Mannlichen Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

9 mi
4,435 ft
9.4 %


Page Contributor(s): Ron Hawks, USA; Bruce Hamilton/Stacy Topping, USA


Wow! How many times can we say "Bucket List" on this website?? We don’t want to overuse the phrase, but this is simply a magnificent climb - stunning. We begin this Top 100 World Climb in the very quaint village of Grindelwald (population 3,818 in 2016 - at the foot of The Eiger) in roughly the center of Switzerland. The climb is tough from the outset and overall is 8.9 miles, 4,465’ at 9.55% average grade. Mannlichen is PJAMM's pick for World's Most Scenic Bike Climb and also on our World Top 100 Bike Climbs list. 

Note that the road is closed to through traffic at about kilometer 2 so you will have to do this one without SAG. 
9.6% average grade.  39% of the climb is at grade 10-15%, 4% is at 15-20%, and 2.5% (the last 300 meters) is ≥ 20%. The steepest 500 meters is 18.4% and steepest kilometer 15%. 

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.

Roadway;  Two lanes for the first third of the ride narrowing to one lane for the trip to the top.  The road is in good condition and paved except for the brutally steep last 300 meters which averages 21%.  The road is closed to vehicles from about 2 kilometers up from the start. 

Traffic:  Mild - this is a very peaceful and pleasant climb. 

Parking:  We parked at the hostel where we stayed and rode the few hundred meters to the start.  However, there is a big parking lot 100 meters from the start of the climb (Map; Street View). 
Provisions:  None along the climb but there is a restaurant at the finish of the paved portion of the climb (check to ensure it is open if you are relying on it) - Google Map + Reviews.  There are also a couple of restaurants and a market in the village at the start of the climb. 

Consult the PJAMM "Full Forecast" feature for the time you expect to arrive at the finish to assess what clothing to bring on your ride.
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.
Grindelwald is an extremely popular tourist destination, famous for its stunning mountainous views and surroundings, as well as great hiking. The most famous view from Grindelwald is the iconic Eiger peak. Here is a Trip Advisor link for the Top 15 Things to do in Grindelwald. See also Google Map + Reviews: Things to do in Grindelwald

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



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Cycling Mannlichen

Ride 14.5 kilometers gaining 1,352 meters at 9.4% average grade.

Mannlichen is in a class by itself - it is the only Top 100 Hardest Cycling Climb that is also a World Top 10 Most Scenic Bike Climb.  Ranking as the world’s 96th hardest bike climb and the world number 3 most scenic, the little known Mannlichen cycling climb is one which should be on everyone’s must-do world cycling climbing bucket list.


The climb is in the direct shadow of the greatest peaks and formations of the Bernese Alps.

The Bernese Alps are one of the most prominent ranges of the Alps and includes the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains.

The climb begins by crossing the bridge in Grindewald and almost immediately starting an unrelenting and terribly challenging climb to the Mannlichen ski resort. Grindelwald is an extremely popular recreation and tourist area in central Switzerland with a population of about 3,800.  The town dates back to the 11th century. German is the primary language of the majority of the population of Grindewald.

The roadway is narrow throughout but in excellent condition and with very little traffic which is slow moving when it is encountered.  The end of the roadway is also serviced by a gondola that ends at Berghaus Mannlichen which is a nice and highly regarded hotel/restaurant.  


There is no escaping the gradient or the cattle on this climb.

We encounter grazing cattle and gondolas nearly the entire climb as we ride in view of the greatest formations of the Bernese Alps.  

The Bernese Alps are ever present to our left as we climb.


The unmistakable and breathtaking Eiger.

Without the Eiger, this is an exceptional climb, with it the climb is simply incomparable.  The Eiger, along with the Matterhorn, is the most famous and recognizable mountains of the Swiss Alps.  How many mountains have an entire suspense movie named in their honor (The Eiger Sanction, starring Cling Eastwood, 1975). We ride in view of the famed north face of the Eiger, the biggest north face in the Alps.

There is a 200 meter gravel ascent to the observation platform above the ski area.  The final 50 meters is impossible on a road bike - bring mountain bike or hiking shoes to get to the top because on a clear day this is one of the great viewpoints of the world.

The north face of the Eiger was referred to as the “last problem” of the alps and is considered one of the most dangerous mountaineering ascents of the Alps and world.  It was first climbed in 1938 and there have been over 60 deaths related to attempts to climb the north face since that time, resulting in the nickname Mordwand (murderous wall).

At the viewing platform, there are photo plaques pointing out the Bernese mountain peaks that surround Mannlichen.


The steepest kilometer of the climb averages 14% beginning at kilometer 10.2 and there is a 500 meter stretch in that segment that averages 15.7%.  

John, Luke and our photographer, Javier.