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MTB Tour to Tremalzo Pass via San Michele

Tremalzo mountain bike – they say that every self-respecting mountain biker must have ridden up Monte Tremalzo at least once or done an Alpine cross.

My first mountain bike tour on Monte Tremalzo was a few years ago. I was then with my buddy Ralph the first time to bike at the Lago and had no idea what to expect. At that time I did not know so many tours and did not know how the trail conditions are. That’s why we chose the route over Passo Nota.

The gravel ascent from Passo Nota was quite exhausting, the unrhythmic driving took a lot of energy. But there were also some bikers who actually cranked up the hill with a bike trailer and their kid in it. Crazy!
Once we reached the top of the tunnel, it was late April and there was still some snow, we took the same route back.

On the way to Malga Ciapa

Together with Käthe I did the first Tremalzo mountain bike tour in 2018. Käthe had read somewhere that there should be the best spaghetti al pomodoro in the Malga Ciapa…We had first considered going to Tremalzo by car. The route goes up the pass road to Rifugio Garda via Lake Ledro. From there you would have had to walk the rest. Since the pass road was too narrow for our car, we quickly abandoned the project.

Tremalzo Mountain Bike - The Malga Ciapa
Cascata di Pisù waterfall on the way to Tremalzo

Great climb past the Cascata di Pisù

The start of the tour is in Vesio, just outside near Alpe del Garda. From there, the route is a leisurely one along a wide forest path through the San Michele valley. After a few kilometers the road goes steadily uphill towards Tremalzo. The first meters of altitude are on concrete, later it becomes gravel. The gradient is about 12-13%, now and then there are also ramps with 15-16%. The path leads mainly through the forest, in between you cross a few clearings. Particularly worth seeing and taking a break is the Cascata di Pisù waterfall, which you reach after about 12 km. The route then continues over the Passo della Cocca via Malga Ciapa to the “pass tunnel” on Monte Tremalzo.

According to Skyclimber, the battery should easily last for the Tremalzo mountain bike tour. Käthe and I had no idea what the various numbers on the e-bike’s display meant. We could have asked…Käthe is then beautiful in tour and sometimes in E-MTB mode up the mountain. At some point, we realized that the numbers on the display indicated the range. Suddenly was then save battery announced, according to the display, the battery would not even be enough to the pass. Since I was on my bio-bike, at least Käthe couldn’t constantly outrun me without using too much battery 🙂.

Arrived at the Malga Ciapa, of course, there was first something to eat and a Radler. Käthe finally had her spaghetti (it was actually the best so far) and I was able to enjoy some Aglio Olio’s as well. Unfortunately, there was no way to charge the battery at that time, we had no charger with us anyway.

Will the battery last until the top of the pass?

After the refreshment we went the last 200 meters of altitude to the turnoff towards the top of the pass. At the fork in the road there is still the Rifugio Garda. We were there once, we did not like it.

Kate’s battery was getting less and less and a slight nervousness came up with us. I still remembered a slight counter climb on the way down, there was still some battery reserve needed. We therefore decided to push a little from the turnoff towards the Passtunnel. To avoid attracting attention and making fun of the other bikers, we disguised the pushing as a walk and pretended to enjoy the view.

Arriving at the top of the tunnel there were still 2 kilometers of range left on the battery indicator, that should be enough….

The tunnel on the pass of Monte Tremalzo

The descent from Tremalzo – A dream

The descent after the Tremalzo tunnel in the direction of Passo Nota is gigantic and incredibly fun. I like to let it roll and ride briskly down the hill. For this you should already have some experience! One must not forget: This is alpine terrain and that demands a lot from you downhill, both physically and mentally. The loose gravel is partly quite deep and seems unstable, so you can easily start to lurch.
Käthe usually takes it a little slower, but is still quite brisk. And please people: Put on a helmet, it can save your life in case of a fall!

Once you reach Passo Nota, you can either take the road back to Vesio, or you can climb an additional 200 meters and return via Corna Vecchia. Since Käthe’s battery was almost at the end, we decided to take the road.

When we arrived at the finish line, we were overjoyed and satisfied and treated ourselves to an ice cream. The tour is really super and absolutely recommended. We have driven the route 3 or 4 times since then. It’s always great to enjoy the gigantic views. Since this Tremalzo mountain bike tour starts only in Vesio, it is also suitable for beginners.

We definitely recommend the route via Valle San Michele, the trail conditions are better than via Passo Nota. Another variant is the route from Riva to Tremalzo via Ponale and Lake Ledro. This tour is then rather something for advanced and whether the 500Wh battery is enough, I dare to doubt. Fortunately, there are now charging options along the way, so a break can be put to good use.

FAQ Tremalzo mountain bike

Is the Tremalzo suitable for beginners?

With E-MTB, the Tremalzo is basically also rideable for beginners. However, the descent is not easy and you need the appropriate riding skills to arrive safely back in the valley. We advise against taking the tour as an absolute beginner.

What equipment is recommended for the Tremalzo MTB?

The crest tunnel of Monte Tremalzo is located in alpine terrain at an altitude of 1830 meters. The weather here can change very quickly, from bright sunshine to rain. We therefore recommend taking a rain jacket with you, which also serves as wind protection. Of course, wearing a helmet is absolutely sensible and it is advisable to take sufficient drinks and possibly food (bars) with you. A repair kit or spare inner tube, chain links, cable ties and a mini tool are also recommended.

Can the Tremalzo also be accessed by car?

The Tremalzo is only accessible by car as far as the Rifugio Garda. The route leads from Lake Ledro via the SP127 to the Rifugio. From there, it is not possible or permitted to continue by car. The slip road on the SP127 is very narrow, and it is difficult to avoid oncoming traffic.

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