Whenever someone tells me they have just cycled the well-known but completely over-rated Col de la Faucille, I obnoxiously ask them if they realise there are nearby climbs that are higher, more scenic, and aren’t filled with fast traffic/trucks. The road to La Dôle and La Barillette is a great nearby example (La Baudichonne is another). It’s one of my favourites.
By my count, it’s the 3rd highest paved road in the Jura mountains (1522 metres). It’s a fabulous climb on steep forest roads usually completely traffic-free.
See here for the ten highest paved climbs in the Jura mountains.
It’s a good road surface throughout and had been recently cleaned of winter debris. There are unpaved forest roads everywhere here – I need to explore on a mountain bike – and much of the climb is on a one-way route as most of the descent is its own one-way road.
Nearing the top is the turn off to La Dôle, a mountain peak. This quickly ends at a chalet that sometimes is open for snacks in summer. High above, on the summit, is a big white ball – an aeroplane radar station. See photo below.
But skipping the turn-off, the road continues up for more than a kilometre to the Swisscom telecommunication tower at La Barillette – the high point of the paved road (1522m). There are definitely mountain-bike options from here – I’ve previously made it to the nearby Col de Porte for example. But road bikers will enjoy the view of Lake Geneva and the distant Alps before descending.
I am a notoriously cautious descender, but I do enjoy the knowledge that much of this descent is one-way – thus I “probably” didn’t need to worry about cars. This was a simple but enjoyable up-down ride where I enjoyed the spring weather.
Car-free, challenging, full of views at the top. A superb Jura mountain climb.
Quiet / No Traffic