Ötztal valley in Tirol, Austria, looking south from the town of Oetz

The Ötztal is an alpine valley located in Tyrol, Austria. The Ötztaler Ache river flows through the valley in a northern direction. The Ötztal separates the Stubai Alps in the east from the Ötztal Alps in the west. The valley is 65 km (40 mi) long. The northern end of the valley is at the confluence of the Ötztaler Ache and Inn rivers, 8 km east of Imst and 50 km west of Innsbruck. The only railway station of the valley, Ötztal railway station, is located here and connects the Ötztal with the Arlberg railway (Innsbruck-Bludenz) and also a motorway interchange to the A12 (E60).

The southern end of the valley, also called the Gurglertal, terminates at the border with Italy. The valley is formed by the main chain of the Alps, with many glaciers and high peaks, including the Weißkugel and the Similaun. The village of Obergurgl at the southern end of the Ötztal is the highest parish in Austria.

The Ötztal consists of five municipalities (from north to south): Sautens, Oetz, Umhausen, Längenfeld, and Sölden. The main industry in the valley is tourism. The mountains around the valley are popular with both mountaineers and skiers. There are ski resorts in the upper part of the valley at Sölden, Hochsölden, and Hochgurgl. The Timmelsjoch mountain pass connects the Ötztal with the Passeier Valley and Merano in the province of South Tyrol, Italy.

The Ötztal Glacier Road is the highest paved road in the Alps. It is the access road from Sölden to the Rettenbach glacier and the Tiefenbachferner glacier. The highest point of the glacier road is at southern end of the ski tunnel (46°55′29″N 10°56′40″E / 46.92472°N 10.94444°E / 46.92472; 10.94444).

In 1991, Ötzi the Iceman, a well-preserved natural mummy from about 3300 BC, was found in the nearby Schnalstal glacier near the Fineilspitze and the Similaun. The Ötzi monument is located about an hour's walk from the Similaun Hut.


See also

Coordinates: 47°08′13″N 10°55′38″E / 47.13694°N 10.92722°E / 47.13694; 10.92722

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