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Fitness
Cycling

Grimsel - Legendary Mountain Passes

Cycling · Wallis
Responsible for this content
Valais/Wallis Promotion Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Grimsel pass with lake and hospice
    / Grimsel pass with lake and hospice
    Photo: OTAG, Valais/Wallis Promotion
  • / Grimsel dam lake
    Photo: Martin Wabel, Valais/Wallis Promotion
  • / Grimsel pass
    Photo: Pascal Gertschen, Valais/Wallis Promotion
  • / View to the Furka pass road from Grimsel pass
    Photo: Pascal Gertschen, Valais/Wallis Promotion
1500 1800 2100 2400 m km 2 4 6 8 10 12

From the Haute Valais village of Oberwald to the summit of the Grimsel Pass, you will discover a giant of the Alps that connects the canton of Valais with Bern.

difficult
12.2 km
2:30 h
797 m
0 m

From Oberwald, the road climbs through a pine forest while you glimpse over the young Rhone River below. When you arrive at the village of Gletsch, the road splits between the Furka Pass to your right and the Grimsel Pass to your left. In the following kilometres, the view is extraordinary, where you will discover the spectacular Rhone Glacier, the source of the Rhone River. At the summit, a small alpine lake reflects the neighbouring peaks shining under a clear sky as the view opens towards the Bernese Alps.

Author’s recommendation

The route offers superb views on the final part of the climb. 

Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Grimsel pass, 2165 m
Lowest point
Oberwald, 1368 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).

Equipment

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

Tips, hints and links

More information: 

Start

Oberwald (1368 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
46.534458, 8.348765
UTM
32T 450061 5153638

Destination

Grimsel pass

Turn-by-turn directions

The Grimsel Pass is one of the Alpine giants that rises over 2,000 metres of altitude. From Oberwald to Gletsch, the warmup is fairly easy as the slope is reasonable. A small cog railway follows the route just below the road until the split to the Furka Pass. From Gletsch, long straights are linked together by a series of zigzags, and you start to feel the air become scarce as you take on the altitude. The top of the pass offers views of the summits in both the cantons of Valais and Bern, and Gletsch seems so very far away only just a few kilometres below. A park with Marmots makes the restaurant at the pass a very friendly place to visit.

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. 
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


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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
12.2 km
Duration
2:30 h
Ascent
797 m
Descent
0 m
In and out Scenic With refreshment stops Cultural/historical value Geological highlights

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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