More Than Transit
Why you should go there: This large region extends into several cantons and covers the area between Urnersee, Nufenenpass and Biasca. Many people only know the Gottardo as a transit region and the place where they are stuck in traffic when heading south for holidays. On this occasion you also might have looked outside the car window and wondered if there is any good biking around… There is! Road cyclists have enjoyed this spot since quite a while as the great number of mountain passes in the area makes it very attractive for “gran fondos”. Naturally such alpine terrain is also attractive for mountainbiking. The public transit infrastructure makes this rugged mountain area easily accessible if desired. Biking on the ancient trading routes is often challenging, trails can be very rocky and occasionally steep or exposed. You are rewarded with spectacular views and long technical downhills in a raw mountain region.
Who is it for: Bikers with intermediate to very good technical skills who like natural trails and feel comfortable in steep and rocky terrain will find a big playground. The Gottardo area with its mountain passes has always been a trade & traffic hub connecting different regions. Clever combination of cable cars, trains and busses allows for epic enduro adventures.
Who should avoid it: There are hardly any easy trails, so beginner-riders and people with little alpine experience will not find much for them. Also you will not find too much night-life or restaurants in the area.
While the ancient trade routes and scenic trails avoid steep gradients and follow the side of the mountains, they often feature rocky sections, stairs and switchbacks. Access trails to alps, meadows or smaller passes are often much steeper in addition. The compact granite rock offers good grip and you can find some slabs occasionally. The forest parts lower down offer a nice mix of roots with before mentioned solid rock.
Andermatt is the best place if you want to start discovering the area. It has many options for your stay and is a public transport hub allowing you to discover all cardinal points. The trails from Oberalppass and above Realp back to Andermatt are good “first rides” in the area.
If you are looking for “tech-gnar” in steeper terrain consider the valley between Altdorf and Amsteg.
For a weekend of Enduro fun visit Airolo. The Val Bedretto and Val Piora offer nice all-mountain tours in secluded mountain beauty. The Valle di Blenio is another mostly unknown gem for singletrail riding.
Top Trails & Tours
- Haldi DH: Official Downhill Track in Schattdorf.
Food & Drinks
A variety of restaurants can be found in the larger towns like Altdorf, Andermatt or Biasca. However, except for Andermatt this is not a very touristic area, so the choice is limited. Most of the offer is heavy traditional cuisine.
More than Biking
The content of this website is just an opinion of a few individuals. It is not based on scientific research and some facts may have changed since the last visit. Feel free to leave a comment with suggestions for anything we have covered on this website.
You might be riding on shared trails! Yield to other trail users and animals! Control your speed, leave no traces and don’t shortcut corners! Thank you!
Last on-site research: 2020
entries with this icon have been recently tested by the authors