Topographic isolation: 1 km
Nearest higher peak: Roter Mann (3095 m)
Prominence: 65 m
The Goldberg Group is one of the areas of the Hohe Tauern Group of the Alps. There are 17 peaks higher than 3000 meter in the Goldberg Group. Sandkopf - with its 3090 m altitude - is the 8th highest summit of the mountain group.
The drainage divine of Salzach and Drau rivers forms the main ridge of the Hohe Tauern Group. Sandkopf emerges south to this main ridge - on a side ride whose node to the main ridge is formed by Goldbergspitze (3073 m), while the main peaks of the side-ridge are Roter Mann (3095 m), Sandkopf (3090 m), Trögereck (2731 m) and Stanziwurten (2707 m). This side-ridge - including Sandkopf - belong to the drainage-system of the river Drau.
Sandkopf is not a hostile mountain. Its southwestern slopes are really friendly: mild, easy terrain, even if there is minimal vegetation, and its rather like a stone desert. The opposite side of the mountain is much different: the ridge connecting it with the neighbouring peak of Roter Mann is exposed and rugged.
The border of the National Park of Hohe Tauern just crosses the peak of Sandkopf. It means that half of its area is within the boundaries of the National Park. The northwestern half.
The area really deserves protection. It’s beautiful. Among others, I’ve seen the following species of flora there in July. Each of them is a really colourful masterpiece:
I’ve seen two butterfly species that I could identify: glandon blue (Agriades glandon) and small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae).
If you want to get to the trailhead of the normal route, then first you must get to the valley of Mölltal. Mölltal can be reachedfrom north: via the toll road "Grossglockner Alpenstrasse”; it’s very expensive and periodically closed
The main rod of Mölltal is road #B107. There is a side road of it at the village Döllach. The lower section of this narrow but paved side road is called Apriacher Landstrasse. Its higher section is called Apriacher Hohenstrasse. When you reach the hamlet Mitten, find the still paved side road to easter direction, up to the hillside. This road is paved up to altitude of 1450 meter. From there the road is not paved. You must drive further 6 km up to the parking place at the trailhead, at altitude of 1985 m. In summertime this last 6 km is manageable even by a normal passenger car. My car is optimized for highway driving, and she didn’t really like this road. But for most of the cars it can’t cause any difficulty. The road is toll-free.
There is a single evident approach to the peak. Let’s call it “normal route”.
Only the first 25% section of the route is a marked trail. Later it’s an unmarked trail. Or there is no trail at all - you must find your way yourself.
What makes this route easy:
What may cause difficulties:
Trailhead: parking place on the hillside of Mittenberg, at altitude of 1985 m.
First 1.3 km on a pleasant marked trail. This trail leads to the peak of Stanziwurten. As we don’t go there now, after 1.3 km let’s continue the cow-tracks up to the saddle (2485 m) between Stanziwurten and Trögereck. Before reaching the saddle, you must cross a fence built for cattle.
From the saddle you must continue to follow the cow tracks to northern direction. There are alternative parallel routes here. All are OK. Esat to the peak of Trögereck - at the head of the valley - there are no cow tracks any more. Find your way on the steep grassy hillside up to the saddle connecting Trögereck with Sandkopf.
The best part of the route starts from here. Mild rocky hillside up to the peak of Sandkopf. No challenge in good weather: just enjoy your hiking!
There is a summit cross, a log-book and a piece of beam serving as a bench on the peak. And the excellent panoramic view. What can you see from there? A parade of high peaks of the Hohe Tauern!
There are no mountain huts on the mountain or along the normal route - and in reality no need for that because the hike can be done in a day.
There are quite a few campings in Mölltal, in the valley at the foot of the mountain. The nearest one to the trainlead is Camping Gasthof Zirknitzer at elevation 1030 m above see level.
while the cheapest in the vicinity is Camping Grubenbauer at elevation of 885 m above see level. It’s surprisingly cheap. I can recommend it.