Col des Saisies, a fantastic road with great views to Mont Blanc
Col des Saisies is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.657m (5,436ft) above the sea level, located in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. The pass is traversed by the scenic Route des Grandes Alpes.
Nestled in the French Alps, the road to the summit is totally paved. It’s 26.8 km (16.65 miles) long running from Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe to Villard-sur-Doron. The arrival at the col is a bit of a let-down: no impressive summit like the Colombière or the Madeleine, just a flattening out as the road goes through a semi-deserted ski resort.
The road to the summit is steep, hitting a maximum gradient of 11.4% through some of the ramps. It is usually open all year, but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. The pass is featured often in the Tour de France race.
There are 3 routes to reach the summit. Starting from Flumet, the ascent is 14.81 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 747 meters. The average gradient is 5 %. Starting from L' Arly, the ascent is 22.2 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.224 meters. The average gradient is 5.5 %. And starting from D 925-D218, the ascent is 14.98 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 957 meters. The average gradient is 6.4 %.