Col de la Bonette

France

A beastly height of 2802m – this mountain is mythical.

In the French Alps near the border of Italy, Col de la Bonette sits at 2715m. The summit reaches high at 2802m. The loop around the top is one of the highest paved roads in the Alps.

From Jausiers, the 24km climb ascends 1589m with an average gradient 6.6% (max 9%).

On a road from Jausiers – passing small towns and cutting through farmers' fields, the first few kilometres give a gentle warmup.

Once an old mule route, the road then ascends through the trees with a mixture of both tight and wide bends.

Already at 1640m – ears start to pop, and the scenery is filled with waterfalls, bridges and abandoned barns. It is a 13% grade arriving up to the restaurant, Halt.

It is only after a few wide turns and a long stretch of a steady grade that the finish may seem near.

Nearing the top of the valley, the views and switchbacks create a range of emotions – this col is high, and it is long.

A big change in landscape when you near the Col.

The bunkers that are the remains of military action at the final kilometre marker make this ride a truly unique experience. Hidden in the black slate rock, the line of the road to the summit is eye-level.