Col de la




March 1st 2013





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Switzerland - France

Col de la Forclaz

period opened


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GPS - coordinates

the whole year


Martigny - Chamonix Mont Blanc

42 km 

N 46°03´31”    E 007°0´08”



detailed pass road map  detailed pass road map

picture collection  picture collection


Googlemaps pass road map  Google Maps map

Panorama view Col de la Forclaz summit

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The Col de la Forclaz pass road has its starting point on the western end of the canton of Valais in Martigny and is the main link between Switzerland and France, which is led over a mountain pass. Martigny is also the entrance to the Grand Saint Bernard Pass. You just need to ride in the roundabout one exit further on and you will end up in Italy. We are in the three country corner of Switzerland, Italy and France.

The pass is the main traffic artery between Martigny in the canton Valais and Chamonix in France and is heavily frequented and regularly used by French motorbikers. So its no wonder, why the Swiss police is doing radar checks so often on that pass road. As we crossed the pass, we saw them three times.

The pass roads begins in Martigny in a roundabout and then winds up in long lines passing through leisurely serpentines changing direction in the vineyards above Martigny. Its worth a stop, since you can enjoy an excellent view into the Valais valley, where you even, on a good day, can almost see the Aletsch Glacier.

Halfway up, the road becomes curvy and disappears several times in a sparse coniferous forest. The pavement of the pass road is excellent on the Swiss side, which however cannot be said on the French side.

The crest of the pass is reached from Martigny in about 20 minutes. A small inn with beer garden, a bikers meeting point and a little gift shop adorn the transition at 1,526m altitude.  From here on, the road runs in three serpentines down to the town of Trento. The good road surface tends to go dashing, but be careful. It is recommended that speed limits habe to be strictly observed.

After the village the road runs through a tunnel and then hits the French border. From here on, the road is much narrower and in a disastrous layout. If a camper comes towards you, you nearly end up almost in the side ditch. The end of the Col de la Forclaz pass road is then reached in Vallorcine, where the pass enters directly into the Col des Montets.

Recommended regional links about Col de la Forclaz