Col du Tourmalet - Campan (Pyrenees)

Start Town Altitude (m) Elevation Gain (m) Length (km) Gradient (%) Difficulty Rating
Campan 2115 1455 23 6.3 1424 *****

Col du Tourmalet - Campan Profile
Click on the profile to enlarge (🔍)

Col du Tourmalet from Campan is the more challenging side of the climb. Many people believe that the climb only properly begins in Sainte-Marie-de-Campan, as the first few kilometres are so gentle, and this produces a deceptively low average gradient. The main challenge in this climb is the final 10km which average close to 9% gradient. There is very little respite here and they have caused many professional and amateur cyclists to crack.

Roads & Traffic

The road surface is in very good condition throughout.

The climb is not especially busy, but expect to be passed by a car every minute or so.

Climb Description

Col du Tourmalet - Campan

Col du Tourmalet is the most used climb in the Tour de France, having appeared in the vast majority of editions of the race. It is one of the most revered and celebrated climbs in professional cycling and it is rightly at the top of many cyclists to-do list of great ascents.

The climb from Campan is the more challenging and the least scenic of the two sides - although there are still parts of the climb that have outstanding views - particularly towards the top. The ski resort of La Mongie situated 5km from the top is where Tour de France stage finishes are generally held (due to the limited room at the top), and unfortunately this is something of an eyesore which is a blot on the stunning landscape. To find out more about the climb, read our article about climbing Tourmalet.

Tourmalet is usually the last of the passes to open in the Pyrenees. Some years it can be open by May, whereas in others it does not open until the end of June. Even if there is no sign of snow, the road can be closed for repair work early in the cycling season. In general though, it is normally fine to ride from early June to late October.

Other sides

Col du Tourmalet can also be climbed from the west, beginning in Luz-Saint-Sauveur.

Nearby Climbs

Luz Ardiden
Cirque Gavarnie
Col de Troumouse
Col d'Aspin
Hourquette d'Ancizan
Col d'Aubisque


Col du Tourmalet is a highlight of our Pyrenees Coast to Coast and Best Of The Pyrenees cycling holidays.