San Bernardino Pass, an old road in Switzerland

San Bernardino Pass
San Bernardino Pass

The breathtaking path offers breathtaking panoramas of Switzerland at its most beautiful: little alpine lakes, tumbling waterfalls, and massive spruce forests are typical. San Bernardino Pass, one of the several Alpine villages that the route passes through, is well worth a cup of coffee. The Castello Mesocco castle ruin, the last stop on our short road trip, serves as a reminder of the historical significance of this former commercial route.

Where is the San Bernardino Pass located?

The road which is located in the Swiss canton of Graubünden connects the valleys of the Hinterrhein and Mesolcina (Misox) and places passengers at an elevation of 2065 meters (6770 feet) above sea level.

You can locate this road on the map below:

Enlarge the map

What should I know about the San Bernardino Pass?

You wouldn’t want to miss this high mountain pass since it will take you into the Swiss Alps and show you some of their most breathtaking views. The trip will also be enjoyable and adventurous because it has 18 hairpin curves and a high incline.

With a maximum grade of 9%, it has no fewer than 18 hairpin turns. You may enjoy the beautiful views from a high height of 2065 meters (6770 feet) reached via the route.

As you continue upward. As you approach the pass, the scenery continuously changes from the back of the Rheinwald valley to the peaks rising to nearly 3000 meters (9840 feet) on the north side. Overall, the route is broad and offers a lot of variety.

What is the history of the San Bernardino Pass?

A historic mountain road that has been a vital trade route for centuries is called the San Bernardino Pass. The Hinterrhein and Mesolcina valleys are connected by this pass, which is situated in the Swiss Alps. Its lengthy history dates back to the Middle Ages when the pass served as a vital trade route connecting Switzerland’s Italian- and German-speaking regions. The pass also served as a military route in the 19th century and was extremely important in both World Wars I and II.

The San Bernardino Pass is a well-known tourist destination today because of its breathtaking scenery and difficult road. The pass, which is a favorite destination for cyclists and hikers, provides breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps. Despite its age, the road is still a vital and popular route that charms tourists with its extensive history and stunning scenery.

San Bernardino Pass Road preview:

You can obviously have a preview of that drive. Here is a YouTube video that shows a part of the road:

How to get to this road?

Take the A13 highway from or to Locarno. Then, don’t take the tunnel but turn to drive the regional road number 13. It will exit 32 on the north in Hinterrhein. From the south, it will be exit 33.

Not so far from this road, you can also drive the Maloja Pass or the Furka Pass.

You can visualize how to get there on this approximative map of the drive:

Is the San Bernardino Pass road open?

The San Bernardino Pass road is asphalted, resulting in a smoother, more enjoyable trip. You’ll adore this mountain’s twisty paths, which include blind turns and abrupt twists. You may see a tiny lake with vivid blue water as you reach the peak. This enhances the already gorgeous scenery. Overall, the winding route and the Alpine scenery make for a road that is absolutely worth driving. Additionally, this route is often only available from May to October.

The San Bernardino Pass has also been featured in the BBC television program Top Gear because it is a really difficult road with hairpin curves and shifting scenery. So. It’s simple to state that it’s regarded as one of the world’s top-driving highways. It possesses each aspect that contributes to an enjoyable route to drive on.

Picture credit: By Zairon – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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