The Col de la Forclaz is not the hardest nor the highest pass in the Valais, but it is a pass that the Tour de France riders crossed in July 2016 on their way to the Emosson Dam. Not to be missed!
From Martigny, the pass begins with long straights through the vineyards. The asphalt is smooth and the sun is often shining strong on this section in the summer…careful not to push too hard in this first section! Little by little, the road becomes more shaded as it winds through forest and meadows. This wide road never seems too steep, but there are still a lot of meters to climb which makes the pass far from easy. Below, the city of Martigny begins to appear like a model as the panoramic view of the Rhone Valley widens. At the summit, the restaurant serves local specialities that will invigorate even the most fatigued!
Col de la Forclaz, 1527 m
Martigny, 502 m
Best time of year
Strictly respect the Swiss traffic rules. Please note that you are running the tour at your own risk and all liability is refused. Please be considerate to plants and animals. For your own safety, wear an helmet every time you ride a bike. Emergency numbers: 144 Ambulance / 117 Police / 1414 Helicopter Rescue (Rega).
The Forclaz pass connects Martigny – an ancient Roman site in the Rhone Valley – to the Trient Valley on the road to Chamonix. The pass, which rises to 1,526m, starts with a steady climb that rises bit by bit above the vineyards during the first few kilometres. From the route you can see the roads that lead to the Grand-St-Bernard Pass and Col des Planches, perhaps giving you some ideas for riding the next day before you even get to today’s summit! On a clear day you can see down the heart of the valley until Sion, and you can start guessing the names of the high peaks of the Val de Bagnes nearby. Once you arrive at the pass, you will enter into the world of the Trient Valley, calm and pristine. It will certainly make you want to venture deep within, especially as the Mont-Blanc Express train can get you back to Martigny without any effort.
all notes on protected areas
Public transport friendly
Arrive in Martigny by train easily from all Swiss towns and cities (SBB) or by the regional trains Railway Mont-Blanc & St-Bernard Express.
A9 Motorway, take the exit E27 autoroute Martigny/Grand St. Bernard. At the roundabout, follow signs towards Col de la Forclaz / Chamonix (France)