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Fitness
Cycling

Nufenen - Legendary Mountain Passes

Cycling · Wallis
Responsible for this content
Valais/Wallis Promotion Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Ascent to the Nufenen pass.
    / Ascent to the Nufenen pass.
    Photo: Pascal Gertschen, CC BY-ND, Valais/Wallis Promotion
  • / Cycling tour to the Nufenen pass.
    Photo: Pascal Gertschen, CC BY-ND, Valais/Wallis Promotion
  • / Ascent to the Nufenen pass.
    Photo: Pascal Gertschen, CC BY-ND, Valais/Wallis Promotion
  • / View from the pass road to Stocke peak
    Photo: Christian Pfammatter, CC BY-ND, Valais/Wallis Promotion
1500 1800 2100 2400 2700 3000 m km 2 4 6 8 10 12

The Nufenen pass is one of the highest mountain passes in Switzerland. Only the Umbrail pass in Grisons stands higher. This ride between the Canton of Valais and the Canton of Ticino is a must for cycling enthusiasts.

difficult
13.7 km
2:30 h
1131 m
0 m

On leaving Ulrichen, the Route of Nufenen pass may not be the most memorable, but it doesn’t take long for the gradient to become demanding and there isn’t much respite during the kilometers up to the summit. As the magnificent setting comes into view bit by bit, it’ll take any cyclist’s breath away. Gradually you’ll see the mountain corries with their ever-snowy summits, as you inch forward on the climb to the top of the pass.

Author’s recommendation

Visit the historical villages in the Goms valley. 

Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Nufenen pass, 2479 m
Lowest point
Ulrichen , 1347 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Restaurant Nufenenpass

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 about the destination: 

Start

Ulrichen (1347 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
46.505433, 8.310298
UTM
32T 447083 5150438

Destination

Nufenen pass

Turn-by-turn directions

Shortly after leaving Ulrichen, the first part of the winding road doesn’t take long to become demanding. Quickly the road takes you to a wild nature composed by hundred-year-old fir trees, rocks shaped by frost and wind and rivers tumbling down slopes in waterfalls. After the first rather sinuous kilometers, some long straight line allows to enter a more open mountain circus which attracts irresistibly towards summits. We shall pass next to a farm selling some goat cheese which is the perfect excuse for a break before attacking the final part of the ride. The twisty road shortens your breath as you gain altitude. At the top the view over a small alpine lake overhanging Val Bedretto is impressive and leads toward the Italian side of Switzerland: Ticino.

Public transport

Frequent CFF train connections from all over Switzerland to Brig, then MGB (Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn) train or bus to Ulrichen (1h 15). You can travel to the Goms valley coming from Zurich or Lucerne as well. Find full timetable information at www.cff.ch

Getting there

From Brig, follow the cantonal route 19 "Furkastrasse" for 37km until you arrive in Ulrichen. You can travel to the Goms valley coming from Zurich or Lucerne as well. 

Parking

Parking in the village of Ulrichen. Follow the local car park routeing. 

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

The tourist office in Obergoms has got brochures and information material about activities in the region.

Author’s map recommendations

SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1250 Ulrichen / 1251 Val Bedretto 


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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
13.7 km
Duration
2:30 h
Ascent
1131 m
Descent
0 m
In and out Multi-stage tour Scenic With refreshment stops Cultural/historical value

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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