Kühtai has already achieved legendary status in Tirol's local road bike scene and features in many races such as the Tour of Austria. Every year it is also the first of four major climbs which make up the Ötztal Bike Marathon. The ride from Innsbruck to the Ötztal Valley, up to Kühtai and back down through the Sellraintal Valley to Innsbruck is an absolute classic. With 110km of riding and 1,720 vertical metres of ascent it is a challenging route which rewards riders with magnificent views of the Ötztal and Stubai Alps. There are plenty of quaint villages along the way where riders can stop off for a meal.
"Most of this climb is in the shade, making it an ideal challenge for hot summer days. Thanks to the Ötztal Cycle Marathon this route is today an absolute classic in the cycling scene."
- Circular route
- Route with e-bike charging station
Elevation uphill 1,720m
Vertical metres downhill 1,720m
* These are approximate values and recommendations. Please take your personal fitness level, technical ability and the current weather conditions into account. Tirol Werbung cannot guarantee that the information provided is correct and accepts no liability.
This ride starts in Innsbruck. Riders take the tarmac Inn Cycle Path in a westerly direction past the airport and cross over to the nothern side of the river Inn before continuing along the B171 main road in the shadow of the Martinswand rockface. Stay on this mostly flat road for around 20km until you reach Telfs. Depending on the wind direction - the wind can often be strong in the Inn Valley - this section can be either a joy (if there is a tailwind) or a trial (if there is a headwind).
Staying on the B171, cross over to the other side of the Inn when you reach Telfs. The next section is also flat and takes riders through the villages of Rietz, Stams and Silz before reaching Ötztal-Bahnhof at the start of the Ötztal Valley. With around 48 kilometres but just 140 vertical metres completed, riders should be nicely warmed up for the challenging climb to come.
Shortly after reaching Ötztal-Bahnhof turn left off the B171 and follow the B186 into the Ötztal Valley. This slightly uphill section of road is wide but also busy with traffic. Continue all the way to Oetz (812m), where the 10km climb via Ötzerau and Taxegg to Ochsengarten (1,538m) begins. The twisting L237 winds its way up via several hairpins and climbs around 700 vertical metres before flattening off slightly in Ochsengarten.
It is here that things get really steep, with sections of up to 18%. The final section leads past the Speicher Längental reservoir and the pretty Dortmunder Hütte hut to the village of Kühtai at 2,020 metres. This high alpine settlement is generally quiet in summer but still has a few restaurants serving food and drink.
With your batteries recharged, it is time to embark on the adrenaline-pumping descent through the Sellraintal Valley with sections of up to 20% and long, sweeping corners. Riders pass through the villages of St. Sigmund, Gries and Sellrain as they descend 1,400 vertical metres all the way back to Kematen (610m) in the Inn Valley.
The final section leads through fields and meadows back to Innsbruck. In Völs riders cross underneath the motorway and then take the Inn Cycle Path back to the regional capital Innsbruck.
TIP! Ambitious climbers should try the route up over the Haiminger Sattele (1,690m) to Ochsengarten. Instead of riding from Haiming to Ötztal-Bahnhof, turn off onto this challenging climb over the Haimingerberg mountain to the Haiminger Sattele.