Grossglockner High Alpine Road

Ancient Routes

  • 11 Nov - 17 Nov, 2017
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Panorama

The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is like an ornament of ribbons located between green mountain pastures, colourful flower meadows, rocky rubble, ice and snow. It nestles up against hills, follows the course of the natural ground and fits mountains like a glove. Whooshing waterfalls, the shrill whistling of marmots and the howling wind in the summit regions create an unforgettable high alpine soundscape. And then, all of a sudden, it appears: the majestic Grossglockner, the black mountain.

The mountain pass road with a total of 48km and 36 turns leads deep into the centre of Austria’s largest national park with an area of 1,800km that extends across the provinces of Salzburg, Tyrol and Carinthia. The highest point of the mountain road is the Edelweissspitze located just above 2,500m. Several 3,000m peaks open up to the wandering gaze, but the largest of them all is the Grossglockner. The striking mountain towers above the entire region at 3,798m, and is at the same time the highest summit of the Alpine Republic. Visitors from all over the world flock from the Grossglockner High Alpine Road to the centre of the national park every year.

Once the road has been laboriously cleared of snow in spring, which is done with the tireless work of rotation ploughs constructed by road engineer Franz Wallack in 1954, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road can be opened to traffic every year in late April/early May. Guests from all over the world experience the fascinating alpine world on a road that is accessible to everyone until late October/early November. The alpine road crosses several vegetation zones – from mountain meadows to the perpetual ice up high. Navigation is easy: a milestone marked 0 is located at Gasthof Lukashäusl at the Glockner Bridge. From there onwards, there are granite stones with kilometre markings on the roadside at least every 200m.