Crêt de Châtillon (Le Semnoz)


Le Semnoz is the big massif above the west side of Lake Annecy. The road to the summit (Crêt de Châtillon) is the highest paved road in the Annecy area. I’ve summarised five routes up here, but I prefer the quieter south side via St. Eustache.

The route starts on the beautiful Annecy bike path for eight relaxing kilometres.

OK, this is just off the bike path. 🙂

From the lake, there are more direct roads to Col de Leschaux, but the route via St. Eustache is more scenic, quieter (and tougher). Map at bottom of post.

Lake Annecy below

At Col des Leschaux (900m), it’s still 16 kilometres to the summit. Some very fun early hairpins, then through a high forest until reaching the little ski station at the top. Note, the vast majority of people drive to the ski station from the north side that begins in Annecy (it was climbed in the 2013 Tour de France). I only saw a few cars going up my side. This south side also has far better views.

A couple of years ago, I rode up from the north and rented XC skis at the top. See here.

I took quite a few drone photos today:

(not a drone photo)

I really like the top of this climb. Great mountain views in many directions. And a snow wall or two:

Roughly the same spot as above, but with my trusty mini-tripod (I like this photo better):

Just over the summit, it’s possible to see the distant lake far below:

It’s a fairly steep 20 kilometre descent, through a forest, back to Annecy. Here is an old, very short, video of me descending this stretch: 🙂

For the 10 Best Cycling Climbs from Lake Annecy – see here.


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Happiest while cycling uphill.

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