Klausen Pass (German: Klausenpass) is one of the most scenic mountain passes you can find within a 1,5 hour drive from Zürich. In 1-1,5 hour you have reached the start of the mountain pass, total time depends on from which direction you want to drive it. We recommend starting the drive up from Glarus Süd as there are some sections of the road that many drivers would consider more enjoyable going up rather than going down. The drive from Zürich to Glarus Süd takes between 1-1,5 hour. The faster route is to take highway number 3 but if you prefer a route with more stops in lakeside towns, you should choose Seestrasse (17) that takes you past towns like Meilen, Stäfa and Rapperswil-Jona.
As a driving road Klausen Pass is very scenic. With an elevation of 1948 m it is definitely in the same league as many other higher Swiss mountain passes, with a lot of bends and tight hairpin corners. Klausen Pass is also the location for an approx. 22 km historic hillclimb called Klausenpassrennen. This road is also one of the few mountain passes in Switzerland that usually is open already in early May, while most of the higher mountain passes usually do not open before late May or June.
One of the charming features of Klausen Pass are the cows that sometimes might even be on the road, so watch out for them. You will at least hear their bells echoing in the valley and if you look up in the mountains, you see hundreds of cows wandering around. If you are lucky you might even spot some goats sunbathing by the road. On our route testing we could not believe our eyes when we spotted these goats relaxing by the road.
For nice stops along the way we recommend to check out the William Tell Monument in Altsdorf and for those interested there is also a Tell-Museum. Along the route of Klausen Pass you will also find a newly opened small cheese factory. Unfortunately visitors are not able to enter the factory so only sneak peeks through the window are allowed. But if you want to buy local Swiss cheese, this is a nice stop along the way.
There are also hotels on Klausen Pass. If you want to do an overnight stop on this road you can choose between Hotel Klausenpasshoehe, Hotel Posthaus Urigen, Klause Ranch, Hotel Alpina Unterschächen and Hotel-Landgasthof Brunnital to name a few. All of these are located directly on Klausen Pass.