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Public-images-osm logo.svg mountain_pass
Mountain pass.jpg
This item marks a mountain pass.
Used on these elements
may be used on nodes
should not be used on ways
should not be used on areas
use on relations unspecified
Useful combination
See also
Status: Unspecified


This item marks the highest point of a mountain pass way. Unfortunately, the term "mountain pass" is ambiguous (see Wikipedia). The meaning can be the whole road (or footway) up and down a mountain or the saddle point. Maps usually "special mark" only the latter (often with the corresponding elevation) and that's what mountain_pass=yes is meant to be for. If you want to mark the saddle point, see natural=saddle.

A mountain_pass=yes tag should be the highest point of the way so it's a single node on that way.


Applies to the "highest node" on a highway = motorway/secondary/footway/... (could be any appropriate "highway"):

  • mountain_pass=yes
  • name=Brennerpass
  • ele=1370 (meter over sea level)

Lots of passes are the border between two countries and therefore have names in (at least) two languages. These names should be tagged, e.g. name:it=Passo dello Stelvio and name:de=Stilfserjoch (but keep in addition a simple name=Passo dello Stelvio where possible, otherwise simple renderers may display no name at all). The corresponding language abbreviations can be found at ISO639-1 codes.


A lot of the well-known passes have dedicated Wikipedia pages.


A mountain pass is usually depicted with a "bridge like" symbol:

\  /
|  |
/  \

So with a way going trough it, this looks like:

\ | /
| | |
/ | \

If the symbol is not oriented along the way it can look like that Pass 1.png or with simple point with name and altitude.


Geomorphology vosges.png Flou col de la portette.png Flou col du rousset.png Flou col des limouches.png Flou pas du margeat.png Flou col des limouches 2.png

I don't know who put this image in, but the maps I had a look at used the pass symbol the way depicted as in the icon section - the bridge like symbol being along the way and not crossing the way as on this image?!? -- Ulfl 11:43, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

The bridge is along the way because it is a way (linear) property. A mountain pass should be a node property. In some case a mountain pass is depicted as a simple point.--Alban 12:55, 11 November 2007 (UTC)