Route des Lacs (Pyrenees)

Start Town Altitude (m) Elevation Gain (m) Length (km) Gradient (%) Difficulty Rating
Saint Lary Soulan 2196 1376 24.4 5.6 1320 *****

Route des Lacs cycling Profile
Click on the profile to enlarge (🔍)

Route des Lacs is an inconsistent climb. It is very gentle for the first part as you head towards the Bielsa tunnel. After turning off the main road the gradients increase, but it is not until the final kilometres that they become consistently steep.

Roads & Traffic

The road surface is in good condition throughout.

Expect be passed by a car every minute or so on the first part of the climb, but it is a wide road and the traffic is not a nuissance. After turning off the main road there is little traffic - although it can become busier in the height of summer.

Climb Description

Route des Lacs cycling

Route des Lacs is one of the most spectacular cycling climbs that you will ever do. Bordering the Pyrenees National Park, the top of the climb is surrounded by several stunning lakes, which glisten delightful under the high mountain peaks which surround them. This protected status has prevented the Tour de France (and hefty following) from using the climb as a stage - but don't let that put you off riding here.

Route des Lacs is on the same mountain massif as the Col du Tourmalet and, if anything, it is even more visually impressive than its famous cousin. The road winds along a narrow gorge for the first part of the climb before reaching the first lake - Lac d'Orédon. From here the road splits - both ways are spectacular and we highly recommend doing them both if you have the time and energy.

Route des Lacs cycling

The profile above is for the right hand fork, heading towards Lac d'Aubert and Lac d'Aumar. This is probably the more scenic route, with incredible views as the road nearly plateaus in the final kilometre. It is difficult to put into words how enjoyable this climb is - you simply should do it! Here at Cycle Fiesta we have done a lot of great climbs throughout the world - but in terms of scenery there is nothing better than the final 5km of Route des Lacs. If it wasn't for the slightly busy section at the start of the climb, it would have a ****** rating.

Route des Lacs is usually open from late May until October.

Other sides

This is the only way to climb the Route des Lacs.

Nearby Climbs

Col de Portet
Col d'Azet
Pla d'Adet
Col d'Aspin
Hourquette d'Ancizan
Col de Peyresourde
Col du Tourmalet


Route des Lacs is climbed on our Best Of The Pyrenees cycling holiday.