Timmelsjoch is the highest pass of the Ötztal Alps

Timmelsjoch Pass (Passo del Rombo) is an international high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.479m (8,133ft) above the sea level, on the border between Austria and Italy, just some meters below the Queen of alpine roads, Passo dello Stelvio.

Can you drive to Timmelsjoch Pass (Passo del Rombo)?

Set high the Ötztal Alps, it's one of the highest paved roads of the Alps. The pass connects the Ötztal valley in the Austrian state of Tyrol to the Passeier Valley in the Italian province of South Tyrol. On the Italian side, the road to reach the summit is called SS44bis, and on the Austrian side, it’s a toll road, called Timmelsjoch Hochalpenstrasse, with a length of 12 km. Due to the exposed high-elevation terrain, driving over the mountain pass is only possible between approximately the beginning of June and the end of October. The pass is now popular with car and motorbike tourists. Due to its elevation, steepness, and narrow road, the pass is closed to lorries and vehicles with trailers. The pass road is open to traffic daily from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. It’s one of the scenic Austrian Alpine roads.

When was the road to Timmelsjoch Pass (Passo del Rombo) built?

The road is difficult and it’s a nightmare in the wet or dark (or both). In the late 19th century the construction of a road to the summit was considered and the project was eventually realized in the mid 1950s. With construction work only possible from May to November, in only 17 months the road was built and could be opened for the public in July 1959 on the Austrian side. However, the connection to Italy was only finished in 1968. Since the completion of the pass road it is an indispensable connection between North and South Tyrol. For centuries the mountain pass was the most important connection between the Upper Inn Valley and the city of Merano, which represented the political and economic center of the historical county of Tyrol for a long time.

What is the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road?

The Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road is the name of a scenic drive through the Timmelsjoch Pass (Passo del Rombo). The road is totally paved and very curvy, featuring 60 turns and 30 hairpin turns. It hits a 13% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. The drive is a truly memorable experience especially for cabriolet drivers, motor bikers or mountain bikers, with breathtaking views of the Ötztal Alps. The Ötztal valley side of the road is subject to a toll charge. There are no restrictions as regards using the road on the Austrian side right up to the summit. However, due to the steep, narrow road conditions and bridge constructions on the Italian side, the following restrictions apply: Cars and motorcycles are permitted; motor homes and small lorries are permitted - max. gross weight 8 tons, max. width 2.55 m, max. height 4 m; small buses are permitted – max. overall length 10 m, max. gross weight 8 tons; buses with an overall length of over 10 m or a gross weight exceeding 8 tons are not permitted; lorries with an overall weight exceeding 8 tons are not permitted; trailers with an overall length of over 4.5 m are not permitted; cyclists who use the Timmelsjoch Pass do so at their own risk. Bicycle lights are compulsory. If you drive along the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road, the highest pass of the eastern Alps, you can enjoy a majestic view of the Ötztal Alps and a masterpiece of road construction at the same time. Fantastic vantage points, crystal-clear brooks and steep-ascending rock faces accompany you from the Ötztal valley to the Italian Tyrol. The entire route was secured modern and has excellent road conditions. The road was built between 1955 and 1959.


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