Distance 99 km
Ascent 1670 m
The Gantrisch landscape reserve provides the delightful context for this loop featuring the Gurnigel, a pass popular with local cyclists.
The exit from Thun, Canton Bern, is rapid as you head for the mountains via back roads that meander between the farms in the countryside.
At Wattenwil, the first ascent of any note climbs 270m to reach Burgistein. The road continues to climb gently to reach Kalchstätten (km 38), at which point you start to see the tops of the Prealps.
A short descent leads to the bridge over the Sense river, a gateway to Canton Fribourg. Another gradual rise makes its presence felt, heading, at first, towards Lake Schwarz after Plaffeien.
At km 49, however, you fork left; the road becomes steeper and prealpine pastures appear. The summit of the Gurnigel (alt. 1609m) is reached 16km further on after tackling a gradient averaging 5%. This does not tell the whole story: the ascent actually comprises a number of level sections interspersed with steeper ones.
The descent begins in the forest before entering open countryside and finally returning to Thun via charming little roads free of traffic.
Tip from the Grand Tours Project
At the summit of the Gurnigel, look right for commanding views of Lake Thun with the Bernese Alps in the background. The inn at the point where the descent starts would also be a good place for a break.
An enjoyable tour includes the careful planning of the same. Please inform yourself in advance at the local information center about the route and weather conditions. Depending on the season and weather conditions, this route may be blocked or interrupted
May - October