The Col de la Croix de Fer (2,067m) is a high mountain pass in the French Alps, located in the Hautes-Alpes department. It connects the towns of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in the east and Le Bourg d’Oisans in the west.
The best time to visit Col de la Croix de Fer for cycling is from June to September, when the weather is warm, and the roads are open.
Col de la Croix de Fer can be climbed from two directions;
- Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne (northeast)
- Barrage du Verney (southwest)
Starting point : Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is located northeast of Col de la Croix de Fer.
From Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, it’s a long climb to Col de la Croix de Fer, 28.1km averaging 5.5%.
Once at the summit, you can proceed with a short 3km descent, bringing you to Col du Glandon. If you continue to descend from the Col du Glandon, you’ll reach the stunning Lac de Grand’Maison (Grand’Maison Lake).
|Strava segment||Col de la Croix de Fer from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne|
Starting point : Barrage du Verney
Barrage du Verney (Verney Dam) is where the official climb to the Col de la Croix de Fer starts. Many cyclists prefer to base themselves at Le Bourg-d’Oisans, 12km away.
The climb up Col de la Croix de Fer from Barrage du Verney is 24.9km, averaging 5.1%. By doing this climb, you’re summiting Col du Glandon too. Take a left turn onto D927 after 22km into the climb from Barrage du Verney. The summit of Col du Glandon is 200m away from the left turn.
From here, make a U-turn and continue for another 3km towards the summit of Col de la Croix de Fer.
|Strava segment||Col de la Croix de Fer from Barrage du Verney|
Col de la Croix de Fer in the Tour de France
Col de la Croix de Fer is a Hors Catégorie (HC) climb and has featured 21 times in the Tour de France dating back to 1947.
In 2022, it was the second to last climb of Stage 12 that finished atop the Alpe d’Huez. The peloton climbed from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and descended into Barrage du Verney before proceeding to Le Bourg-d’Oisans and finishing on Alpe d’Huez.
Tom Pidcock won the stage that day after a descending masterclass down the Col du Télégraphe.
More reading :