We rate Susten Pass as the best road in the Alps. Yes, it’s that good.
Approaching from the west, the climb begins with the Sustenstrasse, cutting its way through meadows and pockets of overhanging forest broken up by the occasional hamlet. It’s an older section of road with very little in the way of run-off, but the flowing tempo is a great way to get things started.
Once you pass the boom gate, the start of the pass approaches. The vegetation thins, the road widens and with each corner, the snow-covered peaks grow larger. This side of the pass is the tighter of the approaches, but there’s plenty of opportunities to pull over and admire the alpine terrain and views of the Stein Glacier as you approach the 2264m (7,430ft) peak.
On the Bernese side of the 300m (1,000ft) tunnel, near the top of the pass, sits the Susten Hospiz: a good spot for a sustenance break before crossing into the Canton of Uri and the northern side of Sustenstrasse.
Shortly after exiting the tunnel, prepare for a jaw-dropping view across the Sustenhorn and the northern approach road as it snakes its way down the Alps and into the Meien Valley. Take some time to pull over and admire the view rather than trying to gaze at it while driving. The drop-offs up here are not for the faint of heart.
While most drivers enjoy a challenging uphill run, this section of the tour is the most fun you can have going downhill. Once you traverse the broad hairpins coming off the pass itself, Sustenstrasse clings to the side of the valley as it gently drops in altitude, creating a beautifully rhythmic road of sweeping bends and kinks. It’s ideal for light flicks up and down the gearbox, interspersed with the occasional dab on the brakes.
The approach to the town of Wassen marks the end of the Susten Road. A decision has to be made. Turn right towards the Oberalp or Furka Pass roads, left to Klausen Pass, or make a U-turn and do Susten all over again in the other direction. What will you choose?