Furkapass

 

 

 

March 1st 2013

 

 

 

 

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Alpentops.de - TOP Alpen-Sites

 

Switzerland

Furkapass

period opened

altitude

from - to

distance

GPS - coordinates

May - October

2,431m

Hospental - Gletsch

29 km 

N 46°34´22”    E 008°25´00”

7,976ft

18.1mls

detailed pass road map  detailed pass road map

picture collection  picture collection

 

Googlemaps pass road map  Google Maps map

Furkapass Pass summit Panorama

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There are still discussions going on whether the Furka Pass begins down in the small village Ulrichen, or  in Gletsch. In Gletsch you can take either the Grimsel Pass road or go straight on to the Furka Pass. Regardless of that all, all routes start down in Ulrichen,, whether its the steam train track, the pass road or the Furka railway tunnel with its car roll-on roll-off service.

Furka steam trainThe Furka Pass on its western side cuts, coming up from the Valais together with the Upper Rhone river (Rotten) and the former Furka-Oberalp steam railway, through a small canyon. A stock holding company, founded by idealists, is rebuilding now since several years the old cog railway track. You should by all means take the time and have a closer look to their work in Gletsch. Gletsch, consisting of an old train station and several hotels was used to be a famous destination of the English aristocracy. The direct view towards the Rhone Glacier, the clean mountain air and the many sunny days make  this place a popular weekend destination for motorbike riders of all categories. A cozy stop in one of the pubs, with the beautiful view towards the Rhone Glacier and the Furka Pass road up to the Hotel Belvedere is worth all the time.

From here, we ride up the Furka Pass road, which had been expanded and rebuilt in recent years on the west side all the way up to the pass summit. For some time, the Furka steam train accompanies us on the left, but then the road winds up into several into the mountains glued erpentines up to Hotel Belvedere. The entire route allows a fantastic view back into the valley and over to the Grimsel Pass. Left hand, on the other side of the valley, you approach the Rhone Glacier.

It is highly recommended that you take a short brake in the serpentine of the glacier front and to grab a closer look of famous Rhone Glacier. However, be careful. signs indicate that the glacier is still loosing ice that crashes down from time to time into the valley. In previous times, you could participate here from time to time to sse large chunks of ice and crashing thunderously down into the valley. But Aa the climate warms up, the glacier tongue has moved far back. If you want walk into the glacier, you can do so at the Hotel Belvedere. For a few Swiss francs you can walk into an ice tunnel, which is digged each year by the residents into the glacier, as is we all know, glaciers wander.

Once you have reached the summit, suddenly a great view into the canton of Uri opens up. Up here on the pass summit runs the border between the canton of Valais and canton Uri. On the east side of the pass, the road becomes narrower and worse. For people who have a fear of heights, not an easy driving distance. Every time you have a direct view down into the valley and every few feet there is only a stone pillar. No guardrails - possible free falling. In the final piece downwards, serpentine by serpentine lines up until you finally reach Realp. That’s the well known section from the James Bong 007 film, where a women tries to shoot Goldfinger with a rifle. Further down the pass road, just before you reach Andermatt, the pass road of the Saint Gotthard Pass exits to the right out of a roundabout. Riding through Andermatt you’ll reach the entry point of the Operalppass and if you follow passing by Andermatt on its left, you will continue on the old Gotthard pass road down through the Devil's Canyon, where you will reach at the end in the village Wassen the entrance to the Susten Pass.

Recommended regional links about Furkapass