All visitors should scale the ridgeline of Innsbruck’s northern mountain wall. The Hungerburgerbahn funicular chugs its way from the northern edge of town, over the river, past the zoo, and up to the settlement of Hoch-Innsbruck Hungerburg at 868 m. From there, the Nordkettenbahn cable car rises to Seegrube at 1,905 m, whence a short cable-car ride delivers guests to the area’s highest peak, the Hafelekarspitze at 2,334 m. From here, views stretch out to the Zillertal, the Stubaital, and the Ötztal Alps.
An hour’s tram ride south from the center of Innsbruck, Igls is the city’s favorite forest playground. The quaint resort village draws recreational hikers, bikers, and skiers, as well as the world’s best ice-sliding athletes, who come here to practice and compete on the Olympic bobsled run. The Patscherkofel cable car climbs up to the local peak, passing over the bobsled tube and one of Europe’s largest stands of stone pines. At the top, summertime visitors enjoy the continent’s largest Alpine botanical garden, a plot harboring over 400 plants, and the hike down to the valley is pleasant and not fearfully steep. Between the village and the tram station, a tiny riverside park offers a Kneipp water trail – remove your shoes, and find relief for sore feet.
This small-time resort on the southwestern edge of Innsbruck offers gentle slopes for family hiking, biking, and skiing. It’s also the starting point for the hike and bike trek that runs south to the Stubai Valley. Recent construction has shut down lifts here, but good things are on the way: Upon reopening, tentatively planned for winter 2004, Mutters’ guests will enjoy a new lift link with Axamer Lizum.
The most remote of the resorts highlighted here, Axamer Lizum lies 25 km west of Innsbruck. Its Kalkkögel peak affords splendid views over the Inn Valley, and a handful of hotels here offer slope-side accommodations. Although famed for its Olympic-caliber ski runs, the resort is popular as well with local snowboarders and summertime hikers.
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