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Legendary Schrofenpass: MTB highlight in the Alps (route and all info)


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The Gebirgspass Schrofenpass is located in the Allgäu Alps at an altitude of 1688 meters. The mountain pass is particularly popular with hikers and mountain bikers as a starting point for an alpine cross. This is due in particular to its favourable location directly on the German-Austrian border, south of Oberstdorf: once you have crossed the pass, you are directly in the Alps – and only a few kilometres beyond Oberstdorf.

Schrofenpass Map Colors
Schrofenpass map: The map shows the difficulty of the respective passages

Schrofenpass MTB YouTube Video

My plan was a race bike tour through the Alps (I was on the road with my gravel bike). Due to a misplanning, I was suddenly standing right in front of this legendary pass! To get an impression, take a look at my MTB YouTube video:

Have you watched the Schrofenpass MTB video? Then you know: The Schrofenpass also has its pitfalls! Therefore you will learn in this article everything worth knowing about the Schrofenpass. I also show you an exciting route suggestion including a map. The route can be used as a stage of a Alpine crossing by bike.

In this article you will learn

All frequently asked questions about the Schrofenpass such as: doable with E-MTB? Has there ever been a Schrofenpass crash? Alternative routes to Schrofenpass? Is the mountain pass also good for hiking? Current situation and much more…

Schrofenpass map: route part 2

For safety reasons, crossing the Schrofenpass is only recommended in the warmer seasons. In winter, the hike is nearly impossible anyway – more on that later below.

Schrofenpass MTB descent begins
Schrofenpass pictures – The legendary Schrofenpass: The MTB descent begins!

The Schrofenpass map below shows the entire second day of my Alpine tour by bike. Want a detailed Schrofen Pass map? The entrance to the pass is exactly at km 74 On the interactive map below. The map can also be zoomed in and the GPX file can also be downloaded.

If you want to follow the tour then it starts in wonderful Ischgl. The first 20 kilometers you let it roll, admire the impressive alpine scenery and follow a mountain stream. Later there is also a short gravel passage and you ride over several spectacular passes on this tour.

Alpine pass on bikepacking route
On the tour there is a lot of asphalt, some gravel passages and also several alpine passes.

Schrofenpass – Which direction?

Please note: Most MTB riders and hikers pass the Schrofenpass from Oberstdorf. From north to south, then. That’s definitely a sensible direction for this mountain pass as well. Because you can then go down a very technical descent with the mountain bike Fully. If you take the Schrofenpass from south to north, you have to carry your bike up this technical passage.

General information

With all the alpine fun, safety always comes first! The Schrofenpass is relatively doable for hikers with a head for heights. Still, there have been other crashes besides the 2018 Schrofenpass crash. Best look at the pictures in this post very carefully and read the safety instructions. Then decide for yourself if the mountain pass is something for you.

Schrofenpass MTB Bikepacking Tours through the Alps
My Bombtrack Beyond on the Schrofenpass MTB Bikepacking Tour through the Alps

If you start an alpine cross from Oberstdorf, for example to Riva del Garda, then the ascent of the pass offers itself. Once the pass is crossed, one arrives in Warth or Lechleiten in Austria.

Schrofenpass MTB – the mountain pass with the mountain bike

How hard is this mountain pass on a mountain bike? In general, the pass is also well doable with a mountain bike. Here’s what to consider:

  • Under no circumstances should the pass be crossed in wet conditions! Many parts of the pass are mule tracks and one wrong step while hiking means a plunge into the depths!
  • Schrofenpass in winter: Walking the trail is only possible in the warm season. There is a chasm several feet wide. Above them is a ladder. This ladder is placed in the spring and removed in the winter. It is therefore advisable to check whether the ladder is currently attached before crossing it. You should hold on tight to the ladder and carry the bike outside
  • In the tricky spots, a steel rope is attached for safety. For your own safety, the steel rope should be used at all costs! When hiking, you should hold onto the rope with both hands. If you are riding a mountain bike, it is advisable to carry the bike on the outside, i.e. towards the abyss.
  • Insert footholds: There are several footholds attached to the mountain pass. There are steep downhill sections that need to be passed. These are more passable via the attached steps
View of Schrofenpass MTB route
Wonderful view on the Schrofenpass MTB route

Schrofenpass doable with E Bike?

Is the pass doable with an e-bike? As you can see from the many pictures in this post, there are some challenging spots on Schrofenpass: The mountain pass is almost completely exposed and if you don’t hold on to the attached steel ropes, you could fall. Same goes for the tricky part on the ladder (good to see in the video above).

On my bikepacking trip through the mountain pass, the weight of my bike was around 22 kilos. About as much as an e-bike. Basically, the bike must be carried over wide areas in the pass. If this is also possible with the e-bike, then the Schrofenpass is also doable with the e-bike.

Best watch the video above and then make an informed decision.

Crash 2018 and other accidents

The Schrofenpass has some challenging sections. These are secured to the rock face with a steel cable. Hikers and people doing the Schrofenpass with MTB should definitely stick to it. This can prevent a crash!

Unfortunately, there was one Schrofenpass crash in 2018 and there were incidental crashes by mountain bikers and hikers elsewhere:

Cockpit view from Schrofenpass Mountainbike Trail
Cockpit view from Schrofenpass Mountainbike Trail into the valley

Due to the danger, the secures on the pass should definitely be taken advantage of: A narrow aluminum ladder will be installed in very challenging spots in the spring. This makes a gap about 2 meters wide passable. Steps have been installed in some places. Without these, the pass would be only very difficult to pass.

Alternative route and bypass

If you start from Oberstdorf in the Alps is the crossing of the Schrofenpass the shortest way. All alternative routes are longer and require accordingly more time. Besides, in the Schrofenpass you have an incredible view over the valley 🙂

Schrofenpass map
Schrofenpass map: From the top it goes down into the valley. The view is unique.

Warth is located directly behind the Schrofenpass. Warth is also accessible via a well-developed cycle path via the route Tannheimer Tal and then Lechtal. This alternative route is about 50 kilometers and accordingly 2 1/2 – 3h long.

Schrofenpass aktuell – More info and when is the mountain pass open?

You want to hike or MTB through the Schrofenpass? Then it is worthwhile to obtain up-to-date information. Alpine trail systems will not be opened or closed. At Schrofen Pass, however, the ladder is let in in the spring. This is absolutely necessary for safe walking. In previous years, the bridge has been opened late May to mid-June.

On an Oberstdorf info page, you can also see the current accessibility of many Alpine passes. As always, everyone can decide for themselves whether they are up to the alpine conditions.

Route Part 1 – Highlight in the Alps

Now back to the tour: Started directly at Lake Constance at the foot of the Alps. The first approx. 60 kilometers of this tour are flat and may be considered as an approach. If you have the chance, feel free to jump in here, because then the highlights begin.

Schrofenpass MTB still at Lake Constance Bikepacking Routes
The proposed bikepacking route starts directly at Lake Constance

But there are also some wonderfully beautiful lakes to look at in the first few miles. Later, you ride a long section along a rushing mountain stream and can really stretch it out.

Schrofenpass MTB Alpine Lake Bikepacking Tours
Already on the approach several alpine lakes can be admired

Between kilometres 60 and 100, the gradient picks up slowly and surely. The landscape remains beautiful but technically nothing exciting is offered.

At kilometre 100 you pass the small village of Partenen. A few kilometres before that there is also the last real shopping opportunity in a supermarket (I unfortunately missed it and was allowed to starve later).

Bikepacking tours in the Alps Silvretta Hochalpenstrasse
Departing from the Silvretta High Alpine Road: simply enjoy the view

Directly behind Partenen, the road goes onto the Silvretta-Hochalpenstrasse and the gradient increases rapidly. Traffic, too, unfortunately. So it is recommended to quickly exit the road north onto a side street. There are no cars on the road here, but almost exclusively mountain bikers.

Bikepacking routes in the Alps Silvretta Hochalpenstrasse
Bikepacking routes in the Alps – just behind the Silvretta High Alpine Road

The side road then leads to the impressive Kops reservoir! But first many meters of altitude may be climbed. The route up is really steep and is sure to make any calf burn!

Once you have reached the top, you can admire the Kops reservoir. It nestles into the alpine landscape like a giant blue mirror. It is definitely worth taking a break here. Just to enjoy the view. There is also a campground a few miles from the Kops Reservoir (the last official outdoor sleeping option in the area).

Approach to the Kops reservoir is done
The approach to the Kops reservoir is done – the reservoir lies here like a blue mirror

It’s only 20 kilometres to Ischgl from here and you can just let it roll. The exertions of the ascent are thus rewarded by a legendary descent including an alpine panorama.

You can find the second part of the route further up in this article. You have questions about the Schrofenpass or the tour presented here? Write me a comment – I like to answer 😉

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