The Goetheweg hike probably offers the best, close up, aerial views of Innsbruck. If you’re staying in Innsbruck, this is the trail to do. The trail walks along the slopes of the Nordkette mountain range directly above Innsbruck.
Drive to the Nordkettenbahn cable car station at Innsbruck Hungersburg - directly in Innsbruck! You can park your car there.
|When to do|
June to October
Yes, at the trailhead and at PfeishÃ¼tte
Route Description for Goetheweg
From Innsbruck Hungersburg take the cable car all the way up the mountain to Hafelekar. There are two stops of the cable car; the first stop is Seegrube and, the second one is Hafelekar. Make sure you go to the final stop: Hafelekar.
At Hafelekar you’ll already have a stunning view over Innsbruck. When you step out of the cable car station you’ll see a peak called Karlsspitze directly in front of you. Take the trail along the mountain crest that passes just to the right of this peak. There is also a sign saying GEO Trail. This is the most beautiful section of the hike. You’ll have the best views of Innsbruck and the Inntal.
After about 40 minutes you’ll cross over a little pass and the scenery changes quickly. As you hike in a basin surrounded by barren mountain peaks, it’ll feel a little alien. There is little to no vegetation here.
After some time, you’ll reach a nice vista point on the trail. There is a big stone on the ground with red writing on it. It points in the direction of Zugspitze: the highest mountain in Germany!
Continue on the trail until you cross another little pass. On top of that pass is a junction where you continue straight (if you go left you can summit a nearby peak, but it would involve some serious scrambling).
Continue on this trail until you reach the Pfeishütte mountain hut. You can take a break here and buy some beverages. Afterwards, get back on your trail. Shortly after Pfeishütte there is a junction. Go right. The path will lead you up the mountain basin. Continue on this trail and keep on it for the remainder of the hike.
You’ll walk around the big mountain to your right. Soon you will reach a pass. The views from the pass are exceptional. Here you can decide whether you want to summit Rumer Spitze or continue back down to Innsbruck Hungersburg. To summit Rumer Spitze take the path right up the mountain (some scrambling necessary). To go to Innsbruck Hungersburg, continue straight.
You will only go downhill from now on. During the descent you’ll pass some huts where you can buy beverages and enjoy the view. As you descend, the surrounding forest gets denser and cooler. In the last section the trail can get quite confusing because there are lots of junctions; however, all the trails from here eventually lead you to Innsbruck Hungersburg if you just follow the mountain crest. You can even see the cable car you rode in on from further away, so keep that point in mind. You can also look out for the “red-white-red” markings on stones or trees; these will also show you the way.
You can start this hike in the late afternoon. If you plan to sleep at Pfeishütte then you can finish the loop the next day. You’ll have the best light for taking pictures if you split the hike into two days. Note that the hut stops serving dinner at 8pm, so don’t leave this too late!
The descent is not technically difficult, but it can be quite slippery sometimes. Trekking poles are a great help!
You can summit Rumer Spitze on this hike. However, this involves difficult scrambling. The trail up to Rumer Spitze is very difficult and steep. Definitely not appropriate for kids! Nor most of us that don’t like hard scrambles.
Click the link to find out more about hiking the Austrian Alps.
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