Best time to visit Austria

Timmelsjoch in Austria

A secret Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road in the Ötztal Alps attracts adrenaline-seekers

Best time: June–October


Timmelsjoch Pass (Passo del Rombo in Italian) links Ötztal Valley in Tyrol, Austria, with Passeier Valley in South Tyrol, Italy. This mountain pass is often called "secret" because it's not used that often. There is a lower Brenner Pass that is much more popular with drivers. That makes Timmelsjoch, with an elevation of 2,509 meters (8,232 ft), a perfect destination for a secluded, scenic drive. It bridges the saddle point between the mountain peaks of Jochköpfl and Wurmkogl, both over 3,000 m (10,000 ft) above sea level. Due to harsh winter conditions, Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road is only open for driving from June to October.

Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road over the pass is popular with cyclists and motorcyclists. Every August, thousands of cyclists take part in the Ötztaler Cycling Marathon, climbing four mountain passes in 238 km (148 mi). Steep and narrow, it is closed for trucks and trailers. Breathtaking 30 hairpin bends and a maximum gradient of 13% ensure an exciting drive. Stone markers on the pass indicate the Austria-Italy border. Dramatic views open up on the southern side of the pass.

Once on the top, visit the new Pass Museum that resembles a boulder based in the North Tyrolean side but facing the South Tyrolean side, representing the cross-border nature of the Timmelsjoch experience. Inside the museum you can learn the stories of pioneers of the High Alpine Road and history of the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road. The Timmelsjoch area has been attracting shepherds since the Stone Age. A brooch, found near the Schönbodenlacke, dates back to La Tène period (in 300 BC) and proves that the pass was used during that time. The paved road was constructed in 1955-1959.

Besides the scenic views, Timmelsjoch pass boasts rich fauna and flora gradually changing vegetation from lush mountain meadows, weather-beaten pine trees, and flowering Alpine roses to high barren Alpine landscapes with snow-covered fields even in the summer months. Sometimes you can spot sheep, goats, or even ibexes crossing your path. As you get to the southern slopes, the climate changes to Mediterranean, and you can see twists and vines unfold their leaves on the hills.

Practical info

What is the recommended period to drive on Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road?

One can drive on Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road from June to October, which is the ideal time. As the pass remains closed for driving during severe winter conditions. Moving towards summer, the weather remains sunny, making the drive more delightful as one experiences breathtaking scenery throughout their journey. Show more

Is Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road accessible to trucks and trailers?

Vehicles such as trucks and trailers are not permitted on Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road. The pass is narrow and steep, including 30 hairpin bends with a maximum gradient of 13%. Thus, it is not feasible for significant vehicles to be driven across the path. Motorcycles, cars, and cyclists are the only vehicles allowed on this pass. Show more

What is the significance of Ötztaler Cycling Marathon?

A yearly cycle race held in August, the Ötztaler Cycling Marathon, is known for being one of the most challenging cycling marathons in the world. Cyclists from around the world come together, covering 238 km (148 mi) throughout the race. The course comprises four mountain passes, including the famous Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road. Show more

Is there a museum present on Timmelsjoch pass?

Located on the North Tyrolean side of Timmelsjoch pass, there is a museum named the Pass Museum. The concept behind the museum represents the cross-border nature of the entire Timmelsjoch experience, which faces the South Tyrolean side. Pass Museum provides an understanding of the fascinating history of the road and the pioneers who constructed it. Show more

What kind of vegetation and animals can tourists witness on Timmelsjoch pass?

Tourists driving through Timmelsjoch pass can witness a variety of fauna and flora, such as mountain meadows, pine trees, snow-covered fields, and Alpine roses. The vegetation changes gradually as you move towards the Southern slopes, showcasing twisting vines and rich greens. As a bonus, tourists can glimpse animals such as sheep, goats and ibexes around the path, making the entire journey even more memorable. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Timmelsjoch (Map)

Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin