The Passo dello Stelvio (Stilfserjoch) is one of the great mountain passes of the Alps. One that has to be on the bucket list of every upright cyclist. Prato allo Stelvio (Prad am Stilfserjoch) is the starting point of the most famous Stelvio side, the one with the bends.
Via the Strade statale 38 you drive south. The first kilometers are quite easy. Between the trees the road rises slowly via Ponte di Stelvio and Stelvio, after which the climb was named. A mountain hiker announces the first of 48 bends. After reaching the bridge over the Rio Trafoi, it becomes more difficult. You only have one kilometre under 7% left to recover. The other 17 kilometers are all above 7%.
But good news, because soon the first reward will follow. The aptly named Bella Vista (Schöne Aussicht) Hotel announces a fantastic view of the peaks along the pass. Don't drive into the hotel in front of you, but take the two hairpin bends to get a better view yourself.
The climb gets steeper and steeper, but still hasn't shown its true face. After 15 kilometers of climbing, you reach another milestone; the restaurant Rocca Bianca (zum Weissen Knott). You are at about 1861 meters above sea level, more or less on top of Mont Ventoux. The Stelvio has yet to start ... Despite the many hairpin bends, you still haven't reached the typical hairpin section with the stone walls.
But that will change soon. The col now reaches its steepest part as visibility opens. A stone wall on the right announces the last part. Before you know it, you've started it. Many realize this only after a few kilometers, but the first hairpin bend to the right is the start of one of the most famous climbing sections on our globe. A bit further you suddenly see the top of the pass right in front of you, behind the Hotel Franzenhöhe. You are now at Tornante 24. Still 23 hairpin bends to go and still more than 600 altimeters. It's a long way to the top.
But the view and the surroundings now inspire you to get the best out of yourself. The climb still rises more than 8% on average, but unless you've lost your rhythm completely, the hairpins now follow each other faster and faster. Motorcycles ruin your fresh air, cars ruin your perfect line to the left, but finally you reach the top with its typical stalls. Sometimes it can be a "casino" up there with cyclists, motorcyclists and tourists looking for food, souvenirs, views and selfies. On the left you see the Restaurant Albergo Tibet with its typical ... Tibetan construction. Looking down, you finally get the best view of all the hairpin bends you have just completed.
Stelvio summer events and tours :
.• juni: Granfondo Santini
• juni: VEB – Valtellina Extrême Brevet
• juni: Tristan Hoffman Challenge
• juni: Stelvio Challenge
• juni: Motoraduno
• juli: S. Antonio Valfurva – Passo Gavia (amateur fietswedstrijd)
• juli: Mapei Day
• juli: Granfondo MTB
• augustus: Zero RH+ Contador
• augustus: Scalata Cima Coppi
• augustus: Giro dei Laghi di Cancano
The Passo dello Stelvio is situated in Trentino-Alto Adige.
This climb belongs to the Alps.
The Passo dello Stelvio via Prato is ranked number 34 of 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 %.
If you want to climb the Passo dello Stelvio, you can find more information on how to train to climb the Passo dello Stelvio here.
Since 2005, the Passo dello Stelvio will be/was climbed in the following big tour stages:
Giro d'Italia 2020 : Pinzolo - Laghi di Cancano on 22/10/2020
Passo dello Stelvio via Prato popularity rank : 4
The Passo dello Stelvio has been climbed by 219 climbbybikers. It is ranked No. 4 as the most climbed climb in the world.
Discover all the most climbed climbs in the world.
Passo dello Stelvio via Prato: 59 reviews
I think you can break up this climb into three roughly equal length pieces. First comes the mostly straight part along the river that tells you nothing about what is coming. After you hit the first hairpin (number 48), you start the portion through the forest. This part has some of the steepest gradients and the strong smell of car brakes. Eventually, you come around a right hand bend and see a wall in front of you for the last third. It looks almost impossible from the bottom, but it just requires that you keep moving forward. A fantastic climb but the cars and motorbikes really detract from the experience. If you have a chance to do this one when the road is closed definitely go for it!
What a climb! did the stelvio with my brother in July 2018 and it was the best riding experience to date. I would go back and do it again as i now know what to expect but there are other EPIC climbs which we need to take on first. The altitude was not an issue for me at all. Others in our group complained with light headaches but I was lucky enough not to feel anything. If you are planning on descending, bring a jacket a long gloves along as the temperature drops quite a bit on the top and the descend speed makes it even colder. Enjoy!!
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.
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.
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.
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! :)
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.
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
Stelvio is long but never too steep. Once you''re above the tree line you can see all the remaining switchbacks. It looks disheartening but at that point you''re more than 3/4 there. I would like to know what is the record time up it. I''m 43 and a better than average climber. I did it in 1hr 42min. I''m assuming a record time would be in the low 20''s?
Stayed in Prato allo Stelvio 4 days in the beginning og july... Have been planning this trip for a long time, since I first heard about Stelvio several years ago - it is legendary ! 48 hairpins and 25 km, so its a big monster ! The mountains are my terrain, so I expected to climb it sub 2 hours - did it the second day, 1:57 hours and was very pleased. The climb is rather stabile between 6 - 10% most of the way, but there are stretches with 12 - 15%. It is the second highes mountain pass in Europe, so if you love a good challenge, do it :-)
I did it one week ago, I did start from Bormio, climb to the Umbraillpass, then descend to Swisse (beautiful), until Prato to rest some minutes and hidratation. It''s a true monster (but whitout the 18%-20% like Mortirolo), 2h 25''; at 4 km. to top I did stop to charge water because is hot. PLEASE, carry 60-100 euros, in order to buy in the summit one of the cycling shirt who say "I did the Stelvio". Are beautiful, and it''s the only place in the world were that is sold.
Nothing short of spectacular :-) This is my first "real" climb and I''m sure we could not have choosen a better one (we were a group of 32 bikers of which more than half just started cycling this year with this climb as a common goal and all made it on September 16th, 2011). The scenery is spectacular and admittedly also quite scary when you clear the woods and look up on the remaining many hairpins.
Worth every drop of sweat spilled over the season :-) Recommended to everyone (who''s willing to practice to be able to do it)
ciao guys.i did stelvio from bormio.i ve started in Grosio at morning.the weather was realy bad.it was raining all the time until Bormio,so i didnt know if continue or not.i stoped in Bormio for drink(tea and jack daniels) and than slowly start to climb.after few km stop raining but was still cloudy but not so cold. summit was fantastic.i recommend ...
I did this climb a week ago, and what a climb it was! I did it on the end of a 2 week skiing camp, and was pretty exhausted even before I started the climb. Already rom the very beginning you start counting harpins, and youre getting pleased for every one of the 48 you pass. The climb up to the cycling hotel in the end of the forest is ok, but the real work starts after that. When I did it, it was cold. It was because by the time I was in the forest, the sun had gone down. As you get closer to the summit, you feel the lack of oxygen and the fact that you have many kilometers behind you. But the writing in the asphalt which shows how much is left of the climb, is a true inspiration. Completing the climb was a proud moment, and this was also my first real climb. Terrific climb, and I recomend it to everyone.
Climbed September 2010 from St Maria, Switzerland. Not too steep the whole way up, but sweating on the way up with 2 layers. Amazing at the top and very cold. Put on all my clothes for the descent to Bormio, even wrapped a t-shirt around my face, it was that cold. Then rode over Passo di Gavia which was nice but had a sneaky steep section that nearly defeated my tired legs.
last july i (16) went to prato with my family. i wanted to climb him. my father (47) said he would go with me but just till trafoi, he made it till kehre 33. then he went in the car and they drove to the top. I thought it would be hurting in my legs if i went along but it wasnt that bad. just when there were just 10 kehres to go, i felt it in my legs, and how. it felt like would fall off, but i just had to make it to the top. i did it but the last kilometer was a hell. now the mont ventoux...
Simply spectacular! Everything starts off in Gomagoi. After that, its counting the hairpins, until you finally make it to the top. The slope is rather regular, although it gets a bit harder towards the end because of lower oxigen and steeper routes. The descent is equally spectacular!
When i started at 2003 with Cycling i had a lot of dreams and 1 of them was climbing the Passo stelvio in Italy. 6 years later i had the opportunity to go to stelvio and climb it from 2 sides, Bormio and Prato. It was so beautifull that i took 1200 pictures while i was climbing. The best side for me is from Prato with the 48 turns and beautifull views. All i can say is that i will be back again. Greetz Marc
I climbed Stelvio from the Prato side in September 2008. When I started out it 20 degrees in the valley and once I made my way past the tree line I cannot tell you how radically the conditions changed. First some sleet, followed by wind and light snow. The road zig zagging out in front of me and the weather closing in was one thing but the sheer beauty and scale of the mountain and surrounding valley was simply amazing. I managed to ride a solid temp with a 27:39 ratio for the first 12 or 13kms but started to suffer after that. As the fatigue and general exposure set in I found my myself lashing at my gears seeking something else I could ride on top of. At 86kg I am not exactly climbing pedigree. On reaching that last rise as it flattens out, before dropping radically down the other side towards Bormio, was bliss. I staggered off the bike to be met by Italian man with scarcely any teeth and within minutes he was pointing at photos of Cadel Evans. The descent was to say the least quick - topping out at around 90kms/hr. With my face and most of my body numb from cold I rolled into the first bar in Prato feeling like I had just been to another planet and knocked back a Jaegermeister.
My first real mountain climb and what a place to start?! A friendly Italian neighbour had said to us that the only way to make the climb was via the Prato (Merano) side ""just as Coppi did"". Coppi, Italys favourite cycling son made the mountain famous in the Giro of 1953 and the mountain is effectively named after him; ""Cima Coppi"" However you climb it, nothing can be taken away from the achievement of getting to the top of the highest pass in Italy and second highest in the Alps. Soon we spotted turn 48 and were pleased to see turn 47! 18 km to go! The first section into Trafoi and through the forest is hard work as the legs get used to the constant climbing but the cool air of the forest is a blessing. Out of the trees you start to see what lies ahead! The view up the pass is spectacular and we were rewarded by a clear view of the top, stunning scenery, glaciers and hanging valleys to your left. Even the sound of alpine cows with their bells makes the effort all the more worthwhile. Finally, after a long way up, feeling like itll never end you get to turn 1 and it’s worth getting out of the saddle and sprinting. This climb is highly recommended if youre prepared to leave your sanity at the bottom.
I climbed the Stelvio 4 times, from all 3 sides. I cannot tell which one is the hardest, but the one from Prato is undoubtedly the most beautiful. It just doesnt seem to have an end. The views you get are incredibly spectacular. Every time you are on the top, you just cant understand the madness there. It is always busy, and every cyclists dream has come true there. I still have to meet someone who does NOT want to take a picture from above, having climbed it from Prato. I have driven it up many times, climbed it and still, I want to climb or drive it again, it is just so beautiful. For those of you who havent climbed it yet: you have a job to do!
I climbed Stelvio from Trafoi on Mtb in September 13th. The beginning was looking fine, but amazing is counting of curves that starts on fourty six and you get to the middle pretty easy,but as i was getting higher, temperature has gone lower, and appeared mist and rain. Couple of last curves i had to stop to warm up myself. Uphill i met many people with ski going on glacier.. After hot drink in the bar and short relax sterted realy hard downhill. Unfortunately i hadnt wear enough and was very cool to get down! I recommed to everyone to take good wear if you want to climb on Stelvio as you never know hows weather up on the hill. Btw. beautiful pass.
Climbed the Stelvio, East side from Prato on 8/29/08 as part of Andy Hampstens Giro Anniversary Tour. The valley was very warm, but once into the forest as you gained elevation you could feel the air cool. Switchback 48 is memorable as well as disconcerting as you realize you got 47 more to the top. On the lower part of the ascent the switch backs seem to be spaced about 1-2K apart with an average grade of 7-8%. As you get into the 20s and out of the forest, the views are spectacular and you can now see the work ahead of you.The grade steepens to 12% at times, but mostly remains at 7-8%. The switch gives you a slight respite which at that point I was thankful for. Since I had seen the climb on You Tube, I recognized the last 5K and found enthusiasm in my cadence and effort. The 1 switchback mark was eagerly received and the approach up and over the passo was ""epic"". Next day was ""Stelvio Bike day"" so we rode up the back from Bormio. Equally as challenging especially thew last 5K. The top was 5000 crazy climbers. It was truly a cycling celebration. The Stelvio is a must climb for any serious bicycle enthusiast. Ciao!
I climbed the Stelvio on the 29th of july 2008. The weather was good. It was 2 hours of complete madness ( and great pleasure at the summit ). The view you have is magnifficent. Once above the trees you can see the last 10 km of road like a ribbon on the mountain.
One of the most spectacular climbs you can find anywhere...a true monster. Every road cyclist should do it sooner or later. I must commend myself...did both sides in one day. First from Bormio, down over Umbrail to Switzarlend and than up from Prato and back to Bormio. Climb from Prato is one of the hardest climbs I have ever done and I did few of them. Was it because I was already tired or because I had ""only"" 39x25 I dont know...but it hurted. Good thing is that no matter how much it hurts it is so spectacular that it pays out. Simmilar experiance I had this year on Bonette from Jausiers.
Rode it from Livigno, then over the Offenpass then its basically downhill until you reach Prato, a good warm up! I think the first bit is the hardest, its hot in the valley and you ride up hairpin no.48 and its a long time before the next hairpin which is by the way then marked no.44!!! amazing scenery and views, be aware though as rain in the valley is snow at the summit even in August. take plenty of energy gels and dance music in your ipod.....im sure its not purest but its definately helps!!!
Started from Livigno, over the Offenpass, then began the climb from Prato. The first part was very difficult and the gap between hairpin no.48 and the next one, goes on for ages!!! Hail and thunder at Hairpin no.20, a real adventure and completely knackered and very chuffed!!! Mortirolo next.....
Our plan was to get into the cars and drive from Grosio, over the top of the Stelvio on the other (eastern) side of the mountain, all the way to small village Prato. Once there we would unload the bikes and climb the Stelvio from the eastern side. Biking Route: Prato – Trafoi – Passo dello Stelvio – Bormio – Grosio 72 km The first few kilometers were easy and they served the purpose to warm us for the big climb. We started the climb at a steady pace and used the initial 5% gradient to settle in to riding before the road kicked up into the trees and stayed at a steady 9 or 10%. There was a little traffic on this road except for the few other cyclists with the same (crazy) idea. Since we started our ride at 11:30 it was already very hot and no wind. The real climb started at the small village Trafoi, and from than on, it was everybody on its own. When we reached the first switchback one of the guys (Dado) set the pace which was too fast for most of the group. Soon everyone settled into their own pace and good progress was made up the mountain. I was glad that I invested money in my Shimano R600 compact crank set with the 50/34 chain rings. For most of the climb I was on 34 x 24 or 27. At 2,000m the trees disappeared and we could all feel the air becoming thinner, the heat of the day was countered by the height gained and it was warm but not too oppressive. The only problem with coming out of the trees was that we could now see the road snaking away above us to the summit. Legs were aching now and each hairpin was a blessing as it gave momentary respite from the gradient. As we got within 300m of the summit, I felt drawn to the top of this great pass, and began to sprint effortlessly, accelerating all the way over the top. It was an emotional experience to blast over this great climb. My time was 2 hours and 12 minutes, but the best time was had by Kreso who made it to the top in 2 hours and 9 minutes. The last guy from our group made it to the top after 3 hours and 5 minutes. We all felt like winners and were very proud of our achievement. One of the guys called his family in Croatia immediately after stopping at the top, to let them know that he made it! This just shows how important this ride was!
this is the climb that all climbing lovers should do at least once in their cycling lives. I rode it on my 34x26 campy compact setup and that was just about perfect. the scenery is unbelieveable and the 48 switchbacks are all numbered so you can mark your progress. beware that at almost 30 km of climbing, it will be dehydration and hunger, not the steepness that will wear you down. I rode well on a hot day where the passo temp was 72 degrees f. and valley temps were 100 f. until about 8 switchbacks to go and then got passed by a girl as I slowed due to dehydration-oh, the ""girl"" was connie carpenter olympic road champion in 1984-so, I didnt feel that bad. as an added bonus, I got to descend with her husband, x-pro cyclist davis phenny-what a day! bring your camera. take photos that you will cherish your liftime. I didnt, so I have to re-ride it to take photos-too bad.
I climbed both sides of Stelvio with two friends in August 2007. We started from Bormio, climbed to the top, descended down the Umbrial Pass through Santa Maria, rode around to Prato, and then back up the ""famous"" side of Stelvio before descending back down to Bormio. It was easily the most spectacular ride I have ever done. The first time up, an Italian rider caught up and rode with me the last couple of Kilometers. He spoke about as much English as I did Italian, but Danilo and I had a great conversation anyway. Halfway up the second time, I was passed by another Italian going about three times faster. I didnt feel too bad though because it was Gilberto Simoni. He smiled politely as he went whizzing past, not even sweating.The climbing was sustained and difficult. The second ascent of the day was hotter and longer and if not for the restaurant half-way up, I may still be there. Going up, the tunnels on the Bormio side were merely interesting. Descending through them with no lights and oncoming traffic was somewhat nerve-wracking. I cant wait to do it again.
I climbed the Stelvio on August 11,2007. Im 57 years old and without a doubt it was the most sustained insane exertion I have ever done. Hundreds of cyclists on a fine day and I was passed by every one of them. In the next two days I did the Gavia and the Mortirolo. Now Im a bad boy of the alps!
I am 48 years old and Swiss. The coldest I have ever felt in my life was in August in Italy! Descending the Stelvio in the snow during a thunderstorm was also one of the daftest things I have ever done. Thank heavens for the restaurant 400m down from the top. I shall never forget me and several others huddled round a fire, shaking all over for an hour. Strangely the sun breaks through and 60 minutes later I am heading towards Lana in full sunshine. Extraordinary.
In July 2007 I cycled for the first time in the mountains and on our fourth day we climbed the Stelvio from two sides (first from Bormio, in the afternoon from Prato). The climb in the morning went quite well, and the fact that it we arrived in the snow (in July!) only made it more heroic. The last kilometres were the hardest ones - lots of marvelous views throughout the entire climb. In the afternoon things went less smoothly: from the moment that the climb really started - Trafoi - I had a very hard time (due to the fact that I dont have a triple?) and when you get out of the forest, the Stelvio is really challenging you ... as you can see the last ten kilometres of winding road in front of you. Just keep on looking at where you have just come from (you win lots of metres in a couple of bends) and keep on counting down the hairpin curves. At N°10 I realized that I was going to make it, and I really started enjoying myself. During our stay we also climbed Gavia from both sides and did the Mortirolo, but Passo dello Stelvio from Prato is definitely the hardest one we did. A climb you must have done at least once in your life!
I climbed the Stelvio two years ago as part of a touring group called CycleItalia. The climb was fantastic! 48 switch backs, one for every year I was old. The altitude made it hard to get to my climbing HR so its the air not the heart thats the limiting factor. Wow, the views! Too bad so many of the year round ice fields are melting away- geology looks fantastic. And the downhill towards Bormio? What a road to fly on!! Cheers to all to try it! David
last agust on my way to merate through stelvio pass, in my small car with my family , while climbing ,my wife tells me , their are cars comming down coverd with snow ,i could not belive in the month of agust ,you find snow ,once we were on the top , every thing was white , with out snow chain the first time in my life ,i really got scaerd ,came down by useing first gear,with out handling the breaks .if i were alone, it was no question i was with my wife and two children ,when we passed forth bend, i thanked god.