A short but steep hike to the lowest peak of the Nordkette range.

Statistics

2 - 3

hrs

837

m

837

m

21

max°

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Moderate

Description

This hike really shows what the alpine city Innsbruck is all about: escape from the buzzing city within minutes and finding yourself in an alpine environment.

Even from the city centre you can spot this little peak just in front of the mighty Nordkette mountain range.

The Achselkopf hike evolves from a rather chilled trail followed by a quite steep approach towards the peak.

Ideally take your bike or the "A" (Sadrach/Allerheiligenhöfe) bus to the Sadrach bus stop.

Alternatively, cars could be parked at the Hofwaldweg parking lot. Walk along the Planötzenhofstraße and leave the last houses behind.

At the first bend of the Planötzenhofstraße, the trail proper starts with the gravel road on the left.

Foolow the gravel road easily to reach a lovely beech forest, where a spring offers the opportunity to refill the bottles (the last chance to do this until the top).

As the trail begins to become a bit steeper and crosses another gravel road, take the path to the right (east) onto a smaller ridge.

As you walk along this Knappensteig, you leave the Höttinger Bilder chapel on the right behind and start to see the peek just in front of you.

The steep section begins and within minutes you'll pick up some vertical meters and begin to get a rewarding view over the city.

The trail then crosses multiple gravel roads and follows the direct route to the peak.

In summer, this steep section with the pines and other lime stone vegetation really feels and smells like scrambling alongside the mediterranean coastline, so take a deep breath and enjoy the moment! Just before the last part, the steep section offers a stunning view over the Inn Valley, Innsbruck Airport and the Sellrain Valley.

After the trail continues with a rather flat section towards east, you'll need to turn left (west) for the last meters to the top.

You'll then have to scramble up a few meters of steep terrain so be aware of loose rocks, which could fall onto other hikers on the trail! After a final meters in mellow terrain, you'll reach the stone memorial and a bench on top of the Achselkopf.

The view over Innsbruck with Patscherkofel, the Wipptal Valley and the Stubai Valley in the background of the city are a great pay off for the exhausting last section of the trail! Those who didn’t brought enough water can take a 10 minute walk on the continuing trail to the private Achselbodenhütte.

They will find a spring on the right side (east) of the hut, where they can refill their bottles. The way back down either just follows the way you took to get up or starts in the middle of the path between the Achselkopf and the Achselbodenhütte.

This second option adds a nice bit of variety to the upper section of the hike. From the Achselkopf, continue to follow the trail north in direction of the Achselbodenhütte and Brandjochkreuz until you have the opportunity to turn right (east) 5 minutes after you started.

As you follow this trail down, you’ll get a nice view of the Seegrube and Hafelekar.

Just follow this trail until you reach your uphill trail again, and follow this down.