MTN/LAB 46°13’28”N 6°69’36”E
Col de Joux Plane
A summit lake made famous in the Tour de France
Col de Joux is a minor pass in the Haute Savoie area of the French Alps. Made famous by its many appearances in the Tour de France, it's a scenic drive that takes you from Morzine to Samoens.
The pass peaks at 1690m, not particularly high for the alps but it's a long, twisty climb from Samoens. Taking you through varied scenery from village to pasture and onto forests until it opens out as you reach the lake. Some particularly hazardous corners feature a drop off back to valley floor with spectacular views of the Samoens valley and beyond to Mt Blanc.
It's worth stopping at one of the hairpins to take the short steep walk up the trail (watch out for bikes, or cows) to the parasailing launch pad. Not for the vertigo sufferers.
Descending towards Morzine, you pass briefly near Plateau de Loex and the Les Gets bike park. Empty and quiet out of season, it's worth a stop in season to check out the vast array of mountain bikes and trails on offer.
The road descends through forest all the way to the outskirts of Morzine, with glimpses of mountains and unused ski lifts.