Destination Showcase: Innsbruck, Austria

Jul 5, 2018
by Simon Nieborak  

Summer in the City
Words: Kathi Kuypers and Peter Kaiser // Photography: Simon Nieborak

What comes to your mind when you close your eyes and think of hot summer in a city? You're probably imagining a concrete jungle which does not sound like an appealing place to be when the sizzling hot summer sun beams down. Despite its being a city, this definitely is not the case for Innsbruck. The capital city of Tirol is a perfect place, not only when the ground is covered with snow, but also on those long summertime days.

By now everyone knows that Innsbruck is the second stop on the Crankworx World Tour, but what you may not know is that it’s fast becoming one of Europe’s major centers for MTB tourism and most recently the new home of Mons Royale’s European headquarters. Pinkbike enlisted Mons Royale riders Peter Kaiser and Kathi Kuypers to get the lowdown on just how incredible the riding is in the region and what sets Innsbruck apart.

It all starts here, above the city where the gondola takes you up to the 1,905 meter high (6,250 feet) Seegrube station.

bigquotesFor me it only took one visit to fall in love with Innsbruck. It’s a city with a thousand facets. It feels like everything is possible over here. You have the city life with direct access to the mountains. The multiple possibilities of universities here make the Urban to Alpine city very famous for young people and I immediately realized this when I first visited Innsbruck. I met so many cool, sporty, open-minded people with whom I instantly connected at the local burrito place.Kathi Kuypers

One has magnificent views of the entire Central Inn Valley, the Stubai and Zillertal Alps, and even the Italian border from Seegrube station. And this is also where the famous Nordkette trail begins.

bigquotesNordkette, which is located between Seegrube and Hungerburg, is not just a powder paradise in winter. In summer, the trail down this mountain is a real challenge and I’m always pumped full of adrenaline if I make it down in one piece. It’s difficult to imagine that back in the day in 2012 Sam Hill set a course record of 9 mins 21 seconds. The Nordkette trail is feared, notorious and at the same time desired. Within the MTB scene, everyone knows that this trail demands a high level of skill and endurance.Kathi Kuypers

If you like steep, technical trails covered in loose stones - this one is just for you.

Once the Nordkette is behind you, take a rest in Arzler Alm restaurant. It's a beautiful Austrian-style place, which is a great stop to eat and drink before more fun on the trails.

bigquotesCity life is quite busy these days so whenever there is a little time left, the Arzler Alm Trail is the perfect opportunity to get some trail riding in. There is either the local bus line or the iconic Hungerburg-Railway available to get up to Hungerburg, and then you pedal the last third of the ascent which takes about 20 minutes. You then have a 500m decent back to the city center. This trail was built by the local community #MTBInnsbruck and offers everything from flow and berms, to rough sections as well as plenty of jumps. It's definitely a trail that doesn’t get boring after the first lap and brings lots of new challenges! Also Mondays actually aren’t that bad if you can sneak in a quick pre-work trail ride that leads you straight down to the office.Peter Kaiser

Kathi knows this trail really well and enjoys riding it very fast, but we've seen many other riders who are beginners and they can still ride the trail. It's enjoyable for all levels.

Peter is a master of throwing stylish shapes up in the air.

Not many cities can have a network of trails in such close proximity to its center.

Bike culture in and around Innsbruck is really strong.

bigquotesGrowing up near Innsbruck and spending lots of time in the city as well as the mountains surrounding it mademe passionate about the city early on. Moving to Innsbruck two years ago was when I really got to experience its local scene and see its endless possibilities. The alpine city vibe is what makes Innsbruck such a special one. In summer or winter, you can go from city center to mountain peak in just a couple minutes, which is something not every city can offer.Peter Kaiser

Peter and Kathi always find time for a quick stop at Mons Royale HQ.

bigquotesWe’re stoked to call Innsbruck our new European home. Together we’re the perfect pair. We both have a thirst for action and adventure, and cool understated style. At Mons, we’re all about leading a quality double life - working hard and playing hard! In Innsbruck you get the best of both, living and working in a cool urban city but with the amazing alpine terrain right on your doorstep when you want to adventure. Mons merino makes it perfect for going straight from the office to hit the mountain bike trails in the summer or the ski hills in the winter, so Innsbruck is an obvious choice for us to get the most out of every day! It’s rad to have our European hub in the Capital Of The Alps.Sarah Bartholomew, Mons Royale Global Marketing GM

The best reward after a long day of riding MTB is a perfectly stuffed burrito.

Landhausplatz is yet another landmark of for an avid mountain biker. Even if street riding is not your cup-of-tea, it's an excellent spot to socialize and meet with good people interested in sports.

To our surprise, Pavel Alekhin was just passing by the city and spending some quality time with the Rise crew.

bigquotesWhat I love about Innsbruck and riding in that city is the fact that all the spots have their specialty and they all are pretty unique. Also, the local street riding crew has a completely different way of thinking and a different approach to street riding. It's always interesting to hang out with these guys.Pavel Alekhin

The Skatehalle is Peter's winter escape plan.

bigquotesWhen I plan my trip to Innsbruck I always pack my van with 3 bikes. Sure, the trail bike is suitable for every purpose and every trail around Innsbruck, but you can have tons of fun on the downhill bike down Götzens Trail and Mutters. Or you can choose the jump bike for the pump track or the Mons Royale Dual Speed and Style course from Crankworx and, in the evening, the Skatehalle.Kathi Kuypers

Village Mutters is home to Crankworx. This is where all the events are held, but there are also plenty of cool trails in the bike park to ride after the event is over.

bigquotesHaving Crankworx in town once a year and getting to enjoy all of its beautiful courses is something I would dream of as a slopestyle rider. Beside the slopestyle course, Crankworx also brought a top-notch pump track which is located right where the Innsbruck bike park trails end and is open to the public. Both the bike park as well as the pump track are definitely worth a visit and offer guaranteed enjoyment for everyone.Peter Kaiser

It's really cool to see various options to ride. This means riders of all levels can enjoy these trails.

No matter how big an obstacle is, Peter's stylish as ever.

Kathi aka Senderella knows how to rail a berm.

Miles and miles of good fun.

bigquotesThe pros from Crankworx give big props to the Götzens Downhill Trail. It’s only open on weekends, so make sure you check out the bike park Innsbruck website before heading over. It starts with some berms and little jumps and then as soon as you hit the woods, the fun begins. It’s steep with lots of roots and flows into some great jumps. Innsbruck has something special that attracts bikers and outdoor enthusiasts. I have never been to a city in which I have met so many like-minded people, whether it's at the nightclub or at the 2€ pizza place.Kathi Kuypers

A flowy trail quickly changes into a technical riding full of roots sticking out of the ground.

This is how the "Chainless One" trail starts.

bigquotesWith the new “Chainless One” trail, the builders have created a track which is similar to “Crank It Up” in Whistler. It's very flowy and fast and could be easy, but at the same time it's hard to ride becaus you can't remember all the turns and often when you go very fast you need to tuck in after the berms because of a sudden change in direction. Small stepdown jumps, huge berms, and rollers certainly kept things interesting.Kathi Kuypers

Is it Whistler or Innsbruck? The trails are looking good here.

bigquotesFor me it doesn’t matter if it’s a dirt jump session at the local spot, the variety of enduro trails around town, bike park laps with the homies, a rainy indoor session at the Skatehalle or just the casual evening cruise around Landhausplatz - Innsbruck just has anything we could wish for.Peter Kaiser

The Inn River borders the city and opens up endless possibilities.

Bike City Innsbruck mountain biking trails

Follow us on Instagram | Kathi, Peter and Simon.

Regions in Article

Must Read This Week


  • 22 2
 Don't let yourself be fooled by those pictures... in Innsbruck itself are only 2 legal trails. The Nordkette Singletrail, which is for most riders too challenging and the Arzler Alm Trails. All other trails on trailforks are illegal...
  • 4 6
 dude chill! within 20 min of driving from inssbruck you'll be in götzens/mutters and have tons of fun!
  • 8 0
 @fabiotto: Yes, for a day. @powjoke is right, we do need more trails!

Hopefully features like this one and the fact that the town is a Crankworx stop will bring some change!

How about a Mons Royale trail center? Razz
One similar to Cannock Chase, where you don't need a lift and pedal up singletrail for climbing?
  • 10 0
 even then... "Bike City Innsbruck" ... "10 km descent distance"... seems weird. Actually here in southern Germany no one I know thinks of Innsbruck as a serious MTB destination. They'd have a lot of work to do...
  • 5 0
 @jzPV: Well, it isn't as it is, but things are going in the right direction, there are projects being worked on.

Also, Innsbruck's key advantage is it's position - there are 3-4 bike parks ~1h drive away!
  • 7 0
 Sweet! Mons is here, Kathi and Peter are here, now we just need trails around!
  • 5 1
 it is so funny, that only austrians complain.
Dudes...everything is going in the right direction. yes it is still hard work. So you better stop complaining and starting to support the movement there.
I totally fall in love with this city and the area around. There is a huge potential. And keep remembering...Whistler wasn´t ready in just one day.
  • 2 0
 If it takes as much time to build new trails(or to legalize existing trails) as it takes to pass a law against smoking inside restaurants bars and so on... there is no risk Innsbruck become a bike city...ever
  • 1 0
 "Stop complaining" @TonieMelonie you must be new to Austrians, it's an integral part of our identity Big Grin we even vote for complete imbeciles just so they screw up things and we don't run out of things to complain about.

In all seriousness though - you are absolutely right, we have an absolute stunner of a country and should loosen up and just ride our damn bikes wherever we like Smile
  • 4 0
 Thanks for posting this, the timing is excellent. Any recommendations for a rental shop and get going? My wife and I will be there next month and struggling to put all the pieces together.
  • 1 0
 Would also appreciate this type of info. Easiest way to get there, where to stay, where to rent, etc.
  • 1 0
 Glad to hear it came useful to you, @Klainmeister.

I used Die Borse [].
  • 1 0
 @Klainmeister It depends what would you like to do.
If you're gonna go to the bike parks around you might be better off renting at the spot.

Feel free to PM me if you like.
  • 1 0
Booked there 2 guided tours 3 years back: best money spend on MTB ever!
  • 3 0
 Haven't we already seen this glorified Mons Royal ad? Innsbruck is not, in my opinion, an mtb destination. We arrived in town last summer between stops on a Euro road trip and after having no success finding a quality bike shop to do a simple repair (they actually wanted to send my wheel away for a week) we left asap. Oh, by the way, the burrito shop is also pretty bogus.
  • 3 0
 It's not just in your opinion that it is not a bike destination. The mayor and the tourism council are just trying to grab more money, and advertising Innsbruck as a bike destination is cheaper and easier than building Innsbruck as a bike destination.
  • 2 0
 Salzburg-Leogang is about 1.5 h with train and bus almost same to saalbach from salzburg to innsbruck it's 1-2 h by train Wink

Innsbruck has some pretty sick local trails all of them are forbidden and not recommended to do on sunny sundays
arzler alm trail ( is pretty sick but after getting money to build it the city is not giving any money to maintain it.... anyway I guess we're going in the right direction, Innsbruck is a lovely place.
If anyone passing by just PN to show you the hidden beauty hahaha
  • 1 0
 I'm gonna have to jump on board with the naysayers here. Even though I've never actually been mountain biking in Innsbruck, after living in Munich for 5 years I can't say it's never had enough of a draw to get me there.
There are far better spots 1 or 2 hours further away with a far better network of (allowed) trails. I'd much rather drive a little farther and be able to have more choice than a dh trail or a flow trail.
On the other hand I have heard a lot of good things about the city & people. So they have that going for them...
  • 1 0
 Sorry for the double negative.. "Can't say it's /ever/...
  • 2 0
 I don't call a 10 km trail network a destination. If you really want to have fun in this region, you should head to Sallbach-Hinterglemm and Leogang bike park
  • 1 0
 Yeah Saalbach-Hinterglemm-leogang is a cool bike park, it's also probably cheaper to stay than in Innsbruck and you will get 10 trails (or more ?) for the price of two trails in Innsbruck.
  • 2 0
 @zede: plus with most/all hotel stays you get the joker card which means lift access is practically free.
  • 3 0
 Innsbruck Austria; the place where you get the cops called on you by angry old people for riding on sunday...
  • 2 1
 "If you like steep, technical trails covered in loose stones - this one is just for you." Sooooo if you want to hurt yourself ride here?
  • 1 0
 It's not that bad, it's pretty rideable actually! It's when you go faster than you're able to handle when things get usual.
  • 3 0
 Love that city
  • 1 0
 You're not the only one, @clemson. It's an amazing city!
  • 1 0
 How easy would it be for a person who is studying abroad to get from Salzburg to any bike parks?
  • 1 0
 By car very easy, but by bus ore train I don't know?
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