it seemed like we were one of the few foreign tourists that were here).

Finally, for some nomenclature semantics, I’ve seen this waterfall referred to as the Uracher Waterfall as well as the Bad Urach Waterfall. In German, it seems to be most commonly referred to as der Uracher Wasserfall.

Bad_Urach_Waterfall_010_06232018 - Looking back at the end of the P23 car park at the trailhead for the Urach Waterfall
Bad_Urach_Waterfall_011_06232018 - Following the wide and flat trail along the Maisental Valley towards the Urach Waterfall
Bad_Urach_Waterfall_013_06232018 - Looking across the Maisental Valley and its green pastures from along the Urach Waterfall Trail
Bad_Urach_Waterfall_015_06232018 - I kept right at this junction to stay on the flat part of the Urach Waterfall Trail, but I believe the path on the left also converges back on the same trail after going up this slight hill
Bad_Urach_Waterfall_021_06232018 - Along the Urach Waterfall Trail there were these interesting wood carvings as well as teasing glimpses of the green pastures beyond
Bad_Urach_Waterfall_030_06232018 - It appeared that this trail was both easy and popular that they even had this sign reminded people not to try the Urach Waterfall hike in high heels
Bad_Urach_Waterfall_037_06232018 - Looking ahead at the impressive Urach Waterfall with people at the bottom for a sense of scale of how tall it was
Bad_Urach_Waterfall_052_06232018 - Looking up at the Urach Waterfall from the base of the mossy limestone slope
Bad_Urach_Waterfall_057_06232018 - As I was getting closer to the top of the walk, it seemed like the main drop of the Urach Waterfall was appearing shorter as a result of the forced perspective of the upward angle of the views
Bad_Urach_Waterfall_061_06232018 - Going up the stone steps alongside the cascading portion of the Uracher Waterfall
Bad_Urach_Waterfall_065_06232018 - Finally making it up to the base of the vertical drop of the Uracher Waterfall
Bad_Urach_Waterfall_080_06232018 - On my way back down from the Urach Waterfall, I managed to get this view of the Maisental Valley along with the context of the trail and some castle ruin perched atop the mountain in the distance
Bad_Urach_Waterfall_092_06232018 - There were lots of families bringing toddlers along the Urach Waterfall Trail
Bad_Urach_Waterfall_098_06232018 - When I returned from the Urach Waterfall Trail, Julie and Tahia saved some leftovers for me from the Maisentalstuble


From the Stuttgart vicinity, we exit the A8 autobahn for the B27 (near the Stuttgart Airport or Flughafen Stuttgart). We then drove nearly 10km south on the B27 freeway before taking the ramp for the B312. After another 14km, the B312 junctioned with the B28/B313 interchange.

We kept right and followed the ramp leading to the eastbound B28 towards Bad Urach, where we then drove for about 10km before turning right onto the Vorderes Maisental. We then drove another 600m along the fairly long and extensive car park area, where we ultimately parked at the P23 lot.

It costed us 3 euros via pay and display to park for the entire day.

Overall, it took us about 40 minutes to leave the A8 autobahn and make it to the Maisental car park. We actually started our drive from Baden Baden, which took us around 2 hours in total mostly because there was quite a bit of stau (stopped traffic) in and around the A8 autobahn near Karlsruhe.

For geographical context, Stuttgart was about 73km (over an hour drive) east of Karlsruhe, 95km (under 90 minutes drive) northwest of Ulm, and 112km (around 90 minutes drive depending on traffic) east from Baden Baden.

Checking out the falls from near its bottom before turning around and checking out the grassy scenery further downhill

Video starting from almost behind the waterfall before working my way down towards the bottom

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Tagged with: bad urach, black forest, schwarzwald, germany, waterfall, swabian alb, swabia, maisen valley, bruhlbach, swabian alps, schwabische alb, limestone

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