Travel guide to the top of Col de Pause in the Pyrenees

Col de Pause is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.542m (5,059ft) above the sea level, located in the Ariège department of the region of Occitanie, in France.

Col de Pause

Set high in the Pyrenees mountain range, near the Spanish border, the road to the summit is stunning. It’s totally unpaved. It’s called Route Forestiere du Port d’Aula. Built in the 1970s, it’s said to be one of the most beautiful roads in the Pyrenees. The drive is extremely challenging, very narrow (impassable for 2 cars at the same time) and with dozens of hairpin turns.

Tucked away on the southwestern part of the country, the road to the summit is very steep, hitting a 14% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Starting at Couflens, the ascent is 9 km (5.5 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 834 meters. The average gradient is 9.26%.