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Furka Pass – Legendary Mountain Passes

Cycling · Valais
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  • Cyclists in front of Hotel Belvedere, Furka Pass
    / Cyclists in front of Hotel Belvedere, Furka Pass
    Photo: Tamara Berger, Valais/Wallis Promotion - Tamara Berger
  • / Cyclists, Furka Pass
    Photo: Tamara Berger, Valais/Wallis Promotion - Tamara Berger
  • / Cyclist, Furka Pass
    Photo: Tamara Berger, Valais/Wallis Promotion - Tamara Berger
  • / Cyclist, Furka Pass
    Photo: Tamara Berger, Valais/Wallis Promotion - Tamara Berger
  • / View from Furka pass
    Photo: Tamara Berger, Valais/Wallis Promotion - Tamara Berger
  • / Furka road near to Gletsch
    Photo: Martin Wabel, Valais
  • / View to the Grimsel Pass from Furka road
    Photo: Martin Wabel, Valais
  • / Ascent to the Furka pass with Rhone glacier in the background
    Photo: Szymon Kotowski, szymonbike
  • / Ascent to the Furka Pass
    Photo: Martin Wabel, Valais
m 2500 2000 1500 1000 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Eisgrotte im Rhonegletscher
From the village of Oberwald at the very top of the Goms Valley to the summit of the Furka Pass, this road is one of the highest passes in Switzerland, connecting the canton of Valley with the canton of Uri.
difficult
Distance 16.5 km
3:00 h
1,064 m
3 m
The Furka Pass is probably one of the prettiest passes in Switzerland. At an altitude of 2,431m, it is the fourth highest after the Umbrail, the Grand-St-Bernard and Nufenen passes. From Oberwald in the magnificent Goms Valley until the summit which straddles the cantons of Valais and Uri, the route passes through Gletsch and then rises, coming flirtatiously close with the Rhone Glacier. The great river is derived from these remote snow melts before crossing the entire canton until Lake Geneva and – then – on to the Mediterranean! It is definitely worth a stop at the restaurant that overlooks this incredible place.

Author’s recommendation

Have a rest at the Belvédère hotel and visit the ice cave inside the Rhone Glacier. 
Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Furka Pass, 2,429 m
Lowest point
Oberwald, 1,368 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Strictly respect the Swiss traffic rules. Please note that you are running the tour at your own risk and all liability is refused. Please be considerate to plants and animals. For your own safety, wear an helmet every time you ride a bike. Emergency numbers: 144 Ambulance / 117 Police / 1414 Helicopter Rescue (Rega).

Tips and hints

 More information: 

 

Start

Oberwald (1,367 m)
Coordinates:
SwissGrid
2'669'774E 1'154'077N
DD
46.534353, 8.348159
DMS
46°32'03.7"N 8°20'53.4"E
UTM
32T 450014 5153627
w3w 
///buzzards.jousting.skirting

Destination

Furka pass

Turn-by-turn directions

 

The cyclist who tackles the Furka Pass will discover the very edge of the canton of Valais and the source of the Rhone River; the most important river in the canton. The first few kilometres from Oberwald to Gletsch pass through forests and waterfalls on this road that eventually leads to Andermatt and the canton of Uri. After passing through Gletsch, the road climbs with a long straight hugging the side of the mountain before beginning to meander into curves. On the left, the Rhone Glacier is spectacular, and will leave you daydreaming despite the effort. The last kilometres to the summit become less steep, giving you a break to ponder over the views of the  Uri Alps and the Saint-Gotthard Massif.

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Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Frequent CFF train connections from all over Switzerland to Brig, then MGB (Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn) train or bus to Oberwald.

Getting there

From Brig, follow the cantonal route 19 "Furkastrasse" for 40km until you arrive in Oberwald.

Parking

Parking at the train station in Oberwald, follow the local car park routeing. 

Coordinates

SwissGrid
2'669'774E 1'154'077N
DD
46.534353, 8.348159
DMS
46°32'03.7"N 8°20'53.4"E
UTM
32T 450014 5153627
w3w 
///buzzards.jousting.skirting
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Brochures: Road Cycling Map

Author’s map recommendations

SwissTopo Maps 1:25'000: 1250 Ulrichen

Equipment

We recommend: bike in excellent working order, helmet, gloves and bell, clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof), food and drink.

Basic Equipment for Bike Riding

  • Cycling helmet
  • Cycling gloves
  • Sturdy, comfortable and preferably waterproof footwear
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket)
  • Sunglasses
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass

Technical Equipment for Bike Riding

  • Air pump or CO2 pump including cartridges
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Replacement inner tube
  • Tire levers
  • Chain tool
  • Hex keys
  • Phone / device holder as required  
  • Bike lock as required
  • Where applicable, the bike must meet requirements for road use by having a bell, front and rear lamps and spoke reflectors
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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Photos from others


Difficulty
difficult
Distance
16.5 km
Duration
3:00 h
Ascent
1,064 m
Descent
3 m
Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Botanical highlights Insider tip Linear route

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