Zugspitze Ski Resort

Zugspitze cable car ascends the summit of Germany;s highest peak
Waist deep powder skiing at Zugspitze ski resort Germany
Wetterwandeck chairlift at Zugspitze ski resort on a cold January morning
Zugspitze piste trails are best for beginner & intermediate skiers
Garmisch Partenkirchen (Ga-Pa for short) - the ideal base to ski Zugspitze
Zugspitzebahn cog railway is a scenic way to travel to Zugspitze ski resort.
Low light conditions but deep powder snow at Zugspitze ski resort
Zugspitze summit station at 2962m elevation in winter's icy grip
Heading to Sonnenkar hooded chairlift at Zugspitze
Zugspitzplatt has all the resort facilities in one place
Sonn Alpin restaurant at Zugspitze offers welcome respite from the cold
The glacier at Zugspitze is the perfect terrain for progressing beginner skiers
Low angle off-piste powder skiing at Zugspitze - great for intermediates
Zugspitze summit is split between Bavaria Germany & the Tirol Austria
Zugspitze summit station - stylishly renovated, providing superb dining & viewing
Sledding trails for non-skiers are a feature of Zugspitze ski resort
The Zugspitze Iglu Dorf Ice Hotel is amazing & worth a visit
Spending the night in the Zugspitze Iglu Dorf is quite the experience
Après ski in Partenkirchen at the small night market
Ski Zugspitze Germany

Zugspitze Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Zugspitze

Zugspitze3/51
Zugspitze3 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Best Powder in Austria

Nearby Ski Resort

Garmisch Classic

    Zugspitze Ski Trail Map
  • Zugspitze Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    2000m – 2720m (720m))
  • Average Snow Fall
    10m+
  • Lifts (9)
    3 Cable cars / Cog Railway
    2 Chairs
  • Opening Dates & Times
    November to early May
    8:00am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 20km
    Longest run – 3.5km
    Advanced - 0%
    Intermediate - 65%
    Beginner - 35%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 19/20
    Adult - €48
    Child - €24.50
    Child u/6yr - Free
    >1 day includes Garmisch Classic
    Garmisch Classic Ski Trail Map
  • Garmisch Ski Trail Map
     Garmisch Transport Map
  • Garmisch Transport Map
     Zugspitze Sledding Map
  • Zugspitze Sledding Map

Zugspitze Ski Resort Germany

Looming high above the quintessential German ski town of Garmisch Partenkirchen (or Ga-Pa for short) is Germany's highest peak, Zugspitze (2962m). The ski resort of the same name is the nation's highest & most snow sure, topping out at 2720m.

Who would thought that it was possible to ski quality waist deep powder in Germany? It is possible & we did it at Zugspitze. The arrival location at Zugspitze is at the top the resort so its a step off the train, clip into skis & drop straight into powder. Awesome!

Pros & Cons for Zugspitze Ski Resort

Pros

  • High altitude, snow-sure ski area with a long season;
  • Some fabulous beginner & lower intermediate piste trails!
  • Uncrowded;
  • Modern lifts;
  • Incredible mountain restaurants & bars, particularly on the Zugspitze summit;
  • Amazing après ski in the Iglu Dorf Ice Hotel & Sonn Alpin;
  • Several awesome non-ski activities including sledding plus gob-smacking lookouts & winter-walking ;
  • Good value lift pass price linked with Garmisch Classic & including local train transport;
  • Accommodation in nearby Partenkirchen is sublime, as is the ambiance of its ‘old town’;
  • Excellent public transport access by train to two separate base areas.

Cons

  • No advanced on-piste trails;
  • Small ski area with most terrain on a shortish skiable vertical;
  • The off-piste is only short-pitch, low angle, rolling terrain, which holds only limited interest.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Can be incredibly cold – a blessing & a curse depending on your blood circulation!
  • The train journey from Garmisch is in two parts & takes way too long; but is also an amazing trip for a first timer plus provides a comfortable, safe alternative to driving;.
  • Accommodation is some distance away by rail or road at Grainau or Garmisch Partenkirchen. Ga-Pa is split between the fun & newish Garmisch & the beautiful traditional Partenkirchen;
  • Few ski-in ski-out accommodation options, but there are a couple at the resort base & the amazing Iglu Dorf Ice hotel in the ski resort. And anyway, the real action happens in Ga-Pa!

Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

The skiing at Zugspitze is in a northerly aspect glacier bowl providing open alpine terrain with a seemingly satisfying 720m skiable vertical. The piste trails are best suited to beginner & lower intermediate skiers & snowboarders. Advanced & expert riders will need good visibility & some imagination to make the most of the rolling off-piste terrain as there is nothing on-piste that will hold one's interest for much over an hour. We visited on a deep powder day in poor visibility & had loads of fun, but the lack of pitch tempered the yip, yip yahoos!

See the Zugspitze ski trail map here.

On face value, Zugspitze appears to have a wide range of ski lifts in the resort, the reality is that only 2 modern chairs & 3 surface lifts serve the ski terrain. The chairs serve only 300m of skiable vertical. The surface tows are on the glacier for beginners, one of questionable value between the chairs & the important Brunntal tow, serving a further 300m vertical down the bowl. All the cable cars & railways simply provide access (albeit with some fine views & incredible engineering.

The ski resort is connected to the summit by a cable car, but no piste trails link the two - such a shame. Ski access is best via the cog railway, but we recommend taking the Gletscher Seilbahn (Glacier cable car) up to the summit of the Zugspitze at the end of the day on the way back to Ga-Pa. From Zugspitzplatt, the Gletscher cable car ascends to the incredible snow & ice clad lair on the summit. When covered in its winter coat, the buildings & viewing platforms look like something from a science fiction movie. The viewing platforms are excellent & the restaurant area is superbly designed to maximise the panoramas from the precipitous perch. You can also step into Austria (the border runs through the summit) & even take a cable car down to the Austrian Tyrol.

Where is Zugspitze Germany?

Zugspitze is in Bavaria, southern Germany, on the border with Austria. The ski resort is 12km south west of the main resort village of Garmisch Partenkirchen & less than 5km as the crow flies from Ehrwald in Austria. By road, the access cable car base at Eibsee is 11km from Ga-Pa. The town is only 90km south of Munich & 65km north of Innsbruck, Austria. Both cities are the gateway airports to Zugspitze & are connected to the area via an excellent railway network.

Travel to Ga-Pa is an easy 2.5hr train ride from Munich airport or less from Innsbruck's main station. Search & book train tickets to Garmisch Partenkirchen here.

Zugspitze is connected to Garmisch Partenkirchen and its nearby ski resort of Garmisch Classic, by trains & cable cars. A cog railway train chugs its way up through the mountain directly to the ski resort area. Alternatively, two cable cars make the journey up to the Zugspitze summit, one on the German side & another from the Austrian side near Ehrwald. All travel modes on the German side are included in the ski lift pass. See the local transport map here.

Zugspitze Accommodation

The town of Garmisch Partenkirchen is the ultimate German holiday destination & the perfect base to ski Zugspitze. It has oodles of quality Bavarian hotels & guesthouses. Previously two separate villages, Ga-Pa has two distinctly different faces. Garmisch is the more modern, lively & commercial side of the ledger. The Partenkirchen side of town is the opposite, having retained much of its traditional architecture & charm, providing the most pleasant accommodation location.

Search & book all Garmisch Partenkirchen ski accommodation here.

Closer to the Zugspitze ski area is the quiet village of Grainau, 4km east of the cable car base at Eibsee. The village is split into Untergrainau & Obergrainau. A train station on the Zugspitze rail line is in Obergrainau. The Eibsee Hotel is near the main Zugspitze cable car base. For a real treat, spending a night in the brilliant Iglu Dorf Ice hotel will provide lasting memories with its combination of ice sculptures, hot tubs, bar & fur clad sleeping areas.

Alternate access to Zugspitze is on the Austrian side via cable car from a small village called Obermoos, near the larger town of Ehrwald. Both could serve as bases to ski the resort. Ehrwald is central to the Austrian Tiroler Zugspitze Arena ski resorts.

Review

The Powderhounds skied Zugspitze in waist deep powder in January 2019. See our review via the 'View all reviews' link in the upper left column for more photos & insights or click here.

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Tours in or near Zugspitze

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Premier Austrian & German Ski Resorts Tour
ALL INCLUSIVE DELUXE PRIVATE SKI TOUR
9 Days | 8 Nights | 7 Ski Days
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Fully hosted & guided deluxe private ski tour taking in six premier Austrian & German ski resorts over 9 days. Stay in 4 & 5-star hotels, enjoy the all inclusive meals & be transported by luxury van to each new destination. Private groups only for up to 10 people - apply for your best dates.
Price p/p From price based on 9 days for a group 4, twin share.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 7,370
View Details
 
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Zugspitze here
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