Alpine passes — 10 classics for you and your bike

Mountain Biking Collection by
komoot

High Alpine mountain passes have always been a special draw for mountain bikers, although perhaps not all of them are suitable for your bike of choice. In this Collection, we've included the ten best mountain bike passes in the Eastern Alps that can be conquered by you — and we've been sure to include plenty of action and epic viewing points along the route. What else would you expect from an Alpine mountain pass, after all?

Before you go, however, bear the following in mind: if you want to set out on these passes, you should be in great shape, have plenty of mtb experience in Alpine conditions and be prepared for some intense rides. You'll be covering almost 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) in elevation, after all. If you feel you're up to the challenge and the weather is welcoming, nothing should stop you from heading out on a great adventure.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

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    Eisjöchl

    Mountain Biking Highlight

    The Eisjöchl is one of the highest and at the same time most beautiful transitions in the Eastern Alps, which can be mastered by mountain bike. However, condition, surefootedness and alpine experience should be present. Finally, the pass is at 2895 meters. The best direction is from Pfelders to Pfossental. Although you have to carry the bike uphill for several hours and push it, but the downhill to Pfossental is one of the most beautiful singletrack in the Alps (S2-S3).

    Before the tour you should be informed exactly about the conditions at the top of the yoke, as there may be old or new snow in summer. Just below the crossing, coming from Pfelders, is the Szczecin hut. There you can strengthen yourself for the last meters and the upcoming descent.

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    Thorsten
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    Forcellina di Montozzo

    Mountain Biking Highlight

    At the Forcellina di Montozzo or Montozzo-Scharte there is still a trench from the First World War. Also a plaque is placed here.

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    Florian
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    Fimberpass

    Mountain Biking Highlight

    A very beautiful, if somewhat arduous transition from Austria to Switzerland is, for most mountain bikers at least by name known, Fimberpass.
    From Ischgl one cycles, past the Bodenalpe (bodenalpe.com/index.htm), to the Heidelberger hut. If you have enough time, it's worth spending the night in the Alpenkino. So you can start the climb the next day rested. And it has it all - without pushing and carrying you will not reach the pass height at 2,600 meters. But that is part of a proper pass crossing. And finally you will be rewarded for the drudgery with a great descent on a great single trail. In Vna you finally come back to civilization and you reach the Inn Valley in the Engadine.

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    Thorsten
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    Pass da Costainas

    Mountain Biking Highlight

    Purely from the data, the Pass da Costainas is not a gigantic pass. At only 2,251 meters, the pass is located. But the scenery is gigantic and the single trail through the highest pine forest in Europe is very nice and fluid to drive. Before you have to go from Scoul from the Inntal to S'charl, a never steep path, but it draws quite a bit long. In the village S'charl you can freshen up the supplies again before you conquer the pass. Incidentally, this is completely possible in the saddle. After a short downhill on a trail you change to a gravel road that brings you to the small village of Lü. A few more kilometers and you have reached Val Müstair.

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    Thorsten
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    Schlinigpass

    Mountain Biking Highlight

    The Schlinigpass should be known to many alpine cross-country skiers - it is one of the most famous in the Eastern Alps. This is partly due to the magnificent Uina gorge, on the other hand at the popular Sesvennahütte (sesvenna.it). The cabin is only a few meters from the crossing and invites you to stay in the great scenery. But also day guests like to come here.
    The pass itself is relatively unspectacular, but there is a nice trail from the gorge to the hut or vice versa. Depending on the year and time, however, things can get a bit tight here as many hikers and mountain bikers share the path.
    If you plan the transition to a day trip, the south-north direction makes more sense by the way.

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    Thorsten
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    Schneebergscharte

    Mountain Biking Highlight

    The Schneebergscharte should be a term for many Alpencrossern. The transition across the saddle should have made any serious Alpenüberquerer. But you must not take this pass lightly, because there is already the bike ...
    The climb starts from the mining museum in the valley of the Ridnauntal at 1,400 meters. To the Poschhaus (facebook.com/poschhaus) at 2,113 meters you can pedal, from there begins the arduous climb. It goes on a steep, but well-developed trail further up to the Schneebergscharte at 2,700 meters. In serpentines, the path leads steeply down to the ruined mouth of the Kaindlstollen and then gently descending on a wide path out of the valley to the refuge Schneeberg (schneeberg.org). For the entire way you need 4 hours of walking, the entire route is marked with the route number 28. Mountain bikers with a good riding technique can make the descent from the Schneebergscharte in the saddle. The closer you get to the refuge, the easier it becomes. A stop for strength or even overnight stays is highly recommended on the 2,355-meter refuge.

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    Thorsten
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    Vigiljoch

    Mountain Biking Highlight

    If you want to get from Val Venosta to Ultental there are two possibilities. The Tarscher Pass and the path over the Vigiljoch. From Naturno you pedal along a good gravel road to the Naturnser Alm (tel. +39 340 522 2769). Here it is possible to stay overnight or stop. From there you change to trails, many of which are mobile.
    The Vigiljoch is thus the better transition to the Ultental Valley, as the Tarscher Pass is uphill and downhill quite a drag.

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    Rinner Sattel

    Mountain Biking Highlight

    The Rinner saddle has a famous brother - the Jaufenpass. The is however very frenquentiert and for mountain bikers, those from Sterzing towards Meran do not want the first choice. And if the Schneebergscharte is too extreme should be well advised with the Rinner saddle as a transition. From the Ratschingstal we go over the Rinneralm (facebook.com/bergrestaurant.rinneralm) up to the saddle. Everything is easy to drive except for the last few meters. Technically and physically very strong bikers will probably make the whole track in the saddle. The transition itself is relatively unspectacular. The only thrill is provided by the wild horses (who are not so wild) who run free up here.
    After a few trail meters downhill you will find the Jaufenpass road and can roll down into the Passeiertal. If you want to avoid the road, there is an insider tip:
    Shortly before the Jaufenalm turn right to the 17er hiking trail. A more than worthwhile alternative for technically fit mountain bikers.

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    Thorsten
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    Rabbijoch

    Mountain Biking Highlight

    A classic of the Alpine crossings for mountain bikers is the Rabbijoch. From Ultental you drive uphill through an imposing basin up to the Bärhap-Alm (2.295m). Next to the path meanders a small stream in the valley. Large surrounding boulders show that even the mountains do not last forever. You do not want to be hit by a colossus during a rock slide. Shortly after the pasture, the gravel road becomes very steep for a few meters and for most people this means: pushing.
    Later, the path changes to a trail. Here you can always drive something, but often you have to push synonymous. After the last push, you reach the high plateau on which the Rabbijoch (2,460 m) lies. From now on it goes downhill. First up to the Haselgruber hut (overnight stay, delicious, simple food). From the hut leads a very nice, liquid to driving trail on the slope further downhill. Attention - here many hikers can be on the way. From 2016 there will be a change on the track. The heavily eroded part below is now closed to bikers and you switch back to gravel.
    But in the face of the really ruined path, that's not going to be any more tragic. Last but not least, the Val di Rabbi is reached on asphalt.

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    Thorsten
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    Madritschjoch

    Mountain Biking Highlight

    Once every mountain biker who has moved in the Alps should have driven or pushed over the Madritschjoch.
    The Madritschjoch is one of the highest transitions in the Alps at all. 3,123 meters. Here you really have to expect everything and to inform yourself well about the snow and weather situation. From Solda you have to overcome 1,200 meters in altitude, until you are on the highest point. With sliding sections you have to expect, because on the one hand the air is getting thinner and on the other hand, the way steeper. If you have made it to the top, but you have a magnificent view of the Ortler massif. The first 100 vertical meters on the singletrack down to Martelltal are quite difficult and many will have to push. After that, the trail is easier and you can enjoy the descent to mostly S1 level.
    Two cabins offer the opportunity to absorb energy or to stay overnight.
    The Schaubachhütte (schaubachhuette.it) in the driveway and the Zufallhütte (zufallhuette.com/de) in the descent.

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    Thorsten

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