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Col de Grimone

This is one of two passes between the gentle wine plateau country along the Drome river and a high alpine park of sorts, centered around the river Drac. The second specialty of this route is an intricate dike lined canyon on the east side, that is just perfect for a bicycle ride, even if you don't include the pass itself.

1.(00.0km.1000m)START-END EAST: low point on D1075, crossing La Buech
2.(07.6km,1070m)profile goes left,road straight ahead continues to Col du Croix Haute.
3.(11.9km,1318m)TOP: Col de Grimone
4.(27.6km,0680m)beginning of canyon section at jct with road to Boulc
5.(42.4km,0450m)START-END WEST: jct with D93, south of Die


From West.
(starting at end of profile) The turnoff to Col de Grimone from N75 comes as a savior from traffic. Even if N75 has a pretty good bicycle lane, the absence of traffic on this road is universally preferable.

Across the valley two amazing tooth shaped mountains reach about 2200 meters. Their names all start with tete (head). Looking in the other direction, a natural dike meets a wall holding up the road - a great preview for the other side, where dikes will have a bigger say over the landscape.

The top of the pass squeezes through between two buildings, one of which I think houses fire fighting equipment.

left: the road passes through this volcanic dike on the west side

below left:
Gorge de Gats

left: this short tunnel marks the entrance to the Gorge de Gats section

From East. (described downwards, towards start of profile). The feeling on this side is more relaxed, pleasant hills - not so much extreme mountain faces. But there is a different extreme side to this approach too, but extreme in a gentle kind of way - and that is the Gorge de Gats below the village Grimone. After a few unlit introductory tunnels (none long enough to produce total darkness), the road squeezes under overhangs and between dikes lined with wild flowers in an amazing set of turns in a maze. The road merges with the southern approach to the Col de la Menne, a superb loop.

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow

A Dayride with this point as intermediate summit is on page: Col de Menee


Cycling - Tour de France: The tour crossed this little pass once, in 2002, during a stage from Vaison La Romain to Les Deux Alpes. At the top of the pass Axel Merckx was in the lead.