Lagunas de Neila, an iconic Vuelta a España climb
Lagunas de Neila is a high mountain glacial lake at an elevation of 1.873m (6,145ft) above the sea level, located in the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castile and León, in north-central Spain. The climb is very steep, with sections up to 17%.
The road to the lagoon, located Within the Lagunas Glaciares de Neila national park, is paved but pretty narrow and steep. The road can be closed anytime due to snow and ice. Snow is reasonably common from December to March. The drive is definitely worth it. There are many excellent photo opportunities. Last 1.3km are usually closed to motor vehicles (you’ll need to park on a parking lot called parking de las Lagunas de Neila and walk the last 1300m).
The lagoon has been climbed by the Spanish Vuelta bicycle race. Starting from the BU-822 road, the ascent is 4.3km long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 466 meters with an average gradient of 10,83%, but with sections up to 17%.