IN AUSTRIA 🇦🇹
The high alpine Hahntennjoch Pass in the Austrian Alps is still a well kept secret. The district neighbors the Vorarlberg region in Austria to the west and Bavaria in Germany to the north. Not far from Germany's most visited attraction the 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace: Neuschwanstein Castle.
Mostly locals and German speaking tourists use the pass since they can read the signs. Others often divert around it to connect the upper valley of the river Inn with the Lechtal valley in the Austrian Alps.
They miss out on a very scenic and stunning 29 kilometres long high alpine road, with first wooded areas and tall pines, followed by moonlike barren rocks and an oasis with green meadows and impressive mountain tips on the top.
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.
At the summit the scenery turns more and more picturesque and retains a wild, rugged natural beauty. There is a big car park on the top, but no restaurant or souvenir shop.
However a few chocolate box villages later some friendly roadside eateries are expecting your visit inside a green valley with a wonderful fast sweeping country road.
The Hahntennjoch Pass is not only very exciting with constant changing scenery, but also of excellent built quality. Like most roads in Austria and unlike others: this road is even free to ride on.
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. There is no need to rush anyway, the landscape is so beautiful that you should take your time.
Be aware that the Hahntennjoch Pass is at risk by so called "Muren" which are stone and mudslides, which go off in the Alps with hard rain and thunderstorms. Many warning signs refer to these dangers and should not be ignored.
Since 2004 an automatic system closes the road in case of blockage by avalanches, falling rocks, and mudslides. Gravel piles and rocks next to the road are impressive and make very clear what forces, mother nature works here. and are part of the experience.
Normally open from late May till end of October the road is generally closed during winter.