The journey is the destination along the Ötztal Glacier Road in the Alps
Located in the Austrian state of Tyrol, the Ötztal Glacier Road (Ötztaler Gletscherstraße) is one of the most scenic drives in the Alps. Topping out at 2.830m (9,285ft) above the sea level, it’s one of the highest roads of Europe. A sign warns “Mountain Road Only for Experienced Riders.”
Is the Ötztal Glacier Road one of the highest roads of Europe?
Set high in the in the Ötztal Alps, the road ranks among the highest mountain roads in the Eastern Alps. The road is 13 km (8 miles) long and links directly Sölden with Rettenbach Glacier and Tiefenbach Glacier. The two glaciers are connected to each other by the famous 1.7km long Rosi Mittermeier Tunnel, one of the highest road tunnels in Europe. At the top of the Rettenbach you will find the sign 'Highest road in the EU'. The road tops out at an elevation of 2,830 m (9,285 ft) above the sea level. Jan Ulrich called the climb up the Ötztal Glacier Road 'cruelty to animals'.
Is the Ötztal Glacier Road paved?
The road is totally paved and has excellent surface conditions through a series of spectacular twists and curves. It is a toll road but it’s good to know that all skiers with a valid ski pass and cyclists can use the road for free.
Is the Ötztal Glacier Road worth it?
Said to be a pure hidden gem in Otztal area, this is a remarkable road trip. Remember to bring your camera as every curve of the road offers a new breathtaking view. It was used for scenery in an action chase sequence in Bond’s Spectre movie. The road provides countless starting points for exciting high-altitude hikes. It has very low motorized traffic in summer.
When was the Ötztal Glacier Road built?
The road was built in 1972 as a spur from the existing Hochsölden road. It was built to accommodate two lanes in each direction, with percentages between 11% and 14%. The road is accessible for heavy trucks (lorries up to 38 tons) and buses without any problem.
Is the Ötztal Glacier Road open?
Snow chains in winter months are advisable, as it can snow quite unexpectedly in these high alpine climates. The road is only open when considered not dangerous (avalanches). It is strongly recommended to be prepared for every weather condition in the autumn months, especially if you arrive with your private car. Snow chains and steel tracks might be required throughout the year. Due its elevation, there exists always a risk of sudden unexpected precipitation or drop in temperature. It is warmly recommended to provide the necessary equipment at any time of the year.
• Road length: Sölden - Rettenbach Glacier: approx. 13 km. Rettenbach Glacier - Tiefenbach Glacier approx. 3 km
• Average elevation gain: 11%
• Maximum elevation gain: 13%
• Highest point: 2.830m (9,285ft)
• Wide: 5 m standard, 2 lanes