The Lautaret Mountain Pass

Col du Lautaret - La Grave - Villar d'Arène

This beautiful mountain pass, which looks towards the upper Romanche Valley, Villar d’Arène and La Grave on one side and the Guisane valley and Serre-Chevalier on the other, offers an exceptional panorama of peaks and glaciers that remains accessible by road even in winter.

At the Lautaret you get a wonderful view of the Meije Massif. The high mountains are right there next to you, just a short hike away. Even so, you can enjoy snow sports at any level on the slopes along the road, from classical sledging and airboarding, to ski touring or snowkiting.

Snow kiting

 

The Lautaret mountain pass is one Europe’s best spots for snowkiting. On a breezy day, a many-coloured acrobatic show is played out right next to the road.

These fields up high are a paradise of snow kiters. There’s plenty of wind and space enough to spread your wings.

 

I want to go snow kiting

Ski touring at the Lautaret Pass

 

 

Touring enthusiast can put their skis or snowshoes on as soon as the first snow falls, often as early as November, and keep going until May. When Captain Scott decided to test his motor driven sledges at the Lautaret in 1908 before setting out for the Antarctic it was with good reason. There he was sure to find real winter conditions.

 

 

The Lautaret Mountain Pass generally has good snow both early and late in the season and starting out at an altitude of 2057 m will get you up high in no time. You can go ski touring towards the Col du Laurichard, the Col des Clochettes, the Vallon de Roche Noire or the Col de Côte Plaine. Remember to check the itineraries as well as the weather and avalanche report before setting out. Don’t hesitate to go with a mountain guide or a ski instructor.

I want to go ski touring

Eating and sleeping at the Col du Lautaret

Would you like to spend time up there to enjoy view of the mountains and the glaciers? You can enjoy cocooning at the very comfortable Lautaret Lodge & Spa or have a delicious lunch at the Café de la Ferme. Five minutes below the Lautaret, in the village of Villar d’Arène, you will find all sorts of accommodation as well as restaurants and shops.

ROAD AND TRAFFIC CONDITIONS AT THE LAUTARET

During the whole winter snow tyres and / or snow chains are compulsory if you plan to drive over the Lautaret Pass.

The Pass may close in winter when stormy weather makes driving too difficult or when the avalanche risk is very high. Check the road conditions on the

Inforoute Hautes Alpes website

 


THE GALIBIER MOUNTAIN PASS

A few hundred meters above the Lautaret, the famous Galibier Pass will take you over to the Savoie and Haute Maurienne in summer.

In winter, generally from October to the end of May, the road over the Galibier mountain pass at 2642 m is closed. The area then becomes a popular playground for ski tourers, snowshoers and snow kiters. Starting out on the old Galibier road, a little below the top of the Lautaret Pass on the Serre-Chevalier side, they head towards the Pic Blanc du Galibier, the col du Galibier or the Mandette.

 

 


THE LAUTARET AND GALIBIER MOUNTAIN PASSES IN SUMMER

In summer cyclists, botanists and hikers enjoy these two scenic mountain passes. You can go walking in the Ecrins National Park, explore the flora of the world’s mountain areas in the Lautaret Garden or cycle the mythic mountain passes of the Tour de France.

 

Discover the Lautaret and Galibier Mountain Passes in summer