March 1st 2013





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period opened


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GPS - coordinates

June - October


Ulrichen - Airolo

37 km

N 462839    E 0082313



detailed pass road map  detailed pass road map

picture collection  picture collection


Googlemaps pass road map  Google Maps map

Nufenepass Panorama view of summit

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The Nufenen Pass is the highest domestic Swiss pass. Even in the month of July you will  find considerable snow piles up here, where you drive through like through white canyons. The ascent to the pass starts in the north at Ulrichen (exit point GPS N463026" E0081824") and has only in the lower section a few sharp serpentines. After that the road leads on across a very narrow bridge iton the Agene valley at 1,758m/5,768ft.The road follows the canyon steadily uphill to the end and then turns left into a firework of serpentines. Since the Nufenenpass is the most recently-built pass the pavement, at least on the northwest side is nearly perfect. This road was built from a former dam service, which today still leads up to Gries lake reservoir (exit to reservoir GPS N4628'22" E00823'00").

From here on you should ride very carefully, since the section is crowded with marmots. Several times we had the situation for emergency brakes, because these nimble rodent undeterred crossed the road. Steadily the road winds up to the pass summit. At the summit youll find besides a restaurant a few smaller gift shops and a small lake. But whats much more important is the nearly endless view across the Valais valley towards the main Alps chain of mountains and Top of Europe.

Besides the view. Since the Nufenen, as already mentioned is the highest intra-Swiss pass, on the hilltop always a strong wind is blowing up from the Ticino into the Valais valley. Based on the fact that the southern wind from the Ticino is warm and humid you need to know that most of the time clouds and fog are a common weather setup on the Nufenen summit. We were a total of five times on the Nufenen pass until we were able to take the pictures you can see in this section based on limited visibility.

Riding then down south leaving the pass summit then enters in the upper part into many hairpin bends on concrete plate slopes towards Airolo. The deeper you ride, the nicer the scenery gets. Trees, colorful flowers and fabulously shaped rock formations accompany the way until you reach Airolo, where the landscape changes into cultivated pastures. You should not miss the small towns on the way down to Airolo. Ronco, Bedretto and  Villa are typical Ticino mountain villages (exit GPS N4629'49 "  E008 29'48").

Recommended regional links about Nufenenpass