Collado de Urkiaga
This is a parallel alternative to
the main road between St-Jean-de-Pied-de-la-Port
(France) and Pampalona (Spain) over Collado Ibaneta.
I think it's the nicer of the two options.
Urikiaga has even thicker forest on the Spanish
side, and some nice views on the French side.
Spellings of this name differ.
external slide show
SOUTH:north of Pamplona
2.(14.8km,0540m)profile turns left onto
4.(22.6km,0650m)jct with road to Collado
Oyalegui on left
5.(33.8km,0890m)TOP: Collado Urkiaga
7.(63.4km,0160m)START-END NORTH: St
Etienne de Baigorri
From South. The profile
starts at the turnoff from N135 north of Zubiri.
On a very hot day it might be helpful to know that
the gas station 400m after this turnoff has a
water facet on the outside. It was very helpful to
me, as I refilled all my water bottles on this 34
degrees C day.
Much of this climb is in deep forest, all of it
in some kind of forest. Some of the deepest forest
is where the road passes by an old industrial
ruin, a munitions factory. How quaint and peaceful
it looks today, with all reminders of the effects
of these explosives removed. The top is well
defined, and has various signs and picture maps,
so you can fit yourself into the landscape. There
is nothing to see of the actual thing, just close
From North. (described
downwards). However - on this side of the water
divide, trees are more selective in the slopes
they populate. Soon a far view stretches
downvalley, complete with mystery road cuts on the
green mountain faces in the distance.
The boundary of the two countries is not at the
summit, as is the case for Col de Ibaneta,
but partly down this approach. As the road crosses
into France the surface becomes much rougher and
narrower. Maybe the thinking is, that you don't
really want a good and fast highway to the gas
station on the Spanish side, that costs 30 percent
less than in France. But after the village Esnazu,
the road has reached the valley bottom, and a good
wide road leads slightly downhill - a good way to
make up for lost time on the climb or hanging
around a old munitions factory for too long.
A Dayride with this point as intermediate summit
is on page: Collado