Klausen Pass




Start:  Altdorf

Finish:  Up to you

Country:  Switzerland

CLIMB:  Klausen Pass (1948m)

Route:  Point to Point

A popular Swiss cycling pass that sees little car traffic

This was the first pass I ever rode in the Alps. I had been exploring the local roads around Janine’s parents house in Luzern, but this wasn’t enough. The time had come to go big. After spotting the Klausen on the map, and knowing it from the Tour de Suisse, I had a close look. It would be a big day with lots of gain, but all those switchbacks lured me. American cyclists dream of Euro switchbacks. Early on a warm summer morning, I set out.

After hours in the saddle, I popped out above tree line and it really started. Goosebump stuff… not the view, or the climb, or the fact that I was finally riding in the Alps. It was the names on the road, I’ll never forget seeing the pro names on the road – I had made it! Then, I hit the jackpot. Something in the grass caught my eye and moments later I had a moldy CSC bottle in my cage. The day only got better when I finally rolled over the pass and began the second part of my day, which would turn into a lifetime spent in the Alps.

The Klausen Pass was the perfect first climb. It is big and beautiful, but it is not busy. The pass links two relatively quiet places, so with the exception of the ubiquitous motorbikes, and a fair number of roadies, the pass itself is a lonely road.

Regarding a route – this is an interesting one. If you descend the east side, you are a long way from where you started without an easy return. Rumor has it that the Klöntalersee Road has a way through back to Schwyz… I haven’t done it, I’ve only gone back the way I came – and that was just perfect.




Stats and design by myCols

Average grade    6.0 %
Length                    23.6 km
Altitude start      544 m
Altitude top         1948 m
Ascent                    1404 m
Maximum              8 %


It may be long, but it’s not so steep – just sit and enjoy.


Little traffic, big mountains


Just another summer morning on the Klausen

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Comments 2

  1. Hello Dan and others. The Klausenpass is Not that free from car Traffic at all. In the weekends and national feastdays it is crosser with Motorbikes and Cars. The route over Klöntalersee with the Pragelpass is even better then the klausenpass, having almost no Traffic (on sundays only cyclists allowed). Making it a perfect roundtrip from Netstal over pragel, Riding klausenpass over the Longest side and Back down to Netstal. I think it would be Great to mention this in the Book and the website.

    1. Post

      Thanks for the heads up Maarten. The Alps are getting busier, week ends and holiday periods are indeed to be avoided on major roads these days. And yes, the Pragelpass is amazing. We hope to add the loop to Switchback soon. Happy riding!

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