TRANSPORTATION. Trains arrive in Zell am See from: Innsbruck (lV&-2hr. 3:45am-9:25pm, 20); Kitzbiihel (45min. 7:15am-ll:30pm, 8.10); and Salzburg (l’zhr. 1-2 per hr. 13). From Zell am See, a rail line runs west along the northern border of the park, terminating in Krimml (lMhr. 6am-10:55pm, 6.80); a bus also runs directly to the Hohe (2hr. 2 per day, 10). The park itself is crisscrossed by bus lines that operate on a complicated timetable.

FRANZ-JOSEFS-HOHE. This tourist center, stationed above the Pasterze glacier, has an amazing view of the Grofiglockner (3798m). The Hohe has its own park office in the parking area. ( (04824) 27 27. Open daily 10am-4pm.) The free eleva tor next to the info center leads to the Swarovski Observation Center, a crystal shaped building with binoculars for viewing the surrounding terrain. (Open daily 10am-4pm. Free.) The Gletscherweg (3hr.) hike is like walking on the moon.

HEILIGENBLUT. The closest town to the highest mountain in Austria and a great starting point for hikes, Heiligenblut (pop. 1,200) is a convenient base for exploration of the region. Heiligenblut can be reached by bus from Franz- Josefs-Hohe (30min. 3.60) and Lienz (1 hr. 2-6 per day, 6). The tourist office, Hof 4, up the street from the bus stop, dispenses info about rooms, hikes, and park transportation. (04824 20 01 21. Open July-Aug. M-F 8:30am- 6pm, Sa 9am-noon and 4-6pm; Sept.-June M-F 8:30am-noon and 2:30-6pm, Sa 9am-noon and 4-6pm.) To reach the Jugendgastehaus Heiligenblut (HI) , Hof 36, take the path down from the wall behind the bus stop parking lot. ( 04824 22 59. Breakfast included. Reception daily 7-10am and 5-9pm. Dorms 20, under-27 15; singles 2722.)

KRIMML. Over 400,000 visitors per year arrive here to see the extraordinary Krimml Waterfalls, a set of three cascades spanning 380m. (8am-6pm 1.50; free after 6pm.) These waterfalls are usually enjoyed as a daytrip from Zell am See; buses run from Zell am See (1M hr. 5:45am-8:55pm, 7.50) to Maustelle Ort, the start of the path to the falls. The trail, called the Wasserfallweg (4km), maintains a constant upward pitch. The first set of falls are accessible almost directly from the entrance; it’s about 30min. from the first to the second set of falls, and an additional 30min. to the third set. To reach the tourist office, Oberkrimml 37, follow the road from the Krimml Ort bus stop and turn right down the hill in front of the church. (723 90. Open M-F 8am-noon and 2:30- 5:30pm, Sa 8:30-10:30am.)

Tyrol’s mountains overwhelm the average mortal with their superhuman scale. Craggy summits rising in the northeast and south cradle four-star resorts and untouched valleys like the Otzal and Zillertal. In eastern Tyrol, the mighty Hohe Tauem range is protected as a national park. The region is a mountain playground, and Innsbruck is its swing set.

TYROL TIROL Photo Gallery

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