The summit is at an altitude of 2,001 metres, and is located on the secondary road D25 between Mijanès (south-eastern) and Ax-les-Thermes (western).
Starting from Mijanes, the Col de Pailhères is 10.6 km long. Over this distance, the climb is 871 m. (an average percentage of 8.2%) with a maximum gradient of 10.2%.
Starting from Ax-les-Thermes, the Col de Pailhères is 18.6 km long. Over this distance, the climb is 1281 m. (an average percentage of 6.9%) with a maximum gradient of 10.4% near the summit.
The climb has been used in four stages of the Tour de France cycle race in 2003, 2005, 2007 (14th stage), and 2010 (14th stage).