Home » Hiking in winter – from Torfhaus to Brocken
From Torfhaus you hike on the Brocken

Hiking in winter – from Torfhaus to Brocken

From Torfhaus you hike on the Brocken at any time of the year. However, the Brocken is also one of the most popular winter hiking destinations in the Harz Mountains. Experienced hikers with good physical condition can climb the Brockengipfel during a challenging circular hike (GPS data and a tour description can be found at the end of this article). The varied route begins and ends in Torfhaus and offers sweaty climbs, magnificent views and a stream crossing. The tour is particularly attractive when a thick layer of snow lies over the cliffs and granite blocks and hoarfrost transforms the spruces into strange shapes.

Harz Winter Hiking Brocken
Harz National Park

From Torfhaus walk to Eckerquerung

The Brockenblick large car park is recommended as the starting point for this winter hike. From there it continues first to the signposted Goetheweg and after a few minutes on foot along the Torfmoorweg. Soon a small hiking trail lures you left into the forest, leads you directly along the Schubensteinklippe and back to the peat bog path. Now the route runs south on the historical Kaiserweg, where after a while a hiking trail branches off to the left, which leads to the Ecker. On the Pionierweg the hiker now follows the flow direction of the mountain stream until shortly after the mouth of the river the spot of the Eckerquerung is reached. Large, flat granite blocks lie close together in the streambed and allow an adventurous crossing of the Ecker.

Ranger Station Scharfenstein and Bismarck Cliffs

On the other side of the stream we continue to the National Park Ranger Station at Scharfenstein, where a managed log cabin invites you to rest. Up to now the hiker has walked on narrow paths, now he chooses the relatively wide Hirtenstieg to the Brocken summit. It is a constantly ascending, relatively wide column path, whose perforated concrete slabs usually remain hidden under the snow cover during the winter months. In the beginning the low conifers still stand close to the wayside, later the tree growth becomes sparser. The next prominent waypoint is the Bismarck cliffs, which can be easily climbed with suitable ice and snow conditions. The hiker reaches a height of about 900 metres above sea level and enjoys a beautiful view of the Eckerstausee lake.

Harz Winter Hiking Brocken
Wonderful winter landscape near Torfhaus

On the Hirtenstieg to the summit – on the Goetheweg to Torfhaus

Now begins the steepest ascent of this winter hiking tour, with increasing altitude often rough wind complicates the laborious hiking, fitness and above all endurance are in demand. On clear winter days the buildings on the Brockenplateau soon become visible. When the tracks of the Brockenbahn have been crossed, it is almost done and the Hirtenstieg leads to the summit loop. In fog-free hours the summit offers an incomparable panoramic view over the country.

Passing the Brockenhaus and the Brockenbahnhof we cross the plateau to the Brockenstraße and downhill again. Shortly after the Knochenbrecher curve, the hiker turns into the Goetheweg and walks through the dense forest next to the Brockenbahn track bed. At the former Goethebahnhof railway line and hiking trail separate, a short time later the Eckersprung is reached. From there the Goetheweg leads directly back to Torfhaus. The hiker passes the meagerly overgrown Brockenfeld, runs over the Quitschenberg and an idyllic stretch of path along the Abbegraben. Then the Torfhaus settlement is already reached again and the parking lot is only a short footpath away.

Tour description: From Torfhaus walk in the direction of Schubenstein-Klippen. At the Scharfenstein ranger station take the Hirtenstieg, which leads steeply uphill to the Brocken summit. The way back leads you over the Goetheweg past the Eckersprung to Torfhaus.

Further links:
Large car park Torfhaus/Brockenblick – Google Maps
Große Torfhaus Brocken Wintertour
22 km / 6 - 7h
Torfhaus - Schubenstein-Klippe - Rangerstation Scharfenstein - Bismarckklippe - Brocken - Goetheweg - Eckersprung - Torfhaus
Tour-Level: schwer/challenging
Download GPX Tourdaten

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