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Walk the Goetheweg to the Nordketten Bahn

Hiking route · Innsbruck
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  • Views over Innsbruck
    / Views over Innsbruck
    Photo: Sarah Stone, Macs Adventure
m 2300 2200 2100 2000 1900 1800 6 5 4 3 2 1 km
On the Goetheweg trail, you’ll find a spectacular panoramic hike high above Innsbruck on the Nordkette mountain range from Pfeishütte Lodge to Haferlekar mountain station.
Distance 6.2 km
2:40 h
532 m
183 m
2,283 m
1,924 m

If you had an overnight in the valley, use the Seegruben and Hafelekarbahn cable cars to head up to Hafelekar mountain station at 2,256m above sea level. If you have overnighted in the Pfeishutte start from it. 

You’ll follow the Goetheweg trail on the southern slopes of the Nordkette mountain range to Mühlkarscharte with its magnificent views over Innsbruck. At Mühlkarscharte, you’ll switch to the northern side of the Nordkette, where the Karwendel mountains will tower over you, before hiking across Mandlscharte to the cosy and welcoming Pfeishütte Lodge. From the Hafelekar mountain station you can take Innsbruck’s Nordkettenbahn cable cars down into the city and, later in the afternoon, enjoy exploring this beautiful Alpine destination. 

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Sarah Stone
Update: December 01, 2021
Highest point
2,283 m
Lowest point
1,924 m
Best time of year

Safety information

Today you may be walking past a few different areas where cows graze. Although generally very docile and used to walkers, keep your distance and never turn your back on a cow that is behaving strangely or aggressive. Be particularly vigilant around cows with calves. 

Always allow plenty of time for your hike. The walking times indicated do not include breaks. Breaks for photos and a rest need to be added to the specified times.

Make sure you find out about current weather conditions and keep an eye on weather changes. Thunderstorms can gather very quickly in the Alps.

Do not leave the marked hiking trails and be extra cautious in poor visibility. The trail is partially exposed. Given this is a mountainous trail, you should be steady on your feet and not afraid of the high altitudes.

Tips and hints

Food and Drink

Food and drink: refreshment is available at Pfeishütte Lodge and Hafelekarhaus. 

Innsbruck’s Nordkettenbahn cable cars: 


Pfeishütte Lodge (1,923 hm) (1,923 m)
47.329833, 11.425584
47°19'47.4"N 11°25'32.1"E
32T 683264 5244671


Haferlekar mountain station on Innsbruck’s Nordkettenbahn cable car network

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km - With the entrance to Pfeishütte Lodge behind you, walk onto trail number 219 (Goetheweg) opposite you and follow this slightly uphill. The path, which later starts to ascend, will lead you to a mountain hut.

1.1km – At a fork in the path, head towards ‘Mandlscharte’ and ‘Hafelekar Bergstation’, and TURN RIGHT at the next fork (left would take you to Arzler Scharte), then follow the Schuttkar up to Mandlscharte in a wide loop.

2.7km – You’ve arrived at Mandlscharte. Take care here, the short descent to the other side is very steep and stony. Continue following the safe and wide trail, which will cross under the rocks at the same level (with great views of the Nordkette mountain range behind you).

4.1km – After a short climb, you’ll switch to the Inntal Valley side and descend in a zig-zag fashion for a few metres. The trail then turns into an easy climb to the upper part of the sloping, partially grassy southern side of Nordkette, taking you slightly uphill to the west to Hafelekar mountain station. Stick to the signs for ‘Hafelekar Bergstation’ and ‘Goetheweg’. The last section alternates to the left and right of the ridge.

6.2km – You have reached Hafelekar mountain station.


all notes on protected areas


47.329833, 11.425584
47°19'47.4"N 11°25'32.1"E
32T 683264 5244671
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Always wear good walking boots with a robust sole, and take waterproofs with you. Take plenty of water with you (min. 1 litre) and don’t forget sunscreen!

Hiking poles can be helpful.


Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Kit para bolhas
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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Photos from others

6.2 km
2:40 h
532 m
183 m
Highest point
2,283 m
Lowest point
1,924 m
Scenic Linear route


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