Pass Height Country Location Personal rating
Semo La Semo La 5575m Tibet Between Nord and West Tibet on the way from Mendong to Saga. Despite it is a very high pass, rather easy to cycle. Long climb, never steep. Road stays for a long time very high (150km over 5000m) over a long high plateaux.
Loinbo Kangri Pass Loinbo Kangri Pass 5500m Tibet West-Tibet. 60km north of Pasaguke on the west-Tibet-Highway (219) on the way to Lungkar. Great pass, that passes at the foot of the 7079m high Loinbo Kangri. Very remote, no traffic. triple pass! First little Pass with 5215m, then twice 5500m.
Khardung La Khardung La 5360m India About 40 Km north of Leh, on the way to the Nubra Valley India claims this pass to be the highest in the world at 5606m. My own (and others) measurement was 5360m. Anyway: an unforgettable experience. Especially the way down into Nubra valley is spectacular. Rather easily accessible.
Suge La Suge La 5435m Tibet Second pass along the Friendship highway between Shigatse and Lhasa. Great scenery and fantastic views of Jomo Gantse (7048m). When I cycled the pass in end of october there was already a snow and ice covered road for about 10km. A top pass!
Qieshan La Qieshan La 5400m Tibet Xinjiang - Tibet highway. First pass in Tibet coming from the west, 10km before Smuxi Beautiful green scenery. Never steep road but often bumpy. Highest pass on the Xinjiang - Tibet Highway
Taglang La Taglang La 5317m India About 120Km south of Leh on the to Manali Great pass, fantastic landscape.
Dang La Dang La 5221m Tibet Golmud - Lhasa. About 600 Km after Golmud and 600 Km befor Lhasa Slow climb traversing the high plateaux. Only at the very top there are a couple of switchbacks. Great views over the never-ending plains. Road does not drop below 5000m for about 80km to the next pass!
Gyatso La Gyatso La 5222m Tibet About 240 Km west of Zhigatse on the way to Nepal Great View to Everest & Co.
Nyalam Tong La Nyalam Tong La 5200m Tibet Last Pass on the road from Lhasa to Nepal. 80 km befor the border. Breathtaking scenery! Shishanpagma (8012m) and countless other mountains create an unforgettable panoramic view. The roads drops 4520m into Nepal!
? (Dang La - Amdo) ? (Dang La - Amdo) 5150m Tibet 80 km south of Dang La double pass with Dang La. Finally the road drops...
Lalung La Lalung La 5030m Tibet 30 Km before Nyalam Tong La (Double pass) What a view!
Chacaltaya Chacaltaya 5100m Bolivia Not a real pass, but a Refugio. 40 km from La Paz Great road with lots of switchbanks to a mountain hut. From Nov. - March you can even ski here...
Lachalung La Lachalung La 5056m India 100 km south of Taglang La. On the road from Leh to Manali Great road through a rocky gorge.
Fenghuo Pass Fenghuo Pass 5050m Tibet About 350 km south of Golmud on the way to Lhasa Not a real pass. But then suddenly you are above 5000m...
Karo La Karo La 5036m Tibet About 100 Km south of Gampa La on the way to Gyantse Pass is in between two 7000ers. Great view up a 2000m ice face!
Cho Oyu Base Camp Cho Oyu Base Camp 5000m Tibet No pass but the base camp to climb Cho Oyu(8153m) 50 km south of Tingri Great road to the foot of the 8000er. Very bad and sandy dirt track. Very cold.
Nakeela Nakeela 4950m India Double pass with Lachalung La. 30 km south of it. ..
Abra Huayraccasa Abra Huayraccasa 5059m Peru About 50km north of Sta. Inés. Turn of on top of Abra Chonta One of the highest drivable passes in the americas. It look like you climb a vulcano from Abra Chonta.
? (Amdo - Nagqu) ? (Amdo - Nagqu) 4910m Tibet About 40 km after Amdo, on the road from Golmud to Lhasa Nice Views over rolling hills. Many yaks around.
Baralacha La Baralacha La 4891m India About 300 km south of Leh along the road to Manali Great Landscape. 2000m downhill after the pass!
Kulun Shanku Kulun Shanku 4800m China, Tibet First Pass along the road from Golmud to Lhasa Very slow climb (2000m in 190 km) to the Tibetean plateaux. Almost no downhill afterwards. Good road.
Gampa La Gampa La 4794m Tibet About 100 km south of Lhasa on the way to the Yamdrok Lake and on to Gyantse Breathtaking view over the Yamdrok Lake. One of the most beautiful passes I know.
Kunjerab Pass Kunjerab Pass 4730m Pakistan, China Border pass between Pakistan (Karakoram Highway) and China Rocky gorges and Ice covered mountains in the Karakoram (Pakistan) and deserted high plains in the Pamir (China). Good road.
Zangzhung La Zangzhung La 4730m Tibet 200 Km before Lhasa on the road Golmud - Lhasa See picture...! A dream world.
Paso Tambo Quemado Paso Tambo Quemado 4660m Chile, Bolivia Border pass from Arica (Chile) to La Paz (Bolivien) One single climb from see level up to 4660m! Great scenery in the Lauca park. Pure pleasure! Once inside Bolivia the road conditions tend to worst...
el Tatio el Tatio 4500m Chile Between Calama and San Pedro de Atacama. 80km after Chiu Chiu. Great climb out of the Atacama desert to the Altiplano. A road leads from the highest point to the geysir el Tatio.
Gyutse La Gyutse La 4650m Tibet Last Pass before Lhasa, coming from Golmud Great 7000er nearby.
Paso Sico Paso Sico 4600m Chile, Argentina Border pass from San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) to Salta (Argentina) Not just a single pass, but half a dozen of it:(4320m), La Frontera (4080m),Abra de Arizaro (4310m) Abra Chorillos (4600m).Long isolated route through fantastic scenery: salt lakes, Flamingos... It took me 6 days to get from San Pedro to Salta.
Kunzum La Kunzum La 4550m India Entry pass to the Spiti Valley from Khoksar Great Landscape, terrible roads...a highlight!
Pensi La Pensi La 4401m India Entry pass to Zanskar on the road Kargil - Padum Fantastic Scenery, bone shaking dirt track... one of the best !
Babusar Pass Babusar Pass 4195m Pakistan Turn off from the Karakoram Highway between Mansehra and Chilas As far as Kaghar easy and beautiful. Then a brutal dirt track. Last climb cannot be cycled with panniers. Even though it is not a very high pass, a very difficult one!
Fotu La Fotu La 4108m India Highest pass on the route Srinagar - Leh. Shortly before Lamayuru Dry, isolated scenery.
Portazuelo Capitán Portazuelo Capitán 4460m Bolivia, Chile 70km after Colchane on the way to the salar de Surire. Follow the sign "La Frontera", after which you get for some km to Bolivia (no border) and back to the salar by this pass. Very bad road (sand, washboard), hardly any traffic. Fantastic landscape on the salar. The last climb to the pass is very steep. On top signs: "peligro minas"...
? (Huara - Colchane) ? (Huara - Colchane) 4350m Chile Highest Pass on the way from Huara to Colchane One single climb (around Huara flat for about 50km) from Iquique (Cost). Very dry and hot climb out of the Atacama desert. There are many Alpacas on the pass.
Crucero Alto Crucero Alto 4528m Peru Half way on the road from Puno to Arequipa. Beautiful lake short before the pass (Legunillas).
Pata Pampa Pata Pampa 4850m Peru Pass on the way from Arequipa to the colca cañon. The road down to Chivay is very bad!
? (Chivay - Espinar I) ? (Chivay - Espinar I) 4750m Peru 60km after Chivay on the road to Cusco Nice climb through desolate coutryside. Road quite good. Going down to a water dam.
? (Chivay - Espinar II) ? (Chivay - Espinar II) 4760m Peru 100km after Chivay on the road to Cusco Good road. On top of the pass there are some nice lakes.
? (Laguna Langui) ? (Laguna Langui) 4300m Peru 30km before Sicuani, along the road coming from Chivay. Beautiful view of the Laguna Langui Layo
Abra Arcopunco Abra Arcopunco 3700m Peru 40km after Cusco towards Abancay. Easy climb. Long downhill into hot cayon (1950m).
Abra Soraqasa Abra Soraqasa 3960m Peru 40km before Abancay, coming from Cusco Long, but not difficult climb.
Abra Huayllaccasa Abra Huayllaccasa 4100m Peru about 70km after Abancay, towards Andahuaylas Very long climb on dort road. Many small villages before the pass.
Abra Sotacocha Abra Sotacocha 4250m Peru 50km after Andahuaylas, towards Ayacucho. The dirt road going down to Chincheros (and further !) is in terribly bad condition.
Abra Huamina Abra Huamina 4300m Peru 50km before Ayacucho, coming from Andahuaylas. Very long climb. At the beginning very difficult road, getting better the higher you get. Road down to Ayacucho very difficult. Actually 3 passes: Abra Ninuela (4100m), Abra Huamira(4300m) and Abra Toqto(4200m).Road stays over 4000m for about 60km.
Abra Yanabamba Abra Yanabamba 3900m Peru 30km after Ayacucho. Good road, easy.
Abra Apacheta Abra Apacheta 4750m Peru 120km after Ayacucho. Easy climb through beautiful landscape. Because of the many minerals in the ground, it shines in the most incredible colors.
Abra Chonta Abra Chonta 4853m Peru 60km before Huancavelica Great cycling through fantastic scenery. Great lake next to Santa Inés.
Abra Ayacocha Abra Ayacocha 4100m Peru 30km after Huancavelica. Dirt road and pavement change regularly.
Alto de Imperial Alto de Imperial 3900m Peru 30km before Huancayo Very bad road from Izcuchaca close to the pass. Downhill paved and very fast!
Abra de Anticona Abra de Anticona 4843m Peru 45km after L Oroya, on the way to Lima. Easy climb, beautiful landscape: mining towns, lakes, snow caped mountains. Highest railway (not in use anymore).
Cerro de Pasco Cerro de Pasco 4350m Peru Mining town halfway from La Oroya to Huanuco. Easy pass reached over slowly rising altiplano. Long and fast downhill to Huanuco.
Punta Union Punta Union 3900m Peru 60km after Huanuco, towards Cord. Blanca. Long, steady climb through many villages.
Abra Yanashalla Abra Yanashalla 4650m Peru Half way from La Union, towards Huaraz. At first a bad dirt road, later meeting an new, paved road. Beautiful view into the mountains of the Cord. Blanca.
Punta Huarapasca Punta Huarapasca 4800m Peru Turn off short before the Abra Yanashalla. After the pass going down the Pastoruri valley. 70km before Huaraz. Great view of the glaciers of Pastoruri and Huarapasca. On the way down passing thousands of Puya Raimondii (giant flower).
Abra Kawish Abra Kawish 4450m Peru On the way from Catac to Chavin. Cordillera Blanca. On top of the pass is a 500m lonf (dark) tunnel. Easy climb.
Paso Huachococha Paso Huachococha 4350m Peru Pass between Chacas and Carhuaz. Cordillera Blanca. Very difficult dirt road passing through a fantastic scenery. Breathtaking views of giant glaciers. The most beautiful and most difficult pass of Peru. A true highlight!
Punta Olimpica Punta Olimpica 4890m Peru Pass between Chacas and Carhuaz. Codillera Blanca. Very difficult dirt road passing through a fantastic scenery. Breathtaking views of giant glaciers. The most beautiful and most difficult pass of Peru. A true highlight!
Laguna Parón Laguna Parón 4200m Peru No pass, but a dirt road from Carazt to a mountain lake. Cordillera Blanca. Dirt road at the beginning easy, then getting more and more difficult, passing a most breathtaking canyon. At the lake, fantastic views of the 6000ers surrounding the lake.
Abra el Gavilan Abra el Gavilan 3100m Peru On the way from the coast (Pacasmayo) to Cajamarca. Endless long, but easy climb, starting at sea level.
? (Cajamarca - Celendin) ? (Cajamarca - Celendin) 3650m Peru 60km after Cajamarca, towards Calendin. Lots of cows along the way.
Abra Barro Negra Abra Barro Negra 3680m Peru 120km before Chachapoyas, coming from Cajamarca Extremely long, at the beginning difficult, climb. Starting in a tropical canyon, climbing into the wet cloud forest.
Ventanillas Ventanillas 2700m Ecuador 50km before Villabamba, coming from the border at Zumba. Fantastic tour from the rainforest, passing the continental divide, into a dry climate. Steep dirt road.
Paso Tinajilla Paso Tinajilla 3530m Ecuador 50km south of Cuenca Easy climb. Nice forest.
? (Azogues - Cañar) ? (Azogues - Cañar) 3540m Ecuador 50km north of Cuenca. Easy pass, many villages.
? (Chimborazo W) ? (Chimborazo W) 4360m Ecuador Between Riobamba and Guaranda. Great view of Chimborazo, if there are no clouds...
? (Guaranda - Ambato) ? (Guaranda - Ambato) 4200m Ecuador Between Guaranda and Ambato. Great View of Chimborazo.
Tlamacas (Paso de Cortés) Tlamacas (Paso de Cortés) 3950m Mexico Between MexicoCity and Pueblo. Starting point for climbing Popocatépetl Beautiful ride through pine forrest. rough downhill towards Pueblo.
Zoji La Zoji La 3570m India First pass coming from Srinagar towards Ladakh Infamous among truck drivers as a very dangerous pass. Interesting crossover from Kashmir to Ladakh
Paso Condor Paso Condor 4700m Bolivia Between the Laguna Verde and the Lguna Chalviri, in southwestern Bolivia "Little" pass in fascinating scenery: it is like the ride across a giant Dali-painting. Great hot springs at the Laguna Chalviri.
Sol de Manana Sol de Manana 4950m Bolivia Between the Luguna Chalviri and the Laguna Colorado in the southwest of Bolivia. Sandy road across volcano scenery. The geysir-field "Sol de Mañana" is a little bit off the road at the highest point.
Rongsho La Rongsho La 4385m Tibet East Tibet. On the Tibet-Sichuan-hwy (318) between Baxoi and Markham. Long, rather steep climb out of the dry Mekong gorge, passing many nice, small villages to alpine meadows at the top. Double pass (3km in between).
Hung La Hung La 4230m Tibet East-Tibet. On the Tibet-Yunnan-hwy (214) between Markham and Yangjing. Nice climb through pine forest from the north. Long downhill to the Mekong with great views into the gorge. e Schlucht.
Ngajuk La Ngajuk La 4465m Tibet On the Tibet-Sichuan-hwy (318) between Bomi und Baxoi. Coming from the west, long (250km) climb from the subtropical virgin forest through dense pine forest near Bomi up to the pass. Good views of the eastern Himalaya. Fantastic downhill: never to steep on perfect roads through a dry valley. When I cycled the pass in mid november, the road was snow covered from Rawa to the pass!
Serkhyem La Serkhyem La 4565m Tibet On the Tibet-Sichuan-hwy(318), between Bayi and Bomi. Great, steady climb in big switchbaks with beautiful views back down. On top incredible view of Namchack Barwa (7756m) if the weather is clear (winter). Endles downhill all the way to a subtropical virgin forest.
Mila La Mila La 5010m Tibet Central Tibet. First pass on the Tibet-Sichuan-hwy (318). 150km east of Lhasa. Long, never steep climb. After the pass interesting change to more alpine scenery: rocky gorge and trees reappear. All paved.
Dungda La Dungda La 5090m Tibet East-Tibet. long the Tibet-Sichuan highway 318 between Dzogang and Markham Nice gradual climb on both sides on quite good road. Last 5000er pass on the way to Kunming or Chengdu.
Largen La Largen La 5185m Tibet Pass on the way to Namtso lake, 25km north of Damshung Brand new paved road. In the lower part (south) very steep, towards the top easier. Atop great views of Namtso lake. When I cycled the pass in late october there was alreadz lots of snow!
Khitai Pass Khitai Pass 5190m China Xinjiang - Tibet Highway. Entry pass to the Aksai Chin plateau comming from the west. 270km after Xaidulla Long climb to the Aksai Chin high plateau. Great views of the sand desert in the East.
Ayi La Ayi La 5395m Tibet West-Tibet. Second pass on the way from Namru to Tielong. 56km south from Namru Because of the pass before not so long climb anymore, but still great pass. After the pass long downhill to Tielong.
Tielong Pass Tielong Pass 5200m China Xinjiang - Tibet highway, Aksai Chin plateaux, 3km before Tielong Long, slow climb coming from the west. 10km before the pass beautiful lake. Short descent to Tielong where there is also a beautiful lake
? (Ali - Namru) ? (Ali - Namru) 4720m Tibet 24km after Ali on the way to Kailash, western Tibet New, paved road. A nice change after the bad roads all around.
? (Namru - Tielong) ? (Namru - Tielong) 5325m Tibet West Tibet. First pass on the way from Namru to Tielong (Guge kingdom). 25km south of Namru A great pass! At first a little bit bumpy but then good, continus climb with many switchbaks. Nice view over the Gar valley.
? (Tielong - Songsha I) ? (Tielong - Songsha I) 4925m Tibet West tibet. First pass on the way back from Tielong to '219' at Songsha. 60km north of Tielong At first fascinating route through eroded valleys. Very steep! Then bad road all the way to the top.
? (Tielong - Songsha II) ? (Tielong - Songsha II) 5155m Tibet West tibet. second pass on the way from Tielong back to '219' at Songsha. 82km north of Tielong. Slightly better road then on the first pass on this route. Nice high plateaux
? (Tielong - Songsha III) ? (Tielong - Songsha III) 5170m Tibet West tibet. Third and last pass on the way back from Tielong to "219" at Songsha Climb from the south often muddy at the beginning. Steep, rocky downhill towards Songsha.
Jerko La Jerko La 4825m Tibet West tibet between Sangsha and Montser Slow climb from both sides. Only a t the very top a little bit steep. Great views of mountains all around. Many nomads and yaks.
? (Montser - Darchen) ? (Montser - Darchen) 4820m Tibet West tibet. Between Montser and Darchen. No big pass but on top you can see Kailash for the first time!
Mayum La Mayum La 5225m Tibet West tibet. Between Huore and Paryang. Slow, long climb through sandy grasland on both sides. Partly very bad road.
Sing La Sing La 4925m Tibet West tibet. Between Zongbha and Niugu At first slow climb. A couple of steep switchbacks at the last km. Sandy scenery (sanddunes) and often bad road.
Soge La Soge La 4780m Tibet West tibet. Double pass (15km apart) between Paryang and Zongbha. Big sand dunes along the road. Short, continus climb. Nice views of Brahmaputra & the Himalaya.
? (Mergezhung - Tarok Tso) ? (Mergezhung - Tarok Tso) 5075m Tibet Northern tibet. Pass from Mergezhung to Tarok Tso lake. Steep, sandy climb from the south. Great downhill across sandy grasland in the north. Very remote! Many wild gazelles in the north.
? (Pasaguke - Loinbo Kangri) ? (Pasaguke - Loinbo Kangri) 5215m Tibet Northern tibet. "pre" pass of Loinbo Kangri. 60km north of Pasaguke. Fantastic climb over hardly travelled route across a meadow with incredible views of Loinbo Kangri.
? (Tarok Tso - Mergezhung Tso) ? (Tarok Tso - Mergezhung Tso) 4795m Tibet Northern tibet. First pass from Tarok Tso lake eastwards to Mendong Short, steady climb. Downhill to a green lake in the east. Very remote, hardly traffic.
? (Mendong) ? (Mendong) 4910m Tibet Northern tibet. 12km north of Mendong along road 206. Sandy, wide grasland. Nice views of Tashi Namtso lake in the west.
? (Raga - Takyel Tso) ? (Raga - Takyel Tso) 5255m Tibet West tibet. 40km north of Raga on road 206 towards Mendong. "little" pass before going to Semo La. Nice lakes on both sides of the pass.
? (Raga - Saga) ? (Raga - Saga) 5100m Tibet West tibet. Between Raga and Saga on road 318. Easy climb from the east, quite some switchbacks from the west.
? (Saga - Lodu Lonely Tso I) ? (Saga - Lodu Lonely Tso I) 4760m Tibet West tibet. 22km south of Saga. First pass on the "Paiko Tso shortcut" on the way to the Friendship highway. Beautiful route through dry valleys. Last km nice, not too steep climb with switchbacks.
? (Saga - Lodu Lonely Tso II) ? (Saga - Lodu Lonely Tso II) 4840m Tibet West tibet. 33km south of Saga. Second pass on the "Paiko Tso shortcut" towards the Friendship highway. Coming from the north it is at first very steep und bumpy, but getting better. Atop nice view to the south.
? (Lodu Loney Tso - Paiko Tso) ? (Lodu Loney Tso - Paiko Tso) 4935m Tibet West tibet. Third pass south of Saga on the "Paiko Tso shortcut" towards the Friendship highway. Downhill to the south through eroded gorge to Paiko tso lake. Amazing views of the Himalaya!
Chiragsaldi Pass Chiragsaldi Pass 4980m China Xinjiang - Tibet highway. Last pass before reaching Mazar. Long climb. Lower part is paved, upper past quite good road.
Kudi Pass Kudi Pass 3300m China First pass on the Xinjiang - Tibet highway before Kudi. Long climb despite it is not a high pass. Interesting change from the Taklamakan desert into the big mountains.
Kirgizjangal Duban Kirgizjangal Duban 4950m China Third pass on the Xinjiang - Tibet highway after Mazar. Great climb with many switchbacks. Interesting scenery with desert like valleys and snowy mountains in the background.
Koshbel Duban Koshbel Duban 4290m China On the Xinjiang - Tibet highway, after Xaidulla. Before and after the pass desert like valley with great mountains in the background.
Satsum La Satsum La 5350m China, Tibet Xinjiang-Tibet highway, Aksai Chin plateaux. Between Tielong and Smuxi. First Tibetan pass coming from the west. After the pass fantastic vally with incredible colors and snowy mountains.
? (Domar - Rutok) ? (Domar - Rutok) 4655m Tibet Xinjiang - Tibet highway. Between Domar and Rutok. After the pass nice valley with salt lakes and finally to the shore of Pangong Tso
Lame La Lame La 4840m Tibet Xinjiang - Tibet highway. Between Rutok and Ali. Very bad road on both sides.
Lamar La Lamar La 4980m Tibet Pass on the way from Tingri to Everest base camp. Quite good climb from Tingri. Downhill very bumpy with many river crossings.
Pang La Pang La 5205m Tibet Pass on the way from Tingri to Everest base camp. Finally a pass in central tibet with more then 1000m of vertical climbing. Great climb with 64 switchbacks from the south (41 from the north), never steep. Atop fantastic views of the Himalaya: Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Cho Oyu.
Donggu La Donggu La 4935m Tibet First Pass along the northern Friendship highway from Shigatse to Lhasa. 63km long climb. Only the last 7km are a little steep. Nice route passing many villages. Quite good road.
Everest Base camp Everest Base camp 5170m Tibet No pass but a dead-end road to the base camp at Everest. South of Tingri. Great views of Everest north face. Because of the many tourist Land Cruisers the road has become quite bad.
Gama La Gama La 4640m Tibet East tibet at the Tibet-Sichuan highway (318) between Baxoi and Pomda. Great, long climb out of the dry gorge at the Salween with lots and lots of switchbanks.
Yak La Yak La 4360m Tibet East tibet at the Tibet-Yunnan highway (214) between Dechen and the Yangtze. The last big pass in Tibet along that route. Triple pass! Incredible views of Karwa Karpo (6740m) while climbing out of the gorge of the Mekong. Atop cobblestones!
Anzob Pass Anzob Pass 3373m Tadjikistan Between Penjikent and Dushanbe. Long, bumpy way to the foot of the pass from Penjikent. Then great climb on dusty road. Atop beautiful alpine meadows with nice flowers. Good road on the descent to Dushanbe.
Khaburabot Khaburabot 3852m Tadjikistan Between Dushanbe and Kaka-i Khumb. Arduous road to the foot of the pass. Then great climb to green meadows on top. Cool downhill to Kaka-i Khumb.
Koitezek Pass Koitezek Pass 4272m Tadjikistan First pass on the Pamir highway after Khorog. Long, never steep climb on a good road. Great views into the mountains.
Khargush Pass Khargush Pass 4344m Tadjikistan Connecting the Pamir highway with the Wakhan valley. Great, lonely ride passing salt lakes. Very bad road.
Najzatos Pass Najzatos Pass 4137m Tadjikistan Pamir highway, 50km before Murghab. Hardly noticeable climb coming from the west. Then passing beautiful red rock formations.
Ak-Baital Pass Ak-Baital Pass 4655m Tadjikistan Highest pass on the Pamir highway between Murghab and Karakul. Only at the very top a little bit steeper and not paved. Great descent towards the Karakul lake.
Uy Bulak Pass Uy Bulak Pass 4232m Tadjikistan Pamir highway from Karakul lake towards Kirgistan. Desertlike scenery. No views from the pass.
Kizil Art Pass Kizil Art Pass 4290m Tadjikistan, Kyrgistan Pamir highway. Border pass between Tadjikistan and Kyrgistan. Beautiful ride into Kyrgistan where it is getting greener with every km. Fantastic views back of the Pamir!
Taldyk Pass Taldyk Pass 3610m Kyrgistan Pamir highway between Sary Tash and Osh. Beautiful ride across green Kyrgistan. Many yurts along the way.
Irkestam Pass Irkestam Pass 3536m Kyrgistan, China Border pass between Kyrgistan and China. Highest point is 50km before the border. Great ride with fantastic views into the Pamirs. On the Kyrgyz side not paved until 5km before the border. Mostly good road except after rain when it can be muddy. On the chinese side very good paved road.
Dolon Pass Dolon Pass 3038m Kyrgistan Between Kochkor and Naryn in central Kyrgyzstan. Beautiful landscape and easy climb.
Zhusalykezen Pass Zhusalykezen Pass 3336m Kazakhstan South of Amaty a road leads up to Bolshoe Almatinskoe lake. From here it continues to a observatory (2700m) and then leads up to the pass. At the pass itself there is a group of buildings for scientific research (Kosmostantsia). There is no road on the other side of the pass (only a path). Demanding road (surface, steepness) with plenty of meters to climb. With a fully loaded touring bike just possible. I cycled fully loaded up to the observatory where I camped. From there I cycled with no load up to the pass.
Töö-Ashuu Pass Töö-Ashuu Pass 3586m Kyrgistan First pass on the main road from Bishkek to Osh. Long climb, often steep. At 3122m there is an 2.5km long tunnel. Do not cycle it! (bad lighting and air). In april the road over the pass was closed.
Snow Mountain Ridge Pass Snow Mountain Ridge Pass 4008m Tibet, China Pass from Songpa to Huanglong. About 350km north of Chengdu. A single long climb all the way from Chengdu. The switchbacks only start in Chuanzhusi. Until here it is a ride through often narrow, barren gorges. Then first through forest, later only meadows. Atop you have some fine views of Xuebao Shan, 5588m. East of the pass lies the Huanglong National Park. Great ride through rocky gorge and dense forest.
Balgan Shan Pass Balgan Shan Pass 4487m Tibet, China Pass on the road from Chengdu to Rilong. First high pass coming from the east. Coming from the west it is a long, slow climb (2600m on 140km). Only the last bit is steeper. Then great climb with many switchbacks. In the east the road drops in endless switchbacks totally 4000m all the way to Chengdu! When I cycled the pass in 2009 it was on the upper part of the east-side one huge construction site. Lower the road was covered with countless landslides because of the earthquake one year earlier
? (Tagong - Bamei) ? (Tagong - Bamei) 3900m Tibet Pass 12km north of Tagong. In the climb from the south there are some great views of Zara Lhatse (5820m).
? (Bamei - Danba) ? (Bamei - Danba) 3913m Tibet Pass north of Tagong, after the turn off in Bamei to the east to Danba. 6km east of the pass in the descent there are some great views of Zara Lhatse (5820m). After that a long ride through a rocky gorge to Danba.
? (Yajiang - Tagong) ? (Yajiang - Tagong) 4339m Tibet Pass along the G318, 48km east of Yajiang. The first 25km fram Yajiang are not very steep. Then the road climbs in long switchbacks through the forest. Atop, between the two high points there is a fantastic view of Gongga Shan, 7556m.
? (Litang - Yajiang IV) ? (Litang - Yajiang IV) 4383m Tibet Forth pass on the way from Litang to Yajiang. Transition from grassland to more alpine landscape.
? (Litang - Yajiang III) ? (Litang - Yajiang III) 4435m Tibet Third pass on the way from Litang to Yajiang. Above dry grassland and down in the valleys dense forrest. Great camping possibilities.
? (Litang - Yajiang II) ? (Litang - Yajiang II) 4402m Tibet Second pass on the way from Litang to Yajiang. Pass in the middle of dry grassland and rolling hills.
? (Litang - Yajiang I) ? (Litang - Yajiang I) 4329m Tibet First Pass 10km east of Litang. Entering valleys with dry grassland and rolling hills.
Tientsuwa Shan Pass Tientsuwa Shan Pass 4442m Tibet Last pass on the way from Litang to Yajiang. Coming from the west, it is a continous up and down through alpine vegetation. To the east, it is a very long downhill with many switchbacks through valley with nice forest. The road is paved but often very bad, the further down the worse.
Zagashershar Zagashershar 4127m Tibet Last pass before Litang coming from Zhongdian. Just on the pass there is a beautiful temple and a big rock with prayer flags. Descent to wide grasland near Litang.
Tuer Pass Tuer Pass 4645m Tibet Third pass from Xiangcheng on the way to Litang. Rather short climb coming from the south but long descend to Jaiwa. Great views into the surrounding mountains from the pass.
? (Sangdaui - Jaiwa) ? (Sangdaui - Jaiwa) 4648m Tibet Second pass after Xiangcheng on the way to Litang From Sangdui first through beautiful river valley with forest, then it is a long barren high plateau with nice rocks.
? (Xiangcheng - Sangdui) ? (Xiangcheng - Sangdui) 4728m Tibet First Pass on the way from Xiangcheng to Litang. First pine forest, then bushes, finally only meadows. A long, extremely even climb. A masterpiece of chinese road construction.
? (Zhongdian - Xiangcheng) ? (Zhongdian - Xiangcheng) 3920m China, Tibet First pass along the road from Zhongdian (Shangri La) to Litang. Dense forest on both sides. Lots of construction going on at the moment, maybe soon paved.
Daxuenshan Pass Daxuenshan Pass 4329m China, Tibet 140km north of Zhongdian (Shangri La) on the way to Litang. Great ride through wide pine tree forest. Beautiful rocky mountains all around.
? (Guide - Xining) ? (Guide - Xining) 3824m Tibet Pass 50km south of Xining along the road S101. Coming from the south: stating at the Yellow River, first through a sandstone canyon, then a green valley. Good road. To the north long and fast descent to Xining.
? (Sertang - Tongde) ? (Sertang - Tongde) 4042m Tibet Amdo. Pass along the road S101 from Amnye Machen to Xining. Coming from the south, starting at the Yellow River, it is at first an up and down through canyon scenery. Double pass, 12km north there is a second pass (3971m). To the north descent to a wide high plateau.
? (Dawa - Quwa) ? (Dawa - Quwa) 4248m Tibet Amdo. PAss along the road S101, 20km east of Dawa on the way to Xining. Nice even climb on both sides. To the east a long descent all the way down to the Yellow River. In 2009 the whole road was one huge construction site, soon a good paved road
? (Dawu - Machen) ? (Dawu - Machen) 4106m Tibet Pass 20km north of Dawu on the way to Amnye Machen. Greats views of Amnye Machen from the north side of the pass.
? (Machen - Chuwarna) ? (Machen - Chuwarna) 4185m Tibet Pass in the Amnye Machen mountains on the way from Machen to Chuwarna. After the turn off first a smaller first pass (4001m) which is quite steep. Down again and then through a beautiful valley to the pass. Great views of Amnye Machen from the pass.
Dramani La Dramani La 4782m Tibet Pass on the way to Amnye Machen, between Temahe and Machen. Simple but good dirt track and plenty of nice mountains all around. Some river crossings. Unfortunately in 2009 lots of construction going on, maybe soon new road.
? (Mato - Huashixia) ? (Mato - Huashixia) 4552m Tibet Pass along the road G214 between Mato and Huashixia. Ride over wide plains with rolling hills.
? (Huashixia - Temahe) ? (Huashixia - Temahe) 4688m Tibet Pass in the Amnye Machen mountains on the access road from Huashixia (G214) to Temahe. Great ride along the Amnye Machen mountains with beautiful views into the mountains. Many nomads.
Bayan Kar La Bayan Kar La 4833m Tibet Pass along the road G214, between Domda and Mato. A typical Amdo-pass: it starts already at 4200m and then it is 130km over a wide high plateau. Only at the very end some steeper parts. 23km north of it there is a second pass (4760m).
? (Xiwu - Drubgyuling) ? (Xiwu - Drubgyuling) 4467m Tibet Pass along the road G214, 20km north of Xiwu. Even climb coming from the south through barren, hardly inhabited valley. In the north the road hardly drops but stays at this wide high plain.
? (Jumang - Sershul) ? (Jumang - Sershul) 4459m Tibet Pass along road S217 that links Derge with Yushu, between Jumang and Sershul. Wide classic nomads country all around.
Ngamba La Ngamba La 4481m Tibet Last pass along road S217 that links Derge with Yushu, east of Xiwu. Border pass between Sichuan and Qinghai. Coming from the east a very slow climb but on the west side some steeper switchbacks. Classical nomads country all around. In 2009 the road on the west side was very bad.
? (Tsathsha Gon - Jumang) ? (Tsathsha Gon - Jumang) 4240m Tibet Pass along road S217 that links Derge with Yushu, between Tsathsha Gon and Jumang. Rather short climb within wide high plains.
? (Trugu Gon - Tsathsha Gon) ? (Trugu Gon - Tsathsha Gon) 4485m Tibet Pass along road S217 that links Derge with Yushu, between Trugu Gon and Tsathsha Gon. Wide high plains with lots of nomads.
Muri La Muri La 4567m Tibet Pass along the S217 that links Derge with Yushu, between Manigango and Trugu Gon. Ride over wide high plains. Many nomads with yaks and horses. Beautiful views into the Chola Mountains.
Tro La Tro La 4895m Tibet Pass along the road 317 between Manigango and Derge A great pass. Fantastic views into the Chola Mountains. Dirt road is a little bit bumpy but the climb is very even end never more then 5%.
? (Garze - Manigango) ? (Garze - Manigango) 4042m Tibet Pass along road 317, 50km west of Garze. On both sides fantastic views into the Chola Mountains. In the west forested.
? (Luhuo - Garze) ? (Luhuo - Garze) 3996m Tibet Pass entlang der Strasse 317, 30km östlich von Garze. Ride over a wide high plateau then descent into wide valley to Garze. In the east there are (especially in the lower part) many parts without asphalt.
? (Wengda - Luhuo) ? (Wengda - Luhuo) 4275m Tibet Pass along road 317 about 100km east of Garze between Wengda and Luhuo. Alpine valleys with forest on both sides. After rain or snow the road can be quite muddy and slippery.
? (Langtang - Rangtang) ? (Langtang - Rangtang) 3956m Tibet Pass 15km north of Rangtang Quiet road (hardly traffic except for some motorcyclists) through alpine valleys.
? (Lungsi - Maierma) ? (Lungsi - Maierma) 3958m Tibet Pass along the S302, 60km SE of Aba between Lungsi and Maierma. Coming from SE it is an up and down over endless grassland. To the NW the valleys become deeper again with some forest.
Chazhenliangzi Pass Chazhenliangzi Pass 3832m Tibet Pass along the S209 about 450km NW of Chengdu between Rangkou and Lungsi. Watershed between the Yellow river and the Yangzi river. On both sides wide, green grassland. Many nomads, yaks and horses.
Yakexia Snow Mountain Pass Yakexia Snow Mountain Pass 4295m Tibet, China Pass along the S302 about 400km NW of Chengdu between Heishui and Rangkou. One single long climb all the way from Chengdu. First through narrow, dry gorges, then alpine valleys with forest and finally meadows. On the west side wide grassland. In 2009 one giant construction site all over the pass!
Hashaatin Davaa Hashaatin Davaa 2545m Mongolia Between Khovd and Olgyi in Western Mongolia. Even climb coming from Khovd. At first rather rough, the second half is a good track. Every now and then good views of the big snow covered mountains left and right: Tsambagarav Uul 4200m and Sayrin Uul 3981m.
Nuhen Davaa Nuhen Davaa 3000m Mongolia Between Tsakhir and Otgon in the Khanghai mountains. Great route through the Khanhai Mountains crossing the 3000m high Nuhen Davaa, passing the holiest mountain of Mongolia, 4021m high Otgon Tenger. Mostly a good track, only in the downhill to the west it is rather rough.
? (Deluun - Bulgan) ? (Deluun - Bulgan) 3085m Mongolia Along the way from Olgiy to Bulgan in the far west of Mongolia. Coming from the north, you ride through dry, lonely valleys passing Deluun. At the pass itself you will see a true rarity in Mongolia: switch banks! After the pass the track crosses wide high plains before it steeply drops through a narrow canyon. After Bulgan the valley is a narrow rock and stone canyon and only shortly before the finish the green reappears.
? (Char Nuur - Erdene Khaikhan) ? (Char Nuur - Erdene Khaikhan) 2736m Mongolei Along the way from Char Nuur to Erdene Khaikhan. Coming from Char Nuur it is (other than with most passes here) very steep right at the beginning. Further up it is easier to ride. Atop the first high point the track passes through a great rock arch. Fantastic view of all the sand dunes around. The downhill is extremely steep and further down a 2km long sand field awaits you!
Halsema Highway Halsema Highway 2255m Philippines Along the Halsema Highway between Baguio and Bontoc. The Halsema Highway is the highest road in the Philippines. A fantastic ride through the Cordillera. In the past the road was feared as being on of the most dangerous roads but is now fully developed. After rain land slides and the slippery concrete surface can still be a problem. The highest point is actually at a second high point 13km after the actual sign next to the road.
Bushmens Pass Bushmens Pass 2268m Lesotho Third pass along the A3 between Likalaneng and Nazareth. Short but steep climb from the east. After the pass you get out of the higher mountains and it get considerably flatter.
God Help Me Pass God Help Me Pass 2334m Lesotho Second pass along the A3 between Likalaneng and Nazareth Coming from the east, hardly any climb at all. To the west a steep descent.
Blue Mountain Pass Blue Mountain Pass 2634m Lesotho First pass along the A3 between Likalaneng and Nazareth. Atop a long ride over a high plateau with great views.
Likalaneng Pass Likalaneng Pass 2620m Lesotho Along the A3 between Marakabei and Likalaneng. Gradual climb from Marakabei.
Mokhoabong Pass Mokhoabong Pass 2880m Lesotho Along the A3 between Thaba Tseka and Mantsonyane The climb from Thaba Tseka is all paved. The climb from Mantsonyane has only patches of old pavement. Barren, lonely landscape with few villages.
Cheche Pass Cheche Pass 2545m Lesotho Along the A3 between Mantsonyane and Marakabei. Quite steep climb on both sides but on a good, paved road.
Menoaneng Pass Menoaneng Pass 3045m Lesotho First pass coming from the east on the A3 between Mokhotlong and Thaba Tseka Steep climb from both sides but you can just cycle it. Great scenery with many mountain villages and rondavels.
Kotisephola Pass Kotisephola Pass 3240m Lesotho North west Sani Top on the way to Mokhotlong Coming from Sani Top it is a brutal dirt track. I had to push must of the way. Only at the very top I could start cycle again. Great landscape and fantastic views of the barren mountains of Lesotho. The downhill to the north west is also rough and coming up here you probably have to push some too.
De Berg Pass De Berg Pass 2270m South Africa Between Stoffberg and Lydenburg Nice climb from the west. gradual ascent up to 1800m. Here a beautiful high plateau. On top barren hills with rocks and wide views. With some luck you can spot game.
Long Tom Pass Long Tom Pass 2150m South Africa Between Lydenburg and Sabie Long gradual clim from Lydenburg. The eastern side is much greener with lots of forest (logging) and narrow bends.
Sani Top Sani Top 2865m South Africa / Lesotho Border crossing between South Africa and Lesotho in the Drakensberg Mountains. The highest pass in South Africa. The ride from Underberg to "The highest pub in Africa" is notoriously famous. Mainly because of the very steep and narrow switch banks at the very top. With the fully loaded bike I could cycle up to 2700m from where I had to push for the rest. There is hardly any downhill on the other side but soon the climb to the next pass (Kotisephola Pass 3240m) starts. Fantastic views back down to Underberg and atop you enter another world: no more fences, no trees but open wide plains. A brutal pass to cycle but despite/because of that very cool.
Kharung La Kharung La 2350m Bhutan Between Kahling and Wamrong Rather short climb from both sides as it soon starts to climb again.
Nichi Pho Nichi Pho 1760m India First pass on the way to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. Between Bhalukpong and Tenga. Great ride in narrow curves through dense jungle. Especially in the beginning some very steep parts.
Bomdila Bomdila 2608m India Between Tenga and Dirang on the way to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. In 2014 much construction going on on both sides with bumpy, dusty roads. Uneven climb with steep ramps. Shortly before the highest point is the village Bomdila.
Se La Se La 4176m India Main pass on the way to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. Between Dirang and Tawang. Great, long and very even climb from the south. Very pleasant to ride. After the pass there is a beautiful lake. The road from the south is pretty good (in 2014 much construction going on) atop a bit rougher and a bit worse on the northern side. Many army camps on the south side.
Chele La Chele La 3810m Bhutan Between Paro and Ha The highest drivable pass in Bhutan. Very Beautiful route almost entirely in the forest. The climb is very even with hardly more than 5%. Good surface and almost no traffic.
Simbhanjyang Simbhanjyang 2488m Nepal On the Rajpath Hwy between Kathmandu and Hetauda. Great climb on a small, narrow mountain road with little traffic. Further up through a nice pine forrest. At Daman, shortly before the pass, there is one of the best views of the Himalaya in all of Nepal. From Dhaulagiri in the west to Mt. Everest!
Thorong La Thorong La 5416m Nepal On the Annapurna Circuit, between Manag and Muktinath. The track from Besisahar to Thorong Phedi is probably 60% rideable, the rest you will have to push. From Thorong Phedi to the top of the pass you will certainly have to push/carry the bike. After the pass it should ridable most of the way. A great route in a majestic scenery, but tough. Thanks to the many lodges along the way you don't need to carry more then a sleeping bag and warm cloth. I cycled the pass only partly. After very heavy snowfall I had to leave the bike behind and reached the pass on foot.
Uitkykpas Uitkykpas 1003m South Africa Between Sanddrif and Algeria in the Cederberg Mountains. Great ride through the Cederberg Mountains. Barren mountain ranges with bizarre rock formations and fertile valleys. The approach from the south has some very steep climbs. From the north it is one very long climb. The lower part (as far as Algeria) is quite a bad road.
Gamsberg Pass Gamsberg Pass 1865m Namibia Along the C26, between Windhoek and Walvis Bay. Even coming fromWindhoek (although this is mostly downhill) a tough pass because of the often loose gravel. Uphill I would definitely prefer the Spreetshoogte Pass, although it is much steeper.
Kupferberg Pass Kupferberg Pass 2050m Namibia Along the road C29, 27km after Windhoek. The highest pass of Namibia. Partly some loose gravel. The climb is less steep coming from the south then from Windhoek.
Spreetshoogte-Pass Spreetshoogte-Pass 1676m Namibia Along the road D1275 between Solitaire and Nauchas The second steepest pass in Namibia with up to 22%! But the worst parts are made with cobble stones so I could cycle up without pushing. Great view of the 600m lower plain. The climb continuous up to 1810m.
Swartberg Pass Swartberg Pass 1570m South Africa Between Prince Albert and Oudtshoorn. A great, classic pass with great views of the Little Karoo in the south and the Great Karoo in the north. All on dirt roads. Coming from the north the road passes through a narrow gorge, often hardly wider then the road itself, then climbs in steep switch banks to the top. The surface is quite rough on the northern side. The southern side is much smoother.
Gate Of Paradise Pass Gate Of Paradise Pass 2001m Lesotho On the way to Malealea, between Motsekuoa and Mohales's Hoek. Great view of the Malealea valley. The sign says it all: Wayfarer - pause and look upon a Gateway of Paradise. The approach from the west (Motsekuoa) is quite easy and save for the last kilometer paved. The approach from Mohales Hoek is a different story. A quite rough dirt track with lots of up and downs make this route more demanding. But the scenery on this section is very beautiful.
Qachas Neck Qachas Neck 1981m Lesotho / South Africa Border crossing between Lesotho and South Africa. Rather short and easy climb from the Lesotho side (all paved). The South African side is a rather rough dirt track.
Lebelonyana Pass Lebelonyana Pass 2430m Lesotho Along the A4 between Mount Moorosi and Mphaki. Long, gradual and steep climb on the westen side. The eastern side ist is shorter with some up and downs.
Pele La Pele La 3420m Bhutan Road over the Black Mountains between Wangdi and Tongsa. Very long and spectacular climb from Wangdi. In countless curves the road climbs often along the sheer rock face. In the middle of the climb the road was for 10km a very rough dirt track. Before and after the road was good and very little traffic.
Dochu La Dochu La 3140m Bhutan Between Thimpu and Punakha. The west side from Thimpu goes through nice pine forrest. Right atop that ends and on the other side it becomes a subtropical forrest. On the pass there are 108 Chorten and a little temple. In 2014 much of the road was under construction and the road very bad for long sections.
Shertang La Shertang La 3590m Bhutan Between Bhumtang and Ura. Nice climb on a small, narrow but very good road. Almost no traffic. Great views over the wide valleys and forrest of Bumthang. Rather short downhill to Ura.
Thrumshing La Thrumshing La 3750m Bhutan Between Ura and Mongar. A double pass. It lies completely in the Thrumshing La National Park. Great high valley between the two high points. The downhill to the east is unbelievable. 3150m the road drops. Especially the last 40km are very spectacular where the road goes through dense forrest with monkeys and lots of other exotic voices.
Yotong La Yotong La 3425m Bhutan Between Tongsa and Bumthang. Very nice climb on good road. On the west side you pass through a hardwood forrest while on the east side it is a pine tree forrest with little villages and beautiful houses.
Kori La Kori La 2400m Bhutan Between Mongar and Tashigang. Not quite as high as the previous passes but because you start very low, it is again a long climb. Mostly very nice for cycling and especially in the beginning and at the end lots of narrow hairpin bends.
Yongphu La Yongphu La 2645m Bhutan Between Tashigang and Kahling. Long climb past (in comparison) more densely populated slopes. The actual Yongphu La (as signposted) is somewhat lower, where you pass 8 Chorten. The road then continues to the highest point.