Furka Pass decorates the Swiss peaks at 2,429 m, making it the highest elevated pass in Switzerland. As one of the few it’s oriented in the east-west direction (most of the passes are north-south). And what does that mean? That it’s actually possible to catch a beautiful sunrise and sunset. In the other case, due to the high mountain walls, you have to wait at least till 10AM before you see any sunrays.
Anyways, as I wrote in the last article about Gotthard, we arrived on Furka Pass in total darkness, but luckily we knew exactly where to go. It didn’t take long and we were in our sleeping bags at one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland.
Where to pitch a tent?
If you drive from Gotthard, there’s a right turn to the gravel road just before the actual pass. It climbs up to incredible heights. It’ll take you to a place where you can (legally!) camp or park with a campervan. There are several “rest stops” on each side of this gravel road – just perfect for one car and a tent. We went almost all the way to the top and parked at the last spot. If you decide to camp here, keep in mind that you’re at an altitude of 2,429 meters and that temperatures get just slightly above zero during the night, even in the summer.
What to see around Furka Pass?
Our best experience was the epic sunrise. What else. I think the most basic things are just the best. Walking along the ridge just a few meters from our tent. The sound of boiling water in my stove illuminated by the morning sunrays. If the ordinary things are not enough for you, there are many other things you can do & see. On the other side of the hill, just below the pass, there’s the famous Hotel Belvédère. It no longer works as a hotel, but it is still a quite fascinating building, located right in one of the switchbacks. Taking pictures in the afternoon is much better than in the morning since it’s in the shade this early.
There is also an ice palace right next to Belvedere. We skipped this because we prefer non-touristic things. However, as it was about 7AM and there was no one around, we climbed the hill above the restaurant and walked all the way to the Rhone Glacier. You can admire a massive waterfall and glacial lake too.
P.S.: If you want to see Kuba’s article about Furka Pass from the fall, you can find it on his blog. Also, he wrote one about the ice palace and Belevedere Hotel. And check out this article if you want to see more pictures from this camping spot.
Hope you’re already packing your tent & sleeping bags and heading towards Furka Pass! 🙂