"Rhein valley - high water, low water!" Top 5 Page for this destination Land Rheinland-Pfalz Warnings Or Dangers Tip by Trekki
Land Rheinland-Pfalz Warnings and Dangers: 5 reviews and 7 photos
This is not meant as a danger but more of a “be aware”: our lovely and beautiful Rhein River is being fed by many streams from the western Alpine region and several low mountain ranges along its course (Schwarzwald/Black Forest, Vosges, Hunsrück, Taunus, Eifel and Westerwald). Depending on the amount of snow there in winter and the melting periods afterwards, the water level increases. Or it can increase after heavy rainfall during all seasons. Consequently it has high water levels almost anywhere during its course to the North Sea. Throughout Rhein Valley between Bingen and Koblenz and also more upstream and downstream floods might occur. This can be fun for kids of any age but it is not much fun for the locals when their houses get flooded.
My first two photos are from Boppard, one of the villages along Upper Middle Rhein Valley. These marks show how high the water was during the flood years (the highest one for 1982 is at approx. 1,5 metres). The third photo is of St. Goar, the highest mark for 1988 at approx. 2 metres. Flood watch and protection is very good all along Rhein River but simply be aware that it can occur and that it makes moving around a bit difficult.
A good website to watch high water levels, albeit in German is the one of Rheinland-Pfalz: rivers in blue: situation is normal, river(s) in orange: high water, river(s) in red: flood might happen.
The other “be aware” topic is the opposite: low water makes navigation on the water a challenge. Consequently, boats will likely not operate. However, it all depends on the level of low water and the type of boat and its draught/draft. In case you are travelling through Upper Middle Rhein Valley in hot and dry summers and plan to take the boat, better consult the boat operator if they run on schedule. To give you an idea how low the water might become, have a look at this photo of Rhein river at Bingen. It is from year 2003 when we had an extreme dry summer. It was the first time since ages that one could wade through the water to reach the island of Mäuseturm (mouse tower). Only boats with an extremely low draught could operate during the time when these photos were taken.
© Ingrid D., June 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.), update April 2015: wording
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