Nature Park Karwendel

Important Infomation


Elevation Profile


The Nature Park Karwendel begins on the western shore of Lake Achensee. It is the largest contiguous nature reserve in the northern limestone Alps, comprising over 920km² and stretching across to Bavaria. 727m² are located in Tyrol. The Nature Park Karwendel is also the oldest nature park in Austria. The area extends from 591 to 2,749 metres above sea level. Its surface area is made up of protected areas, landscape conservation areas and sanctuaries which are protected under the Tirolean Nature Conservation Act.   


The first provisions for the protection of this unique alpine landscape – the only one of its kind in Europe – were first laid down in 1928. In 1995, the European Commission announced that the Nature Park Karwendel was to be included in the Natura 2000 area. The objective of this managed system of protected areas is to safeguard the variety of species by maintaining natural habitats and also the plants and animals which live in the wild, and in doing so simultaneously respect economic, cultural and regional requirements.   


Hikers can roam through pristine valleys for hours on end along with chamois and ibex; observe marmots, deer and hares, while birds of prey such as buzzards glide through the air. In the Nature Park Karwendel visitors get the opportunity to soak up the seclusion of the mountains – yet they can also enjoy the convenient infrastructure of the managed mountain huts and lodges. 

As part of the region’s hiking programme, nature park rangers conduct a series of walks that provide a deeper insight into the diversity of the Nature Park Karwendel. The tours give visitors the chance to explore the local flora and fauna and to spot rare mountain dwellers with spotting scopes and binoculars. More information is available at


Facts and figures:  

340 natural springs  

1,305 plant species  

3,035 known animal species  

The largest population of golden eagles in the Alps  

Surface area: 920km² 

101 alpine pastures 

Elevation profile: 600 to 2,749 metres (Birkkarspitze)