The Passo Nigra, or better known as the Niger saddle is one of the steepest alpine passes with his 24%. But beware if you miss the exit in Blumau (Prato all'Isarco), we will end up on the new pass road that is broadly built and allows a great view into the Tiers valley and over to the village Steinegg (Ital. Collepietra). Both ways uphill are great. The first one runs through a very small canyon and the second one along the hillside with great panoramic viea into the valley. In Blumau a small sign points the way towards the village Breien and the old pass road that leads here through the original Tiers valley and will end up on the famous 24% slope on which end you will hit the new pass road just 1ml before the village Tiers.
The road through the Tiers valley is quite narrow and can be compared with a pathway rather than with a pass road. The road always runs on the valley floor following along the small creek surrounded by giant rock walls. Traffic on this road is nearly zero and only sometimes we see some people in the small villages we pass through.
But if you decide to ride in Blumau straight on the main road toward Castelrotto and Voels and you don’t mess up your tour in front of the tunnel and ride up the Brenner pass instead, then you will hit the road that runs on the right side of the Isarco Valley up towards the Alpe di Siusi. From here a magnificent view opens up down into the Eisack valley and the Brenner highway that tries to drill its way through the narrow Isarco valley. After about 3mls you then need to take a right to the new road to the Nigerpass.
If you follow the old pass road down in the Tiers valley and made the 24% slope, which can only be taken in the first gear based on the many hairpin bends, you will end up on the new pass road. Also on the new road the traffic in Tiers is low since the main tourist route mainly takes the route through the Eggen valley and the Great Dolomite Alps Panoramic Road. You pass the village Tiers and will be hit by the overwhelming view to the front of the Rosengarten (Rose Garden) massif.
The legend says that the dwarf king Laurin was beaten here by the knight Dietrich von Bern, even he had his stealth cap on and was invisible. Based on that he hexed the Rosengarten (Rose Garden) and from this day on the rock should never light in red during day and night time. But he forgot dusk and dawn and from this day on the Dolomite rock looks red in the morning and the evening especially in autumn.
Just before we reach the Rosengarten rocks we dive into an evergreen forest that blocks the further view in to the valley and up the mountains. The road winds up with a good surface mainly kept in good condition, in lots of curves and easy serpentines uphill to the Niger saddle. Just a view yards in front of the saddle you will find a typical timber restaurant with a sun deck that allows a barrier free view up to the Rosengarden. After that curve where the restaurant is located you may pass the summit if you don’t watch out and follow the road some miles down to the Karerpass.
The Niger pass then hits the Great Dolomite Alps Panoramic Road. When you then take a left you will ride toward Cortina d'Ampezzo and the mountains. If you take a right this will lead you down through the Eggental and Bolzano.