Stanser Joch and Ochsenkopf is part of the easternmost Karwendel subgroup, the Rappenspitze - Stanser Joch Ridge. The ridge runs east - west and its southern slopes dip down to the Inn valley at Jenbach, Stans, Vomp and Schwaz. To the north there is Weißenbachtal, Bärenkopf and Achensee valley with the fjordlike lake Achensee.
Stanser Joch and Ochsenkopf are the easternmost summits of the ridge. Both summits are not very prominent, they are simply the highest points of a east - west elongated meadow plateau.
The western loop traverses a good part of this subgroup and passes the most important summits which can be climbed easily. The hike is not a difficult one, nevertheless it is strenuous even without some summits!
In my opinion it is the most interesting hike in this Karwendel subgroup.
Head to Maurach as indicated on the Stanser Joch - Ochsenkopf mountain site.
At Maurach / Rofan cableway follow the road to Pertisau.
The trailhead is at the Zwölferkopf cableway at Pertisau. There is a huge parking area, I think you have to pay. If so, do it :-)
To the south of the parking area stands Zwölferkopf, which can be reached by cableway from Pertisau. Take the forest road, which heads some 200 m west of the cableway station south up Zwölferkopf. Leave the forest road after its first switchback and use the trail right of the road. This trail, traversing the forest road one more time, heads up the north and later the east slopes of Zwölferkopf. Further up you follow part of one of the downhill ski slopes of Zwölferkopf cableway. Finally you reach Bärenbad Alm restaurant (1457 m).
At Bärenbad Alm you reach the forest road again. Use the forest road up to Weißenbachsattel (1693 m).
At Weißenbachsattel, follow the trail into Weißenbachkar, the north slope of Stanser Joch - Ochsenkopf ridge. There is a sign which indicates the right trail. This trail winds up on the west side of Weißenbachkar along some interesting rock formations to a broad saddle in the ridge, which is called "Am Übergang" (2103 m).
There you reach the east - west trail which runs along the ridge and which you have to follow.
You may climb Stanser Joch (2103 m), which is only some 15 min. to the east. Simply follow the ridge trail to the east along the huge iron frameworks which prevent the building up of avalanches through the winter until you reach the summit cross. Return on the same way.
Follow the ridge trail starting at "Am Übergang" to the west. The trail heads up to the southern slopes of Ochsenkopf (2143 m) which can be easily climbed in 2 minutes from the trail.
After passing Ochsenkopf summit the trail ascends into Schneekarl (2058 m) and traverses the southern slopes of Gamskarspitze, which also can be easily climbed directly from the trail in about 10 minutes. Below Gamskarspitze there is a trail junction. Continue on the upper, right, trail (number 234) to the west, it traverses the souther slopes of Kaserjochspitze an reaches the broad meadow saddle of Kaserjoch (2076 m).
From Kaserjoch you can climb Kaserjochspitze (2198 m; about 25 min.) via the meadow west ridge and / or Rappenspitze (2223 m, about 45 min) via a short cut through Nauderer Kar, east slope and north ridge. Both summits are recommended for their outstanding views.
From Kaserjoch the number 234 trail traverses Nauderer Kar to another saddle with the trail junction for Rappenspitze. Our trail descends now continually. It follows the Dristkopf subridge to the north and down to Dristalm. (1645m). After that the trail zigzags down through Legertal to the Falzthurn Alm (1089 m), a restaurant in the Falzthurn valley. Follow the forest road number 201 to the northeast, direction Pertisau. It is a nice 4 km walk back to the trailhead.
Normal hiking gear and hiking shoes.
In late spring and early summer there might be still snow, so think about bringing gaiters.
In late autumn the Alm huts are closed so bring all your necessary food with you. Trails might be icy then.
Maps & BooksThe best ones are:
Alpenvereinskarte 1 : 25.000, Blatt Nr. 5/3, Karwendelgebirge, Östliches Blatt;
Walter Klier: Karwendel alpin, Alpenvereinsführer, Bergverlag Rother