Intro

The Furka Pass links Andermatt in the Canton of Uri with Gletsch in the Canton of Valais. It is part of the popular Three-Pass-Ride over the Furka, Grimsel and Susten Pass. In summer, a ride with the nostalgic Furka steam engine from Realp to Gletsch is an unforgettable experience.

Coming from the Reuss Valley, one rides through the Schöllenen Gorge, formerly an unsurpassable bottleneck on the Gotthard route via Andermatt into the Urseren Valley and Hospen Valley, where the road over the St. Gotthard Pass begins. In the rear of the Urseren Valley near the village of Realp, the Furka Pass road’s ascent starts. Here one can observe in summer the huffing and puffing of the Furka Train’s steam engine. After a few kilometers one reaches the hamlet of Tiefenbach. After riding over a slope-terrace the train climbs in tight curves to the peak at 2431 meters above sea level. Here you will have a panoramic view of the Gotthard Massif and the Urseren Valley.

On the Valaisian side, at Hotel Bélvèdere, about three kilometers below the ridge of the Furka Pass, one can get a good view of the Rhone Glacier. An excursion to the glacier grotto, an ice chamber that is built every year anew, is definitely worth your while. The Rhone Glacier has lost some of its spectacular size due to climate change. In 1850 the river of ice reached far down into the valley basin, today the glacier tongue ends at the height of Hotel Belvedere.

Gletsch in Upper Goms (1759 meters) at the foot of the Furka Pass and the Grimsel Pass (Bernese Oberland) is defined mainly by the enormous "Grand Hotel Glacier du Rhône", where the early 19th century atmosphere of the Age of Alpine Passes is palpable, and the small station of the Furka Steam Train. A 30-minute hike on the nature trail familiarizes visitors with the variety of the pre-glacier area, which is rich in pioneer plants.

Since the opening of the Furka Base Tunnel between Realp and Oberwald im Goms in 1982 there is a railroad link (with car transfer) between the cantons of Uri and Valais that operates in winter. Still more attractive is the ride over the pass, by mountain bike, motorbike, automobile, or with the yellow Alpine PostBus.

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