The Stone Pine Path (“Zirbenweg” in German) is a blissfully easy walking path in the Tux Alps, high above the Inntal Valley in Tirol, Austria.
Lined by Europe’s largest and oldest stone pine trees (Zirben), this undulating forest trail invites you to breathe deeply, slow down, and contemplate your next Zirbenschnaps.
From the trail, views extend across the Inntal Valley to the majestic Karwendel mountains.
The Zirbenweg trail begins at the Patscherkofelbahn cable car mountain station and ends at the Glungezerbahn mountain station.
With a convenient cable car ascent and descent, hikers can steadily walk along a high altitude path at 2,000 meters, with very little grade variance. It’s flat, straightforward, and a perfect activity if you’re hiking with children.
Kati and I hiked the Zirbenweg on an overcast day. Though we’re partial to sunny hiking days (who isn’t), there was something delightfully sedate and refreshing about being outside on a crisp, foggy afternoon.
The weather didn’t impact our experience, even though the views were somewhat limited.
Zirbenweg (Stone Pine Path): The Easiest Hike in Tirol, Austria
- Starting Point: Patscherkofelbahn cable car mountain station (Igls)
- Ending Point: Glungezerbahn mountain station (Tulfes)
- Distance: 7.7 km point-to-point. You can hike the trail in either direction.
- Time Needed: 2:30 hours
- Elevation Gain: 198 meters
- Elevation Loss: 106 meters
- Difficulty: Easy
- Min. Elevation: 1964 meters
- Max. Elevation: 2061 meters
- Route: Patscherkofelbahn – Patscherkofel Schutzhaus – Boscheben – Tulfeinalm – Glungezerbahn
- Lunch & Snack Options: Das Kofel Restaurant, Patscherkofel Schutzhaus, Boscheben, and Tulfeinalm
- Where to Stay: Hotel-Pension Leitgebhof in Igls (Budget), B&B Appartements Glungezer in Tulfes (Midrange) or Gasthof Walzl in Lans (Luxury)
- Recommended Trail Map: Innsbruck WK 241 1:50 000 (Freytag + Berndt)
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Stone Pine Path Map
When Can You Hike the Stone Pine Path?
Early June until early October, when the cable cars are operating.
Tip: If you are here in spring / early summer, you can enjoy the blooming alpine roses that line the trail at this time of year.
Stone Pine Path Circular Walking Ticket
Because this walk requires the use of cable cars and transit, you’ll need to purchase tickets either separately or together.
The Stone Pine Trail circular route ticket is a “combi-ticket” that includes one ride with the Patscherkofel cable car, one ride with the Glungezerbahn, and the (optional) bus between Tulfes and Igls (PostBus 4132/4134).
Bus Timetables Bus 4132 / 4134 (Tulfes nach Igls / Igls nach Tulfes) | Timetable
Ticket Price with bus | 35.50 EUR (Adults), 32 EUR (Seniors), 21 EUR (Children) | Price list
Where to Purchase the Ticket
Glungezerbahn Valley Station
Address | Glungezerstraße 14, 6075 Tulfes | Google Maps
Opening Times | 8:30 – 17:00. On Tuesdays in July and August, the cable car is open until 10 pm.
Opening Dates | Open daily from Early June – Early October
Patscherkofel Valley Station
Address | Römerstraße 81, 6080 Igls | Google Maps
Opening Times | 9.00 – 17.00. On Thursdays, the cable car is open until 11 pm.
Opening Dates | Open daily from Mid/End May – Late October
Stone Pine Path Trail Description
From the Patscherkofel mountain station, head East. After passing Patscherkofel Schutzhaus (mountain hut) locate trail 350.
Throughout the walk, follow signs to Tulfeinalm.
After about 40-minutes of gentle walking, you’ll spot Boscheben Alm just off the trail, on your right side. You can grab a snack here, or continue to Tulfeinalm.
From the Boscheben Alm, the Zirbenweg runs along the forest line at about 2000 m above sea level.
Info boards explain facts about the local Swiss stone pine population.
There are no serious ascents or descents along the Zirbenweg.
Enjoy the magnificent views of Innsbruck and the Inn Valley as well as the breathtaking backdrop of the Nordkette (Karwendel Mountains), the mountain wall flanking the opposite side of the Inntal.
Towards the end of the hike, there’s another nice place to stop for refreshments at the Tulfeinalm.
The Tulfeinalm mountain hut is a mere 10-minutes from the Glungezerbahn mountain station.
Where to Eat in Tulfes after Hiking the Stone Pine Trail
We can’t write about this trail without mentioning Tuxerbauer Hofladen.
Located only a few minutes (walking) from the Glungezerbahn Valley Station, this delightful farmstand-shop-restaurant makes mouth-watering Tirolean specialties.
We ate here four times during our stay in Tulfes. Their Eierschwammerlgulasch (chanterelle mushroom goulash) and Kaspressknödelsuppe (cheese dumpling soup) were outstanding.
Opening Times | Monday – Saturday: 09:00 – 19:00; Sundays and Holidays: 10:00 – 18:00
IMPORTANT: Though they close at 7 pm on weekdays, you shouldn’t arrive later than 5:30 pm, if you want to eat in their restaurant. We arrived at 6:10 p.m. for dinner, and it was already too late.
Address | Schmalzgasse 5, 6075 Tulfes | Google Maps
Where to Stay near the Stone Pine Trail
Midrange| If you’re looking for a no-frills, but nonetheless clean and comfortable place to stay in Tulfes, B&B Appartements Glungezer is a great option. It’s walking distance to the Glungezerbahn, Tuxerbauer, and just a few meters from the bus stop. You can easily reach Hall in Tirol, Igls, and Innsbruck by bus.
Budget | Hotel-Pension Leitgebhof in Igls features an excellent breakfast and a peaceful location. From Hotel-Pension Leitgebhof you can reach the valley station of the Patscherkofelbahn within 10 minutes on foot.
Luxury| Gasthof Walzl in Lans dazzles their guests with high comfort, excellent cuisine and a newly renovated wellness area. Here you can truly relax after your outdoor adventures. You can reach the Patscherkofelbahn by foot (25 min.) or with a short bus ride.
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.
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:
- 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 thermal pools of an Austrian Therme like Aqua Dome in Tirol.
- Stay in a thermal spa hotel like Rogner Bad Blumau (designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser) in Styria, EurothermenResort Bad Ischl in Upper Austria, or 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.
And while you’re there, connect with us on Pinterest!
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