Col des Prés

Col des Prés Col des Prés Col des Prés Col des Prés

The Climb (from Chambery): 19.5 kms (12.1 miles) Ascent: 950 metres (3,115 feet)

Chambery is one of those French Alps towns that is made for cyclists. Down low, there is a very well developed network of cycling paths – and on all sides are fantastic climbs into the mountains.


Pré means meadow in French – so Col des Prés clumsily translated means “mountain pass of the meadows” (which makes sense as at the top it opens up into alpine meadows).

I started outside Chambery to minimize the first few busyish kilometres. After St Jean d’Arvey, it’s becomes a very nice wide-open, quiet road, that winds up the side of the mountain.

Col des Prés

I hadn’t expected to get lost, but I came to an intersection with no signs and took the “up” road, not remembering there was a descent in the middle of the climb. Fortunately, this led to a superb little detour through the woods and a couple of tiny villages. No harm no foul.

While a fair bit of snow near the top, the roads were perfectly cleared. On the descent I considered detouring to Col de Plainpalais – but my legs told me to call it a day.

Note: There is also a Col du Pré, a fantastic climb above Beaufort.


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Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Will,
    Is this your idea of a reco ride ride?
    Clearly you weren’t pushing hard enough up La Vuache 😉
    Undomesticated Domestique

  2. Pingback: Col du Frène – Bauges Alps Loop

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