Col de l’Arpettaz

4

Bike route 1746282 – powered by Bikemap 

My old friend Emmanuel is vacationing in Annecy with his family. I hadn’t seen him in 2 years, and he knows the Cols of the region very well. My challenge was to find a climb from Annecy that he hadn’t cycled that would make him go “wow!” Success.

The challenge for Emmanuel was much tougher: Cycle up the steep Arpettaz and listen to me speak French for several hours —– yikes. :)

Col de l'Arpettaz Col de l'Arpettaz Col de l'Arpettaz Hairpins Col de l'Arpettaz

This is a great loop, with much of the riding on the Annecy Bike Path. It’s a perfect place to ride side-by-side and chat without worrying about cars.

Approaching Ugine, there are several turns off the bike path to join the “route des montagnes” up to Col de l’Arpettaz. I love this climb – look at the map above – hairpins galore on a quiet road that is partly pasture land and partly light forest.

Col de l'Arpettaz

For a truly superb mountain bike adventure, there is a gravel road that links Col de l’Arpettaz with Col des Aravis. Details here.

Nearing the Col the tree line disappears – great views of the Aravis Alps:

Col de l'Arpettaz

Plenty of cows watching Manu suffer:

Emmanuel and friends

There is a nice little restaurant at the Col and we stopped to rehydrate. The route we descended is fabulous. First beautiful views of Mont Blanc for several kilometres:

Mont Blanc

Then some unbelievable stretches of hairpins:

Hairpins

Finally just a fast, quiet descent on beautiful roads back to Ugine where we rejoined the Annecy bike path to head home. Even the tunnels are fun (car-free) here:

Annecy Cycling Path Tunnel

Merci mille fois to the family of Manu for entertaining and feeding me afterwards — and for the great swim. Wonderful day.

Share.

About Author

Happiest while cycling uphill. More enthusiastic than talented, my 2014 Challenge is to cycle 50 great rides, slowly.

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: The Best Cycling Climbs from Lake Annecy

  2. Did this loop from Annecy yesterday after reading about it here. Probably my favourite climb around this area so far, and that includes Forclaz, Semnoz & Colombiere. Even though it is summer I was glad to have warm gear for the descent – and the fire was lit in the refuge thankfully. Descend the Eastern side for endless hairpins all the way to Ugine – climb the western side ( as described in the post) as the road surface is crappy in spots – fine going up, but would make for a slow less enjoyable descent. Road bike with 23mm tyres was fine going this way. About 100km from Annecy return. Great website – best resource out there for first time visitors like me.

Leave A Reply

Translate »