alpe d'huez climb © lionel terrail

Montée de l'Alpe d'Huez

Do it at least once in your cycling life!

Altitude 1850 m 
Massifs des Grandes Rousses 
Département Isère




Plan your your bike ascent of Alpe d'Huez

The Alpe d'Huez climb (1850 m) has been climbed more than thirty times by Tour de France racers. Its reputation is as worldwide as it is indestructible! Initially, this climb was not included in the cols sur Route des Grandes Alpes ®. We decided to do something about it, to combine safety and passion. Safety, because the old route, via the D1091 and its tunnels to Lac du Chambon, is as difficult as it is dangerous to cycle. Passion because, after the Col de la Croix-de-Fer, we enrich the Saint-Jean d'Arves - Alpe-d'Huez variant through the Oisans with this legendary climb, immediately followed by the Col de Sarenne and its wild landscapes.

Alpe d'Huez climb by bike from Le Bourg-d'Oisans

Start: Le Bourg d'Oisans (camping de la Cascade 717 m) 
Distance: 14 km 
Altitude: 1850 m 
Height difference: 1133 m 
Average gradient: 8% 
Maximum gradient: 12% 
Tour de France® rating: hors catégorie


Alpe d'Huez ascent time (rounded) by bike from Le Bourg-d'Oisans

  • At 7 km/h: 2 h 00
  • At 11 km/h: 1 h 15
  • At 15 km/h: < 1 h
  • At 19 km/h: 45' (for the record the climb, set by Marco Pantani is 37' and 35'')


Map and profile of the Alpe d'Huez bike climb from Le Bourg-d'Oisans


Description of the ascent of Alpe d'Huez by bike from Le Bourg-d'Oisans

The ascent of the 21 bends of Alpe d'Huez (1850 m) has become the stuff of legend, a must in any cyclist's life. Without being the most difficult, it is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular, thanks to the Tour de France which has made it internationally famous. It's not for nothing that, from spring onwards, there are sometimes several hundred cyclists making the ascent every day.

Montée Alpe d'HuezThe 21 bends, numbered in descending order, represent a vertical drop of 1133 meters over 14 km and an average gradient of 8%. The road is wide, well-maintained and, while it doesn't offer scenery as breathtaking as other Alpine passes, the myth alone is enough to transport you into another dimension.

The adventure begins as soon as you leave Bourg-d'Oisans, at the Cascade campsite (717 m): 795 meters with an 11% gradient. Stay calm! As you pass the first and famous bend 21, you're about to alternate between the hard... and the very hard.

From bend 21 to bend 17, you're not exactly in for a laugh, with 1.5 km between 11, 8.5 and then 12%! From 17 to 15, you cross La Garde and this little hamlet allows you to recover with a passage between 6.5 and 7%.

From 15 to 12, between Ribot d'en bas and Ribot d'en haut, it gets tougher again between 8.5 and 9%. From 12 to 7, for just under 3 kilometers, you breathe for a tiny moment on a 7% passage before climbing again between 8 and 9.5%.

Eglise St Ferreol

At number 7, known as the "Virage des Hollandais", you pass the church of St-Ferréol on a small flat section. 1140 m at 8%, which you will find long, separates turn 7 from turn 6. But the crossing of Huez and the view of Alpe d'Huez, high above, will do your spirits good.

From 6 to 5, recovery for just over 500 m. Then just under 500 m at 9.5% between 5 and 4. From 4 to 1, you'll suffer again with 1800 m at 8 to 10%. But don't be fooled into thinking that the last section, after turn 1 to the entrance to the Vieil Alpe district, will be easy. Fortunately, from number 0 to the finish - a good 1.5 kilometers - you'll enjoy a flat section on the Boulevard de l'Étendard, between two 6% sections. Smile, you've (finally) arrived!


Conseils pour préparer la montée de l'Alpe d'Huez

This wide, well-maintained road is also a route frequented by all types of motor vehicles: motorcycles, cars, camper vans, buses and delivery trucks. Add to this the southern exposure throughout the climb: it's not for nothing that the Alpes d'Huez slogan has long been "The island in the sun". To avoid the inconveniences associated with pollution and heat, we therefore strongly advise you to undertake the climb early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Our advice:

  • Unlike other passes, we're not in a high-mountain universe here. Even if weather precautions must be respected, the main thing is to avoid overheating and cravings, by staying hydrated and nourished throughout the climb.
  • You're about to arrive at a large, multi-level resort. Make sure you know where your accommodation or objective is beforehand. There's no point wasting too much time when you're already sufficiently baked.
  • Your bike and personal equipment must be carefully chosen, prepared and maintained. Discover the equipment you need to ride Route des Grandes Alpes ®.
  • Finally, if you want to be well looked after and take advantage of services such as luggage porterage, accommodation booking, possibly accompaniment and bike rental... go with a specialist travel agency, who will organize everything for you: Discover which specialist to go with on Route des Grandes Alpes ®


Weather conditions for the Alpe d'Huez climb

Montée Alpe d'Huez

The Alpe d'Huez ascent is a major tourist route open all year round. Like other mountain roads, it is not totally safe from being cut off due to a landslide, but , in this case, you will be quickly warned by the road signs.

To find out the weather on the route and at Alpe d'Huez, consult

To find out what time of year set off on Route des Grandes Alpes ®


Recommended equipment for the Alpe d'Huez climb

Take two full water bottles with you, especially if it's hot. This will prevent you from cutting short your effort, for example at the water point at the church of St-Ferréol (turn 7). Don't forget to take a few energy bars, as you'll be putting in a lot of effort.

With an electric bike, set off with your battery fully charged. It would be a shame to run out of power on the climb.

Finally, for your personal equipment and your bike, don't forget to consult our bible: "What equipment do you need to ride Route des Grandes Alpes ®?"

Services at Alpe d'Huez

As one of France's largest resorts, Alpe d'Huez offers almost every shop and service. It's packed with hotels, restaurants, sports and food stores, and more. You can find a spa, recharge your electric bike, have a gourmet meal, get a tan, go to the cinema or swimming pool...


Access to the Alpe d'Huez climb

SNCF railway stations and bus stations

  • Grenoble (38)
  • Le Bourg d'Oisans (bicycle transport by bus on the T75 line: find out more here

Road access

  • D1091 from Vizille to Briançon


Those who have done it speak best of it!

Laurent Alpe Huez
Crédit photo Laurent - Le chasseur de cols !

L'Alpe d'Huez, that's just mythical! It's tough, it was my first time and my first pass on the route (Tour de l'Oisans), in the cold, with 30 degrees in Bourg d'Oisans. The first hairpin bends were terrible, with sections at 12-13%. The finish in the resort is a bit "paumatic" but we eventually find the famous Rond-Point and raise our arms as if we'd won the stage! Lionel Terrail

I've climbed Alpe d'Huez several times in the summer, but this time, in October, it was a different experience. The peaks were dusted with snow, the trees blazing red and gold. Usually, I find this climb noisy and crowded, but that day, in the autumnal calm, I felt an unexpected peace. Magical. Axel with Nora

I wasn't at the top of my game and was apprehensive. But, armed with my trusty 39 x 28, I was pleasantly surprised on the steepest slopes. Especially as the turns offered precious respites. When I reached the summit, I felt more than a cyclist; I felt like a conqueror. Léo

Once at the top, I took a moment to savor the victory. I enjoyed a cereal bar while admiring the scenery, then got ready for the descent. A release after the intensity of the climb. Anne-Sophie

After the descent, the return to my car marked the transition from the extraordinary to the everyday. For the others, it was an ordinary day. For me, it was the day I conquered Alpe d'Huez, a feat that will forever be etched in my memory. Gabriel

I thought I'd already faced the worst with Ventoux, so I underestimated Alpe d'Huez. I was wrong! I set off too late in the day and found myself climbing under a blazing sun, with the mercury approaching 32 degrees. The heat was overwhelming, and every pedal stroke was a battle against the temperature as much as the slope. Nicolas Videlaine



What's the record for climbing Alpe d'Huez by bike? 
Since 1997, Marco Pantani has always had the fastest time: 37' 35'' (23.08km/h). In 2022, the top three overall, Jonas Vingegaard, Tadej Pogacar and Geraint Thomas, climbed the 21 bends in 39' 08''.

Why is the Alpe d'Huez climb nicknamed the "Dutch Mountain"?
Because the Dutch are always massed in great numbers at bend number 7, known as the "Dutch Bend". But above all because, since Joop Zoetemelk in 1976, it's the Netherlands who have the most wins at Alpe d'Huez.

In which massif is Alpe d'Huez located? 
In the Oisans massif, the leading tourist destination in the Isère department. Note that in Oisans, in addition to the Alpe d'Huez ascent, you have a choice of numerous ascents: Col du Glandon (1924 m), Col du Lautaret (2057 m), Col de la Croix de Fer (2064 m), Col de Sarenne (1999 m). To find out about opening dates reserved for cyclists (Oisans Col Series), follow our social networks: Facebook and Instagram


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