MOUNTAIN PASS IN AUSTRIAN TYROL
No. 9 of 18
The high alpine Hahntennjoch Pass in the Austrian Alps connects the upper valley of the river Inn with the Lechtal valley. The pass offers a scenic 29 kilometres with first wooded areas with tall pines, followed by moonlike barren rocks and an oasis with green meadows and impressive mountain tips on the top.
Check out the Austrian Alps Driving Tour to enjoy effortless navigation with a pre-programmed GPS.
Hahntennjoch Pass is a very exciting road with constant changing scenery and of excellent built quality. Before the actual pass begins there is a nice section of 8 to 10 sweeping cambered bends and you know this can only become exciting. After a number of switchbacks and a two kilometres stretch of road that is literally carved into the rock you will reach the peak on 1894 meters above sea level. It might not feel very high compared to other mountain passes in Austria, but gravel piles and rocks next to the road are impressive and make very clear what forces, mother nature works here.
The road was built between 1948 and 1969 by a handful of just 10 construction workers. Originally a plain gravel road, it was gradually widened and paved. Numerous small restaurants line the pass today and gladly look after visitors.
The scenery of the pass is very engaging, but like on every other road: keep your eyes on the Hahntennjoch Pass - take no risks. Watch out for cattle grids on the ground you can find especially at the start, end and peak of the pass.
The speed limits are 60 kmph, but that speed is hard to reach on a curvy road like this and the landscape is not beautiful to be missed anyway.
The pass is at risk by so called "Muren" - stone and mudslides, which go off in the Alps with hard rain and thunderstorms. Many warning signs refer to these dangers. Since 2004 an automatic system closes the road in case of blockage by avalanches, falling rocks, and mudslides. But don't turn away, hundreds if not thousands visitors per year come to experience the alpine pass and make it safely back into the valley.
Normally open from late May till end of October the road is generally closed during winter.