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Grimsel Pass

Short facts

  • start: Innertkirchen
  • destination: Oberwald
  • medium
  • 38,59 km
  • 2 hours 48 minutes
  • 1541 m
  • 2164 m
  • 626 m
  • 100 / 100
  • 60 / 100

best season

On this route you can experience the Grimsel Pass, the Alpine giant that connects the cantons of Bern and Valais.

In Innertkirchen, which is situated at the beginning of the Gadmer Valley and extends up toward the Susten Pass, the route follows the Aare River and turns off onto Grimselstrasse. Warm up your muscles on the first few kilometres along the gently rolling road up to Guttannen. The route continues to follow a more or less straight line to Handegg, where the valley station of the Gelmer Funicular can be seen on the left (with trips up to spectacular Lake Gelmer).

And now the thrills begin, slowly but surely: a vertical rock face rises up on the left and a shimmering green rocky landscape covered with delicate lichen stretches through the valley on the right. A few more twists and turns and a few more metres uphill lead to Lake Räterichsboden (1767 metres above sea level), where you can enjoy an impressive view from the wall of the dam. Cycle along Lake Räterichsboden to reach majestic Lake Grimsel. The road zigzags up the mountain until the deep blue of Lake Toten suddenly appears after one last turn on the pass summit. The strenuous ascent to 2164 m above sea level is certainly exhausting. Only the heartiest treat themselves to an exhilarating jump in the cold lake. And a brief stop for some refreshment in one of the restaurants is certainly well-deserved. Invigorated for the challenging descent that begins shortly after the border of the cantons of Berne and Valais. On an arduous, winding, typical pass road, the route drops 400 metres in elevation down to Gletsch, which is the halfway point of the descent.

We cover another 400 meters on the way down to reach our destination in Oberwald, but the road from Gletsch is somewhat unspectacular and mostly straight. The route then largely follows the banks of the Rhone River, finally arriving in Oberwald in the canton of Valais. 

You can hop on the PostBus line anywhere along the route.

General information

Directions

Innertkirchen - Guttannen - Handegg - Gerstenegg - Räterichsbodensee - Grimsel Hospiz - Grimselpass - Gletsch - Oberwald 

Safety Guidelines
  • Know road rules / mind other road users
  • Test function of the bike before departure
  • Always wear a helmet, gloves and protectors recommended
  • Know route (navigation)
  • Check weather and traffic info
  • Drink enough & keep energy stores filled
  • Have your own fitness and regeneration under control
  • Pay attention to hikers, animals, objects etc. near the road
Equipment
  • Well maintained bike
  • Helmet, gloves, protectors
  • Bicycle bell and functional lighting
  • Repair kit
  • First aid kit
  • Mobile phone for emergencies
  • Clothing adapted to the weather (always take with you: rain protection)
  • Drink and snacks
Tip
Getting there

There are different ways to reach the region by car. The fastest way from Basel and Geneva is via Berne. The fastest route from Zurich is through Lucerne and the Brünig Pass. The pass is open in summer and winter.

From the south, the route goes over the Grimsel or Susten Pass into the region. Both passes are only open in summer. Alternatively, you can take the Simplon Pass and then Lötschberg car transport.

 

Parking

Parking spaces are available on the Grimselpassstrasse. Since parking is limited, public transport is recommended.

Public transit

Thanks to its central location in Europe, Switzerland is served by international trains from over 12 countries. Within Switzerland, Intercity trains run directly from Basel and Lucerne to the Jungfrau Region. Travellers from Zurich have to change in Berne. The trains run every half hour.

There is a connection to the Postbus line all along the route. The buses transport bicycles, but these must be registered the day before by 16:00 on +41 58 448 20 08.

 

Additional Information

Weather

Next steps
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