Lac de Roterel, a bumpy scenic road in the Alps
Lac de Roterel is a high mountain lake at an elevation of 1.941m (6,368ft) above the sea level located in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, near the Italian border.
The lake is located in La Vanoise National Park, a national park between the Tarentaise and Maurienne valleys in the French Alps. The road to the lake is unpaved and pretty bumpy. The Lac de Roterel former supply route, leading past the forts around Mont Cenis, is a very good alternative to the busy D1006 / SS.25 roads, to drive without asphalt and very bumpy sections. On the Italian side, the route initially rises over several turns and then follows a ridge just before the border passes through the small lake Lago d'Arpon. On the way to Lac de Roterel follows a structurally very interesting group of four tight turns with high retaining walls.
After the apex, which is around the lake, the road is even worse. In some places it’s possible to see remnants of a former railway line. The gravel road is an old military road. The French/Italian alpine border is littered with high altitude military roads dating from the late 1800’s and, especially, from WW1.