Length: 17,9 km
Width: 5 m, 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 10): 7
Highest point: 1.566 m (5,138 ft)
Operating times: throughout the year
Route: from Valloire to Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne
Col du Télégraphe Road Description
The Col du Télégraphe is a mountain pass located at an elevation of 1.566 m (5,138 ft) above the sea level, in France. It’s placed in the Maurienne valley, between the eastern end of the massif d’Arvan-Villards and the Massif des Cerces. Part of the Route des Grandes Alpes, the pass also guarantees a scenic drive and an exciting road with plenty of twists and turns.
The pass received this name after Fort du Telegraph, a fort that stands at 1,585 m, and it can be reached via a small road, located to the north of the summit. It’s open to visitors only during the summer months. Back in the past, the fort was a telegraph, and it was used messages from Lyon to Milan and Venice.
The road traversing the Col du Télégraphe pass is the D902, and its surface is asphalted. It connects Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne to the north and Valloire to the south. Also, it creates an access point to the Col De Galibier. You can continue the drive with Col du Galibier, another spectacular route that drivers love. To reach the Col du Galibier, you should first climb the Télégraphe pass and the continue towards it.
In comparison, the Télégraphe pass offers a sinuous climb through forested roads, while the Galibier part runs above the tree line, so the routes are quite different. Either way, you will enjoy driving on both of them.
There are two routes you can take to reach the summit. One starts from Saint Michel de Maurienne and features an 11,8 km long ascent. The elevation gain over this distance is 856 m and the average percentage 7,3%. Starting from Valloire, the ascent will be 4,8 km long and the elevation gain only 165 m, with an average percentage of 3,4%.
The Col du Télégraphe road was part of the Tour de France several times. The first time happened in 1947, and since then this route is linked with cycling history. Even so, this is also a great road to drive. Drivers will love sliding on the hairpin twists this road has to offer and they will have 14 hairpin bends to drive on, as well as a steep slope. Also, the maximum gradient is 10%. Overall, this is an enjoyable road to drive.
Photo sources: https://motorcycle-diaries.com/en/roads/col-du-galibier-col-du-telegraphe, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Col_du_T%C3%A9l%C3%A9graphe, https://gavscyclingadventures.com/tag/col-du-telegraphe/