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Public-images-osm logo.svg natural = saddle
Saddle img.png
The lowest point along a ridge or between two mountain tops Edit or translate this description.
Rendering in OSM Carto
Group: Natural
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Status: approvedPage for proposal

A saddle between mountains (topographic saddle) is the area around a saddle point. A saddle point is the lowest point along a ridge or between two mountain tops and the highest point between adjacent valleys or lowlands. The saddle is often a drainage divide between different watersheds.

In general usage another name for saddle is pass or mountain pass (see Wikipedia). However, the term pass is ambiguous. A pass or mountain pass can be a saddle as well as a transport corridor like the Brennerpass between Italy and Austria with roads, railway, tracks and paths.

Unlike in common usage OpenStreetMap clearly differentiates between these two meanings. The notion introduced here is the saddle. For the highway, see mountain_pass=*. Be aware that highways don't always lead exactly through the saddle point, so that the highest point of the highway and the saddle point may have different positions and elevations, especially in low mountain ranges and uplands.

Saddle points are frequently used for defining administrative borders of states, provinces etc.


A saddle is marked by tagging its saddle point.

  • natural=saddle
  • name=Älpelesattel
  • ele=1772 Elevation of the saddle point; height above sea level in metres.
  • direction=north Cardinal direction of the line connecting the valleys on the sides of the saddle point.


Depending on the zoom level there appears a symbol (Saddle.png), the name and the elevation. (See also, natural=peak.)

Example rendering

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See also

Possible tagging mistakes

  • natural=col ‒ The term "col" is a synonym for "saddle"
If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
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