Snowshoe hiking is a winter sport for everyone. You don’t need any lessons, you don’t need to buy expensive equipment, you don’t even need to be super fit. You can simply strap on some rented snowshoes, grab your poles, check the avalanche report, and off you go!
Of course, if you’ve never done it before, maybe don’t climb the biggest mountain you can see. Instead, choose one of Innsbruck’s many snowshoe hiking trails, complete with mountain tranquillity and stunning nature. Here are three trails to try, whether you’re a beginner, an intermediate or an expert!
Beginner Trail: Patscherkofel
Innsbruck’s home mountain is home to a rather epic ski area. But the ski lifts will only get you so far. To reach the very top of the mountain, rent some snowshoes and take the Patscherkofelbahn lift to the top station. As you exit the cable car station, you’ll see the gorgeous “Gipfelstürmer” path on your right. This not-too-steep snowshoe trail winds its way around the Patscherkofel, leading you up to the mountain peak. And once you’re there, well, what a view! A 360-degree panorama of some of Innsbruck’s most amazing scenery is how all snowshoes hikes should end.
Start: Patscherkofelbahn lift (take the J bus from Innsbruck city centre)
Time: 1hr 15mins one way
Altitude difference: 280m
Intermediate Trail: Juifenalm
The Sellraintal valley is the jewel in the Innsbruck crown. With its dramatic mountain peaks and majestic glaciers, a snowshoe hike here is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience. A good hike for intermediate hikers is the trail up to the Juifenalm. Starting at the Juifenau car park, follow the toboggan track up through the forest. After a few curves and plenty of stunning views, you will finally reach the Juifenalm. This traditional hut offers a wide panorama of the Stubai Alps, and a chance to rest and recoup before the hike back down.
Start: Juifenau car park (take the 4166 bus from Gries im Sellrain)
Time: 1hr 45mins one way
Altitude difference: 646m
Advanced Trail: Simmeringalm
If you’re looking for a slightly more challenging hike, then the trail up to the Simmeringalm is ideal. Located on the beautiful Mieminger Plateau, this longer trail is a treat on a sunny spring day. From the Grünberglift car park follow the wide forest path up along the old ski piste. After about an hour, you’ll reach the “Zwischensimmering”, which is a good place for a quick stop and a drink. Then follow the signs up to the Simmeringalm, your final destination. From up here, you can enjoy some of the most beautiful views of the surrounding mountains—a few selfies are a must!
Start: Grünberglift car park (take the 4176 bus to Obsteig Mooswaldsiedlung)
Time: 2hr 30mins one way
Altitude difference: 815m