The pass is located in the Ammergau region of southern Bavaria. It leads from Ettal near Oberammergau (in the Landkreis Garmisch-Partenkirchen) to Reutte in northwest Tyrol. The Ammersattel is the pass between the Ammergauer Hochplatte (2082 m.) on the northwest, the Scheinbergspitz (1926 m.) on the north, the Kreuzspitz (2185 m.) in the southeast, and the Geierköpfe (2161 m.) in the southwest. The first three of these peaks are in Germany, and the Geierköpfe in Austria.
The pass road has a maximum grade of 12 percent. It is mostly fairly straight, although somewhat more winding near the pass. It leaves the German Bundesstraße 23 at Ettal and joins the Austrian Fernpass Straße (B 179) at Reutte. From the northeast, it leads through the Graswang Valley along the Linder River, a tributary of the Amper (or Ammer) that partly drains away into the chalky soil. The road passes Ludwig II of Bavaria's castle of Linderhof. On the Austrian side, it passes the Plansee.