photos by: Francis     
In the northern French Alps, this is more or less a three-sided pass, with the less scenic and much harder Glandon forming the third side.
On the north side there is also an alternative route over the Mollard, which is worth exploring even if not the first choice.

Croix de Fer is one of the most beautiful of French passes, equally good ridden from either side.
It forms part of the popular Croix de Fer - Telegraphe - Galibier circuit, and is thus part of two well-known alpine cycling events, the Brevet Randonneur des Alps and the Marmotte.

Look out for the Col du Sabot, a new 2100m pass linking to the south side.