Col d'Aspin - La Hourquette

The classic of the classics

From Arreau to Payolle

1 489 m | 12 km ascent | 6.4%

This road is one of the most mythical in the Hautes-Pyrénées. It has featured 73 times in the Tour de France, which last passed in July 2016. This tree lined climb, these switchbacks will take you through bucolic meadows and a magnificent verdant landscape right to the summit.

If you continue, you will descend in to the ski resort of Payolle, located at 1140 m, where you will discover its beautiful lake surrounded by fir trees, also known as "Little Canada".

The route

From Saint-Lary ride to Arreau (12 km). The route starts off to the north of Arreau at a height of 712 m. The climb offers beautiful vistas of the Aure valley.

After the summit, the road quickly descends to Payolle Lake in a little more than 5 km. If you are feeling brave, you can continue towards Campan and climb up to the Col du Tourmalet.

The profile

The ascent of the pass (12 km) starts at an altitude of 700 m (Arreau) with an average gradient of 6.5% finishing at 1,489 m meaning a height gain of 789m. The climb will take about 1 hour.


La Hourquette d’Ancizan

1 564 m | 10 km | 7,6%

Wild and amazing

La Hourquette (meaning small pass) connects Ancizan in the Aure valley to Campan in the Payolle valley. Borrowed three times by the cyclists (in 2016 last time), it is less crowded than the Aspin pass but is equally remarkable.

The route

From Saint-Lary, you need to join Ancizan (8 km). The climb starts at 812 m altitude. At the top, an extraordinary view of a very beautiful valley of the Arbizon massif and a descent to the lake of Payolle (1086 m) which meanders next to a tumultuous torrent.

This pass was recently borrowed by the Great Loop. For your return, you can follow by the pass of Aspin, go down on Arreau and join Saint-Lary.

The profile

The 10-kilometer climb starts from Ancizan at an altitude of 812 m with an average slope of 7.6% to end at 1 564 m or 757 m of elevation gain. It will take about 1 hour for the climb.