Col des Champs, an iconic Alpine road
Col des Champs is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.092m (6,863ft) above the sea level, located at the border between the departments of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Alpes-Maritimes in southeastern France.
Located in the Alps, within the Mercantour National Park, the road to the summit is paved. It’s called D78 (southern side) and D2 (northern side). Open to traffic throughout the year, may be closed for short periods in winter when the weather is bad. It’s a superb, hairpinned route but the surface is awful and very bumpy.
The road is steep, hitting a 12.0% through some of the ramps. The pass is 27.7 km (17 miles) long running from Saint-Martin-d'Entraunes (in the Alpes-Maritimes department) to Colmars or Colmars-les-Alpes (in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department). Starting from Saint-Martin-d'Entraunes, the ascent is 16.26 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.052 meters. The average percentage is 6.5 %. And starting from Colmars, the ascent is 12 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 842 meters. The average percentage is 7 %.