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Col du Grand Colombier - Artemare     open your myclimbbybike to add this climb

15.9 km  1505 m  (1245 m)  7.8 %


The Col du Grand Colombier is situated in Franche-Comté. This climb belongs to the Jura mountains. The Col du Grand Colombier via Artemare is ranked number 7 of the Jura mountains. This Col du Grand Colombier approach starts in Artemare. The Col du Grand Colombier climb is 15.9 km long. You gain 1245 heightmeters, so the average gradient is 7.8 %. The climb is ranked 646 in the world. The maximum slope is 19%. If you want to climb the Col du Grand Colombier, you can find more information on how to train to climb the Col du Grand Colombier here.

Since 2005, the Col du Grand Colombier will be/was climbed in the following big tour stages:
Tour de France 2020 :  Lyon - Grand Colombier on 13/09/2020


Climbbybike difficulty score (134)
Ranking Jura mountains
Ranking France

Col du Grand Colombier via Artemare popularity rank : 287

The Col du Grand Colombier has been climbed by 8 climbbybikers. It is ranked No. 287 as the most climbed climb in the world.
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Col du Grand Colombier via Artemare: 10 reviews

Andrew H

I spend my holidays in Culoz and have climbed the Grand Colombier a number of time now. It has to be one of the most spectacular rides I have done. From the Culoz side there are a few kms of steady climbing and then you hit a series of severe virages (hairpins). The views of the Rhone and Lac du Bourget are very picturesque but more importantly they take your mind off your tired legs, After a number of unrelenting kms in the shade of the trees the final third of the climb is in the open again with spectacular views. The picnic bench at the summit is a welcome sight and the views take in Mont Blanc to the west and the hidden treasure of the Valromey Valley to the east. There is minimal traffic and one weekend per month the road is closed to allow cyclists to have exclusive access to the climb. Attempt it 4 times in one day from each of the four routes and join the few who are Grand Masters of the Confrérie des Fêlés (brotherhood of the crackpots) du Grand Colombier.

This should be on your "to do list" of climbs.


This is a very hard climb. Actually, this is due to 4kms after Virieu-le-Petit. It''s like riding a wall. After that, you may recover for about 1.5 kms and then there are 2 heavy kms till the summit. I rode it in hot conditions (31 C), which made me drink much water (5 liters). On top, great views, you can see the Mont Blanc massif.


I am living 11 KM from Culoz since the last 10 years and I did it yesterday for the first time, it was nice and long enough to give us the time to enjoy the magnificiant view! Now, the next challenge is to climb it two time in one day, so I will be able to present my candidature to be member of the "félés du colombier"


Did this climb two weeks after I''d seen it on the Tour. The pros make it look easy - believe me, it''s extremely tough; especially for an old boy in his fifties.

There were three or four times when I almost gave up, but the slightly flatter section between about 12 and 13 kms, gave me a second wind, but the final ascent was brutally painful.

However I made it and when my vision cleared, the views and sense of achievement were overwhelming.

Chris Patient

I did this climb from a short way above Virieu-le-Petit, on the same day that Le Tour de France 2012 came hurtling over Le Col du Grand Colombier up from the classic Culoz side and over to Belllegarde. I actually retraced the route from Bellegarde to the col just in time to see them power up over the pass. See my video clip on Climbby bike! The atmosphere was electric and I was spurred on by the spectators and the police anxious to keep the road clear; so much so, that I hardly noticed the steepness of the climb. At the top I was like a kid scrambling for handouts from the publicity caravan and energetically cheering Wiggins in the yellow jersey. Afterwards I joined the hundreds of other cyclists and caravans in a friendly mass descent back down the extremely steep road to Anglefort, which is another side to climb the grand Colombier!


I totally agree with Jules B! Extremely tough ride from this side. But in my opinion, Ventoux is much easier. Ventoux is longer, but with more parts which are not so steep, so where you can get a bit of relaxation. Only the final few kilometers of Ventoux are as steep as this Colombier. Because you already climbed 25 kms on Ventoux, you''ll experience them as undoable.

Jules B

Assuming this is the nightmarishly difficult side of the Grand Colombier, which winds through the forests above Virieu-le-Petit, with often unfeasible steepness, I did this climb last Summer (August 2009). What the stats above fail to mention is that there are a number of lengthy stretches at 22% gradient, which make this route up the Grand Colombier the legend it has become. I did the climb on an old bike of my fathers, but fortunately sporting a triple chainset, and found it extremely tough. Ive never done Ventoux, but this climb must surely rival it as a challenge, and surpass it in terms of sheer brutality of gradient. In some places, just forcing the pedals round one more revolution was a major feat. Views from the top are stunning, of a beautiful area which (thankfully) is largely undiscovered by tourists and the overseas cycling masses. I saw one other cyclist at the top, and then descended via the Culoz route, which is a slightly shallower but still very substantial climb, and a route popular with local racers and events, born out by the extensive chalkings on the road. Strongly recommend any of the four climbs up Colombier, as well as cycling in general in this beautiful part of France.

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