the Izoard pass the emblematic route of the alps!

The Col de l'Izoard, the grandiose gateway to the Queyras, is revealed! Come and make the ascent, observe the immensity of the landscape and enjoy the winding road. La Casse déserte is an atypical geological feature, and a change of scenery is guaranteed.

Between the Briançonnais and Queyras regions, the Col de l'Izoard is a must for visitors and the Tour de France alike. The pass is open to traffic after the snow melts around the end of May.

The iconic Col de l'Izoard

Perhaps you're wondering what the altitude of the Col de l'Izoard is?

It culminates at an altitude of 2360m, which is why it offers a panorama worthy of a summit. Alongside the Galibier and the Lautaret, it is one of cycling's myths. Often used by the Tour de France peloton, it's a name that holds a special place in the collective imagination. L'Izoard is on the route of the Grandes Alpes, an itinerary linking Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean. Every year, it plays host to at least one famous cycling race, the most famous of which is the Tour de France.

The Col de l'Izoard is also famous for the barren landscape of the Casse Déserte, the most legendary part of this great pass. From Briançon, a 19.2-kilometer ascent awaits you.

L'hiver en Izoard - Col de l'Izoard en automne - Tempier C. ADDET Tempier C. Hautes Alpes

Through the seasons on the Izoard pass

Col d'Izoard - Casse déserte - Tempier Cédric Tempier C. Hautes Alpes

at the gateway to Queyras Park

The Col de l'Izoard, one of the gateways to the Parc Naturel Régional du Queyras, is the gateway from Briançonnais to Queyras. 

From the top of the pass, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Queyras and Ubaye, as well as the Ecrins Massif and Pelvoux. You may even catch a glimpse of the Swiss Alps, Mont Blanc and Mont Viso. From Briançon to Queyras, after the pass, you pass the deserted casse. It's an impressive stony scree offering a lunar landscape, and a stop here is a must!

The Izoard pass its history

The road was first laid out in Vauban's time. As early as 1710, it appeared on maps and was made passable between 1893 and 1897. At first, it was a strategic military route to protect the French-Italian border. On August 12, 1934, the stele at the pass was inaugurated by the Touring Club de France and the Briançonnais and Queyras tourist offices. It pays tribute to General Baron Berge and the troops who built the Col de l'Izoard road.

The Tour de France is now part of the history of this mythical pass. It has been crossed 36 times, the first in 1922.

Col d'Izoard - Tempier C. Hautes Alpes Tempier C. Hautes Alpes

Through the seasons for all tastes!

Col d'Izoard - Morattel S. Mythical hikes
Col Izoard _ Alpesphotographies Cyclists
Col d'Izoard by bike - Domeyne P. High Alps Ascension
Col de l'Izoard sunrise - Balacé A. Sunrise
Col d'Izoard in winter - Tempier C. Hautes Alpes Spectacular
Col de l'Izoard autumn- Papa Aurélien Autumn and winter

The Izoard pass in summer

In summer, the Col de l'Izoard is accessible by road from around the end of May. By bike, motorcycle, car or even on foot, which option will you choose? 

Surprising landscapes and a rich natural, architectural and historical heritage make the pass a must-see in the region. 

You'll be amazed by the views from the summit. The Col de l'Izoard is one of the best options for gaining altitude around Briançon. There are two ways to climb it: the 19-kilometer ascent on the Briançonnais side, or the 15.9-kilometer ascent on the south side.

You're probably wondering what the difference in altitude is on the Col de l'Izoard? It depends on which side you choose. If you set off on the north side from Briançon, you'll need to allow for 1170 m of positive ascent. If you opt for the south-facing slope from Guillestre, you'll need to allow for 1440 m of ascent.

Col de l'Izoard - Alps photos Col de l'Izoard - Alpes Photographies

the most to get organized

Picto mountain - Canva

Pass opening

The Col de l'Izoard road is open to traffic from late May to late October, depending on snow conditions.

Neck opening info
Picto route

How to get here

From Briançon, take the D902 towards Cervières/Col de l'Izoard. When you reach the charming village of Cervières, take the road on your right towards Le Laus. It takes about 50 minutes by car to reach the pass from Briançon. In summer, the Col de l'Izoard is accessible to cars, motorcycles, bicycles, coaches and camper vans. In winter, hikers and skiers are king.

Picto Parking

Where to park

You can park in the Casse déserte parking lot.

Panoramic view of the Col d'Izoard - Tempier C. Hautes Alpes Tempier C. Hautes Alpes

The Izoard pass in Winter

In winter, the Col de l'Izoard gives way to gentle activities. On foot, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or ski touringyou can climb the emblematic pass and discover one of the most beautiful panoramas in the Alps.

Looking for an alternative to skiing? Look no further than the pedestrian/snowshoe itinerary from Cervières to the Col de l'Izoard. Don't forget to make a gourmet stop at the refuge Napoléon before starting your descent.

The little extra: you can go down the pass on a toboggan or snooc! Fun and magic guaranteed! At nightfall or on a full-moon evening, the descent offers a memorable experience.


Why not take a break at the refuge Napoléon?

If your ambition is to climb the Col de l'Izoard, don't forget to stop off at the refuge! For a lunch break, a beer on the way down, or to enjoy the scenery longer by sleeping overnight at the refuge!

Between Briançonnais and Queyras, it's on the mythical Col de l'Izoard that you can make an incomparable stop at the Refuge Napoléon.

But why is it called the Refuge Napoléon? The reason is simple: the refuge was built during the reign of Napoleon III in 1858, thanks to a bequest from Napoleon 1st.

Le Refuge Napoléon welcomes you to sample their gourmet home cooking, featuring mountain specialities made with local and/or organic produce, such as lamb from Cervières, tourtons from Champsaur, cheeses from Queyras and much more!

For the refuge section, 6 cosy rooms are available for a peaceful stay in Izoard!

I book at the refuge Napoléon

Refuge Napoléon - Domeyne P. High Alps © Domeyne P. High Alps

Major events on the Izoard

Cross-country skiing Cervières - Nordique Tempier C. Hautes Alpes

Intégrale Izoard

In winter, the pass is climbed on skis. During the Intégrale Izoard, the mythical pass is exceptionally groomed from the village of Arvieux (Queyras) or the village of Cervières. On a few days during the winter, the two Nordic sites are linked, much to the delight of skiers.

Cervières Nordic ski area
Col d'Izoard by bike - Domeyne P. High Alps

Reserved collars

Set off to tackle the iconic Col de l'Izoard without any car traffic - that's the promise of the reserved cols. Between 9:00 and 12:00 the road is closed to traffic in both directions and becomes a paradise for cyclists. With no registration or ranking, the cols réservés operation is open to all.

Cols réservés - The Great Passes Tour
Picto events - canva

All our events

All year round, the Hautes Vallées - La Grave, Clarée, Izoard - are on the move! Discover our major sporting and cultural events