The Gailtal Alps are a Limestone alpine ridge comprising mountain ranges such as the Lienz Dolomites.
Image gallery: Gailtal Alps
In the south of Austria, strictly speaking in East Tyrol and Carinthia, there are the Gailtal Alps, featuring a length of 100 km. This Limestone alpenstock extends between the Drautal and Gailtal valleys and comprises the Lienz Dolomites. Even if the latter bears the name of the neighbouring Dolomites, this mountain range is not part of the Dolomites and does not consist of Dolomite rocks. From a geologic viewpoint, the Gailtal Alps do also not make part of the Southern Alps, but the East Alps. Neighbouring mountain ranges are the Villgraten mountains in the north-west and the Carnic main divide as well as the Karawaken in the south. In the east the Gailtal Alps are delimited by the Gurktal Alps, while in the north the Ankogel, Kreuzeck and Schober mountain groups rise.
Also Lake Weissensee in Carinthia, the highest located lake for bathing of Austria, belongs to the Gailtal Alps. The Lienz Dolomites, about 40 km long, range from the Carinthian saddle in the east of Sillian in the Alta Pusteria to the Gailberg saddle. The Gailtal Alps comprise also the mountain groups of the Reisskofelgruppe, Latschurgruppe, Spitzegelgruppe and Dobratsch and stretch to Carinthia.
Peaks: the highest mountains of the Gailtal Alps are the Grosse Sandspitze (2,770 m) and the Reisskofel (2,371 m). Further peaks that are worth mentioning are the Spitzkofel (2,718 m), the Jauken (2,275 m), the Gamswiesenspitze (2,486 m), the Lumkofel (2,287 m), the Sattelnock (2,033 m) and the Spitzkopfel (2,223 m).
Trails: the so-called high-altitude trail “Gailtaler Höhenweg” is a 150 km long hiking trail. Mountain huts that can be found in the Gailtal Alps are the Karlsbader Hütte, the Kerschbaumeralm Schutzhaus in the central Lienz Dolomites and the Comptonhütte in the north of the Reisskofel mountain.