Luz Ardiden (Pyrenees)
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Roads & TrafficThe road surface is in very good condition throughout.
There is very little traffic on this climb.
Luz Ardiden is one of the most famous climbs in the Tour de France and also one of the most beautiful. Some of the greatest names in recent cycling history have raced away to victory on its distinctive final kilometres - home to the finest switchbacks in professional cycling (don't you dare mention Alpe d'Huez here!). Stage winners on Luz Ardiden include the rather inglorious duo of Lance Armstrong and Richard Virenque, as well as the legendary Spanish champions Miguel Induraín and Pedro Delgado.
Luz Ardiden is a challenging climb, but the gradient is quite steady with few sections that are really steep. The lower part of the climb leaves the scenic River Pau, starting from Napoleon's Bridge - a popular bunjee jumping spot. There are great views on the lower slopes looking back towards Luz-Saint-Sauveur and beyond - where you can see the majestic Col du Tourmalet rising up from the valley.
The real highlight, however, comes in the final 4km as you gradually get out of the trees and a series of exquisite switchbacks begin. They are revealed in all their glory from the car park at the top of the climb, where you can cheer fellow riders struggling their way to the top.
Luz Ardiden is open throughout the year in theory, to allow access to the ski resort. It is cold in winter though and short term closures are fairly common, so we recommend only doing the climb from June to October.
Other sidesLuz Ardiden can also be climbed via the village of Viscos.
Nearby ClimbsCirque de Gavarnie
Col du Tourmalet