46.5416° N, 10.4332° E
The Umbrail Pass – The highest paved pass in Switzerland and an incredible cycling climb connecting Switzerland to Italy via the legendary Stelvio Pass.
Often considered the third side of the Stelvio but often missed, the Umbrail pass should be on your radar. (we love descending it as it is fast and has a fantastic flow).
The town of Santa Maria in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.
In 774, Charlemagne visited the pope in Rome and crowned himself king of the Lombards and master of Italy. On his return with his wife and entourage, he crossed the Umbrail Pass. Thankful for surviving a terrifying thunderstorm, he established chapel in Santa Maria which is the chapel you see in this photograph.
Since the 15th century pass became more used, but it was Napoleon who recognised its importance and in 1737 formed contracts to keep the pass open in winter and summer.
In 1901 the Swiss government paid for a road to be formed to connect to the Stilfserjoch road and in 1925 for the first time was used by motorised vehicles.
Within 2km you get to enjoy your first set of four hairpin bends. In total this climb
A large hairpin bend rising above the trees giving you amazing views of the valley below.
After this section, you ride past Hotel Alpenrose to then make your way up through the trees.
At 7.5KM you ride over Muranzina river to make your way up one of the last sections of the road to be made into a hard surface (was gravel until 2015)
Looking up the valley to the pass itself. Interestingly it was only in 2017 where it was first included in the Giro d’Italia with Tom Dumoulin that day losing 2mins and 18 seconds due to him needing a bathroom break (He still went on to win the Giro d’Italia)
A rider out of the saddle on the final hairpin before the pass. That isn’t the true summit, unless you chose to descend down into Bormio.
Looking down the final valley. 8 hairpin bends wonderfully connected.
The final dramatic hairpin bends seemingly hanging off the mountain.
UMBRAIL PASS SUMMIT - 2503M
The Umbrail Pass should be on your radar if you’re in the Bormio area. The Umbrail Pass cycling climb is a challenging, epic climb which when combined with the Stelvio Pass will make for a grand day out.
UMBRAIL PASS CYCLING CLIMB FAQ
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
STELVIO PASS (BORMIO)
The Stelvio Pass needs no introduction. A legend, and the most famous cycling climb in the world. There are three directions to summit this beast, with this being from the town of Bormio.
STELVIO PASS (PRATO ALLO)
The Stelvio Pass needs no introduction. A legend, and the most famous cycling climb in the world. From Prato Allo, arguably the most famous direction.
LAGHI DI CANCANO
Starting from Bormio this fantastic climb with a magical set of switchbacks take you to a stunning lake and dam