My last two blog posts (this and La Dôle) are good reasons why I rarely cycle the much better known Col de la Faucille. Why deal with the traffic when there are several nearby, wonderful, steep, beautiful, well paved roads that are literally car-free (we did see one car descending).
Another far better nearby climb versus Faucille is the super steep road to Col de la Vattay. Again, well paved and car-free. See here.
A third very nice (and challenging) Swiss Jura climb in a row. Fellow col hunter Markus kindly invited me for a ride up to La Baudichonne. We kept a measured pace as it can be hard chatting up 11% grades. 🙂
The route runs up the Jura mountains just barely on the Swiss side of the French/Swiss border. In fact we started at a border crossing, and saw a couple of border posts going up, and at the summit.
There was still snow over the top, so we decided to cut the ride short and just turn around. But first we enjoyed the amazing distant Alps views and the great weather.
It is possible to make this into a loop by descending a little over the top and taking an unpaved road linking up with Col de la Vattay (or Col de la Faucille) for the descent.
Happiness is having someone in Swiss National kit buy me a beer. Cheers!
A wonderful, steep, quiet, well paved roads that is literally car-free (we saw one descending).
Quiet / No Traffic
Does anyone know / have a map route through to La Vattay, ended up visiting several chalets d’alpage but couldn’t find a way through towards La Vattay, the only route there seemed to be a french footpath but you would need at least a hybrid to get through that path. Has anyone done it? cheers
You probably just missed it. After reaching La Baudichonne you need to do a quick up down to the high point of the road (with a concrete border stele). Then decsned just a couple of hundred metres down the other side and you should see signs left. The connecting stretch if I remember is NOT paved but ok quality.
Have a look at this old post on how to get to Col de la Vattay (also called Col des Combes Blances, or Col du Puthod.
I updated the map in the other post to show the point where the road heads to La Vattay.
We were going in the opposite direction. The Col is on a paved road is just the other side of Le Grand Grand or Le Petit Grand chalets. Once on that road if trying to find the La Vattay XC Ski centre or the road to Col de la Faucille you just follow the paved road away from Geneva). It should be signed here and there – but not entirely certain?
Hope that helps,
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What a super climb. Didn’t see a soul all the way up but boy is it steep 🙂
So theoretically you can get through to the la faucille road going easy on a road bike?
Yes, but its 1.4km of unpaved road (you need to turn off the paved road when you see the yellow walkers sign that reads “Vattay”). I did it slowly on a road bike, but at some points I walked as gravel was pretty course and you need to get off for the turnstile. The reward is you get to do a loop and you get to descend on the Col de la Faucille which is much more fun (faster!) than descending on the Route de Bois (IMO).
BTW – I agree with all these posts. La Baudichonne is the best of the Jura climbs. Super steep, no cars, good road surface and very beautiful.
For those who are interested there is another unpaved road connecting la baudichonne directly to the road from la faucille to la cure. I did it today: it is maybe 500 m after the one to la Vattay. Is a very evident road going to the left. You cannot miss it. It is maybe 700 m long and ok quality.there is a chalet halfway. I walked maybe 2-300 m total because it was quite steep downhill. In the flat parts I Biked (with a road bike). If you have a gravel no problem at all.
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Agreed! This is my favourite car-free ride on this side of Geneva.