Circular route to Patscherkofelbahn (1952m) from Igls

The ascent to Patscherkofel is an easy route, although the elevation gain is high, and very accessible from Innsbruck. It offers spectacular views of the city, the entire Inn Valley and the nearby mountains. The route is interesting, since between the forest and the meadows you will find Alms, Hüttes, a chapel, restaurants, a ski resort and even a bobsleigh circuit.


  • Date: 01-11-2016
  • Elevation gain: 1310 m
  • Distance: 18.47 km
  • Difficulty: low.
  • Duration: 5:35h with stops included.
  • Access: The starting point of the route is the base of the Patscherkofelbahn cable car, which is located in Igls. It can be reached from Innsbruck by public transport, with the J bus towards Igls Olympiaexpress. We get off at the Igls Patscherkofelbahn stop, but it is possible to leave it at the Igls Olympiaexpress stop, so we would avoid the first 20min of the route. In both starting points we find parking areas.



The route to Patscherkofel goes through a forest road and a path in very good condition, so this route is highly recommended for tourists who want to walk in the mountains near Innsbruck.

The ascent is made by the north face, so it is colder and darker than the descent, southwest orientation. We recommend making the circular route, since the change of orientation offers different views. In addition, it does not add kilometers to the unidirectional route.

00:00 Start. Just behind the building where the cable car to Patscherkofel is located, we start our route. We cross the parking lot and continue along an asphalted road that goes into a very dense forest.

00:20 Road crossing. We find a road that we must cross to continue the route, already on soil. At this point there is another stop of the J bus and another parking area, so you can also start the route from here. From here we will go through areas of forest and meadow, where you can see the ski lifts of the ski resort.

00:50 Heiligwasser. On the side of the forest road we see a very curious chapel and a restaurant. This is the first viewpoint from which we can enjoy the views of the city of Innsbruck.

01:25 Crossroads. At this point the routes of ascent and descent separates, we follow the signs direction to Lanser Alm (direction E).

01:55 Lanser Alm. In this last section we move away from the ski resort, walking all the time through forest and colder areas. A few meters before Lanser Alm the forest road ends after crossing a wooden bridge. The route becomes a path that, although it is narrow, has no difficulty. In Lanser Alm we find a restaurant, several wooden houses and another viewpoint that offers beautiful views of the Inn Valley. We follow the path that goes to the right of the houses, in a sharp curve (direction S).

02:45 Patscherkofelbahn. We reach the top of the cable car, where we find a restaurant, closed due to the time of year. From here we can see the path that leads to the top of Patscherkofel peak in approximately 50 minutes (direction S). The day is short and it's already late, so we decided not to risk and we stay to enjoy the views, instead of climbing to the top.

03:30 Descent. We take the path of descent towards Patscher Alm (direction S) to make the circular route. The descent also takes place through forest and meadows.

04:10 Patscher Alm. We pass through other Alm, during the descent we find some houses and areas surrounded by fences for cattle.

04:30 Deviation to Igls. We take the detour to Igls (direction N), along a path that crosses a ski slope and only 5 minutes later we reach the detour where we return to the forest road that we used to ascend (direction N).

05:35 Arrival at Igls.



Views of the ski resort and Nordkette
Views from Heiligwasser
The forest road become a path before to arrive to Lanser Alm
Lanser Alm
Fountain of Lanser Alm
Views of Innsbruck and Nordkette from Lanser Alm
Path after Lanser Alm
Views of Stubaital and Stubai glacier.
Innsbruck and Inn valley
Inn valley
Patscher Alm
Patscherkofel from Innsbruck with snow few days later

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