Beautiful vineyards, a challenging climb, a long tunnel, military checkpoints, an alpine dam/lake, and a beautiful castle – this loop has it all. And most of it is virtually deserted!
The route above the tunnel to the lake crosses a swiss military base and is VERY frequently closed. Especially weekdays, and non-summer periods. Check here for current status. In fact I was thwarted back in 2009.
I am not certain the already difficult looking profile does this climb justice – data from GPS as I don’t have a paper profile. There are lots of VERY steep stretches in the % teens – tough.
It’s a lovely but leg aching climb starting in vineyards, then climbing through light woods, cow bells as soundtrack, a brief cliff stretch and then a tunnel. The climb is virtually over at the very narrow and rough tunnel.
A brief 2009 Video of our tunnel adventure:
After the tunnel is the military checkpoint. The young soldier gave me a card with a number and told me to hand it to the exit checkpoint. Easy enough – no need to search a guy in tight lycra. I felt safe passing the tank (last small photo above), and instead of numbered hairpins, there were 49 (?) signed bridges.
The road actually passes well above Lac de l’Homgrin, so I took a bumpy detour around in order to visit the dam. Worth the detour. Just follow the “National Cycling Route 4” signs.
View from on the dam:
After Lac de l’Hongrin the route joins the main road just below Col des Mosses – see map. It’s then a very fast, fun, and scenic descent – almost 20 kms – to Aigle on slightly busier roads.
At Aigle is the Château with its wine museum:
This is a truly superb loop – just make sure the military road is open to traffic.