Karwendel Nature Reserve
When Innsbruck's inhabitants look north, the Nordkette greets them with a friendly smile. Just one look at the imposing mountain range sets the heart racing, and more so within our visitors. The Nordkette is the gateway to a top-class alpine world of wonders, because it's here that the Karwendel Nature Reserve begins. Mountain peaks, narrow valleys, hidden meadows, and unspoiled alpine nature and animals await the visitor - a limitless world of leisure-time opportunities. Come and discover this mountain paradise with us.
Walking in Karwendel
Explore the expanse of Austria's largest nature reserve on a walking tour, for example. Here, there is something for everyone: from a simple walk across alpine pastures to a more difficult, multi-day tour for the more experienced mountaineering aficionados. Thanks to the numerous alpine huts and shelters, there is plenty of overnight accommodation, allowing more flexibility when planning your route and the opportunity to discover the whole area.
Get there easily by cable car
Transport connections to the Nordkette are excellent - and that's without a car! The Nordkette's cable cars ensure an easy and comfortable ride to the top from the centre of Innsbruck and, within a short time, they'll take you to the 2,300m-high Hafelekar - one of the nature reserve's most beautiful places with a fairytale vista over Innsbruck, the Inn Valley and beyond. The Hafelekar is also the ideal starting point for exploring the Karwendel Nature Reserve.
Mountain biking and climbing
With stamina and strength to the top. Got enough strength in your legs? Then get yourself on a mountain bike and cycle through the nature reserve! Rocky cliffs, gravel terrain and alpine pastures create a wonderful setting. Steep tracks with rugged sections will push you to your limits. Perfect for those who really want to test themselves. At the top, there are plenty of cosy places to eat, such as the Pfeishütte or the Höttinger Alm. Enjoy a refreshing glass of blackcurrent or elderberry juice and tuck into typical, delicious sources of strength like fried cheese dumplings or a bacon snack.
Climbing gardens and rock faces
For those who like to climb, the Karwendel nature reserve has a multitude of possibilities. One example is the Innsbruck via ferrata, a panoramic climb in two stages from the Hafelekar to the Langer Sattel and further on to the Frau Hitt Sattel. Narrow tracks, a rope bridge and dolomiten-like rock towers make the trail unforgettable. There is, by the way, a chance to shorten the route; take the trail to the Nordkette cable cars after the first stage.
In the Hall Valley, there are seven climbing gardens with different levels of difficulty available, offering climbing facilities for families and experts. The Hall Valley is situated just a couple of kilometres northeast of Innsbruck and is both ruggedly picturesque and steeped in history. At one time, this was a salt-mining area, bringing fame and fortune in medieval times to Innsbruck's neighbouring town, Hall. The entrance to the Hall Valley is located a good way out of the town, reachable from Innsbruck on the bus to Absam/Eichat.
Nature conservation in Karwendel
Wild, natural and unspoilt; these attributes make Karwendel great. Rare plants and animals are dependent on the sensitive equilibrium here and many different conservation projects exist to maintain this balance. The white-backed woodpecker, the European bullhead, the common sandpiper and the golden eagle are just some of the reserve's important inhabitants. The 'king of the skies' can even be seen relatively often in the area, and 14 breeding pairs are at home in the nature reserve. Nature-watch tours introduce our visitors to this special habitat.
Offers and promotions
Discover the nature reserve with a variety of offers, workshops and guided tours! Our tour guides will take you on a trip through this wonderful alpine treasure and photography workshops will show you how to take the best holiday snaps, ensuring a long-lasting memory of your visit. Every week, there is a nature walk covering different topics, and these even occur daily between 7th March and 31st October. A ranger will take you on a pleasurable two-hour walk and show you some of the park's beautiful spots while explaining all about his work.
Children's programme in the nature reserve
An exciting programme for children is our training to become a junior ranger. The children collect points at interesting workshops and discovery classes, and those who collect enough points can take the ranger exam. But before that, there is much to experience. For example, the rangers take the children on a visit to a wild river where they can learn which animals call the area home. A further highlight is the Karwendel Olympics, a mixture of knowledge of nature, dexterity, sport and games. In this way, the children successfully complete more educational knowledge and collect even more junior ranger points.