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Fitness
Cycling

Sanetsch - Legendary Mountain Passes

Cycling · Valais
Responsible for this content
Valais/Wallis Promotion Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Cyclists, Sanetsch pass
    / Cyclists, Sanetsch pass
    Photo: David Carlier, Valais/Wallis Promotion - David Carlier
  • / Cyclists, Sanetsch pass
    Photo: David Carlier, Valais/Wallis Promotion - David Carlier
  • / Cyclists, Sanetsch pass
    Photo: David Carlier, Valais/Wallis Promotion - David Carlier
  • / Mountain lake on the Sanetsch Pass
    Photo: Linda Photo, Valais/Wallis Promotion
500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 m km 5 10 15 20 25 Châteauneuf-Conthey

While the Sanetsch pass may not be the most well-known climb in the Valais, it is undoubtedly one of the finest and most demanding. Starting from the altitude of the Rhone Valley to reach a summit at 2200 metres, this epic climb will inspire much respect!

difficult
27.3 km
4:00 h
1766 m
1 m

The road to Sanetsch takes you through all the stages of Alpine vegetation. From the river plain to the high mountains, this pristine pass is a real gem for bike lovers. As you attack the slopes of this incredible climb, you pass through the Valais vineyards, through forests filled with larch and spruce trees, and finally high Alpine pastures in front of the beautiful Tsanfleuron glacier. There are surprises after every turn, leaving you comparing one landscape after another in a battle to determine which view is the prettiest.

Author’s recommendation

Extend your trip by climbing the Col du Pillon on the way back. Normally you profit from a tailwind when cycling up the Rhone Valley. 

Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Sanetsch Pass, 2252 m
Lowest point
Conthey, 487 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

Conthey (486 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
46.216042, 7.303698
UTM
32T 369164 5119450

Destination

Sanetsch Pass

Turn-by-turn directions

From Conthey, the road to Sanetsch starts by zig-zagging up through the Valais vineyards where the sun beats down in the summer. After a few kilometres, you climb gradually into a shady narrow gorge with forests filled with refreshing scents. After a few short but welcoming flat sections, you discover a magnificent view overlooking the Rhone plain, seemingly far away. After a few switchbacks and a spectacular waterfall, you start climbing into a whole new environment, the high alpine meadows. A fun journey through a tunnel dug into the rock brings you face to face with the snowfields of the Tsanfleuron glacier. The bravest cyclists will continue after the pass to the end of the road where it’s possible to make a grand loop back to the central Valais using a gondola that brings you into the Bernese Oberland, making the Sanetsch a must-do for any adventure lover. In any case, the restaurant at the end of the road serves a nice apple pie that is well worth the trip!

Public transport

Regional trains on the Simplon line to Châteauneuf-Conthey or postbus from Sion to Conthey.  

Getting there

Motorway A9, then take exit 25 Conthey to arrive directly in the village of Conthey. 

Parking

Parkings in the shopping zone of Conthey. 
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Brochures:

Author’s map recommendations

SwissTopo Maps 1:25'000: 1306 Sion / 1286 St-Léonard


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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
27.3 km
Duration
4:00 h
Ascent
1766 m
Descent
1 m
In and out Scenic With refreshment stops Cultural/historical value Geological highlights Mountain railway ascent/descent Insider tip

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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