The road up to Luz Ardiden benefits from being opposite its big brother Tourmalet, both leading out of Luz St. Sauveur, the Tourmalet is busy with cars and riders, Luz Ardiden is more peaceful with quiet roads and beautiful views. You may even find yourself at the top of the mountain on your own!
This ride starts in Aucun, up the Cal d’Azun from Argeles Gazost, and runs down through the lanes to join the main road at Pierrefitte. The road climbs from the roundabout through the gorge all the way to Luz St Sauveur. The route has a little dog leg up to Viscos where there is a rougher route up the mountain, not the route taken by the Tour. You can ignore this, as it involves a 2km climb of 11%+.
Head through Luz St Sauveur, following signs for Luz Ardiden, which is on the right hand side of the valley as you approach the town. On the way back down turn left/straight on at the mini roundabout at the bottom and head back down the valley. The route ends in car park by Lac des Gaves.
To toughen the ride you can add the Hautacam after lunch at the lake… just follow the signs for the route Hautacam.