Kaunertal Glacier Road: 26 km, 29 hairpin turns and 1,500 m change in elevation in the Alps

Kaunertal Glacier Road is an alpine road climbing up the Kaunertal Glacier, at 2.750m (9,022ft) above the sea level. It’s the fifth highest paved road in the Alps and one of the highest roads of Europe. It covers 26 kilometres with a total of 29 bends and an altitude difference of 1,500 metres.

Kaunertal glacier road

How long is Kaunertal Glacier Road?

Located in the Landeck district in the Austrian state of Tyrol, this winding road is fully paved and runs along the edge of the Gepatsch reservoir. It’s 26km (16.15 miles) long starting at the village of Feichten in the valley of the Kauner at 1.273m above sea level.  With 180 turns the road leads all the way to the base of the ski area at 2.750 m (9,020ft). At the end of the road, the new Karlesjoch cable railway takes you up to 3.108 m. 

Is Kaunertal Glacier Road steep?

The average gradient of the Kaunertaler Gletscherstraße is 10%, with a maximum gradient of 12%. Climbing up the mountain in 29 sharp hairpin turns, this cliff-hugging highway rises 1.500 meters from 1.273m to 2.750m.

Is Kaunertal Glacier Road worth it?

It’s one of the scenic Austrian Alpine roads. The road seems to leave the earth behind. It’s impressive for its engineering as for its stunning vistas. The toll is only charged to non-skiers. All skiers with a valid ski pass can use the toll road free of charge. Along the road, 29 information panels reveal details about the area’s nature, history and culture. Plan about 50 minutes to complete the drive.

Is Kaunertal Glacier Road open?

The road was built in 1980 to make the world of glaciers accessible to many people. The glacier road is open in June, July and August, from 7 am to 7.30 pm. In all other months, the road is open from 7 am to 5 pm.
Pic: Stefan Heinicke