Trek Travel’s #3 Greatest Ride In The World.
Any fan of the Tour de France has heard of the iconic climb, Alpe d’Huez.
Discover this ride on our Classic Climbs: The Alps trip.


With the name comes images of cycling greats battling each other while ascending the 21 switchbacks to the village of Alpe d’Huez.

The climb itself is 13.8km long at an average gradient of 8.1%, gaining 1135m of climbing. Each switchback has a plaque counting down the turns so you don’t forget, while offering inspiration of previous tour winners and their year. There are two podiums to showcase your feat of ascending the Alpe, one is in the town, and the other is at the official finish line of the Tour de France. Our route will take us on a similiar path as the 100th of Edition of the tour in 2013 tour, which ascended the Col de Sarenne. This Col is little known, but offers the cyclist stunning views of La Meije, Les Deux Alpes, and the surrounding Haute Alpes. The descent to the Lac du Chambon is stunning, and we pass through stunning villages. Once at the Lac we have one more climb back to the village of Les Deux Alpes.

“The trip was a once in a lifetime experience. Ridiculously pretty scenery, great hotels and great food. All experienced in I believe the best way possible, by riding through the French Alps by bike.”

-Andrew, Trek Travel Guest

Three Things You Need to Know

While climbing Alpe d’Huez is every cyclists dream, in the summer time, the village of Alpe d’Huez is extremely busy with tourists, and the road is usually full with cyclists and vehicles.

During the summer months, it is best to tackle Alpe d’Huez earlier in the day versus later in the day. The combination between high temperatures and late afternoon thunderstorms can make the ascent a true adventure. If you are wanting to tackle Alpe d’Huez to see your fastest time, it is best to experience it the first time at a comfortable pace and to take in the views, the switchbacks, and the crowds. This will allow you to understand the climb better, along with knowing where the finish of the Tour de France line is located. Then, your second attempt, if you are going for your Personal Record, you are able to really go for it!

There are numerous places to refuel on today’s ride, but it is best to refuel before you begin your ascent of the Alpe. Once on top of Alpe d’Huez, it is another great time to refuel. There are limited services between Alpe d’Huez and Mizoën.

Local Resources

At the finish line of the in the village of Alpe d’Huez is the Trek Store. This is one of our favorite locations to purchase an Alpe d’Huez cycling kit, and or some form of memorabilia reminding you of your famous ascent. At times, they have medals that you can purchase to remind you of your climb.

In Alpe d’Huez Tourism office, one is able to purchase a certificate that you can have officially stamped to show your time up Alpe d’Huez. It is a great way to immortalize your ascent up this famous climb!

If cycling back up to Les Deux Alpes is not for you. After your ascent up Alpe d’Huez and the Col de Sarenne, you could descend back to the valley floor, make a left onto the D 530 to Venosc and then for a few Euro’s, you can take a ride in the Telecabin back to Les Deux Alpes. It is a great way to achieve longer descent, with less uphill effort.

Discover this ride on our Classic Climbs: The Alps trip.

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