Nockspitze (2403 meters) is a popular summit hike near Innsbruck in Tyrol, Austria.
Nockspitze is located in the Kalkkögel mountain chain, which forms part of the greater Stubai Alps.
The hike to Nockspitze is a scenic tour that tackles a series of summits, including Zwölferspitze, Pfriemeswand, Nockspitze Vorgipfel, and Nockspitze (aka Saile).
All the peaks command sweeping views of the Inntal Valley, Innsbruck, and the Karwendel Mountains. As you progress, views open up to Stubai Valley and the Stubai Alps as well.
Though most of this 4-hour hike is quite moderate, there are some steep, slippery passages, which require a head for heights and surefootedness. Hiking poles are very helpful for stabilization. We use these Unisex Black Diamond Hiking Poles.
Tip | Hike this trail between Thursday and Sunday to take advantage of the Birgitzköpfl chairlift, which is typically open from the end of June to the end of September.
Camping | Nockspitze has been marketed as a sunrise hike and consequently camping has become quite popular on the summit. However, wild camping isn’t allowed on, or anywhere near Nockspitze. Camping is only allowed in official campsites in Tyrol.
Nockspitze Summit Hike in Tyrol, Austria
- Trailhead: Axamer Lizum, Tyrol | Google Maps
- Distance: 6.5 km circuit with chairlift ascent
- Time Needed: 4 hours
- Elevation Gain: 418 meters
- Elevation Loss: 905 meters
- Difficulty: Moderate – Moderately Difficult
- Minimum Elevation: 1561 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 2401 meters
- Where to Stay in/around Axams: Pension Singer (budget), Hotel Kögele (midrange), or Alp Art Hotel Götzens (luxury)
- Where to Stay in Mutters: Hotel dasMEI**** (luxury)
- Where to Stay in Innsbruck: Motel One Innsbruck (budget-midrange), NALA individuellhotel (midrange), Altstadthotel Weisses Kreuz (luxury), or Weisses Rössl (luxury)
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Nockspitze Peak Hiking Map
Where to Start the Nockspitze Peak Hike
Axamer Lizum Car Park
The Nockspitze summit hike starts at the Axamer Lizum paid car park. When we visited, the parking fee was 6 EUR.
There are buses that connect Innsbruck with Axamer Lizum with a transfer in Axams. See timetables here.
To check current conditions, take a look at the Axamer Lizum Webcam.
Birgitzköpfl Chairlift Mountain Station
You can shave off some elevation by taking the Birgitzköpfl chairlift. In the summer season, this chairlift only operates Thursdays through Sundays between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm.
The summer season usually commences in late June and ends at the end of September. Find out the exact dates on axamer-lizum.at.
Innsbruck Welcome Card holders ride the Birgitzköpfl chairlift for free. This card is distributed to anyone staying 3 or more nights in an accommodation in/around Innsbruck.
Nockspitze (Saile) Trail Description
Birgitzköpfl Chairlift Mountain Station to Zwölferspitze (15 minutes)
When you exit the chairlift, veer left in the direction of Zwölferspitze (20 minutes), Priemeswand (40 minutes), and Saile Nockspitze (1:45 hours).
Follow the gravel footpath across the grassy slopes and later scree slopes of the northwestern flank of the Nockspitze. Follow the red-white-red waymarks, maintaining a northeasterly direction.
The Karwendel mountain chain is visible from the start.
After crossing the scree, the trail angles up through dwarf pine to timber stairs.
Hike up to the Zwölferspitze summit cross (2098 m).
Zwölferspitze to Pfriemeswand to (20 minutes)
The way continues across dwarf-pine carpeted slopes.
When the path reaches the signed junction at the ridge, turn left to detour 5 minutes to Pfriemeswand peak (2100 m), also crowned with a Gipfelkreuz (peak cross).
Taking in the full sweep of the Inntal and Karwendel range, the outlook is similar to Zwölferspitze.
Pfriemeswand to Nockspitze Vorgipfel (1 hour)
Return to the signed junction and follow signs to Nockspitze Saile (1 hour).
Below the trail signs, there’s a “nur für Geübte” (only for experienced hikers) sign.
The Götzner Bergfruende Steig trail trail leads south and ascends through a craggy rockscape.
This stretch of the ascent is very slippery, because of the crumbling scree. Hiking poles are VERY helpful.
Later, a fixed cable helps you up the rugged mountainside.
The next signed junction indicates 35 minutes to Saile (Nockspitze). The trail continues to rise steeply up the eastern flank of Nockspitze.
Views open up to Stubai Valley, bordered by Serles, Kesselspitze, and many other peaks of the Stubai Alps.
After conquering some steep steps, you’ll summit the Nockspitze Vorgipfel, the Nockspitze pre-summit, also marked with a cross.
Nockspitze Vorgipfel to Nockspitze-Saile (10 minutes)
Continue hiking up to Nockspitze.
Nockspitze-Saile – Halsl Saddle – Axamer Lizum Car Park (1:30 hours)
Follow the signs to Halsl (45 minutes) and Axamer Lizum (1:30 hours).
With views of the Stubai Valley and Kalkkögel mountain chain, the trail twists down the mountainside.
At the signed junction, continue to Halsl.
At the Halsl Saddle, turn right and descend to Axamer Lizum (35 minutes).
The slender path leads through thick vegetation and forest, always above the stream bed.
Note | It’s possible to circuit back to the Birgitzköpfl chairlift mountain station and return to Axamer Lizum with the chairlift. We didn’t return to the chairlift, because it was already closed.
Where to Stay near Axamer Lizum
Axams Municipality comprises the villages of Axams, Birgitz, and Gotzens, which all lie on the Westliches Mittelgebirge plateau above the Inntal Valley. These are the closest villages to Axamer Lizum. Stay here if you plan on doing several hikes in the Kalkkögel and nearby Sendertal Valley. Here, you’ll find a nice selection of traditional, countryside accommodations.
Budget in Birgitz | Pension Singer (2 nights minimum stay) is a traditional B&B with cozy interiors and excellent breakfast spread, suitable for those traveling with, or without a car.
Midrange in Axams | The family-run Hotel Kögele is a 3-star hotel with a wonderful on-site restaurant and clean and comfortable rooms.
Mutters is a sleepy village overlooking the Inntal and Karwendel massif. It’s a 20-minute drive from Mutters to Axamer Lizum.
Midrange-Luxury | Hotel dasMEI**** is a modern hotel with spacious rooms, a spa area, restaurant, and bar. A fabulous breakfast is included in the rate.
Budget-Midrange | Motel One Innsbruck is located near the Innsbruck Train Station, a mere 10-minute walk into the Innenstadt (Inner City of Innsbruck). This modern 3-star hotel offers snug rooms with views overlooking the city and mountains. Don’t miss the top floor bar. Perks: luggage storage and 24/7 reception. Breakfast and underground parking are both available for an extra charge.
Midrange | NALA individuellhotel is a quirky hotel with uniquely-designed rooms, a sun terrace, fitness room, breakfast (extra fee), and nearby parking (extra fee).
Midrange-Luxury | Faktorei is a boutique hotel housed in a 15th century town house with 12 sun-drenched minimalist rooms, a garden, terrace, and bar. Private garage parking is available, but must be reserved in advance (extra fee). Breakfast is served in the hotel’s adjacent café (extra fee).
Top Choice – Luxury | Altstadthotel Weisses Kreuz is a contemporary hotel with an atmospheric bar in Innsbruck’s pedestrian zone. Stay here for the delicious breakfast, stylish design, professional staff, and location. No on-site parking.
Top Choice – Luxury | Set in a historic building in the center of Innsbruck, the exceptional Weisses Rössl is a boutique hotel with a 600-year-old Tyrolean restaurant. Expect a delicious breakfast. Paid public parking is located nearby.
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Austria Trip Planning Essentials
When to Visit Austria
Summer and early Fall are our favorite seasons in Austria.
Getting around Austria
Austria has an excellent public transit system. We’ve used it extensively to travel throughout the country. We highly recommend using transit if you’re visiting cities (Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz, etc…), and/or doing hut-to-hut hikes.
Some areas like Mayrhofen, Schladming and Lech am Arlberg have wonderful seasonal transit systems in place (e.g. summer hiking buses). However, if you’re not visiting during the high season, bus frequencies are significantly reduced and it’s far easier to get around with your own vehicle.
If you’re planning on visiting multiple destinations across Austria, we recommend renting a car.
Use these road trip itineraries for trip planning inspiration:
- 2 Week Austria Road Trip – starting in Vienna
- 1 Week Austria Road Trip – starting in Salzburg, or Munich
- 10-Day Bavarian Alps & Tyrolean Alps Road Trip – starting in Munich
We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
If you’re driving into Austria from a neighboring country, don’t forget to purchase a vignette at/near the border.
Hiking in Austria
Where to Hike in Austria
Read Austrian Alps Hiking Destinations for an overview of where to hike in Austria, with tips on specific trails and where to stay. Also check out Best Day Hikes in Austria and these region-specific hiking guides:
- Innsbruck Hiking Guide
- Salzburg Hiking Guide
- Filzmoos, Salzburg Hiking Guide
- Schladming, Styria Hiking Guide
- Lech am Arlberg, Vorarlberg Hiking Guide
- Vorarlberg Hiking Guide
- Vienna Mountains Hiking Guide
Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria
Austria is a premier hut-to-hut and long-distance hiking destination. The quality of the mountain huts are superb. We particularly love the high-alpine trails, which are called Höhenwege in German. We’ve summarized our favorite multi-day hikes in Trekking Austria. If you’re new to hut hiking, read this in-depth guide to Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria.
- Day Pack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B/C high-cut hiking boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- Backpack Camera Clip: Peak Design Camera Clip
What to See & Do in Austria
- Visit a gorge like the Liechtenstein Gorge in Salzburg.
- Bathe in the thermal pools of an Austrian Therme like Aqua Dome in Tirol
- Stay in a thermal spa hotel like Rogner Bad Blumau in Styria, EurothermenResort Bad Ischl in Upper Austria, or the Aqua Dome Hotel in Tirol.
- Hike to a mountain lake like Lake Tappenkarsee in Salzburg or Lake Drachensee in Tirol.
- Go Wine Tasting in South Styria.
- Marvel at the culture, music, and architecture of Vienna.
- Eat heartwarming mountain food in an Almhütte at Grosser Ahornboden in Tirol or Ursprungalm in Styria.
- Drive the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Hohe Tauern National Park.
- Visit the castles, monasteries, and wine taverns of the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Discover Tyrol, Austria
More Hikes around Innsbruck:
- Innsbruck Hiking Trails
- Day Hike: Wolfsklamm Gorge
- Day Hike: Stone Pine Path, Tux Alps
- Day Hike/Via Ferrata: Hundskopf Peak
- Hut-to-Hut Hike: Karwendel High Trail
More Hikes in Tyrol: