Oulles is a high mountain town at an elevation of 1.483m (4,865ft) above the sea level, located in the Isère department in southeastern France. With a dozen year-round residents, it’s the smallest village in Isère.
The narrow and winding road to the town, located in the Taillefer massif, is asphalted. It’s called D221. Nestled against the Taillefer mountainside, the town was only accessible by mule trails for a long time. It has only been accessible to vehicles via this road cut into the rockface since 1963. Immense effort was required to claw back these 6.5 kilometres of switchbacks. Silver lead was mined in Oulles for centuries from the Middle Ages onwards.
The road to the town is pretty steep. Starting from D526 road, the ascent is 6.5 km long via 12 hairpin turns. Over this distance the elevation gain is 767 meters. The average gradient is 11.8%, with some sections up to 13.1%. The small road, very little frequented, and in good condition, winds its way in switchbacks down a cliff. There are hairpins galore with little or no cars on either the ascent to the little perched village or the descent.
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