Mountain biking in the French Alps

The Portes du Soleil offers 650 km of MTB tracks across France and Switzerland including 8 permanent downhill tracks, 4 bike parks, Bike Schools and trial areas. Between the end of June and the beginning of September 24 ski-lifts can take you up the mountains and when you are tired, you can also take the bus.

Choose the trail to suit your skill: from green runs to black, there’s something for everyone.
Green: ideal for beginners
Blue: a bit more of a challenge
Red: are for those not lacking the skill!
Black: for experienced riders only

19 tracks are looked after by the ‘Bike patrol’, 8 guys who look after the tracks, the riders, safety and first aid. They are there to help in any way.

The Mountain bike park at Pré-le-Joux offers not ordinary bike tracks but a series of specially built MTB tracks using the downhill slope which in turn requires you to use a bike specially designed for ‘FreeRide’ or ‘Downhill’.

There is even a Kid’s Park for the little chaps looking to ride like the big chaps. Totally designed to offer the ideal ‘baby slope’ environment to get those wheels rollin’! The Kid’s park is in the Pré-la-Joux area, next to the other features like the dirt jumps, ‘beginners’ wooden ramps and the 4X in the heart of this natural Alpine valley. And for at the end of the ride:  there is also a bike wash area.

A couple of the routes:

La  Air Voltage
A well named trail: the idea is to spend more time in the air than riding. So find this line in the forest and jump without braking!

La  Chatellâne
The 2011 Chatellâne has more tables, more berms, more jumps and even more jumps!

The BlackShore
Using a long bridge you will arrive on a slope style type trail with many step-downs, step-ups and jumps. Expert level required.

Pure line of free ride through trees and routs. This trail is very technical. Only for good riders.

You can get more information on the routes by:

  • collecting the mountain bike map at a local tourist office with all the MTB trails
  •  visiting the website of the Portes du Soleil for bike circuits in GPS format
  • Acquiring the VTOPO Portes du Soleil Guide book with 53 mapped circuits around the Portes du Soleil, all well described and illustrated.

Mountain biking guided tours are organised along the river Dranse, where several routes are available. There are also several locations where equipment can be hired.

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