One of our professors led willing groups of students on different hikes each week while we were in Innsbruck. We would go in the afternoon after classes were over. This professor was in his 70s (maybe even older), skinny, and drank more beer than water. So when he said “hike” I thought he meant “a carefree walk on a path.” Nope. He meant hike. And trying to pack light, I only packed two pairs of shoes. One of those was a pair of classic Toms. I could wear them with dresses or pants, to class or around town, and maybe even on a brisk walk on a country path. Did not expect to wear them hiking up mountains. No surprise that I did not bring those shoes home with me. They were done by the end of our third hike. If you plan on hiking in Innsbruck, bring appropriate clothing (I had a hard time finding sports bras, too) and shoes.
Since I was merely following someone who knew the way, I cannot recreate these hikes or give you directions, so check out this website for hiking paths in and around Innsbruck.
Lanser Kopf Hike
This was the first hike we went on. It wasn’t difficult, but a lot further than I was expecting to hike in my Toms and with a purse. I’m sure my professor looked at me and thought there was no way I’d make it to the end, or end up going on all but one of the other hikes.
We took a bus from Old Town to Igls (see below). From there, we walked out of town and started walking through an open field.
Eventually we reached the mountain area and the real hiking began. I chose to stay at the rear of the group so I could stop as often as I wanted to take photos of the breathtaking landscape.
At one point another professor offered to take some students on a detour to see an old church and cemetery. In order not to stray too far from the main group, he warned those students willing to go to the church that he would be running there and back. I was not dressed (or in shape) to run, but I wanted to go for the photo opportunity.
After getting lost on our way back, we eventually caught up with the main group near Lansersee. We took the long route to get to this small lake.
After that we went back to Igls to catch a bus back to town for a meal at the Stiftskeller.
“Look Out” Hike
This trail begins at Bergisel (same place where the Kaiserjäger Museum is located). There is a nice park nearby the museums with a statue of Andreas Hofer (the writing on the monument says “For God, Emperor and Fatherland). Hofer became a folk hero after leading the Tyrolean rebellion against Napoleon in 1809. There is also a statue of Franz Joseph I, the longest-reigning emperor of Austria.
Here is a link for the trail. It is a loop around the area where the ski jump is located. We started our hike towards the river, rather than following the path towards town. The only difference between the trail we took and the one shown on the website is we crossed the river.
It had been raining earlier in the day (and thunderstorms the night before) so the trail was blocked off. But our guides (our law professors) decided we’d assume the risk and went on ahead.
We followed the Sill river (with extremely blue water), crossing a bridge or two, before making our way to the Look Out point.
From the riverbed you can see the Aussichtsplattform Bergisel (Panaroama Round Bergisel).
Once you reach the platform, you can stand on the glass walkway which hangs over the river. You’ll get wonderful views of the Sill gorge and other mountains. If you’re afraid of heights, you may want to skip this hike (not sure if there was a way around the platform).
From the platform you’ll be able to see the Bergisel Ski Jump. There is a cafe inside the ski jump in case you’re interested in a snack after the hike. I never made it to the cafe while staying in Innsbruck.
Finishing the loop, we walked along a road overlooking Innsbruck. And came to the front of the Ski Jump where you can see the Olympic Rings.
Then you’ll end at Bergisel where you can catch a bus back to Old Town.
This was a long, semi-tough hike. Especially for someone wearing Toms (hence the walking stick I found to help me on a very muddy and steep part of the path). We hiked to the top of Patscherkofel. I have no idea where the starting point is for this trail. All I remember is taking a bus from Old Town to Igls to get there.
Here are some photos from the trail we took.
We passed underneath the cable cars several times as we weaved our way up the mountain.
There is a restaurant and bar at the top which we didn’t have time to enjoy. We stopped at the cable car, and the restaurant is a little further up. Here’s a map of Patscherkofel (which is found at the cable car station at the top). The arrow is where we stopped.
At the top, where the cable car station is, there is a look out point. You can even see some cows grazing.
If you don’t think you’re up for the hike to the top, you can always take the funicular. We took it down since we didn’t have enough time to do the hike back (or have the energy).
This is the building for the cable cars, located in Igls.
Karwendel Mountain Hike
The Karwendel Mountain range is across the Inn River from Old Town. Instead of crossing the modern, needling-looking bridge, we crossed the river over an old wooden bridge (Weiherburgsteg).
From there, I couldn’t tell you where we went. I just followed the leader up the mountainside and through a small town.
And ended up in an open field.
If you’re near the Aspenzoo, you can hike for about 30 minutes up to the Nordkette Cable Car. This will take you to the top of the Karwendel Mountain. This was the one hike I didn’t participate in because I went to the Lansersee instead. The group hiked to the top then took the cable car down. For information on visiting the top of the mountain, visit the Nordkette website.
Innsbruck has plenty of other hiking opportunities, as well as other outdoor activities. If you’re visiting in the summer, be sure to check out Innsbruck’s website for more information on your options.
Enjoy your hiking experience in and around Innsbruck!