La Vue des Alpes & Col de la Tourne

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Alps far in the haze

Alps far in the haze

Despite its great name, I had never cycled to La Vue des Alpes – in part because someone had once told me the road – while wide – could have some fast traffic. The Juras are full of deserted, fun, little forest roads. So I decided do a little research and see if I could find a quieter route to the summit.

The Switzerland Mobility web site is full of useful “official” information on the 9 Swiss National cycling routes, the 3 National mountain-bike routes, and countless regional routes. Lo and Behold, Stage 3 of the Nord-Vaudois-Jura (#22) regional bike route climbs to La Vue des Alpes via quiet, paved roads – perfect. Details here.

Note, the profile above is for the direct, main road to Vue des Alpes (I assume some road cyclists will be interested), but my route up was longer and more “un-even”.

A well signed route

A well signed route

I started from Corcelles train station (see map below), quickly finding the signs for regional cycling route 22. The first several kilometres climb through a thick forest on a narrow, well paved road. Fantastic:

Tas de Bois

Tas de Bois

Similar to the nearby excellent climb to Chasseral (its distinctive summit was frequently in view), the route consists of two climbs on forest roads – split by a long flatter stretch through an open bucolic plateau.

The 2nd uphill stretch begins with a sign warning of hard work ahead:
Steep Next 5 kms

There are several super steep short stretches as the route contorts to avoid the main road. It then enters the Tête de Ran ski area. It’s a fabulous, typical little single lane Jura farm road:

(the quiet way up)

(the quiet way up)

The high point of the route is beside the Tête de Ran – above 1300 metres – and then it’s a 2 kilometre slight descent to La Vue des Alpes (1283 metres). The Alps views can be stunning from any Jura peak, but it depends on the clarity – and today was a little hazy. So please use your imagination when looking at the top photo in this post. 🙂

Descending the other side, I again departed from the main road and followed route 22 signs. But when I reached the bottom, I left this route and joined the also-well-signed National Route #7 (Juras). The next 17 or 18 kilometres are great. Much on single lane farm roads open only to locals. I only passed tractors.

Swiss National Route 7

Swiss National Route 7

Finally, I left National Route #7 and turned up towards Col de la Tourne. This is a “normal” wide 2 lane road. But Swiss quiet. This was the easy side of Col de la Tourne, but the descent is great (it’s 15 kms downhill to Lac Neuchâtel), on a well surfaced road. A future climb project?

View from Col de la Tourne

View from Col de la Tourne

I was very pleased with this loop. The first 2/3’s is virtually traffic free on pleasant, adequate quality little roads. The final 1/3, while having a small amount of traffic, was a fun descent. Excellent.

I used a hybrid, as route 22 was labeled as having some unpaved stretches, but a road bike would be fine here.

Route 2,989,850 – powered by www.bikemap.net

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Happiest while cycling uphill.

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