Monti della Luna - Colle della Scala

Journey time 81\2 hours
60 Km of paved road 140 Km of dirt road 200 Km in total

This route leads to the discovery of areas in the southernmost part of the Val Susa, also going along a very interesting section in neighbouring France. Starting from Sestriere the route descends to the valley along the old paved road coming from Grangesises. The route diverges from the main road close to the village of Bessen Bas, starting to go along the Valle della Ripa or Argentera on an easy dirt road. The return journey makes it possible to discover a scenically very interesting valley: the dirt road is very broad and practicable, so it is easy to reach the summit of the Grange del Gran Miol (2400m) and then descend on the right side, passing through the Grange Alpe Plane. At some of the Alpine farms, local products can be bought in order to take a lunch break. Going back to the valley along the same route, with a short section paved, Thures is reached and, from here, again on dirt road, the Grange Chabaud. Skirting Monte Corbioun (2430m) leads to the road for Lake Nero. From here a challenging stretch leads to the Rifugio Capanna Mautino and, along the ridge, to Colle Bercia (2248m) dominated by Monte Chaberton and its impressive fortification. The road descends westwards, through the Monti della Luna, down to Baita Gimont and, from here, to Clavière. Crossing the border on paved road, the route descends to Briançon: it is worthwhile taking a tour of the town’s historic centre which has fortifications dating back to the 15th century that were built with the help of France’s most famous military engineers such as Vauban, Séré de Rivieres and Maginot.
Here you double back and, at Les Albertes, enter the beautiful Valle di Nevache, to be followed for a long stretch with a lovely detour on dirt road to Val des Pres. A paved road leads to the junction for Colle della Scala (1778m): this is climbed followed by a descent to Bardonecchia. From here, along an endless dirt road in the Vallone di Rochemolles making a round trip, it is possible to reach Colle del Sommeiller (3000m). Returning to the paved road which leads to Oulx, the route then climbs to Sauze d’Oulx: lastly, along a dirt road, Colle Basset is reached, followed by a descent to Sestriere.