A perfect summer day for cycling in the beautiful Beaufortain region.
Here are details of the far side of Cormet d’Arèches including a visit to several beautiful and high unpaved cols.
The plan? Starting in Beaufort cycle up to the Barrage de Saint-Guérin and above. While the wives headed there directly, Eric and I first took a detour up the very steep road to Col du Pré. Along with Signal de Bisanne, this is the other climb that the Beaufort tourist office labels as “Mythique.” It certainly is steep.
The high point is a good half kilometre past the official Col sign …. but don’t stop at either place …. continue on a little further and the views of the Barrage de Roselend are just breathtaking (1st photo).
Most cyclo-tourists climb Cormet de Roselend on the main D925 road via Col de Meraillet. But via Col du Pré is far tougher and more scenic. If you continue past the Col du Pré, the route descends and actually crosses the dam, rejoining the main road at Meraillet.
After a few photos, we descended back towards Arèches turning left to join the route up to the Barrage de Saint-Guérin where we found our wives happily eating frites.
Lac de Saint-Guérin:
Above Lac de St Guérin is pretty steep ….. and NOTE that the road is not paved and is very bumpy for the last 3+ kilometres to Cormet d’Arèches. It is NOT ride-able by road bike and even my hybrid was pretty unhappy on the descent. Doreen and Katy decided to skip most of the gravel and instead hiked up to the little Lac des Fées. It’s truly beautiful up here and Eric and I greedily eyed a few other high altitude dirt roads for the future.
Lac des Fées:
From Cormet d’Arèches it is possible to descend on a non-paved road all the way to Bourg St-Maurice – possibly looping back to Beaufort via the south side of Cormet de Roselend.
For more rides around Beaufort see this old post: Beaufort: Five Great Cycling Climbs in Cheese Country