Grimsel Pass is a 5 stars road in the Swiss Alps

Grimsel Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2,164m (7,100ft) above sea level, located on the boundary of Bern and Valais cantons of Switzerland. It’s one of Switzerland’s most famous Alpine roads.

Grimsel Pass

How long is Grimsel Pass?

The road to the summit is totally paved. It spans 38 km (23 miles), running south-north from Gletsch (in the canton of Valais) to Meiringen (in the canton of Bern). It’s called Grimselstrasse. The pass links the Hasli Valley (in the Bernese Oberland) with the Goms district (in the Valais).

When was the road through Grimsel Pass built?

In Roman and early Germanic times, there was already a trade route. The Alpine pass was probably known to the original inhabitants given the Celtic finds at Guttannen. In the Middle Ages, Grimsel played an important role in north-south traffic, offering the shortest route from Brugg to Milan via Lucerne. The pass road through the summit was built by the cantons of Bern and Valais with federal subsidies (totalling two-thirds of the cost) and opened to traffic in 1895. The road was 4.2 metres wide. Lake Grimsel was crossed at its narrowest point and divided into two halves.

Is the Grimsel pass open?

Set high in the Bernese Alps, this road is usually impassable from early November through late May or early June due to the high snowfall on the pass. Due to the high altitude of the pass, and its continental location, the climate is cool or cold all year round, and receives a fair amount of precipitation year round (the majority of which is snow). Snow usually falls from late September until late June, although during cool spells, it can snow at the height of summer.

Is Grimsel Pass challenging?

Grimsel Pass doesn’t offer much danger but it’s dubbed one of the world’s most insane roads. Today, it’s a 5-star road. It’s totally paved and wide. The final ascent to the top is one of the best, with some great switchbacks, and excellent views ahead throughout, there are very few blind bends or unsighted crests. The run back down from the top is much narrower, the road not quite so smooth, however still fun, but you do have to concentrate all the way down to the valley floor, as oncoming traffic can be difficult to negotiate along some stretches, and there are a number of blind bends. There are quite a few tunnels up Grimsel. But the two biggest can be avoided by following the old road to Grimsel Pass– fine for a road bike. Three others can also be avoided by the old cliff road …. but they are not paved – but fine if not on a road bike.

Is the Grimsel pass worth it?

It’s said to be one of Switzerland’s most iconic mountain passes and perfect to combine with Susten Pass and Furka Pass. It’s a road that was artfully drawn on the landscape, basically traffic-free. The road leads along many sparkling reservoir lakes with more marvelous views to enjoy. The area around Grimsel and Susten is packed with history and treasures. The road passes through areas of slate, gneiss and granite. The vegetation is lush, thanks to very high levels of rainfall and the strong effect of the Foehn winds. On top of Grimsel Pass, there is a cozy cafe, perfect for a stop and a coffee.

Is Grimsel Pass steep?

The climb has been featured on the Tour de Suisse. The drive has steep parts, hitting a 12.0% maximum gradient through some of the ramps. It’s a big, long climb – with uneven grading, sometimes very steep, sometimes false flat, but relentless.
Pic: Sayed Alemzada