Take An Unforgettable Drive to Étang de Soulcem in the Pyrenees
Étang de Soulcem is a high mountain reservoir at an elevation of 1.649m (5,410ft) above the sea level, located in the Ariège department of the Occitanie region of France, near the Andorran border.
Set high in the Pyrenees mountain range, the road to the artificial lake is pretty narrow and totally paved. Near the end are some challenging hairpin bends where you don't want to meet someone coming the other way. The road was built in 1980 and can be closed anytime due the snow. The area is prone to rock slides. At the end of the road is a parking lot, known as Parking du Chemin des Orris. It’s the starting point of a gravel road leading to the unfinished Port de Rat tunnel.
The road is pretty steep, hitting a 15% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Starting at Val-de-Sos, the road is 17.8 km (11.06 miles) long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 987 meters. The average gradient is 5.54%. The views are tremendous and well worth a trip.