At 12,461 ft (3798m) the Grossglockner stands proudly as Austria’s tallest mountain and the tallest peak in the Alps (east of the Brenner Pass). Though incredibly impressive from afar, those that dare can take a closer look with the Grossglockner High Alpine Road—a winding stretch of mountain road that takes you through 36 bends to a top altitude of 8,215 ft (2,504m). From the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe Visitors Center, you can look out on some of the highest peaks in the alps—and log a smiley for Way to Heaven (GCPJDZ).
The Grossglockner High Alpine Road loosely follows ancient trade routes through the mountains that were used by the Celts and Romans. The idea for the road was first envisioned in 1924 and the first version, a 3-meter-wide gravel road, was completed in 1935.
Now, nearly 900,000 visitors per year make the trek through the mountains. This geocache has a difficulty and terrain rating of 3.5, however, if you want to kick both of those rating up a notch, you can travel up the Grossglockner High Alpine Road by motorcycle or bicycle.
Many of the “found it” logs (and even some of the DNFs) mention one thing: the incredible view. “Took a drive up the Grossglocker on a cold and rainey morning, skipped this area and saved it for the way back after heading to the Glacier. Got lucky as the view opened up on our return a little (before clouding over again quickly)…What a great location, so glad we came here,” wrote geocacher stephia4 in her “found it” log. When asked why he thinks geocachers love this destination so much, the geocache owner, Quaxi, said, “I think the reason for most of the travelers is to pass through a unique world of mountains with blossoming alpine meadows, fragrant mountain forests, massive cliffs and eternal ice to the foot of the Grossglockner, the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe.”
The Grossglocker High Alpine Road is closed during the winter, but should be opening next month. If you’re in Austria during the summer, this geocache is a must-find. For more information on the road and to see webcams, visit the official website. As with many geocaches, this hide is all about the amazing views. What’s the most incredible view you’ve ever had while finding a geocache? Tell us in the comments.
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