Cycling Passo dello Stelvio Prato

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Passo dello Stelvio - Prato

picture Passo dello Stelvio

Basic data & ranking

Average grade: 7.4 %

Length: 24.3 km

Altitude start: 950 m

Altitude top: 2758 m

Ascent: 1808 m

Passo dello Stelvio rankings

Difficulty ranking world: 146 (all)
Ranking Italy: 23 (all)
Ranking Alps: 34(all)
Difficulty score: 191.2 what?

Passo dello Stelvio ratings

(4.8)  Overall

(4.6)  Road

(3.7)  Traffic

(4.5)  Amenities

(5)  Surroundings

(rate it)


The Passo dello Stelvio (Stilfserjoch) is one of the great mountain passes of the Alps. One that should be on any cyclist's bucket list. Prato allo Stelvio (Prad am Stilfserjoch) is the starting point of the most well-know Stelvio approach, the one with the bends.

Following the SS38 to the south, the first kilometers are pretty easy. Amidst the trees, the road slowly ascends via Ponte di Stelvio and Stelvio after which the climb is called. A road hangar announces the first of the 48 bends. After you reach the bridge over the Rio Trafoi, it gets tougher. Only one kilometer below 7% is left to recuperate. The other 17 kilometers are north of 7%.

But good news, your first reward will soon follow. The properly named Bella Vista (Schöne Aussicht) Hotel announces a fantastic view on the peaks along the pass. Don't drive into the hotel in front of you, but take the two hairpins to get a better view yourself.

The climb gets steeper, but hasn't shown his real face yet. After 15 kilometers of climbing, you reach another landmark; the Rocca Bianca restaurant (zum Weissen Knot). You are at about 1861 meter above sealevel now, more or less on top of the Mont Ventoux. The Stelvio yet has to start... Cause still, despite many hairpins, you haven't reached nor seen the so typical hairpin section with the stony bends.

But that will soon change. The col now reaches its hardest part and opens up. Stones to the right annouce the final section. Before you know, you're on it. Many only realize after a couple of kilometers, but the first hairpin to the right gives way to one of the most infamous climb stretches on our globe. All of a sudden, right in front of you, you can see the top of the pass behind the Hotel Franzenhöhe. You're at tornante 24, so 23 more hairpins to go and still more than 600 heightmeters. It's a long way to the top.

But the views and environment now inspire you to pull the best out of yourself. It's still over 8% on average, but, unless you lost your pace, hairpins now follow eachother ever closer. Motorbikes spoil your fresh air, cars your perfect line to the left. Finally you reach the top with the typical shops. Sometimes it can be a "casino" there with all the bikers, motorbikers and tourists searching for food, views and selfies. To the left, you can see the Restaurant Albergo Tibet with its typical... well, Tibethian construction. Looking down you finally get the best view over all those hairpins you just rounded. You're there.

Stelvio summer events :

• Granfondo Santini
• VEB – Valtellina Extrême Brevet
• Tristan Hoffman Challenge
• Stelvio Challenge
• Motoraduno
• S. Antonio Valfurva – Passo Gavia (amateur cyclists race)
• Mapei Day
• Granfondo MTB
• Zero RH+ Contador
• Scalata Cima Coppi
• Giro dei Laghi di Cancano

The Passo dello Stelvio is situated in Trentino-Alto Adige. This climb belongs to the Alps. Starting from Prato, the Passo dello Stelvio ascent is 24.3 km long. Over this distance, you climb 1808 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 7.4 %.

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Stories, information and comments from Passo dello Stelvio climbers
Story by Peter from Borovnica, Slovenia, submitted on 15/11/2015
Me and my friend climbed Stelvio on 25. June 2015 from Prato. Best day on bike ever. For my opinion, the hardest part is in the forest. After that the beautiful view on the road gives you wings for ride...
My personal climb rating:
Story by Andrew from , Switzerland, submitted on 07/08/2015
I rode this on August 3rd for Cyclists Fighting Cancer.

What a climb.

The initial stretch to Trafoi is comfortable, then it starts to get tougher.

> The sections after 1200m of climb (near the Weissen Knott) is the steepest, although once you get to turn 20 and can see the rest of them snaking up to the top, it just feels so much tougher.

From Turn 14 onwards, the stretches after the right hand turns are the steepest while the left hand turns are longer but marginally less steep.

Suggested stops are the Hotel Bella Vista in Trafoi at 600m of climb and Franzenshöhe at 1200m.

An enduring memory is the camaraderie amongst the cyclists going up, a real United Nations of people of all ages encouraging each other on.

At the top, the Tibet Restaurant is highly recommended, the merchandise on sale at the tourist shops seems very shoddy and brutally bad value for money.

> The road condition is really poor in parts, especially some of the hairpins.

> All in all, a wonderful experience and the scenery is breathtaking at times.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Dave Wyman from Los Angeles, United States, submitted on 28/12/2014
I rode up to the to of Stelvio Pass with my brother, Dan, on June 30th, 2014. The night before, it snowed on top of the pass, and that''s where we''d spent the night, at the Rifugio Garibaldi, a fantastic mountain lodge.

We drove down the mountain to Prato once the snow had been plowed off the road. We parked at the bottom of the climb, and then made our way back up at a leisurely pace, stopping for photos, snacks, and some espresso coffee in one of the villages we passed through on the way.

For unendingly beautiful scenery, this was probably the most amazing day in my bike saddle I''ve ever experienced. It was great to share the ride with my brother, too.

I enjoyed seeing the numbers on the hairpin turns come down, one by one by one. By the time we reached those 48 turns, I knew I''d make it up to the top of the pass.

I tried on extremely steep hills in Los Angeles, so I was never bothered by the grade and I was never bothered by the altitude, although I certainly wasn''t setting any speed records. Those 15 miles from top to bottom, though, felt more like a metric century by the time I finished the ride.
My personal climb rating:
Story by IGI from SM, Canada, submitted on 18/08/2014
I climbed the Stelvio on June 02.2013

I can''t wait to do it again !!!

Video; Wheels in Motion by NTA Team

My personal climb rating:
Story by NTA from , Canada, submitted on 18/08/2014
I climbed the Stelvio in 2013. June 02. It was a really nice experience riding the bicycle with the 2-3m snow beside you. I rode both ways from Bormio and from Prato. Cant wait to go again!

Way to cool !!!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Leonard Danna from Palo Alto Ca, United States, submitted on 11/01/2014
I did the Stelvio about five years a go and it still remains the most epic ride I have ever done. It is really hard but it''s not the hardest climb I have ever done. DO NOT be fooled by that average gradient of around 7.4%. Thta is for the whole climb. If you start in Prato, the forst part of the climb is very mild and then it gets progressively harder. When you get to the point where the road starts numbering the switchbacks (in reverse order of course so you know how many more you have left), it really starts to show its teeth. So you will be tackling 11, 12 or 13% ramps as you get closer to the top. It is howvwer truly epic and if you are any kind of serious cyclist, you have to ride the Stelvio. Also, the descent into Bormio is really fun. Be sure to check your start and stop time as whne you get to the summit, there is a bank, I think it is Bank of Sondrio, where you can go into the bank and they give you a certificate with your name date and your time up the mountain. Very Cool.
My personal climb rating:
Story by vanda from Budapest, Hungary, submitted on 15/08/2013
It was my first great climbing, because I''m just 13 years old, my father is 38. I did it in August of 2013, with my father. It was a sunny day, but we started just late afternoon, the weather was ideal. We climbed from Prato side but the traffic was strong, this reason we started from Trafoi. In this way was 46 tornante for us. At first in the forest was nice, but later it will be hardest. The view was beautiful with marmots, ice, the mountain...The last 8 tornante was really hard, and came a little ice and rain. We have climbed two and half hours about, and finished. The peak was cold, so you need some jacket. I recommend for everybody, it was just great! :)
My personal climb rating:
Story by Ross Cayley from Melbourne, Australia, submitted on 11/05/2013
Yep, the Stelvio from the north side is fantastic fun- I was passing by during a mountaineering trip back in August 2011, and couldn''t resist having a crack at it- perfect weather. Took a tad over 2 hours to top out from Gomagoi without smashing myself (on the 15 euro rental, riding flat pedals and tennis shoes, so not ideal). While that was fun, it was the descent back down that was a total blast - that took 20 minutes! Its worth 5 stars for the views and the road concept, but a cold assessment suggests its only a 4 star road from a technical and variety standpoint: Steady rather than steep, and all tight-blind hairpins - not much flowing technical road, and the ever-present risk of oncoming traffic.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Blodsmak from , Norway, submitted on 07/10/2012
We rode from Prato and it was great! Here is a write-up in Norwegian, with pictures: (Google Translate should make it readable in other languages)
My personal climb rating:
Story by Mathew Cocksey from Oxford, United Kingdom, submitted on 14/09/2012

I climbed the Stelvio this yeat on the Stelvio bike day from Prato. I have to say driving up on the Friday was slightly scary as it was snowing at 2200m where we stayed in a hotel. This though made it even more of a challenge. When we cycled down on the saturday morning it was still snowing and pouring with rain in the valley. That said it was my first climb experience on a road bike and now im hooked.. ''they say start easy!!!!''. It was amazing the switchbacks and steep sections are truly and joy to cycle even in the rain, and the weiss beer afterwards in the bar was great. I would truly reccomed to anyone.

Sadly we couldnt go to the very top because of avalanche risk so roll on next summer.....Because I will conquer you

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