Route des Lacs

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
Saint Lary Soulan 2,196m 1,376m 24.4 km 5.6% 1,320 *****

Route des Lacs (Pyrenees)   Profile

Click on the profile to view in full screen (🔍)

Climb Description

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  Beautiful Scenery

All three lakes are well worth exploring

The profile above is for the right hand fork, heading towards Lac d'Aubert and Lac d'Aumar. This is 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!

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

Route des Lacs  - Pyrenees

These are some of the finest views in The Pyrenees

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 are significantly fewer vehicles - although it can be a bit busy in the height of summer, with hikers driving up to the lakes.

Overall, though the traffic is not much of a big deal here.

Alternative Routes

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

Nearby Climbs

Col de Portet

Col d'Azet

Piau Engaly

Pla d'Adet

Col d'Aspin

Hourquette d'Ancizan

Col de Peyresourde

Cycling Holidays

Route des Lacs is one of the highlights of our Best Of The Pyrenees cycling holiday.

Check out the information below for more details of this and some of the other tours that we run in high mountains.

Port de Pailheres Cycling
French FlagFrance

Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 9 Days
Level: Difficulty Hard
Price: €1,980 EUR
*Bike Hire Included

French FlagFrance

Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: €1,630 EUR
*Bike Hire Included

Lagos de Covadonga
Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: from €1,490 EUR