Col du Joly, an iconic road in the French Alps

Col du Joly is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.989m (6,525ft) above the sea level, located on the boundary of Haute-Savoie and Savoie departments in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.

Col du Joly

The road to reach the pass is mostly paved. From Les Contamines to the top is not asphalted but the gravel is very smooth. The drive is definitely worth it. The final 10 kilometres climbs out of the valley up to the Col unveiling unbelievable views of nearby Mont Blanc. From Beaufort to the top is a normal road. From the top there is one of the closest and most beautiful views of Mont Blanc.

The road to the summit is steep, hitting a 10.9% through some of the ramps. There are 2 roads to reach the summit. Starting from Beaufort, the ascent is 23.5 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.244 meters. The average percentage is 5.3 %. And starting from La Pierre, the ascent is 25.8 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.289 meters. The average percentage is 5 %. The road is narrow in the last 10 km and there is some traffic up to the restaurant at the top, where many people start out on walks on the Tour du Mont Blanc. The views over the Mont Blanc mountains are very good at the pass height.
Pic: Claire Douet