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The Zugspitze, Germany’s Highest Mountain


Marking the border between Germany and Austria, the Zugspitze is easily summitted by a state-of-the-art cable car.

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The Zugspitze, at nearly 10,000 feet, is Germany's highest mountain. And this cable car zips us to the top in 10 minutes. The cable is about three miles long. It's supported by only one pylon. And it stretches nearly two miles to the summit with no support at all.

While there are many higher mountains in the Alps, the Zugspitze is unique. It stands alone, offering a view of hundreds of peaks in Germany, Austria, Italy, and even Switzerland. The mountain marks the border between Germany and Austria.

From here the Alps arc like a grand alpine symphony — from [near] Vienna way in the east all the way to the French Riviera, where these mountains finally plunge into the Mediterranean.

The Zugspitze summit attracts huge crowds. As on so many European mountaintops, you'll find restaurants, shops, and well-entertained tourists.

The Zugspitze is famed for a cold and ghostly wind that can really howl in the winter. This hikers' hut has been perched here for well over a century. And thanks to these beefy cables, it's never been blown off the top.

The summit — first climbed in 1820 — is marked by a golden cross, carried up here by hardy villagers back in 1851. Today, with the help of iron steps and cables, it's climbed — either from the distant valley floor or from the adjacent summit restaurant — by families, seniors, and even travel writers.