The iconic road to Col du Lautaret in the Dauphine Alps
Col du Lautaret is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.060m (6,758ft) above the sea level, located in the department of Hautes-Alpes, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. The pass is traversed by the scenic Route des Grandes Alpes.
Where is Col du Lautaret?
Set high in the Dauphiné Alps, a mountain range in southeastern France, the pass marks the boundary between the valleys of the Romanche and the Guisane. The summit provides good views of La Meije to the south-west, the Grand Galibier to the north and over several summits of the Massif des Ecrins.
How long is the road to Col du Lautaret?
The road to the summit is totally paved. It’s called D1091. The pass is 61.8 km (38.40 miles) long running from Le Clapier to Briançon. Starting from Briançon, the ascent is 27.75 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 853 meters. The average percentage is 3.1 %. And starting from Le Clapier the ascent is 34.16 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.312 meters. The average percentage is 3.8 %. The road is very steep, and hits a 9.4% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. The western approach of the Col du Lautaret contains some tunnels up to 800metres in length.
When was the road to Col du Lautaret built?
Construction of the road started in 1880 and was completed by the blasting of a tunnel through to the summit in 1891. It has been a frequented passage since Roman times. The pass has been climbed many times in Tour de France race. At the top of the Lautaret you will also find a choice of places to eat or grab a drink and a rest.
Is the Col du Lautaret open?
Access to the pass is typically open all year round, but winter weather may cause restrictions and closures due to dangerous weather conditions. It is France’s highest mountain pass open to traffic year-round.
Can you climb Col du Lautaret from Galibier?
The pass can be climbed by the spectacular and narrow D902, beyond the Galibier. Starting from Saint Martin d’Arc, by the D902, the ascent is 41.8 km long. This side includes climbing the Galibier before the Lautaret. Often ignored because of its location below the Col du Galibier, the Col du Lautaret is still a huge climb.
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