©Achensee Tourismus

A short Alpine break – the Karwendel Circuit in 3 stages

Hiking Collection by Achensee

The oldest protected area in Tyrol and the largest nature park in Austria begins on the west bank of the Achensee – the Karwendel. Here, a mountain chain with a unique landscape, cozy mountain huts and picture-perfect panoramas ticks all the boxes for a wonderful alpine hike. In this Collection, we present the three-day Karwendel circuit which guide you through the region’s varied sides.

On your round through the Karwendel, you hike through romantic alpine meadows, climb rugged peaks and spend cozy evenings in mountain huts. In addition to its picturesque forests, rustic rivers and impressive limestone Alps, the Karwendel is also home to an array of wildlife and plants. You have a good chance of spotting a golden eagle sailing through the air here, as the Karwendel has the most dense golden eagle population in the Alps.

The Karwendel circuit is not an easy hike – you should be experienced in alpine terrain, surefooted and in a good physical condition. The round starts in Pertisau am Achensee. From here, you can either take the cable car up to the Zwölferkopf or you can power up the first 1,650 feet (500 meters) in altitude on foot. The loop officially starts at the mountain station at the top of gondola.

If you don’t have three days, you can shorten the route to two days. On the second stage, we show you an option to bring you back to Pertisau, complete with magnificent views from the Sonnjoch.

No matter which variant you choose, reserve your accommodations in advance so that you are guaranteed a place to sleep. Don’t forget to pack sun protection, a rain jacket and some snacks, so you are well equipped for your mountain adventure.

Ready to go? You can look forward to the unique Karwendel region, peppered with views over the Achensee and the surrounding mountains – the perfect alpine short vacation.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    2.76 mi
    1.6 mph
    1,625 ft
    0 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Do you want to hike to the start of the Karwendel circuit on your own and earn an extra 500 meters in altitude? No problem! On your way up to the Zwölferkopf you will be rewarded with great views and an exciting route. The approach to the Karwendel circuit starts at the valley station of the Karwendel cable car in Pertisau.You follow the signs towards the Rodlhütte, which you will reach after almost two kilometers. How about a (second) breakfast on the promising terrace? Freshly strengthened, you will continue to climb uphill. Again and again you enjoy great views of the Achensee. Look forward to a wonderful hiking trail that leads you partly through tunnels carved into the rock.After almost five kilometers you have reached the top station of the Karwendel cable car - and the official starting point of the Karwendel circuit. In the Alpengasthaus you can fortify yourself before your three-day hiking adventure really begins.

    translated byView Original
    10.9 mi
    1.4 mph
    3,400 ft
    4,075 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Your three-day hike through the Karwendel Mountains starts at the mountain station of the Karwendel cable car on the Zwölferkopf. From Pertisau you can relax at 1,500 meters. Don't worry, with over 1,000 vertical meters on today's daily program, there are still a few climbs ahead of you. Stage 1 of the Karwendel circuit takes you from the mountain station to the Gramai Alm.You start your hike through the protected area of the Northern Limestone Alps towards the Bärenbadalm. The cozy alpine hut is already after a kilometer on your side of the path, a small detour for some cake energy is worthwhile - because now the ascent begins.Accompanied by a great panorama, you continue to hike uphill until you reach the 2,100 meter high ox head. Here you more than deserve a break, the panorama is terrific! You hike further over the ridge, past the Gamskarspitze, over the Kaserjoch to the Nauderer Kar and a little further up to the Rappenspitze. A fantastic view awaits you at the summit cross.The descent to the Nauderer Kar follows the ascent route, then you keep left. You continue to hike downhill through the picturesque mountain landscape until you reach the Gramai Alm, your milestone.

    translated byView Original
  • Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  • Difficult
    7.72 mi
    1.1 mph
    5,025 ft
    2,775 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    After a restful night on the Gramai Alm, continue with stage 2 on the Karwendel circuit. Today you can choose: either you have three days for the classic Karwendel circuit or you want to shorten it to two days. This stage is part of the classic round. It takes you a good twelve kilometers to the Lamsenjochhütte - 1,530 vertical meters and fantastic views from the highest mountain in the Sonnjoch Group await you.You hike the first two kilometers on a flat route through the mountain landscape before the ascent to the Sonnjoch summit begins. You follow the increasingly steep path to the Bärenlahnersattel and then continue on the ridge towards the Sonnjoch. On the 2,457 meter high mountain you can expect a breathtaking view of the Achensee and the Rofan Mountains beyond. If the visibility is good, you can even see the entire main ridge of the Eastern Alps from the Großglockner to the Stubai Alps.From the summit crest of the Sonnjoch, the path leads you down a ridge through a mountain range and on over the Gramaisattel to the Gramaijoch. Now it's a bit uphill again over the Hahnkampl, before you then quite relaxedly cover the last part to the Lamsenjochhütte - day's destination reached.

    translated byView Original
    9.88 mi
    1.3 mph
    3,700 ft
    4,700 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    If stage 2 of the Karwendel route is a bit too steep for you or you want to save a day of hiking, we will show you an alternative route here. This way you hike directly back to Pertisau via the Sonnjoch summit.The 16-kilometer tour starts at the Gramai Alm. From there, the route continues uphill via the Gramai Hochleger until you are standing on the Sonnjoch summit after a good five kilometers - the main mountain of the mountain group of the same name. The panorama is correspondingly impressive. Treat yourself to a break at the summit cross at almost 2,500 meters and enjoy the fantastic view of Lake Achensee and the Rofan Mountains beyond.You already have the challenging part of the hike behind you, now it's all downhill. On the way you hike past the rustic snack station on the Falzthurnalm. After a relaxing break, the path takes you on a flat route back to Pertisau on Lake Achensee.

    translated byView Original
    9.63 mi
    1.5 mph
    1,500 ft
    4,775 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    As soon as you get up, you can see the spectacular rock faces of the Lamsenspitze from the Lamsenjochhütte - and there you go. Today there is only one climb waiting for you, but the third stage of the Karwendel circuit is challenging. As a reward, a dreamy, high alpine landscape awaits you.The path rises steeply right at the beginning. The next two kilometers keep going uphill. Sometimes you hike over loose rubble, so be careful. You follow the wire rope insurance and wind your way up the mountain on serpentines. The summit cross of the 2,508 meter high Lamsenspitze is the highest point of the Karwendel tour - and the view of the surrounding mountain landscape is simply fantastic!The descent to the Lamsenscharte is the same as the ascent. Then keep left at the Lamsenscharte. Over the Gramaier Grund you hike towards the Gramai Alm and follow the hiking trail down to the Falzthurn. You deserve a break in the snack station. The last kilometers are then on a flat route back to Pertisau am Achensee.

    translated byView Original

Like this Collection?



Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    40.9 mi
  • Duration
    30:37 h
  • Elevation
    15,275 ft

You Might Also Like

60 miles on the Way of St. James
Hiking Collection by
The Alemannenweg - hiking in the Odenwald
Hiking Collection by
Bike parks around Baden-Württemberg
Mountain Biking Collection by
A short Alpine break – the Karwendel Circuit in 3 stages
Hiking Collection by