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ABOVE: A cogwheel train of the Bayerische
Zugspitzbahn stops at the Eibsee station on its way back to Garmisch.
Getting up and down the Zugspitze
Eibsee-Seilbahn. The Eibsee aerial cablecar departs from
a station near the Eibsee (a lake at the foot of the Zugpitze) and rises 1950
meters or 6,397 feet to the mountain's summit ridge. The trip lasts 10 minutes.
Zahnradbahn. The meter-gauge rack railway begins in
Garmisch, next to the railroad station, and travels along the valley to Grainau
and on to Eibsee before ascending the Zugspitze under cogwheel power. At the Zugspitzplatt
or Zugspitze Glacier Plateau, 2600 meters up the
2964m mountain, you switch to the Gletscherbahn aerial cablecar for a quick ascent to the summit ridge. Total
travel time is 75 minutes from Garmisch, 60 minutes from Grainau, or 35 minutes
Ascend the Zugspitze in the morning and have lunch in one of the
The last train or cable car down the mountain is in late
afternoon. Arrive early enough to avoid feeling rushed!
A roundtrip ticket costs the same no matter how you travel, so
take the Zahnradbahn and Gletscherbahn in one direction and the Eibsee-Seilbahn
in the other.
If you're driving, you can park at Eibsee and skip the
Garmisch-Grainau-Eibsee section of the train ride. Normally, I'd recommend
taking the Eibsee-Seilbahn cable car up the mountain and coming down by the
Zahnradbahn; this way, you'll be sure of finding seats with your companions on
the cogwheel train. However, if you have a heart condition or are sensitive to
altitude, it's best to ascend the mountain more slowly by cogwheel train.
If you're without a car, you can buy a roundtrip ticket from
Garmisch. Take the Zahnradbahn to Eibsee and switch to the Eibsee-Seilbahn
cable car. For the return trip, descend via the Gletscherbahn cable car to the
cogwheel railroad's mountain station at Zugspitzplatt, where you'll board the
train for Garmisch.
During the winter season, you can buy ski passes for the
Zugspitze train, cable cars, and 35 other lifts in the
For more information on Zugspitze transportation (including
wheelchair access), check the summer and winter timetables at
Zugspitze.de, which is operated by
the Bayerische Zugspitzbahn. (Use the "Language" item in the top navigation menu
to select from 15 languages.)
The Tiroler Zugspitzbahn,
an aerial cablecar, climbs to the summit ridge from Ehrwald, Tyrol in 10
minutes. (In winter, tickets are one-way; in the summer, you can ride in both
directions by cablecar.) If the English flag icon doesn't work,
translate with Google.
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