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...