Length: 21.7 km (13,5 miles)
Width: 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 10): 7
Highest point: 1,732 m
Operating times: mid-April to November
Route: from Guardiola de Berguedà to Coll de Pradel
Coll de Pradell Road Description
Coll de Pradell is a high mountain pass, as well as a difficult and exciting road to drive. It rises to an elevation of 1,732m above the sea level, and it’s located within the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park, in the Spanish Pyrenees.
Both drivers and cyclists come here to test their skills. The road features steep sections, and it can be challenging to complete, but it’s worth it and those that did can confirm this to you. Drivers love a steep road that will test their capabilities and we bet you are one of them too.
This road is asphalted, but it also included a 400 meters sections covered with cement. This one is also the toughest stretch of road. Moreover, the road contains 23% gradient sections.
If you start the drive from the C-16 road, the elevation gain is 1,029 m, the average percentage 6,7% and the climb is around 15 km long. The first 7,5 km have an average gradient of 5,3%, and there also is a stretch of road where you will be descending. After this section of road, you will pass through Vallcebre. The next 6 km feature a 10,4% gradient and the final three of these include some stretches that feature a maximum gradient of even 23%. That’s quite something and it will add more excitement to driving on this road.
This is a tough climb, even when you’re driving. It’s one of the most challenging climbs in the region, and it has also been included in the Vuelta a España race, from Guardiola de Bergueda.
The road is in good condition, and there is very little traffic, giving you enough time to thoroughly enjoy this route. You can also do some sightseeing in the area. Besides the mountain landscape, near the summit, you will see an abandoned mine. Its railways and trains have been restored for touristic use. The Coll de Pradell closed during the winter seasons because of the heavy snowfall. It usually opens from mid-April until November when the weather conditions allow driving at high altitudes.
The scenery around Coll de Pradell is pleasant, but not spectacular. The lower slopes are more beautiful than the upper section, closed to the summit. Luckily, you will see both if you start your ascent from the bottom of the mountains and going towards the summit.
The beauty of the climb consists in its high gradients and diversity. You will also meet along your way many twists and turns that will add more adrenaline to your drive. It’s an enjoyable road that will give you a rush thanks to the high gradient and the altitude it gets you to. Overall, it’s a nice road to drive and you will surely enjoy it if you try it out.
Photo sources: https://www.bici-tienda.com/blog/puerto-de-coll-de-pradell/, https://montefuscocycling.blogspot.com/2019/11/coll-de-pradell-monster-climb-in.html, https://www.1001puertos.com/2019/04/coll-del-pradell-por-saldes.html?m=0