GEO FACTS

Experience geological history

A journey through millions of years…

… is that along your hiking tour through the Bletterbach gorge. This UNESCO World Heritage site provides insight into the inner part of the mountains, into the world of rocks and stones and into the structure of the Dolomites. The gorge is an open book, where scientists, hikers passionate about geology, as well as nature-loving families with children may read about more than 40 million years of geological history.

The Bletterbach gorge is the result of weathering and erosion: since the last ice age 18,000 years ago, constant forces of water, wind and weather have been shaping the gorge wiping away more than ten billion tons of rock material into the Val d’Adige-Etschtal valley. This is how the little and inconspicuous stream has been carving its way on a 8 km (4,9 miles) long and about up to 400 m (1,312 ft) deep stretch into the rocks across different geological areas. Unlike the obscure conditions in other areas of the Alps, rock layers are here intact and visible, exactly as they were deposited millions of years ago. The rock structure provides relevant information about the creation process as well as about climate and weather conditions in our world of about 280-240 million years ago.