Col du Noyer and Superdévoluy


Col du Noyer is a beautiful, medium difficulty, climb in the Hautes Alpes starting beside the Route Napoléon (there is a refuge Napoléon at the summit).

Col du NoyerSuperdévoluyCol de RioupesCol du Festre

It has appeared 4 times in the Tour de France (’70, ’71, ’82,’10), and will feature in Stage 7 of the 2013 Critérium du Dauphiné.

Col du Noyer

The more beautiful east side starts easily enough, but one can see the unlikely last stretch high in the distance – drool. It’s a wide single lane (or narrow double lane?) but perfectly surfaced on the top half of both sides – perhaps due to the 2010 Tour de France visit.

Above Le Noyer things get fun. A long cliff stretch and then the very difficult last 2.5 kilometres. Uneven percentages, certainly some long stretches at 12-13%.

Just below the summit are some magnificent hairpins:


The Dauphine will climb this magnificent east side (the first couple of kms are different than my route – see map below – but they will pass through Le Noyer). After a fairly non-technical descent, the stage will climb three kilometres to the ski station at Superdévoluy.

It’s a wide, fairly easy ramp, with grade generally in the 5% to 6% range.

If you see a French village starting with “Super” it is inevitably a ski station.

Before I climbed to Superdévoluy, I first rode a superb loop that visited Col du Festre and Col de Rioupes. Nothing too steep, but lovely, quiet roads with high mountains in every direction:

Col du Festre:

Col du Festre

Just below Col de Rioupes:

The Hautes-Alpes department has done a wonderful job not only adding cycling kilometre signs to big climbs but also marking routes. Much of my loop was an offical route, very well signposted including markers every kilometre — even on the non-climb parts.

The Hautes-Alpes also sponsor two week-long series of bike-only climb days. See here for more.

I don’t know this area very well, but will enthusiastically return.

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8.9 Excellent

I was surprised at just how fun this ride was. Especially the top hairpins. But there is plenty of good roads over the top too. A pleasure.

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Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Wow This looks like a great day’s riding. Where did you start and would that place be a good base for other rides in this area?

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