The "Hohe Tauern" is the highest range of the Alps east of the Brenner Pass, and includes the highest mountains in Austria. They are part of the Central Eastern Alps and are located in the Austrian states of Salzburg, Carinthia and East Tyrol, as well as a small part of South Tyrol in Italy.
The range is bounded by the Salzach valley to the north (separating it from the Kitzbühel Alps); the Mur valley and the Murtörl Pass to the east (separating it from the Niedere Tauern); the Drave valley to the south (separating it from the Southern Limestone Alps); and the Birnlücke pass to the west (separating it from the Zillertal Alps).
Its most important parts are (from West to East):
* Venediger Group (about 20 peaks from 3000 to 3666 m)
* Granatspitz Group
* Glockner Group (Großglockner 3798 m)
* Goldberg Group with the Hoher Sonnblick (3106 m)
* Ankogel Group (Ankogel (3246 m) and Hochalmspitze (3360 m))
* the eastern end of the Hohe Tauern is formed by the Hafner Group, which includes the easternmost peaks above 3000 metres in the Alps.
The parts of the Hohe Tauern south of the main crest of the Alps are:
* Lasörling Groups (Lasörling, 3098 m)
* Rieserferner Group (Hochgall, 3436 m)
* Schober Group (Hochschober, 3240 m)
* Kreuzeck Group (Polinik, 2784 m)
Adjacent mountain ranges include:
* Reißeck and Kreuzeck Group (south-east)
* Zillertal Alps (to the west, in the Tyrol and South Tyrol).
* Niedere Tauern - Radstädter Tauern (in the east)
The name "Hohe Tauern" originally meant "high passes", but came to be applied to the mountains themselves during the peak of mining operations during the Middle Ages.
In the centre of the region, there is the Nationalpark Hohe Tauern, to which the Austrian Alpine Club and the three states have contributed territory. At about 1800 km², it is the largest of Austria's six national parks and is divided into a core zone (complete prohibition of construction) and a fringe zone used for forestry and mountain pasture.
Tourism only increased marginally since the creation of the national park, but has become less harmful to the environment. A particular emphasis is put on environmental protection and the maintenance of traditional ways of life in the Alps.
The main peaks of the Hohe Tauern are:
Peak Group Elevation (m/ft)
Großglockner Glockner 3798 12,461
Großvenediger Venediger 3660 12,008
Großes Wiesbachhorn Glockner 3570 11,713
Dreiherrnspitze Venediger 3505 11,500
Rötspitze Venediger 3496 11,470
Johannisberg Glockner 3467 11,375
Hochgall Rieserferner 3440 11,287
Großer Geiger Venediger 3365 11,041
Ruthnerhorn Rieserferner 3360 11,024
Hochalmspitze Ankogel 3355 11,008
Roter Knopf Schober 3296 10,814
Hocharn Goldberg 3258 10,689
Ankogel Ankogel 3253 10,663
Hochschober Schober 3250 10,663
Kitzsteinhorn Glockner 3204 10,512
Sonnblick Goldberg 3108 10,196