Col de Sencours is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.378m (7,801ft) above the sea level, located in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in the Occitan region of south-western France.
Located within the French Pyrenees, the road to the summit is totally unpaved. It can still be shut by snow at the end of June. The track starts at Col du Tourmalet summit. It’s a steep and loose-surfaced road, stunningly scenic with spectacular cliff edges and two short tunnels. The road was called the Old Toll Road (which is not a road). A large gate prevents users to go by car but a gate allows hikers and cyclists to pass. From the Col du Tourmalet it’s a dirt track full of stones that climbs for 11km, between 8-12%.
This road is totally impassable in winters. The road and the scenery are stunning. It's a taste of what Col du Tourmalet was like before it was sealed. From Col de Sencours the road continues on for 1.5km to Col de Laquets (2,637m), just below Pic du Midi. It's not a fantastic road surface, but it is fun to ride. Col Sencours retains the walls of a former hotel built in 1852, destroyed by an avalanche in the following year and rebuilt in 1856.
Pic: Raphaël Ehret