Walking - The Geisterklamm Gorge
Description: Geisterklamm ("Leutaschklamm")
Location: Leutasch to Mittenwald
Time: 2 hours (complete gorge tour)
The Geisterklamm gorge in the lower Leutasch valley has grown to become one of the most popular tourist destinations on the plateau.
The gorge crosses the border between Austria and Germany between Leutasch and Mittenwald and is suitable for all ages and levels of walker.
A smaller version of the Leutaschklamm gorge walk existed for years and is still available from the Mittenwald end. (It is run as a private enterprise and it is not connected with the newer walk.)
The main Geisterklamm walk was largely funded by the EU and is accessible both from the Mittenwald end and from the Leutasch valley.
The name "Geisterklamm" ("Spirit Gorge") was created by the marketing department, but it is essentially the major part of the Leutasch gorge where the Leutasche Ache falls from the hamlet of Schanz to the valley around Mittenwald below.
The gorge can be visited as a grand loop or cut short halfway around by way of a spectacular bridge high above the rushing water.
Much of the walk is on metal gratings, with the water clearly visible some way below, which makes the experience a spectacular one (although not necessarily suitable for those who suffer from vertigo).
Interactive boards and displays offer interesting information about the geology and plant life in the Leutaschklamm, while children may or may not be amused by the words of the marketing creation, the "Gorge Spirit".
The walk inside the gorge only takes a relatively short time, but it can be lengthened by starting or finishing with the stroll along the stream from the Geisterklamm through the pastures of the Unterleutasch valley to Weidach.
Other prefer to take the walk down to Mittenwald via one of the two routes. The one on the right hand side of the gorge (looking downstream) passes the Gletscherschliff restaurant, with its lovely terrace and views down onto Mittenwald.
The route then continues past the entrance to the Leutaschklamm gorge (small entry fee), which is worth a visit for the impressive wooden walkway just above the stream and waterfall at the end. There is a small cafe with tables here.
The centre of Mittenwald with its bus and rail connections back to Leutasch (bus only), Scharnitz and Seefeld is around 30 minutes' walk from the entrance to this smaller gorge. (Beer enthusiasts might like to note that the road into Seefeld passes the local Mittenwald independent brewery.)