Winter hiking in Innsbruck

The crunch of snow under your boots, the babbling of small brooks covered in ice.
The crunch of snow under your boots, the babbling of small brooks covered in ice. ©Innsbruck Tourismus - Christian Vorhofer

Winter hiking in Innsbruck: perhaps the loveliest way to discover the winter anew

The crunch of snow under your boots. The babbling of small brooks covered in ice. Winter sun instead of grey mist. And lots of fresh air to lift your spirits. If you’d like to experience this winter fairy tale for yourself, Innsbruck is just the place, the region boasting 67 kilometres of winter hiking trails which demonstrate what winter really can be like.

All those who enjoy outdoor exercise know that hiking is a delight not only in summer but also at cold times of year. And even if there are some minor local restrictions – because hiking tours cannot go up to the highest peaks in winter – there’s no doubt that winter hiking is still an enjoyable and healthy experience. And the Innsbruck region has so much to offer. Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely hike on the Mieming Plateau, surrounded by the high alpine landscape in the Sellraintal valley, or making use of the cable cars in Oberperfuss, winter hiking in the Innsbruck region not only stimulates the cardiovascular system but also fills you with a wonderful sense of sheer delight. Meadows and forests in their winter garb, breathtaking mountain panoramas and glittering snow make this a holiday experience you’ll never forget.

A bit of theory
Before you lace up your hiking boots, however, there are a few points you need to bear in mind because there are official criteria for designated winter hiking trails. A winter hiking trail is defined as “a trail laid out in snow that is marked, maintained, monitored and secured to guard against alpine hazards. Winter hiking trails are sufficiently wide, only moderately steep and not exposed, even in bad weather and snowfall, relatively safe and easy to walk with suitable footwear.”

Though in theory this may sound rather dry, in practice it’s exactly the reason why winter hiking is suitable for everyone. You can be confident that your winter journey of discovery will take you on well-groomed routes to the most beautiful places in the region. The starts and finishes are well signposted and there are also refreshment stops. The benefits of winter sport are also evident because you’ll be on the go for at least an hour. And if you've had enough of theory, these winter hiking trails are warmly recommended as a “practical test”:

67 kilometres, 17 trails – 3 of them new
Contrasting trails were signposted last winter – an easy-going trail on the Mieming Plateau and another in the high alpine landscape surrounded by 3,000 m peaks in the Sellraintal valley. This year we’re going even higher – and actually higher and more quickly, because three new winter hiking trails will be marked out this winter in Oberperfuss. In addition to a panoramic circuit taking you through the charming village for around five kilometres, the starting point for the two other new routes is the cable car mountain station. The winter Sonnrainweg trail at 1,400 metres is a good four kilometres long on the sunny side and takes around two hours. The trail to the reservoir is a bit shorter at 3½ kilometres, but a little steeper and takes around 2½ hours. There are plenty of places to stop for refreshments – either at the panorama restaurant or the Stiglreith Inn by the trail to the reservoir.

And best of all: for all holidaymakers in the Innsbruck region, the ascent on the cable car is free as this service is included in the visitors’ Welcome Card, which is also your ticket for all public transport in the Innsbruck region – meaning it’s easy to get to all the region’s winter hiking trails no matter where you’re staying.

Winter, hiking, sunshine: on the Mieming Plateau
If you’re setting out on a winter hike on the Mieming Plateau, sunglasses and sunscreen, appropriate footwear and clothing should be part of your basic equipment as you’ll be hiking in one of the sunniest regions in Tyrol. Four designated winter hiking trails offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy brilliant sunshine and magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.

The 3,000 m peaks as your hiking companions
In the Mountaineering Villages in the Sellraintal valley, you may be hiking in the high mountains but the going is still gentle. Safe, well-groomed trails lead you through a unique mountain landscape, the imposing scenery of the Stubai Alps accompanying you throughout. And at the highest point of the Sellraintal valley, in the Kühtai ski resort at 2,020 metres, hikers will also find signposted winter hiking trails that lead through the high alpine landscape.

Expertly led through the winter
If you’d like to take your “practical test” in winter hiking accompanied by a hiking guide, you can choose from an extensive programme of winter and snowshoe hikes in the Innsbruck region. The winter hiking programme offers visitors at least one opportunity every day to discover the most beautiful places in the best of company. And here, too, the following applies: with the Welcome Card participation is free and you can travel by public transport to the relevant starting point for free. Full information at
https://www.innsbruck.info/en/sport/winter/winter-hiking/winter-hiking-programme.html 

You’ll find much more information about winter hiking and lots of suggested tours at
www.innsbruck.info/en/sport/winter/winter-hiking

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