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Swiss Passes

Simplon Pass

Valais/Italian border

The Simplon pass was a route for smugglers and mercenaries back when today's Canton of Valais was still independent of Switzerland. It took the investment of a local entrepreneur and politician, Kaspar Stockalper to build it. Today the original route - the Via Stockalper, is still traversed by walkers.

The Via Stockalper trail features a secret underground fortress built around 100 years ago and designed to stop any enemy advances through the narrow valley of Gondo and was used through the World Wars. Declassified in the 90s, tours of the facility are available. Gondo was the scene of a disaster in October 2000 when a mudslide swept through the village killing 13 people and destroying many of the buildings and damaging the Stockalper tower. The tower was later reconstructed and is now a hotel and restaurant.

Summit coordinates 46°15’03.5”N, 8°01’58.5”E
Summit Altitude 2005 metres
Distance 40 kilometres
Start Brig 691 metres
End Gondo 855 metres
Opens All year*
* All year donates the pass is cleared of snow but maybe closed on some days
Simplon Pass