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Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road

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.

Pleasantly winding road

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

Highest point: 2509 m

First pass opening: 17.07.1959

Gradient: max. 13%

Switchback bends: approx. 30

The Timmelsjoch Drive: 5 stations – A unique experience

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

Footpath Hochgurgl Timmelsjoch Ötztal Landscape

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

Smuggler Timmelsbach Bridge Ötztal Landscape

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

Pass Museum Timmelsjoch Ötztal Landscape
Like a huge boulder amidst the Alpine landscape the Pass Museum links both the North Tirolean and South Tyrolean side, ensuring this special cross-border character of the Timmelsjoch Drive. Inside the museum travelers learn more about the history of Timmelsjoch Pass and the High Alpine Road.

4. „Telescope“, Scheibkopf

Telescope Scheibkopf Timmelsjoch Ötztal

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

Garnet Moos Passeier Timmelsjoch Ötztal
Finally arrived in the south: On the rock face near Stuls guests enjoy the spectacular view of Moos and the rear Passeiertal valley. Two garnets, displaying Passeier's authentic rock formations, serve as an exciting showroom and viewing platform.

Pass with a long history

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.

Timmelsjoch in 3D

Thanks to our splendid 3D view you can take a closer look at the Timmelsjoch route already in advance or review the fantastic driving experience once again.

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Timmelsjoch bus line

The Timmel Bus runs several times a day, from Obergurgl to Moos in Passeiertal with stops at the Top Mountain Cross Point. The bus ride is free for holders of the Ötztal Inside Summer Card.

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Top Mountain Crosspoint

The Top Mountain Crosspoint in the foothills of the High Alpine Road comprises not only the toll station but also a modern restaurant with table service, Europe's highest motorcycle museum and the base station of the Kirchenkar mountain gondola.

 

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Frequently asked questions about Timmelsoch Pass

The high Alpine road is only passable in the summer months, usually between the end of May and late October. The reason for the long winter break is the inclement weather condition in the high mountains with snow depths of up to 10 meters. In addition to the winter break, the toll road is also closed in summer between 8.00 pm and 7.00 am. You can find the current opening times at www.timmelsjoch.com

Cyclists can tackle the pass road during regular opening times by day. Using the road is at your own risk! However, well-functioning bicycle lights and complete cycling equipment are essential. The weather report and the route must be carefully checked already in advance. Cyclists can use the toll road free of charge on a separate passage at the toll station in Gurgl.

Special tip: A cycling tour shortly after the season opening in late May, when walls of snow up to 5 m high are still flanking the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road, makes a very special experience!

2509 m high Timmelsjoch connects Ötztal (Tirol) with Passeier (South Tyrol) and separates the Ötztal Alps from the Stubai Alps. From the village of Gurgl, the last hamlet in Ötztal, the riding time to the highest point at Timmelsjoch Pass is around 30 minutes. The border between Italy and Austria runs right at the height of Timmelsjoch. Its crest is also part of the European watershed and the only passable route on the main Alpine ridge between Reschen Pass and Brenner Pass.

During opening times, the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road can be used on the Austrian side up to the top of the pass without restrictions (max. vehicle height: 4 meters). On the Italian side, special regulations apply due to the extremely steep and narrow road conditions and the bridge constructions (cars and motorcycles are allowed; mobile homes and trucks up to a total weight of 8 t, max. 2.55 m wide and max. 4 m high; buses up to max. 10 m total length and max. 8 t total weight).

The website www.timmelsjoch.com provides more details about winter closure or closing due to unforeseeable events.

The 60 km long journey from Obergurgl along the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Toll Road to the thermal town of Merano only takes about 1.5 hours - ideal for a wonderful day trip from the high mountains down to South Tyrol’s vineyards, where the climate already enchants with a bit of Mediterranean flair. Special tip: It is recommendable to plan some extra time for a visit to the Timmelsjoch Drive including 5 stations along the route, accessible free of charge.