Munich Monday--Wolfsklamm

1:46:00 PM Unknown 4 Comments

Have you ever planned a really fun day--at least one that sounded good to you--and then had it completely go awry? That is exactly what happened last weekend when I took my family hiking in Austria.  The setting could not have been better--the hike was a family friendly trail following a cascading river with several waterfalls, ending with lunch at the top of a very scenic peak. The weather has perfect and my children were HORRIBLE. Have I mentioned my children are 16 and 9.  We passed grandmas and toddlers making the trek with no grunts, groans, wails or crying, yet such was not to be my luck. 

Have you ever wondered, "why do I bother traveling with my children?" or have you silently committed to taking away every electronic toy until they learn to like nature? Or have you wondered how they can't believe they are the luckiest kids on the planet? I believe in traveling with children.  I believe in getting my kids outdoors--my husband and I are the active sort--but last weekend I found myself thinking "family time is over rated--from now on I'm leaving them at home!" 
All this seems a little dramatic, but I was so disappointed--in their behavior and the bad mood that prevailed over our day.  Fact is, my children are spoiled!  They have been spoiled to see more cites, waterfalls, ruins and fantastic places than the average person on the planet and at a far younger age.  They haven't been fulfilling their own dreams, but have been drug along as Bob and I fulfill ours.   On a recent trip to Ljubljana we walked up to the castle over looking the city.  I said to my 9 year old, "wow, it's not every day you get to see a castle," and with out missing a beat she replied, "yea, just every other month!"
I guess it's time to face the fact that as my children get older they will have stronger opinions about how they spend their free time and we need to listen more to what they want and include them more in the planning process.  Perhaps, if we balance our excursions to meet everyone's needs we will meet with less resistance and tension.
Despite my disappointing experience, the Karwendel region of Austria is beautiful and full of family friendly activities. It is only two hours south of Munich on the autobahn and makes a great day trip.  We hiked the Wolfskamm, ate lunch at St. Georgenberg, went swimming at the Stans Family Schwimmbad and visited Schloss Trazberg.
After crossing this bridge you are in the oldest pilgrimage area in the Sud-Tirol. We ate lunch in the restaurant behind the lovely church below.  Nice outdoor seating with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

The Details
For hiking details such as trailhead and parking click here
Cost: €3.50 adults/2.50 children
Time: It took our family 2.5 hours to make the round trip hike including a stop for lunch.  
Tip: You have two options when you come down--you can turn around and follow the klamm back to the beginning or cross over the river and follow the fire road down.  We chose the fire road which leads you away from the river through the trees.  If I were to do this hike again I would follow the stream both ways, it is prettier and truly downhill. The fire road makes a few inclines before leading downward. If you plan to visit the castle Trazberg you can hike to it from Wolfsklamm.  About halfway up you will see signs pointing the direction.   
After our hike we thought swimming might be a good way to simmer down the tempers that had heated up during the day, so while the kids swam I went to the castle--alone.  And guess what, I enjoyed it so much more because everyone was happy doing what they wanted to be doing!
Tratzberg is just 5km from Wolfsklamm.  It was a bit more expensive than other castles, but it is by far the best medieval castle tour I've done.  The rooms are full of period furniture, wall hangings and decoration.  A guide leads you from room to room, but you listen to commentary on a headset.  Check the website because there are events throughout the summer.
You aren't allowed to photograph the inside of the castle, only this courtyard.

Cost: €13 adults/€9 teens/€7.50 children or €35 family
Hours: 10am-4pm.  Tours on the hour.
Time: 1 hour
Tip: Allow 15-20 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the castle entrance. There are two paths; a steep foot path and the paved road.  For those who don't want to make the hike up, there is a small tourist train (€1.50 each way) that will get you to the top in 8 minutes. There is a restaurant and playground at the base of the trail.  It is very family friendly!

If you take the foot path you will see this outpost.
As I began this post...our day was fraught with tension, but I can totally recommend the beauty of the region! There are several possibilities for hiking, swimming and enjoyment in the Karwendel!


  1. it is always refreshing to read your blog as you tell your new adventures,
    and you share it with such honesty. ^-^
    i;ve been a following your blog after my mUnich visit last year.
    I think, in all trips,
    you do have those ups and downs,
    my sis and I are like peas in a pod, but we constantly fight now and then, trivial matters mostly.
    I guess, both of your kids do enjoy traveling but sometimes, they also need a break. ^0^
    for them it would seem like an obligation, but for us, it's a way to de-stress.
    anyways,I hope I can visit this place and do the trekking on my own. ^-^
    nice pictures. ^0^

    1. Thank you! I really vacillated over whether I should make this so personal, or just report on what there is to do because the area is so nice. In the end I figured this was my reality...traveling with children isn't always easy, even if they are smiling in the pictures.

  2. I have a feeling that if your children do miss some of these cool trips you do, one day they will be so sorry... Despite all tension, I'm pretty sure in a few years they will thank you.

  3. Such a fun trip! Beautiful. Thanks so much for joining the party on Monday and come again!