Cycling Col de Pailhères Usson Les Bains

Register now!
download mobile appAndroid app
download mobile appMobile site
partner of

Col de Pailhères - Usson Les Bains

picture Col de Pailhères

Basic data & ranking

Average grade: 8.1 %

Length: 14.9 km

Altitude start: 794 m

Altitude top: 2001 m

Ascent: 1207 m

Col de Pailhères rankings

Difficulty ranking world: 539 (all)
Ranking France: 96 (all)
Difficulty score: 138.88 what?

Col de Pailhères ratings

(4.9)  Overall

(4.2)  Road

(4.8)  Traffic

(2.8)  Amenities

(5)  Surroundings

(rate it)


The Col de Pailhères is situated in Languedoc-Roussillon. Starting from Usson Les Bains, the Col de Pailhères ascent is 14.9 km long. Over this distance, you climb 1207 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 8.1 %.

Look for other sides to climb the Col de Pailhères.

Since 2005, the Col de Pailhères will be/was climbed in the following big tour stages:
Tour de France 2007 :  Mazamet > Plateau-de-Beille on 22/07/2007

Did you
climb the Col de Pailhères?

tell us your story
publish your chrono
calculate power and calories
publish pictures or video
Profile & route

profile Col de Pailhères - click to open in new window

profile Col de Pailhères

open big profile of the Col de Pailhères in a new window

Click here to open detailed route.

Location info

Find climbs close to the Col de Pailhères: within 10 km - within 20 km - within 50 km

Stories, information and comments from Col de Pailhères climbers
Story by Rob & Pete from , France, submitted on 21/09/2016
Robert and Peter arrived in Ax-les-Thermes on a sunny and warm day to take on the Mighty Col de Pailhères. The Felts F5&6 were untethered from the car and made ready for the start. As we train together all year this was going to be a battle all the way to the top. Porridge was cooked up in the back of the car and we were ready for the off. The first few Ks are fairly easy and we stayed together. However, as the road kicked up a touch, Robert made his move and pushed on. The middle part of this climb lulls you into a sense of relaxation as some of it appears to go downhill but beware, the top half of the climb is really tough. After the first four or so Ks the road is virtually traffic-free, except for the odd limousine cow wandering aimlessly across the road or trying to climb a sheer rock face! The weather was kind to us, very warm as Robert made it to the summit first and waited a while for Peter to arrive. A quick chat, drink and nosh at the top and we set off back down to Ax. What started out as a fairly leisurely descent turned into an eyeballs out ride as we were joined by a Frenchman who was no slouch at descending, though he could not shake us off – hard as he tried. The trio arrived safely at the bottom, somehow.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Patrick Cusack from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 03/09/2014
I rode to this from Pamiers trying to emulate my tdf heroes!! I passed over a Cat 2 Col after the Garmin sent me the wrong way and added 20k''s! I was due to finish on Ax-3-Domaines. It was a real murky August day, only adding to the aura.

In a thick mist I rolled into Usson, making the derelict baths even more eerie, and the road more foreboding. As I departed the gradient increased and doesn''t relent until just before Mijanes. (Mind the loose chipping here). It drops for about 1k, then BOOM! 8,9,10,''s unrelenting! Then another brief respite, before it saps every last idea of aspiration from your legs. No visible summit to inspire your bravery, just the thinning air to further immerse you into your own mortality!

I bonked big time! I was gutted, but in reflection to have climbed this Queen of Cols, I feel pretty proud. Needless to say I''ve left 3-Domaines for another year.

After climbing this I can see why the pro''s dope!

No cafe, till the descent into Ax - cash only. Careful going down, there''s lots fallen debris from above.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Graham from Isle of Man, United Kingdom, submitted on 22/06/2014
Cracking ride. In 2013 tour it surprised some. It''s not easy! Loads of switchbacks and some steep sections. Don''t ask when will the summit come. It never comes. It just keeps going and going. We passed masses of snow in mid June. Don''t go too hard as the last couple of k''s are the toughest. It is very very cold at the summit. The descent is awesome and beautiful. Pair it with col de choiula just outside ax les thermes on a loop from usson les bains. Stunning
My personal climb rating:
Story by CGM from , France, submitted on 27/04/2012
This is one of my local rides and I do it 3 or 4 times a year. I will of course have a local bias, but I think this is one of the most under-rated climbs in the Pyrenees, if not all of France. It is tough - consistently and unrelentingly steep. It is quiet, apart maybe from tourist traffic in the middle of summer, but then you get a lot of applause from said tourists at the top. It is ruggedly attractive terrain, with different moods and aspects, especially if you start back in Axat (12 km before Usson-les-Bains). The start is sudden, steep and quite brutal – it is over 9% for almost 2 km before the respite of a km or so going through Rouse. The gradient steadily steepens again to Mijanes after which the gradient virtually never drops below 8%. The section before the Mijanes ski-station feels interminable and can be very hot as there is no tree cover here. There is one last "easy" section (only 7%) for half a klik before you hit the hairpins. Although from here on up it is consistently 8-9% (more in places), climbing through all the hairpins is quite exhilarating and so this part never feels as bad. In my opinion, this climb, although not quite as long as Mont Ventoux, the Galibier or the Tourmalet, is a tougher proposition.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Jonathan Shannon from New York, United States, submitted on 08/03/2010
It is a very difficult climb, especislly when you factor in the hi winds, poor road conditions, and cold weather, even in August. A real leg breaker, especislly if one arrives having done other nesrby cols. Wow!!!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Cloughhaiplig from FL, Afghanistan, submitted on 11/01/2009
Are you in debt? With this economy lately its almost a given that everyone is in some sort of debt. How would you like to be out of debt in no time. Dont fall for those debt consolidators. Here is an offer that will allow you to make extra money while you do your regular daily activities. All it takes is just a few minutes to set up your campaigns and then you are off to start making money from home. You will literally be getting paid from Google. So its like you are an employee of Google. As you know Google is the number 1 search engine on the net. So you know they will always pay and pay on time. Never have to worry about not getting paid. This technique you will not have to have any knowledge of websites, computers, and etc. all you have to know how to do is set up how to get your money. I know you have probably saw several offers like this before however never do you find ones where you can literally work for Google. Here is your chance to be hired by Google and start making unlimited amount of cash. The amount you make is completely up to you. You work more you make more simple as that. Still dont believe me? Well check out this article in this online news site about real people making this money
My personal climb rating:
Story by kingrichards from Hohenems, Afghanistan, submitted on 15/09/2009
Hi everyone, Im Ziang I dont speak that well of english so I am learning and signing in to help forum and maybe learn some good enlish too,,lol
My personal climb rating:

Tell us your story too! Or send your story in your own language: NL -  FR -  DE -  ES

Send your story on the Col de Pailhères:

Did you climb the Col de Pailhères? Please send your cycling story, description or comments. You can also send us video's or send us pictures on the Col de Pailhères.

Name *

Email *


Country *

Your general rating *

Traffic *

Road condition *

Amenities *

Surroundings *

Subscribe newsletter

Your comment/story *


profile Col de Pailhères

open big profile Col de Pailhères in new window

Google Earth 3D map Col de Pailhères title=

Col de Pailhères from Usson Les Bains in 3D, on Googleearth!

picture of the Col de Pailhères
More Col de Pailhères images in our picture gallery!

© climbbybike™ All rights reserved 2005 -