Mountain Biking in Chamonix Valley
Mountain biking in Chamonix is a great experience. There are trails that follow the valley floor
through lush pine forest to high alpine trails on the upper slopes. You can take your bike on
many of the lifts and only do the downhill part if you don't fancy the sometimes big vertical
A few suggested trails are:
Balcon sud and nord - are the trails that follow the valley floor on each side of the valley. You share the trail with walkers, so beware when you race around corners. It's a fairly easy ride and escpecially the downhill towards Chamonix on the lower Balcon sud is very enjoyable, since the trail is smooth and takes you next to the river all the way to Chamonix. Recommended is the balcon nord from Chamonix - Argentiere. This is a good challenge for those who like uphills. The section between Le Bois and Le Lavancher presents a good and fairly steep climb.
Vallorcine - Chamonix high level ride - This is a trip that uses the lifts to join some great rides.
From Bellevue cruise down the road or take the trail on the opposite site of the river to the Vallorcine lift station. Take the gondola up. From here bike up over the col de Posettes and ride down a wide trail (dirt road) to the Le Tour Mid station. Join the 4 seater chairlift for a ride up to Col de Balme. From here join either an fairly easy dirt road back down to the midstation where you just came from, or the more exiting riders left singletrack. Both rides down join the mid-station. From here the best descent is joining the left hand single trail down to the valley, but you can also take the piste/road down. From Le Tour cruise down for a pizza the the Stone bar. After a well deserved refreshment take the cable car from Grands Montets to Lognan, best reached by joining the forest trails behind old Argentiere. From Lognan head east towards Plan Joran - Le Lavancher. Its a bit up and down, but finally you will find the trail towards Le Lavancher which is a wide track down the forest. You reach Le Lavancher at the top of the village. From here take a left down the trail towards Le Bois or alternatively go down the road through Le Lavancher to cross over and do the last half of the lower balcon sud. Anyhow, all roads lead to Chamonix. From Chamonix jump on the train back to Le Buet in time to get a cold beer on the Bellevue terrace. This is just a suggested trip, and you can make it longer or shorter by skipping a ride here and there. Enjoy!
Le Tour loop - Vallorcine - Col du Montets - Argentiere - Mont Roc - Le Tour - Trelechamp - Vallorcine
A good loop with many variations. The suggested itinerary starts with the climb towards Col du Montets. From here take the trail or road from the col down to Trelechamp (little village inbetween the Col and Argentiere). Follow through Trelechamp and hit the switch-back ride down towards Argentiere . This trail is at the end of the village. As you join the road, take a left over the bridge (road towads Le Tour) and join the back road through old Argentiere. Entering Argentiere take a left and find the trail towards Le Planet as you go under the bridge into the forest. The climb towards Le Planet is devastating, and only the strongest can do without getting of the bike (this is a very good challenge!). From Le Planet go down the road to Mont Roc, and join the road for the climb towards Le Tour. At Le Tour join the trail at the top left of the carpark. This is a great mixed uphill, but mostly downhill towards Trelechamp. Good tricky sections, and fun fast single tracks. As you can imagine this loop can be combined and modified in many ways with endless variations.
Loriaz - Bellevue - top of Le Couteray - Loriaz road - Loriaz trail - descent to Vallorcine - Bellevue
A much favoured trip for good MTB riders. The climb is hard enough to earn you a good beer on return and the descent by the trail towards Vallorcine will test you're switch back riding skills.