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The secret gate to the south
In the rear Ötztal, the Alpine ridges have a "secret gap". Probably since the Stone Age, 2509 m high Timmelsjoch has been an important link between the north and the south. Today, excursionists no longer "scramble" over the pass height but enjoy a wonderful drive by car or motorbike on a winding road along the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road from Obergurgl to South Tyrol's Passeiertal. The highest pass crossing in the Eastern Alps offers travelers magnificent views of the high Alpine landscape - and marks a unique Timmelsjoch Drive thanks to 5 different theme stations.
If you like switchback bends you will love the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road. The panorama all around makes slow down even passionate drivers - some places are just perfect to enjoy the view. From lush green Alpine meadows and slopes covered with Alpine roses in Hochgurgl you drive up to barren, high Alpine terrain where even in summer several snowfields line the road and where sheep, goats or even ibex cross your drive to the pass. An experience not only by car, also motorcycle fans and racing cyclists have already discovered this epic route. The 60 km long road from Obergurgl along the Timmelsjoch toll road to the spa town of South Tyrol's Meran only takes about 1.5 hours - ideal for a wonderful day trip from the high Alpine mountains to the Mediterranean climate amidst the South Tyrolean vineyards.
Important: The road is only passable during the summer months, usually from late May to October. Extensive snow removal works begin in the course of April, often there are snow depths of up to ten meters.
Special tip: More detailed information on the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road, opening times, road toll fees & more can be found at www.timmelsjoch.com
In addition to the unrivaled Timmelsjoch nature experience, there are many more interesting highlights along the route. At five stops architectural sculptures inform about the valley's and the region's nature, history, culture, society and economy. The buildings are focusing on different topics and fit into the original landscape in a modern and perfect way. All stations are accessible for free.
1. „Footpath“, Hochgurgl
At the toll booth next to the Top Mountain Crosspoint, the panoramic view of Upper Ötztal valley is just a foretaste. In addition to new perspectives, travelers also get detailed information about the high Alpine landscape and its peculiarities (Obergurgl's Stone Pine Forest, glaciers and settlement history) on their way to the south.
2. „Smuggler“, Timmelsbach Bridge
The walk-in cube takes you into the adventurous tradition of smuggling across Timmelsjoch Pass. You can find this exciting object at the intersection of the road with the Urweg hiking trail leading from Zwieselstein to Moos in Passeier.
3. „Pass Museum“, Timmelsjoch
4. „Telescope“, Scheibkopf
Below Scheibkopf area on South Tyrolean territory you can indulge in a picture-book 180-degree panorama of the Texel Nature Park. The oversized telescope focuses on the view of Granatkogel (3304 m) and Hoher First (3403 m), protruding from the eternal glacier ice in a striking way.
5. „Garnet“, Moos in Passeier
The Timmelsjoch area is the main Alpine ridge's deepest gap - that is not covered by glacier ice - between Reschen Pass and Brenner Pass. Already in the Stone Age shepherds and their animals used the Alpine pass. In the Middle Ages and the early modern period, Ötztal locals carried their goods afoot towards South Tyrol for trading reasons - by using heavy wooden back frames. They crossed the pass with their barter goods. After centuries of exhausting marches on foot, the construction of a road started in the autumn of 1955. The workers built the foundation and superstructure of the entire route under extremely difficult conditions. Unimog vehicles, excavators, trucks and bulldozers sounded the bell for modern engineering road construction. Within only four years and a construction period of 17 months, the road up to the pass height was completed. But it still took some time until the road was connected to South Tyrol. After nine more years, in September 1968, the north-south connection was officially open to public traffic.