Barenkopf day hike with Achensee views (Austria)

This blog post will share how to hike the Bärenkopf day hike, which route to hike and where to take the best photos of the Achensee!

Table of Contents Bärenkopf hike

Quick facts Bärenkopf hike (Austria)

  • Gondola: Karwendel Bergbahn departing from the village Pertisau
  • Opening hours gondola: 08:30-17:00
  • Costs gondola: 18,50€ pp return (including parking)
View from the Karwendel gondola on the way up
The parking fee (2021) at the gondola is included in the ticket price of the gondola.

Hiking guide: the route to Bärenkopf

Part 1: Top of the Karwendel gondola - Bärenbad Alm (20 min)

At the top of the Karwendel-Berghbahn you will reach the Zwölferkopf Bergstation (1500 m). There is a restaurant here called Alpengasthaus Karwendel. From there it’s a 20min flat walk to Bärenbad Alm (1457 m). Here you can also stop for coffee or food. After Bärenbad Alm there are two options to continue to the top.

Option 1: Bärenbad Alm to Bärenkopf 1h 30min (one way, uphill)

This is the option most people take, because it’s quickest. This path is quite steep, so it’s most logical to do this on the way up. Especially downhill this path can get slippery.

Option 2: Bärenbad Alm to Bärenkopf via forest 2h (one way, uphill)

The second option is a much less walked path, however the walk through the forest is absolutely beautiful! I recommend taking the hiking route through the forest at least once (either on your way up or down).

Person walking through a green forest
Don't miss the beautiful route through the forest (described as Option 2 above)

Part 2: Hiking back from Bärenkopf

You can hike back via route Option 1 or Option 2 mentioned above. Then backtrack from Bärenbad Alm to the gondola. 

The viewpoint at Bärenkopf: where to take the best photos

Where most people take photos (and it's busy)

What if I told you most people actually miss the best photo spot with the prettiest views at Bärenkopf? Most hikers stop hiking at the cross on the summit of Bärenkopf, not knowing the epic views are only a few extra steps ahead. Sure, the view is nice. However, you’d be missing out of the best part! 

Person overlooking a beautiful view of Achensee lake in Austria.
This view isn't bad right? This is the view at the cross. But there is a better view if you keep walking...
People standing next to a cross on the summit of Bärenkopf mountain in Austria.
The cross marks the Bärenkopf summit. Keep walking past the cross for better views with no people!

Where you should take photos (away from the crowds!)

So here’s the secret. Once you reach the cross at the summit of Bärenkopf, keeping walking and continue past the cross. When the path seems to end, scramble down. There is the best viewpoint! From here you will also be able to see the entire lake, including the south east edge, where the water is bluest. 

Can you spot me in the distance?
Person standing at a viewpoint overlooking Achensee.
There were no other people here! Continue walking for just a few minutes walk past the cross on the summit. You'll arrive at this secret viewpoint where you can see the entire lake.
The village of Häusern next to Achensee as seen from above.

Further reading: more day hikes in the European Alps

Discover more adventurous day hikes on Borderless Bliss!