Col de la Bonette

Col de la Bonette, an iconic mountain road in the French Alps

Col de la Bonette is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.715m (8,907ft) above the sea level, located on the boundary between Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence departments in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France.

Is the road to Col de la Bonette paved?

Set high in the French Alps, near the border with Italy, the road to the summit is totally paved. It’s called D64, part of the scenic Route des Grandes Alpes. Located in southeast France, next to Cime de la Bonette (at 2.806 masl), a signpost at the foot of the climb claims "Col de la Bonette, the highest road in Europe". But this claim is incorrect for various reasons. Check here the list of Europe’s highest roads.

Is the road to Col de la Bonette challenging?

The pass links the Ubaye Valley and the Tinée Valley. The road is generally wide and in very good condition. It was built in 1832 and the final road was completed in 1960. The road is very steep and the ascent offers many sensations. It’s a real delight.

Is Col de la Bonette open?

Tucked away in the Mercantour National Park, the road is usually closed from late October through late June or early July (depending on snow). The open and close dates all depend on snowmelt and snowfall each year. It's one of the highest roads of the country.

Is the road to Col de la Bonette steep?

The pass has been featured in the Tour de France a few times. From Jausiers, the ascent is 24 km long, gaining 1.589 meters and with an average percentage of 6.6%. The maximum gradient is 11%. And from Saint Etienne de Tinée, the ascent is 25.8 km long. The elevation gain is 1.652 meters and the average percentage is 6.4%, hitting a 15% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Cycling markers are placed at every kilometer on both sides of the mountain road, indicating height, the distance from the start, and the distance to the summit.

 

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