Cycling Grimselpass from Innertkirchen
Ride 26.7 kilometers gaining 1,540 meters at 5.8% average grade.
This is one of the Big Four in the neighborhood which includes Furdapass, Nufenenpass, and the incomparable Gotthard Pass. This side of Grimselpass is to the west of the Furkapass-Gotthard Pass-Nufenenpass-Grimselpass route. If one were into an extreme cycling day, you could do the uber-challenging Grimsel-Furka-Gotthard-Nufenen-Grimsel loop (180 kilometers, 6,625 meters). If you do this route, please notify us as we’d love to report it here.
Start the climb in Innertkirchen (2018 population 1,063).
Life in this region dates back to the middle ages -- Roman coins and a Roman rest station have been discovered there. The first hydroelectric plant was built in the area in the 1920s.
Grimselpass was featured in the 2007 Tour de Suisse as a mountain top finish at Stage 7, on June 22, 2007 (Ulrichen to Grimselpass 125.7 km). The stage was won by Vladimir Gusev (RUS).
As is the case with all the bike climbs in this area, the scenery on Grimselpass is spectacular.
First two tunnels at kilometers 4 and 12.
Alternative route around tunnel at kilometer 16.
We encounter two dams on Grimselsee (Lake Grimsel) near the top of our ascent.
These photos are taken between kilometers 21 and 23.
This reservoir was created in the 1930s.
We pass Grimselsee at kilometer 23.
This is the largest hydroelectric reservoir in the region.
At the summit, there are hotels and a natural lake.
Note Totensee is fresh water blue, versus Griselsee’s greenish glacier created color.
Grimsel is included in the Grand Tour of Switzerland which is a famous motor vehicle route that takes in many of the amazing and scenic views of Switzerland.
Grand Tour of Swizerland
1600 kilometers, 22 lakes, 5 alpine passes 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
In addition to Grimselpass, the Grand Tour includes Gotthard Pass, Sustenpass and Furkapass in this area.
More information on Grimsel Pass:
“The Grimsel Pass (German: Grimselpass; French: Col du Grimsel) is a mountain pass in Switzerland, crossing the Bernese Alps at an elevation of 2,164 metres (7,100 ft). The pass connects the Haslital, the upper valley of the river Aare, with the upper valley of the Rhône. In so doing, and as the Aare is a tributary of the Rhine, the pass crosses the continental divide between the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
A paved road follows the pass, running 38 kilometres (24 mi) from Gletsch to Meiringen. The road is normally closed between October and May, due to the high snowfall on the pass. As it is the only direct road pass between the cantons of Bern and Valais across the Bernese Alps, attempts are made to keep the road open as long as possible with snow ploughs. A PostBus Switzerland service uses the pass several times a day, connecting Meiringen and Oberwald.
The Grimsel Pass road is part of the Aare Route, which is national cycle route 8 of Switzerland. It has been used on several occasions by the Tour de Suisse.
History: The first fully documented use of the Grimsel Pass dates back to the 14th century, although it has been suggested that the pass was used in Roman times and also, in 1211, by troops of Berthold V, Duke of Zähringen. In 1397, the Landschaften of Pomat, Goms and Hasli, and the cities of Interlaken, Thun and Bern, signed an agreement in which it was agreed to provide for free and secure trade by the mule track over the Grimsel.
The Grimsel Pass formed, along with the Nufenen and Gries passes, a regional trade route between the Haslital and Domodossola and the Lombardy plain. Cheese and cattle were sent south, whilst wine, rice, corn and olive oil came north. This trade continued until the opening of the Gotthard railway in 1882.
The track over the pass was not upgraded to a paved road until 1894. Between the 1920s and the 1950s, several hydro-electric power plants were constructed in the area around the pass by Kraftwerke Oberhasli (KWO), which resulted in the expansion and diversion of the pass road. The KWO now promotes the pass and surrounding area as a visitor attraction, as part of its Grimselwelt tourism brand,” (Wikipedia - Grimsel Pass).