Col de Larche

Larche Pass is an awe-inspiring drive in the Alps

Col de Larche-Colle della Maddalena is an international high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.005m (6,578ft) above the sea level, located on the border of Italy and France.

Set high between the Cottian Alps and the Maritime Alps, the road to the summit, also known as Col de l'Argentière, is totally paved. On the Italian side, the road to the summit (Colle della Maddalena) is called Strada Statale 21. On the French side, the road to the summit (Col de Larche) is called D900. The summit hosts a souvenir shop and a big parking lot. At the summit, a statue celebrates the victory of Fausto Coppi during the Giro of 1949.
The road is open all year round except during heavy snowfalls. The pass links the Stura valley in Italy and the Ubaye valley in France. The drive is pretty challenging, with 16 sharp hairpin turns. Note that the bicycling on the French side from Les Gleizolles to the pass is officially forbidden due to hazards of rock falls/landslides.

The pass is 12.3km (7.64 miles) long, running from Val-d'Oronaye (in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department in southeastern France) to Argentera (in the Province of Cuneo in the northern Italian region Piedmont). It is a very easy climb which is never steeper than around 8%.

 

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