Innsbruck Region


The Eagle Walk

Eagles wherever you look! There's one on Tyrol's coat of arms, and they circle high over the mountains. It's even possible to see the shadow of one on a hiking map, as the course of the Eagle Walk is comparable to the silhouette of an eagle's wings. The 'King of the Skies' has given its name to the unique long-distance trail crossing through north Tyrol, a trail over 200km in length, with high altitudes and 24 stages. At its heart lies the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck.

Eagle Walk stages around Innsbruck

Hikers can discover Innsbruck and surroundings via five central stages. One example would be the Karwendel massif with food and rest at the Hafelekar. A treat after many difficult stages is the trail across the mainly flat Zirbenweg between Patscherkofel and Glungezer, a trail through one of the oldest pine forests in the Alps. A joy for your sense of smell to behold and a guaranteed wonderful view over the Inn Valley.

Innsbruck as starting point

24 stages require plenty of time and fitness. But shorter variations of a couple of days also guarantee a wonderful hiking experience. Thanks to its easy access to the Karwendel area, Innsbruck is a perfect starting point. Cable cars are ready to transport guests from the city centre to the top of the 2,000m-high Nordkette within 20 minutes, where the Hafelekar mountain station is situated directly on the Eagle Walk. From here, you can begin your walk with a commanding view over Innsbruck, or into the Karwendel and a view over mountain peaks and rock faces. Both are, naturally, recommended. 

Eagle walk stages

How many stages does the Eagle Walk really have? Some sources say 24, while others count as many as 30. The Great Eagle Walk through north Tyrol stretches across 24 stages, but the higher number includes the smaller Eagle Walk in east Tyrol, which has no direct connection to its larger brother between St Johann and Arlberg.

The Adlerweg (Eagle's Way) stage 12: Hallerangerhaus – Nordkette Innsbruck

1150 M 1.150 M
13 KM 13 KM
hard hard
From the Hallerangerhaus mountain hut, first turn onto the trail towards "Lafatscher Joch". This trail leads into a rocky corrie, which becomes increasingly steeper and narrower. Soon the route leads through the so-called "Durchschlag" (the point where the the old mule track broke through the rock) and a little later – past a cross – gently uphill to a pasture where there is a turnoff to Speckkarspitze peak. The route continues north along a pleasant stretch to "Lafatscher Joch" ridge. When you get to the ridge, follow the signs to the "Pfeishütte" mountain hut. Follow the trail gently downhill, following the signs to "Pfeishütte" and "Pfeishütte über Wilde-Bande-Steig". The ancient "Wilde-Bande-Steig" takes you through many areas of mountain pines and crosses several gullies as it makes its way slightly uphill to the entrance of the corrie below the Stempeljoch ridge. Follow the signs to "Stempeljoch" and "Pfeishütte". The trail through the corrie (constructed using wooden boards and numerous wire ropes) becomes increasingly steeper and the surface, which is initially stony and scree-lined, becomes more solid the further up you go. From the ridge, the route leads downhill to the right, passing through alpine meadows and pastures as it leisurely makes its way to the Pfeishütte mountain hut. The signposted "Goetheweg" trail (no. 219), which is excellently secured in many places, starts right from the hut. The route starts off as a footpath and later becomes an alpine trail as it climbs slowly uphill into the basin south of the hut. When you come to a fork in the path, follow the signs towards "Mandlscharte" and "Hafelekar Bergstation". At the next fork, take the right-hand path (the left-hand path goes to the "Arzler Scharte") and follow it as it makes a wide loop up through the scree corrie to the Mandlscharte col. The route then continues down through the scree fields on the other side. The route becomes a good, wide trail again and stays at a relatively steady altitude as it crosses below dramatic scree fields (great views of the rear side of the Nordkette mountain range). After a short ascent, the route takes you over to the Inn Valley side and zigzags downhill for a few metres, before following a gentle trail that leads slightly uphill to the west, crossing the upper area of the steep, partly grassy southern flank of the Nordkette to the Hafelekar mountain lift station. During this section, follow the signs for "Hafelekar Bergstation" or "Goetheweg". The last part of the hike alternates between the left-hand side and the right-hand side of the ridge. To get to Innsbruck, you can take the Nordkettenbahnen cable cars and the new Hungerburgbahn funicular straight down to the city centre. Alternatively, you can hike down.

The Adlerweg (Eagle's Way) stage 13: Innsbruck – Zirbenweg – Innsbruck

300 M 300 M
8 KM 8 KM
easy easy
From Innsbruck, take bus J to Igls to the stop "Talstation Patscherkofelbahn" and then take the Patscherkofelbahn gondola up to the Patscherkofelbahn mountain lift station. Follow the signs for the "Zirbenweg" (no. 350). The Zirbenweg trail starts above the "Schutzhaus Patscherkofel" mountain hut and leads east. This is also the start of the Alpine Club's "Patscherkofel Nature Trail". Follow the trail as it leads gently uphill to the Boscheben mountain hut. From Boscheben, the route continues in the same direction to the Tulfeinalm mountain hut and then up to the Halsmarter lift.  From there, you can take the lift down to Tulfes, the bus to Igls and then bus J back to Innsbruck. It is also possible to walk back to the bottom lift station of the Patscherkofelbahn gondola: from the bottom of the Glungezerbahn gondola, follow the Speckbacherweg trail via the villages of Rinn and Sistrans to Igls (walking time approx. 3 hours). You can also walk back to the main train station in Innsbruck from the bottom lift station of the Patscherkofelbahn in Igls: from Igls to Vill, through the forest to Poltenhütt, Tantegert tram stop, turn off towards Bretterkeller, cross the motorway bridge, continue approx. 200 metres west to Gasthof Bierstindl – Wilten Abbey – Leopoldstraße road – turn right through the Olympiabrücke pedestrian underpass – Südbahnstraße road to the train station (walking time approx. 1 ½ hours).

The Adlerweg (Eagle's Way) stage 14: Innsbruck – Solsteinhaus

940 M 940 M
7 KM 7 KM
medium medium
This stage starts by taking the Karwendel railway from Innsbruck to Hochzirl train station and then continuing on foot from there to the Solsteinhaus mountain hut.  From the train station, follow the signs to "Solsteinhaus". A good path takes you north of the tracks and straight into the dense forest. After a short distance, this path joins a cart track, which follows a very steep course straight uphill. This soon merges left to join the route from the Hochzirl hospital and continues steeply up through the forest, heading north-east.   After crossing the small stream that flows down from Brunnenschrofen, you come to a short stretch of almost level or only gently climbing terrain. The route now almost resembles a road, but soon leads steeply uphill again. At an altitude of around 1,350 metres above sea level, you come to a wide forest road, which takes you further uphill and passes above a small ravine. After passing a stream, you come to a trail that leads up through the thinning forest and mountain pines to the open alpine pastures around the lovely Solnalm mountain hut. From there, you get your first glimpse of your destination and the end of this stage, the Solsteinhaus mountain hut. The route continues to the right of the Solnalm and heads north along the valley towards Hollkar mountain, passing a few scree gullies along the way. The trail then crosses the foothills of the Hollkar and a stream before finally leading gently uphill through mountain pines to the Erlsattel saddle and the comfortable Solsteinhaus mountain hut (1,805 metres).

The Adlerweg (Eagle's Way) stage 15: Solsteinhaus – Leutasch

870 M 870 M
20 KM 20 KM
medium medium
From the Solsteinhaus mountain hut, follow the signs towards "Eppzirler Scharte" and "Eppzirler Alm". The route first leads along a marked trail through the Erlalm alpine pastures and then across stony, rocky terrain to the scree corrie and up to the Eppzirler Scharte col. When walking up through the corrie, the path splits. Continue along the path signposted to the "Eppzirler Scharte" (route no. 212), which leads steeply up to the col between the Kuhljochspitze and Erlspitze peaks. The route then continues along an equally good trail, which zigzags at times as it leads down through the rocky, scree-lined corrie (Kuhljoch) on the other side. The corrie is steep at first and then opens up to become very wide. At an altitude of around 1,700 metres above sea level, the trail dips down into green alpine pastures. After that, there is one more short, steep scree slope before the route reaches alpine pastures again. It then leads gently downhill and finally runs parallel to a dried-up stream bed until it reaches the Eppzirler Alm mountain hut. When you reach the hut, you have definitely earnt a break. From the hut, the route leads leisurely downhill along a wide road through alpine pastures and then continues in the same direction, along the Eppzirler Tal valley, past the turnoff for the Oberbrunnalm mountain hut (turnoff at 1,200 metres above sea level) and further downhill towards the entrance of the valley. The road then leads along the Gießenbach stream (alternating left and right of the stream) and into the Gießenbachklamm gorge. The gorge is wooded at first but becomes increasingly rocky. The route finally leads to the car park for the Eppzirler Alm in the Gießenbach district of Scharnitz. From there, you cross the tracks and the main road and then, when you come to the residential area, take the first right towards "Scharnitz" and then turn left towards "Hoher Sattel". Later, follow the signs for "Bogenschießstand" and "Scharnitz", before turning left towards "Leutasch" and soon after turning right onto the forest road "Leutasch über Hohen Sattel". After this short level section in Gießenbach, the forest road leads quite steeply uphill and then gently up through mixed forest to the Sattelklamm gorge. At the end of the path, a trail leads off through the sparse forest, mostly cutting across the slope but also leading steeply uphill in the middle part. This trail merges into a path that continues in the same direction towards Hoher Sattel. Keep following the signs to "Leutasch/Ahrn". On the other side of the Hoher Sattel col, a wide forest path leads downhill through the sparse forest of the col valley (sometimes very steep). Follow the route through the valley all the way to Leutasch/Ahrn and the bridge over the Leutascher Ache river.
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