Cycling the Col de la Croix de Fer via Col du Glandon

Cycling the Glandon and Croix de Fer

This ride will take you over two infamous alpine passes in the Col du Glandon and the Col de la Croix de Fer. Both climbs make regular appearances in the Tour de France and are also featured in the famous Marmotte Cyclo Sportif race. This ride route is a loop that will take you first over the Col du Glandon before then reaching the summit of the Croix de Fer. You could of course choose to do this loop in reverse if you wish.

Suggested cycling route

Distance: 65km / 40.3mi

Start elevation: 574m / 1,883ft

Max elevation: 2,067m / 6,781ft

Metres climbed: 1,944m / 6,377ft

Metres descended: 1,944m / 6,377ft

Categorised climbs: 1

Steep gradients to overcome on your way to the summit

Whichever direction you choose, be warned each of these climbs feature double-digit gradients for long stretches. Nothing worthwhile comes easy though and you will feel a true champion once stood at the summit of the passes. Indeed cycling the Glandon and Croix de Fer is truly a bucket list ride in the French Alps.

Food and water

There are opportunities to refuel with both food and water at St Jean d’Arves as well as at the summits of the Croix de Fer.

Cycling the Glandon and Croix de Fer climbs is a challenging route, and in the heat of summer, you’ll want to make sure you don’t run out of either food or water.


  • This route of the Glandon and Croix de Fer takes in two Tour de France mountain passes in one ride. A fantastic achievement.
Gradient profile of Col du Glandon from La Chambre

Col du Glandon

Length: 21.3km / 13.2mi

Average gradient: 6.9%

Start point: La Chambre

Elevation at top: 1,924m / 6,312ft

Discover our comprehensive guide to Cycling in the French Alps

This ride of the Glandon and Croix de Fer is just one of many great cycling routes located in the French Alps. This mountainous area of the French Alps is very popular with cyclists who are looking to challenge themselves in the mountains.

If you are not familiar with the cycling available in the French Alps then our comprehensive guide will help you plan everything you need for your cycling holiday. The guide includes information such as:

  • a map of the French Alps with climbs and towns marked
  • where to base yourself whist on your cycling holiday
  • cycling hotels and lodges
  • bike hire outlets
  • getting to and from the main transport hubs in the French Alps, including public transport connections.
  • non-cycling attractions and activities in the region

Click here to see a list of cycling routes available in the French Alps.