Stelvio National Park
The Stelvio National Park is one of the largest protected regions in the Alps. As an Alpine natural habitat, it embraces all the fundamental geological, botanical, and cultural forms. High glacial mountains, hanging terraces, deep valley floors coexist with an unspoiled natural landscape, a local culture that has been carefully cultivated over centuries, and an economy based on what the mountains and forests provide - these qualities mark the overall character of the National Park.
Geographically, the Stelvio National Park extends over an area of 135,000ha, embracing the entire Ortler-Cevedale mountain-massif with its neighboring valleys. To the North, it touches the Swiss National Park, to the South, the Adamello-Brenta Nature Park in Trentino as well as the Adamello Regional Park in Lombardy; the Texelgruppe Nature Park lies to the East.
The Stelvio National Park is a paradise for people who love flowers. The diversity of flowers, grasses, lichens, and mosses is great. At various altitudes, one will encounter different plant species and of course also many different animals.
Roughly 1.5 million years ago, the earth experienced five successive ice ages, which contributed substantially to shaping the landscape. The resulting giant glacial ice fields expanded in the form of large valley tongues, and formed u-shaped valleys. As they retreated, they left behind moraines and talus that, among other things, created the Garda and Como lakes. The most spectacular glacial regions in the national park are found on the Stelvio in the immediate vicinity of Berghotel Franzenshöhe.
The enormous quantities of snow and ice represent valuable reserves of water that feed the hundreds of springs, babbling brooks, tranquil lakes, and churning waterfalls.
Mountain peaks, cliffs, glaciers, and water are the characteristic geological features of the Park.
The Alps formed out of the African and European tectonic plates, which folded over each other in primeval times. Metamorphic rock formations of the most diverse origin, created by enormous heat and pressure and brought to the surface, can be found throughout the park.
These are, to name only a few, the schist in Vinschgau, the gneiss phyllites of Bormio and the marble of Laas.
In addition, we find cliffs that are overwhelmingly composed of lime and dolomite; they lie atop the schist layers, and form the summit structure of the Ortler, for example.