A road among the clouds to Col d'Allos in the Provence
Col d'Allos is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.250m (7,382ft) above the sea level, located in the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France.
Can you drive through Col d'Allos?
Located to the west of the Parc National du Mercantour, the road to the summit is totally paved in very bad conditions and very challenging with numerous hairpins. It’s called D908. It lies parallel to the Col de la Cayolle and Col de la Bonette
How is the road to Col d'Allos?
The road surface is quite bumpy. It’s small and intimidating. Drivers of caravans and trucks need to be very careful. Not for the faint hearted driver as there are some serious drop offs. The pass is very steep, hitting a 9% of maximum gradient. It’s one of the most popular climbs in the Tour de France.
When was the road to Col d'Allos built?
Like many of the passes in this area it owes its reason for being to military strategies, involving the defense from Italian and German attacks. Allos opened in 1891, 22 years before another option to cross this ridge via the Col de la Cayolle was added.
How long is Col d'Allos?
The pass is 39.1 km (24.29 miles) long, running south-north from Colmars (or Colmars-les-Alpes) to Barcelonnette. The summit hosts a parking lot and a mountain refuge known as Refuge du Col d'Allos. Along the way, you may come across marmots, sheep or cows grazing in the fields.
Is Col d'Allos open?
Set high in the Southern Alps, the little sinuous road through the pass is closed from October to July. In July and August it is reserved for bicycles on Friday mornings. To the south of the pass, a minor gravel road climbs up Le Signal, a mountain peak at 2.350m (7,709ft) above the sea level.