The five mountain ranges in the Innsbruck region are the Karwendel Nature Park, Patscherkofel, Mieminger Kette, Kalkkögel, Sellraintal valley & Stubai Alps, and they are all perfect for hiking at all altitudes. You can also enjoy exploring the beautiful landscape and varied wildlife, and the terrain will satisfy your every expectation of a great hike or climb.

It’s just 30 minutes from Innsbruck's city centre to a box seat on the mountain. Take the Nordkettenbahnen via the Hungerburg and Seegrube up to the Hafelekar summit at 2,300 m in the middle of the Karwendel Nature Park, with Innsbruck practically at its feet. The imposing Nordkette with its rugged limestone cliffs is just one of many parallel chains in Austria’s largest nature park. "Breathtaking" is the word that comes to mind as you enjoy the marvellous view of the city and surrounding mountains from the Seegrube (1,900 m). Talking of enjoyment: calling in for refreshments at a mountain inn is an essential part of almost every hike in the Innsbruck region. So you must certainly call in at the Seegrube before heading further up to the Hafelekar, which is the starting point of the Goetheweg, one of the most stunning mountain trails in the Karwendel Nature Park. It’s also part of the Tiroler Adlerweg (Eagle Trail) which leads to the remote Pfeishütte, and this hike, like many others, can be extended to a multi-day trekking tour. The Karwendel Höhenweg (high-altitude trail) also rewards experienced hikers with a fascinating interplay of stimulating mountain solitude and magnificent views of Innsbruck. You can stay overnight in a mountain hut and each of the six stages can be hiked individually.

Karwendel Nature Park can also be explored on foot from Innsbruck. Starting from the Hungerburg, you can choose the easy option of an almost flat path to one of the excursion stations such as the Rechenhof and Gramartboden. Or you hike up to the higher lying mountain inns such as the rustic and cosy Arzler Alm, the Umbrüggler Alm, a remarkable trendsetter with its contemporary architecture and modern take on Tyrolean cuisine, and the Höttinger or Bodenstein Alm, whose panoramic terraces provide outstanding views.

The Patscherkofel rises as a "gentle giant" of slate and quartz to the south of Innsbruck. It’s not only Innsbruck’s home mountain but also an Olympic mountain where various skiing competitions were held as part of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics. The Patscherkofelbahn cable car whisks you up to almost 2,000 metres to the starting point of lots of hikes which are both family-friendly and scenically very impressive. The Zirbenweg (Swiss stone pine path), the most beautiful mountain trail, winds its way far and wide through stands of centuries-old stone pine and, with gentle ups and downs, heads east to the Tulfeinalm on the Glungezer moutain. It’s an easy hike up to the summit of the Patscherkofel and from the summit you can enjoy extensive panoramic views over a fantastic landscape.

Those who get up to the Patscherkofel summit in June and July are treated to a unique and spectacular sight when the splendid pink of the alpine roses complements the cool green of the stone pine trees. One of the most popular mountain inn circuits is the Almenweg 1600 Patscherkofel, which takes in four inns and can be tackled either by taking the easy option downhill from the Patscherkofel middle station or the slightly more challenging uphill option.

The Rinner, Aldranser, Sistranser and Lanser Alm mountain inns are also perfect places to stop for refreshments on a perfect hiking day.

The Mieminger Plateau with its the sunlit expanses, pastures and forests is located in the limestone mountains of the Mieminger Kette (chain) in the west of the Innsbruck region. Here lovers of walking can enjoy many a delightful high mountain hike and explore the area’s culture and cuisine. You’re in the former homeland of the "Mountain Doctor", from the TV series of the same name, so a hike to the Bergdoktorhaus is a must. Other equally manageable hikes are those to the Lehnberghaus or round the beautifully situated golf course to the Stöttlalm inn. On the Sun Plateau Circular Hike you hike the along plateau to the Holzleitensattel (saddle), Burg Klamm with its waterfall and Zein bathing lake. Other popular hikes are those incorporating a refreshment stop via the Strassberghaus to the Neue Alplhütte, Marienbergalm or Simmeringalm inns. Those who dare to venture higher and are sure of foot can enjoy the view from the Judenköpfe mountain or the Wank summit. Only experienced hikers who love a challenge should attempt the "Königstour" up to the Hohe Munde, an impressive landmark with its striking peak.

The Kalkkögel, limestone mountains with bizarre rock and summit formations, have acquired the nickname the "North Tyrolean Dolomites". A hike through this landscape southwest of Innsbruck is combined with a series of remarkable experiences of nature. Your gaze sweeps from dizzying towers of rock to 360o panoramas, from the unique mountain flora to sheep grazing on extensive high plateaus. The Kalkkögel can be climbed on one of the panoramic tours on the Hoadl from the village of Axamer Lizum, which hosted the 1964 Winter Olympics and where there are lifts and cable cars to take you up. Hiking to the summit of the Nockspitze (2,404 m), also called Saile, is a wonderful experience, and the Salfeins circular hike brings some unexpected insights, its enchanting biotope a wonderful place to stop and relax. The region around the Kalkkögel in the Muttereralmpark (1,608 m), easily accessible on the Muttereralmbahn cable car, is undemanding and family-friendly and the starting point for numerous gentle hikes, such as to the Kreitheralm and Götzneralm inns, and the Innsbruck Almenweg (Alpine pasture trail) provides lots of opportunities for a refreshment stop.

The Sellraintal & Stubai Alps is the fifth of the mountain ranges in the Innsbruck region. This is a very important hiking area with ​​unsurpassable scenic appeal. It comprises more than 500 named peaks up to 3,500 metres above sea level, Kühtai which is Austria's highest Ski World Cup venue, and the climbing villages of the Alpine Club in the Sellraintal valley. Only a few kilometres southwest of Innsbruck, lovers of hiking can explore a primeval landscape, catch sight of ibexes, eagles and marmots, and make full use of the well developed network of hiking trails with shelters such as the Westfalenhaus. If you love hiking in the high mountains, you can try the Sellraintal High Altitude Hiking Trail, with means of ascent and descent all along the valley, the Knappenweg or the Peter-Anich-Höhensteig trails. Super fit trekkers can take on the challenge of the Sellrain Hut Circuit, while the easy-to-walk Three Lake Circuit in Kühtai is particularly popular with families. A tip: in June and July, the landscape is also adorned with alpine roses in full bloom.

The long-distance hiking trails in the Innsbruck area include the Innsbruck Trek, a 7-day hike of the renowned Alpine School Innsbruck (ASI), which starts in the centre of Innsbruck and crosses the sunny expanse of the Mieminger Plateau to the mountains of the Stubai Alps, Kühtai and Sellraintal valley to the Patscherkofel and then back to the city. Each day participants choose between a challenging hike and one of medium difficulty, staying in 3-star accommodation. On the Innsbruck Trek you can either hike accompanied by the ASI guides or individually at your own pace and, with your luggage sent on ahead, you can easily feel as free as a chamois.

Once you’re standing on a summit, it’s as though you have the world at your feet and above is only sky. "Summit conquest – the easy way" is what we say in the Innsbruck region when you reach the top of a mountain with the help of cable cars and lifts. Doing so makes the hikes to the highest elevations of the Patscherkofel, Hafelekar, Nockspitze or Rangger Köpfl a breeze but, at an altitude of some 2,000 metres, they still offer some spectacular views. There are also some easy and relatively short hikes like those up to the Faltegartenkögele in the Kühtai or the Simmeringalm on the Mieminger Plateau which bring the reward of fantastic views and a wonderful experience of the great outdoors.

The Innsbruck region offers perfect support for all hikers with its free hiking programme. Visitors receive a Welcome Card from their accommodation provider which entitles them to join guided hikes with the guides of the Innsbruck Alpine School. From May to the end of October, the programme includes several weekly tours which introduce inexperienced hikers to the beauties of the mountains around Innsbruck. The free hiking bus takes visitors to the starting point for each tour, and hiking boots and backpacks are available for hire on request. If you stay for more than three consecutive stays, the Welcome Card package also included free rides on the Innsbruck region’s cable cars, with one ascent and descent on each of the Muttereralmbahn, Nockspitzbahn, Bergbahnen Oberperfuss, Drei-Seen-Bahn Kühtai and the Axamer Lizum Olympiabahn. You also get a 25% discount for a ride on the Patscherkofel and Nordkettenbahnen (only for Innsbruck-Hafelekar-Innsbruck).

 

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Hiking with an amazing view.

Keywords

Hiking, Summer

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