Passo della Forcella Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

5.7 mi
4,288 ft
14.4 %



Cycling Passo della Forcella - there is no doubt that this bike climb well deserves its top 25 World Bike Climb ranking. From the beginning to its incredibly steep finish (on cement with traction grooves cut into the roadway) Passo della Forcella is quite the cycling experience. This is absolutely a Must Do if you are in the Ovaro area for its much more famous neighbor - Monte Zoncolan (Ovaro).
This bike climb is THE REAL DEAL - Climb 9.2 kilometers at 14.4% gaining 1,305 meters at 14.4% average grade!!  😓.  This climb has one of the most ominous gradient profiles in Italy and the world. 39% (3.6 km) is at grade 10-15%, 36% (3.3 km) is at 15-20%, and 8% (.7 km) is ≥ 20%.  The steepest 500 meters is 21% and steepest two kilometers 17.4%.

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway:  The roadway gets narrower and narrower as we climb, ultimately being barely one narrow lane.  The last 1.1 kilometers are so steep and is on cement with traction grooves cut into the road (see photos in Full Summary).  The pavement and cement were in good shape in 2018. 

Traffic:  We encountered only a few vehicles on our climb and only one in the last half.

Parking:  We rode four kilometers from Ovaro to the climb, but you could park at the parking area 20 meters from the start - Map; Street View
Provisions:  There is public water in Luint at kilometer 1.3 - MapStreet View, and Moine at kilometer 2.5 - MapStreet View, but nothing after that.

Gear:  Bring a bike with gearing that can get you up this monster - this is one where there are times your front tire will begin to lift up.  We used a modified Specialized Crux with 28t chainring and 42 cog on the rear cassette. 
Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
We stayed in Ovaro and did the three routes up Zoncolan and Passo dell Forcella during our stay.

Use the “Routes in Area” button on the menu bar above to see other bike climbs in this area. 



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 The fourth most difficult climb in Italy, # 12 in the world.

Ride 9.2 kilometers gaining 1305 meters at 14.4% average grade.

Whoa - go west out of Ovara (instead east to the mighty Zoncolan) and you quickly encounter what is rightly one of the Top 10 most difficult road bike climbs in the world.  Passo della Forcella is an extremely steep climb from start to finish. There are many tornanti that are so tight and incredibly steep that it was very difficult and somewhat dangerous (particularly in the wet conditions we encountered on our day up the mountain) to get our mid-sized rental car up.  Thus, we do not recommend you have anyone accompany you via automobile when you climb this beast unless their vehicle is short, narrow and four wheel drive.

Cycling Passo della Forcella - hairpin turn     

One of the more tame hairpins.

This is the second most difficult climb in Italy and a top 10 world climb at #8.  This cycling climb out of Ovaro in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy is an exceptionally difficult climb.  After passing through two quaint villages, the climb begins in earnest with grades in several segments well exceeding 20%.

Climbing Passo della Forcella by bike - Italian Alps - Village of Mione

Ride through village of Mione at km 2.3

Bicycle ride on Passo della Forcella - cyclist coming up steep road with Italian Alps in background 

Climbing Passo della Focella by bike - view of Italian Alps.

Passo della Forcella is located in the Carnic Alps, a subrange of the Italian Alps.

 Its final couple of kilometers are paved with cement with ridges for traction due to its extreme grades and likely freezing/snow conditions during the winter months.

Our view within 1 km from the top 


Bike climb Passo della Forcella - cement roadway near top

 Climbing Passo della Forcella by bike - cement roadway at end. 

Brad on his way to his 8th of his Top 10 World’s Top Road Bike Climbs (July, 2018)

 PJAMM cycling Passo della Forcella

Very rugged descent.

Steepest kilometer starts at km 8.5 (20.9% - NO TYPO there!!)

Roadway surface and traffic conditions:  We encountered 2 cars in 2 hours on this climb - there are no structures in the last ½ of the climb and nothing at the top to speak of.  The roadway is one lane but in good shape.  Regardless, we recommend against any vehicle support or accompaniment on the climb, particularly if you have a vehicle bigger than a compact and without four wheel drive.