Brandenberger Alpen

Brandenberger Alpen

Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 47.49012°N / 11.89326°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Sport Climbing, Mixed, Via Ferrata, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 7543 ft / 2299 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Köglhörndl - Hundsalmjoch
Köglhörndl as seen from Inntal valley

If you ask a mountaineer: „Do you know the Brandenberger Alpen range?”, the chances that you earn a puzzled face are very high. If you ask the same person: “do you know the Rofan range?, the chances for a right answer will be very good. If you then explain that both, Brandenberger Alpen and Rofan, mean the same area / range, you will earn an astonished “Oh really ? Never heard about Brandenberger Alpen before”.

Brandenberger Alpen, Rofangebirge, Sonnwendgebirge are the synonyms for a range within the Northern Limestone Alps, which is in parts rather unknown - despite of its location north of frequented Inntal valley - in parts rather crowded - that is the Rofan subrange in stricter sense.

Brandenberger Alpen are named after the village of Brandenberg, located in the geographical centre of this range, in a sort of hanging valley north of Inntal valley. Rofan is derived from an old latin name, meaning “mountain with mudflow”.

The range is called Sonnwendgebirge (solstice mountains), too, because of the summit Vorderes Sonnwendjoch within the Rofan subrange, dominating the Inntal valley north of the towns of Rattenberg and Jenbach. I like this name for the range most, it sounds more poetic than Brandenberger Alpen and reminds of the huge solstice fires burning on top of the most prominent summits in june. But Brandenberger Alpen is the official geographical name so I will use it for this range.

Brandenberger Alpen are limited by the Achensee valley to the west, by Inntal valley between Jenbach and Kufstein to the south and by several remote mountain valleys to the north. The whole range thus forms a sort of an extended triangle. It is fully located in Austria in the Tirol province.

Brandenberger Alpen are situated between

  • Bavarian prealps (to the north)

  • Kaiser range (to the east)

  • Kitzbühler Alps (to the south)

  • Tuxer Alps (to the southeast)

  • Karwendel mountains (to the west)

  • The range displays a double face: higher and more exposed summits to the west, with steep rock faces and deep valleys (e.g. Achensee valley) and more gentle summits with moderate hights to the east. Nevertheless these eastern mountains are standing high above the deep Inntal valley.

    The popularity of the summits and subranges shows the same double face: Rofan and maybe Guffert are often rather crowded, the eastern regions of the range is more unknown to the wider mountain community and you will mainly meet local people on those summits.

    Brandenberger Alpen
    Brandenberger Alpen geographic overview
    Brandenberger Alpen
    Brandenberger Alpen subranges overview

    Getting There

    Brandenberger Alpen
    Guffert as seen from Blauberge

    By car

    The whole south side is accessible via Inntal valley highway A 12 (toll road) and via regional Inntal valley roads to the different trailheads.

    The west side can be reached via road number 181 between Jenbach and German / Austrian border.

    The northern parts of the range are accessible via Steinberg am Rofan (road from Achenkirch to the village); via Brandenberg (road from Kramsach in Inntal valley) and via road number ST 2075, Bayrischzell - Landl - Kufstein.

    Large parts of the northern Brandenberger Alpen are accessible only via forest roads, closed to public traffic but open to mountain bikers.

    By train

    Railway services can be found in Inntal valley. The main railway stations for Brandenberger Alpen are:

  • Kufstein

  • Wörgl

  • Kundl

  • Kramsach/Brixlegg/Rattenberg

  • Jenbach

  • See the Austrian Railway schedule here.

    At Jenbach starts Achensee Bahn, a historical rack and pinion railway with steam engines. Should be a sort of 19th century feeling to arrive with it at your trailhead.

    Public busses

    Austrian public bus service runs throughout the Inntal valley and to the adjacent villages (Achenkirch, Brandenberg, Steinberg, Landl).

    From Bavaria there is a RVO bus service (line 9556) to Achensee.



  • Innsbruck Airport

  • Munich International Airport

  • Subranges and Summits


    Brandenberger Alpen can be divided into several subranges.

  • Guffert and surroundings: Located at the northwestern edge of the range, huge Guffert is a solitary mountain ridge, another lower ridge is located north of it.

  • Limitation:

  • south: Steinberg valley;

  • west: Achensee valley;

  • north: Filzmoosbach and Bairache valley;

  • east: valley of Brandenberger Ache

    Stanser Joch
    Guffert as seen from Karwendel
    Brandenberger Alpen
    Guffert as seen from Kotalmjoch


  • Unnütz: Southwest of Guffert, another solitary ridge with several summits.

  • Limitation:

  • south: Kögljoch;

  • west: Achensee valley;

  • north and east: Steinbach valley

    Achensee and (right) Unnütz subrange
    Brandenberger Alpen
    Unnütz as seen from Kotalmjoch


  • Rofan: Wellknown, beautiful subrange high above Achensee and Inntal valley, facing Karwendel mountains, hosting the highest summit of Brandenberger Alpen (Hochiss, 2299 m) and marking the southwestern edge of the range.

  • Limitation:

  • south: Inntal valley;

  • west: Achensee valley;

  • north: Steinberg valley;

  • east: Brandenberger valley

    Brandenberger Alpen
    Rofan as seen from Karwendel
    Brandenberger Alpen
    Rofan as seen from Karwendel


  • Kienberg subrange: Several mountains around Brandenberg village in the center of the range.

  • Limitation:

  • south: Inntal valley;

  • west and north: Brandenberg valley;

  • east: Buchacker valley and Hasatal valley

    Köglhörndl - HundsalmjochHundsalmjoch (Pendling subridge) and in the background Kienberg subrange


  • Pendling ridge: A long ridge north of Inntal valley with several summits, ending at bold Pendling high above Kufstein.

  • Limitation:

  • south: Inntal valley;

  • west: Buchacker and Hasatal valley;

  • north: Glemmbach valley;

  • north and east: Thiersee valley

    PetersköpflPendling subridge


  • Veitsberg ridge: The northern ridge of the range in a more remote region.

  • Limitation:

  • south: Glemmbach valley;

  • west: Brandenberg valley;

  • north: Ackernalm valley;

  • east: Thiersee - Landl valley

    Brandenberger AlpenVeitsberg as seen from Blankenstein / Bavaria


    Guffert subranges


    Guffert ridge


  • Guffertspitze (2194 m; 7198 feet)

  • Sandegg (1849 m; 6066 feet)

  • Rauhegg (1590 m; 5216 feet)

  • Roßkopf (1632 m; 5354 feet)

  • Brandenberger AlpenGuffert and Unnütz (left)

    Schneidjoch ridge


  • Schneidjoch (1811 m; 5941 feet)

  • Ragstattjoch (1546 m; 5072 feet)

  • Unnütz subrange


  • Hinterunnütz (2007 m; 6584 feet)

  • Hochunnütz (2075 m; 6807 feet)

  • Vorderunnütz (2078 m; 6815 feet)

    Brandenberger AlpenUnnütz and Guffert as seen from Köglhörndl


    Rofan ranges


    Rofan main range


  • Klobenjochspitze (2041 m; 6696 feet)

  • Kotalmjoch (2157 m; 7076 feet)

  • Stuhlböcklkopf (2169 m; 7116 feet)

  • Streichkopf (2245 m; 7365 feet)

  • Hochiss (2299 m; 7542 feet)

  • Spieljoch (2236 m; 7335 feet)

  • Seekarlspitze (2261 m; 7417 feet)

  • Roßkopf (2257 m; 7404 feet)

  • Rofanspitze (2259 m; 7411 feet)

    KotalmjochPanorama of Brandenberger Alps and Rofan subrange from Kotalmjoch


    Dalfàzer subrange


  • Dalfàzer Joch (2233 m; 7326 feet)

  • Dalfàzer Köpfln (2208 m; 7244 feet)

  • Dalfàzer Wand (2210 m; 7250 feet)

  • Dalfàzer Roßkopf (2143 m; 7030 feet)

  • Rotspitze (2067 m; 6781 feet)

    Brandenberger AlpenDalfàz subridge as seen from Kotalm


    Southern Rofan subranges


  • Sagzahn (2228 m; 7309 feet)

  • Vorderes Sonnwendjoch (2224 m; 7296 feet)

  • Haidach Stellwand (2192 m; 7191 feet)

  • Gschöllkopf (2039 m; 6689 feet)

    Brandenberger AlpenBrandenberger Alpen south, Panorama


    Eastern Rofan summits


  • Marchspitze (2001 m; 6564 feet)

  • Latschberg (1949 m; 6394 feet)

  • Rotkogel (1940 m; 6364 feet)

  • Kreuzeihjoch (1702 m; 5583 feet)

    Brandenberger AlpenKlobenjoch
    Brandenberger AlpenVoldöpper Spitze
    Brandenberger AlpenSouthern Rofan, Vorderes Sonnwendjoch, Sagzahn


    Kienberg subrange


  • Voldöpper Spitze (1509 m; 4950 feet)

  • Heuberg (1746 m; 5728 feet)

  • Kienberg (1786 m; 5859 feet)

  • Blessenberg (1748 m; 5734 feet)

  • Hoher Nock (1497 m; 4911 feet)

  • Kühberg (1677 m; 5501 feet)

  • Zunterköpfl (1635 m; 5364 feet)

    Brandenberger AlpenRofan and (in front) Kienberg subrange
    Brandenberger AlpenKienberg, Heuberg, Plessenberg
    Brandenberger AlpenKienberg and Blessenberg

    Veitsberg subrange


  • Veitsberg (1787 m; 5862 feet)

  • Frechjoch (1788 m; 5866 feet)

  • Thaler Joch (1775 m; 5823 feet)

  • Larchberg (1412 m; 4632 feet)

  • Schmalegger Joch (1633 m; 5357 feet)

    Brandenberger AlpenVeitsberg (left)

    Pendling subrange


  • Pendling (1563 m; 5127 feet)

  • Mittagskopf (1534 m; 5032 feet)

  • Jochkopf (1409 m; 4622 feet)

  • Köglhörndl (1645 m; 5396feet)

  • Hundsalm Joch (1637 m; 5370 feet)

    Brandenberger AlpenPendling subrange summits in the middleground as seen from Brünnstein

    Geographical & Geological Features

    Brandenberger Alpen
    Unnütz and Rofan group as seen from Blauberge

    Geographic features

    The landscape within Brandenberger Alpen shows an astonishing diversity.
    Pendling range, Veitsberg range and Kienberg subrange are hosting moderate summits, mostly overgrown with dwarf pines, there are nevertheless very interesting hikes.

    Köglhörndl within Pendling subrange is an outstanding habitat for the snow rose, Helleborus niger.

    The Kienberg subrange main summits, Heuberg, Kienberg and Blessenberg, can easily be summited in one day, giving different views into the different corners of Brandenberger Alpen.

    Kaiserklamm , a beautiful and impressive limestone canyon, is waiting between Kaiserhaus and Erzherzog Johann Klause for visitors. Don´t miss that !

    Guffert is an all – season summit, sometimes accessible even in winter by foot or, if there is sufficient and good snow, as a steep ski - hike, which offers an immense and incomparable 360 degree view.

    The Rofan summits are a world apart, due to the special geology, crowded, though, on sunny days. Use late autumn days to explore Rofan, when the cablecar in on maintenance and the skies are clear and endless. A must in summer is one of the most beautiful mountain lakes of Tirol, Ziereinsee, located east of Rofanspitze.

    Achensee, deeply carved in the steep surrounding mountains, is like a Norwegian fjord and wellknown for its strong winds. A walk on a trail on its west shore from Achenkirch to Pertisau with a boat trip back to Achenkirch is a nice half days undertaking.


    The geological structure of Brandenberger Alpen is dominated by two huge tectonical nappes: first the Lechtal nappe, building the main part of the lower summits of Brandenberger Alpen, as there are Pendling, Veitsberg, Kienberg, Guffert and Unnütz subranges, consisting mainly of Triassic limestones of Hauptdolomit, Plattenkalk and Wettersteinkalk. On those older limestones you might find locally much younger sediments, the so called Gosau of cretaceous age, marking a marine transgression on the older limestones.

    The summits of Rofan range belong, second, to the higher tectonic unit of the Inntal nappe which was thrusted above Lechtal nappe during the orogenetic process. These limestones are intensively fold to synclines and anticlines, the main anticlines are “lying” horizontally.

    In the upper Triassic age, Rofan was a shallow limestone platform which, at the beginning of the Jurassic age, broke apart and submerged slowly to build a submarine limestone platform. You can study this development by examining the remarkable red limestones, filling up crevasses in the white Triassic limestones and the overlying “condensed” red limestones of lower jurassic age.

    Another interesting geological structure of Brandenberger Alpen can be found at the northern limitation of the range: a huge syncline, called “Thierseemulde”. This syncline within the Lechtal nappe is bearing young sediments of jurassic and cretaceous age and can be followed from Kufstein / Thiersee in the east to Achenkirch valley and the northern Karwendel ranges in the west.


    Brandenberger Alpen
    Würm ice age overview

    An interesting illustration is the map showing the ice expansion during the latest ice age (Würmeiszeit) within Brandenberger Alpen. The largest part of the range was covered under ice ! At Kufstein the ice surface level was at about 1700 m, around Rofan at about 2000 m. Thus only some Rofan summits, Unnütz and Guffert were surmounting the ice surface as nunataks.


    Main villages


    Achensee valley


  • Steinberg

  • Achenkirch

  • Pertisau

  • Maurach

  • Inntal valley


  • Jenbach / Wiesing

  • Kramsach

  • Rattenberg

  • Brixlegg

  • Breitenbach

  • Kundl

  • Wörgl

  • Angath

  • Maria Stein

  • Kirchbichl

  • Kufstein

  • Thiersee valley


  • Thiersee

  • Landl

  • Brandenberg valley


  • Brandenberg

  • Mountain Huts


  • Erfurter Hütte

  • Dalfàzalm

  • Bayreuther Hütte

  • Gufferthütte / Ludwig Aschenbrenner Haus

  • Kaiserhaus

  • Höhlensteinhaus

  • Pendlinghaus / Kufsteiner Haus

  • Gasthof Buchacker

  • Ackernalm

  • Erzherzog Johann Klause


    Brandenberger Alpen
    Dalfàz Alm within Rofan

    Mountain Conditions & Activities

    Brandenberger Alpen
    Ski-hiking within Rofan

    Brandenberger Alpen are an all – season range.

    There are many hiking activities possible, from late spring to early winter, depending on the amount of snow.

    Climbers will choose the Rofan rock faces or Guffert arêtes for their pleasure.

    Ski hikers will have their fun throughout Rofan ranges, Unnütz and Guffert.

    In the more remote northern part of Brandenberger Alpen mountain bikers will find many forest roads ready for some interesting loop trips, starting normally in Bavaria within the Bavarian Prealps.

    Achensee and its cablecars is a centre for paragliders.

    For the lazier ones among us there are two cablecars within the Rofan ranges:

  • Rofanbahn, connecting Maurach with the centre of Rofan ranges; Erfurter Hütte is alongside the mountain station;

  • Sonnwendjochbahn, connecting Kramsach with Sonnwendjoch – Bayreuther Hütte is not far away.

  • In the valleys there are many possibilities for long walks or for cross-country-skiing. Especially in Achensee valley you will find many routes for cross-country skiers.

    Maps & Guide Books

    Brandenberger Alpen
    Eastern Brandenberger Alpen, viewed from Kotalmjoch


    Brandenberger Alpen are mainly covered by the Austrian topographic maps, scale 1 : 50.000, which are fairly good; the 1 : 25.000 series is just a blown-up version of the 50.000 series. However, Rofan range itself is on an Alpenvereins map.

  • Alpenvereinskarte, scale 1 : 25.000
    Blatt 6: Rofan, DAV, 2005

  • Österreichische Topographische Karte ÖTK, scale 1 : 50.000 BNM

  • Blatt 88, Achenkirch

  • Blatt 89, Angath

  • Blatt 90, Kufstein

  • Blatt 119, Schwaz

  • Blatt 120, Wörgl

  • New UMT – maps, scale 1 : 50.000

  • Blatt 2212, Miesbach

  • Blatt 3207, Kundl

  • Blatt 2218, Ebbs

  • Achensee, Rofan, Unterinntal 1 : 50 000. Freytag u. Berndt Wanderkarten

  • Guide Books

    As far as I know there is no guidebook covering the whole of Brandenberger Alpen. There are, however, several guidebooks and those innumerable hiking books mentioning parts of the Brandenberger Alpen, especially Guffert and Rofan. Some suggestions are made below:

  • Skitourenführer Karwendel, Rofan, Wetterstein: mit Ammergauer Alpen, Estergebirge, Isarwinkel, Mieninger Kette
    Panico Alpinverlag; 2nd edition, February 2010,ISBN-10: 3936740283, ISBN-13: 978-3936740288

  • Hannes Salvenmoser und Mike Rutter
    Kletterführer Rofangebirge; Taschenbuch, 212 Seiten, 48 Topokarten, zahlreiche Abbildungen Panico Alpinverlag 2003

  • Rother Wanderführer;
    Bergwanderungen rund um den Achensee und das Brandenberger Tal, Bergverlag Rudolf Rother, ISBN 9783763342198

  • Röder/Schmid/v. Werden, Alpenvereinsführer Rofangebirge und Brandenberger Alpen, Rother Verlag (1983) out of stock - available only second hand

  • Children


    Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.