Snake Pass is one of the best drives in the UK

Snake Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 512m (1,679ft) above the sea level, located between Manchester and Sheffield in Northern England.

Snake Pass

Which road is the Snake Pass?

Set high in the East Midlands of England, the road to the summit is totally paved. It’s called A57 (aka Snake Road). The road has superb views and the scenery is exceptional, particularly at the start of the descent into Glossop from where you can see to Manchester and beyond on a clear day. Parliament approved its construction in 1818, engineered by Thomas Telford, and the road opened to the public in 1821. Tolls continued to be collected on the road until 1870.

How many miles is Snake Pass?

The pass is 42km (26.1 miles) long. It runs west-east from Glossop (in the Borough of High Peak in Derbyshire) to Sheffield (in South Yorkshire county). The road which passes over the high ground between the flatter moorland, as its name suggests is a winding twisty road with lots of elevation changes and adverse cambers, and can be very slippery in poor weather conditions.

Why is Snake Pass so dangerous?

It is a truly hair-raising ride replete with tricky bends and blind summits crossing the Pennines. It’s quite twisty with several blind summits, as well as dangerous curves. It is a road that every driving enthusiast should drive. The drive is notoriously hazardous, filled with blind summits and bends that can prove treacherous to unprepared drivers. 

What gradient is Snake Pass?

The drive is steep, hitting a 10.2% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. It has frequently featured in the Tour of Britain. Starting from Glossop, the ascent is 7 km long. Over this distance, elevation gain is 362 meters. The average gradient is 5.2%

Is Snake Pass open now?

The road over the pass is often closed in winter months as the bending roads become icy, but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. It is one of the first roads closed in Britain due to snow and can be very slippery in poor weather conditions. It has seen several longer-term closures owing to subsidence following heavy rain. It’s closed for an average of 70 days a year due to bad weather and dangerous conditions, according to Transport for the North. 

Travel recommendation:

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