The Carnic Alps are a range of the Southern Limestone Alps in East Tyrol, Carinthia, South Tyrol and Friuli (Province of Udine
). They extend from east to west for about 100 km (62 mi) between the Gail River, a tributary of the Drava and the Tagliamento, forming the border between Austria
They are named after the Roman province of Carnia, which probably has a Celtic origin.
The mountains gave their name to the stage on the geologic time scale known as Carnian.
The most important peaks of the main ridge are:
- Coglians/Hohe Warte (2,782 m)
- Kellerwand (2,775 m)
- Monte Peralba/Hochweißstein (2,694 m)
- Monte Cavallino/Große Kinigat (2,689 m)
- Rosskopf (2,603 m)
- Helm (2,434 m)
The chief passes of the Carnic Alps are:
- Plocken Pass (Tolmezzo to Kötschach-Mauthen), road (1,360 m)
- Naßfeld Pass (Pontebba to Hermagor-Pressegger See), road (1,552 m)
- Oefnerjoch (Forni Avoltri to Sankt Lorenzen im Lesachtal), foot path (2,301 m)
- Wolayer Pass (same to Kötschach-Mauthen), foot path (1,922 m)
The Carnic Prealps, which include the Friulian Dolomites, comprise all the mountains that stretch out from the valley of the Alto Tagliamento river down to the plains. The land in this area dates back to the superior Triassic and the superior Miocene ages.
The most important peaks of the Carnic Prealps are:
- Cima dei Preti (2,703 m)
- Monte Duranno (2,668 m)
- Monte Cridola (2,581 m)
- Monte Chiadenis (2,459 m)
- Monte Cavallo (2,251 m)
- Campanile di Val Montanaia (2,173)