View of the northeastern part of the Karwendel (Location: Blue Mountains)
Highest point
Elevation2,749 m (9,019 ft)
Coordinates47°24′41″N 11°26′15″E / 47.41139°N 11.43750°E / 47.41139; 11.43750
CountriesAustria and Germany
Range coordinates47°25′N 11°28′E / 47.417°N 11.467°E / 47.417; 11.467
Parent rangeNorthern Limestone Alps

The Karwendel is the largest mountain range of the Northern Limestone Alps. It is located on the Austria–Germany border. The major part belongs to the Austrian federal state of Tyrol, while the adjacent area in the north is part of Bavaria, Germany. Four chains stretch from west to east; in addition, there are a number of fringe ranges and an extensive promontory (Vorkarwendel) in the north.


The term Karwendel describes the part of the Alps between the Isar river and the Seefeld Saddle mountain pass in the west and Achen Lake in the east. In the north it stretches to the Bavarian Prealps. In the south the Lower Inn Valley with the city of Innsbruck separates the Karwendel from the Central Eastern Alps. Other major settlements include Seefeld in Tirol and Mittenwald in the west, as well as Eben am Achensee in the east. Neighbouring ranges are the Wetterstein and Mieming Mountains in the west and the Brandenberg Alps in the east.

The mountaineer Hermann von Barth created the tradition of naming the Karwendel chains ranges after the valleys limiting them in the south: Karwendel valley, Hinterau valley and Vomper Loch, Gleirsch valley, Hall valley, and Inn valley:

Side ranges are the Erlspitze Group, Soiern Group and Vorkarwendel, Falken Group, Gamsjoch Group and Sonnjoch Group.


There are 125 peaks in the Karwendel that reach heights of over 2,000 metres. The most important are listed below together with some notable peaks between 1,800 and 2,000 metres high.

The Northern Karwendel viewed from Wetterstein
Panorama of the Austrian mountain peaks Härmelekopf and Reither Spitze. viewed from Wildsee, Seefeld, Tirol.

Alpine huts

In the Karwendel, of the 21 Alpine huts, 18 are run by the German or Austrian Alpine Clubs: