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some clouds, winds: 5kph calm, windchill: 8°c

Sat
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some clouds, winds: 5kph calm, windchill: 9°c

Sun
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some clouds, winds: 5kph calm, windchill: 10°c

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Coupe Rhone Alps in Morillon high in the sky
The Enduro World Series Fabien Barel mixing with the locals
Mountain biking for all abilities in the Grand Massif
Local guides can help you find the best trails

Mountain Biking in Samoens and the Grand Massif

Samoens and the Grand Massif is a truly world class destination for mountain bike holidays. Not only are there over 615km of marked trails, but 6 lifts open during the summer which provides quick and easy access to an ever expanding and improving network of downhill and enduro trails. There is something for every mountain biker in the summer, from hair raising black graded descents, to fun family friendly green tracks, and fantastic cross country loops on the valley floor.

Samoens, known for its fantastic natural trails, has recently hosted a round of the Enduro World Series which brought the biggest names in the world of mountain biking to the village – Jerome Clementz, Fabien Barel, and Dan Atherton to name just a few! Read about the event in our article The Enduro World Series. Les Carroz regularly hosts a round of the Coupe de France, France’s premier downhill series, while for the last few years Morillon has played host to a round of the Coupe Rhone-Alpes downhill series.

For families and those looking for more relaxed mountain biking options, there is a vast network of great paths on the valley floor linking Morillon, Samoens and Sixt with many picturesque hamlets, hidden lakes and waterfalls to provide days of exploration and fun.

We have discounts arranged with four of the best bike hire shops:

Xtreme Glisses - Telephone: 0033 (0)4 50 89 82 30, Website
Mountain Spirit - Telephone: 0033 (0)4 56 12 78 39, Website
Planete Glisse - Telephone: 0033 (0)4 50 90 57 69, Website
Roland Gay - Telephone: 0033 (0)4 50 34 42 44, Website

They have a good range of mountain bikes from family bikes rentable by the half day (9 Euros), full suspension enduro or downhill bikes, fat bikes and e-fat bikes, which are great fun whether in Summer or Winter! Alps Accommodation guests receive discounts with the above hire shops.

The lifts are open during July and August in Samoens and the Grand Massif, but most of the trails are open all year as they don’t require use of the lifts. A Grand Massif day pass costs €20 (Summer 2017) which allows unlimited usage, while various other options are available. Visit the Grand Massif website for more details.

Check out our suggested Grand Massif mountain biking itineraries from beginner to advanced

For a map of mountain bike trails in Samoens and Morillon, click here.
For a map of mountain bike trails in Les Carroz, click here.

Les Gets, Morzine and the Portes du Soleil are just 20 minutes drive away with plenty of downhill and cross country routes and dozens of lifts open. Mountain Spirit are offering uplifts to the top of the Col de Joux Plan every morning though the summer (advanced booking only - 0033 (0)4 56 12 78 39), from which you can drop into Les Gets, so even if you don't have a car you can have a days biking in the Portes du Soleil and return via the trails from the Bougeoise.

For the children, you may wish to organise a few hours biking with a guide around Samoens and the valley, or for more experienced children, a half days downhill biking (10 years plus and previous biking experience). This is with Alexandre Lachoix based out of Xtreme Glisse. A fully qualified French certified mountain bike instructor. (MCF - moniteur cycliste francais). Prices start at 18 Euros for 3 hours for the younger kids, up to 25-29 Euros for half days downhill. Please note these prices do not include bike hire or lift passes, although bikes and equipment can be hired at Xtreme Glisse. For more information please contact him on email: a.lachoix@gmail.com

Mountain Spirit offers guided mountain bike trips, electric bikes, canyoning and hiking. The only officially recognised MCF school in Samoens and the Grand Massif, you'll find private classes, guided tours and group classes for kids. Offering a shop and workshop year-round, Mountain Spirit is your one-stop shop for all your mountain bike, electric bike, fatbike and, for the winter, ski rental needs. During spring and autumn, they also offer uplifts at the weekend, to the Bourgeoise and Samoens 1600, as well as Bourgeoise uplifts throughout the summer first thing in the morning and in the evening. For further information contact them on mountainspirit.sports@gmail.com

If you are an experienced biker, looking for a specialist mountain biking package including a guide, then please see Ride The Alps and let them know we recommended you!

Have you read our article on Fat Biking - What is it?

Mountain bike trails in Samoens, Morillon and Sixt

There are 142km of lift served mountain bike trails in the area with continuous work to add new trails and improve existing trails. Please note, due to works on a new ski lift for Winter 2017, some routes are closed for Summer 2017. Please see here for more information.

Name Start Length Vertical negative Vertical positive
     Blue Trails: INTERMEDIATE        
6 Le Dian-Dian  Les Saix 7,3 km 900 m  
10 Perce-Neige  Sommet de Chariande Express 4,3 km 520 m  
11 La Marvel Sommet de Bergin 3,8 km 510 m  
12 Le Dahu Sommet de Chariande Express 5,4 km 540 m  
19 Monchu  Sommet de Bergin 1,4 km 290 m  
21 Vélarge Les Saix 6,4 km 900 m  
41 Les Praz Sommet de Bergin 10,5 km 920 m  
42 Tréchard Sommet de Bergin 6,5 km 510 m  
45 Les Cuttes  Les Esserts 3,8 km 390 m  
  Red Trails : DIFFICULT        
0 Coulouvrier Le Dahu (12) 1,7 km 470 m  
1 La Lanche Perce Neige (10) 4,4 km 600 m  
2 La Stevan Les Esserts 2,1 km 390 m  
5 L’Abadée Les Saix 6,2 km 900 m  
7 La Corne le Dahu (12) 2,3 km 190 m 160 m
8 Liaison Morillon « croisement de l’Echarny » 1,7 km 110 m 20 m
14 Bergin Sommet de Bergin 1,1 km 290 m  
15 La Vieille sommet de Bergin 1,6 km 50 m 60 m
18 Esserafond la Lanche (1) 2,5 km 260 m 50 m
53 La Char Les Saix 5,9 km 900 m  
54 Grand Crêt Les Saix 6,8 km 900 m  
  Black Trails : VERY DIFFICULT        
3 L'Arête Les Esserts 2,7 km 390 m  
4 Le Chable Les Saix 4,7 km 900 m  
5 L’Abadée Les Saix 5,4 km 900 m  
16 Dré dans l'Pentu Sommet de Bergin 2,9 km 510 m  
22 Méli-Mélo  Les Saix 6,5 km 900 m  
23 La Zumbi  Les Saix 4,7 km 900 m  
68 Les Grandes Platières – Sixt Les Grandes Platières 13,5 km 1800 m  

There are also many fantastic trails beyond the reach of the ski lifts, with varying difficulties for all the family.

Name Start Length Vertical negative Vertical positive
          Green Trails : EASY        
57 Morillon-Samoëns Morillon Village 5,2 km 0 m 20 m
59 Les Vallons Samoëns village 6,3 km 50 m 50 m
65 Sixt – Salvagny Sixt village 6 km 110 m 110 m
  Blue Trails : INTERMEDIATE        
47 Joux Plane-Pré du Four-Verchaix Joux Plane 13 km 1100 m 90 m
62 Fer à Cheval – Morillon Cirque du Fer à Cheval 17 km 360 m 80 m
          Red Trails : DIFFICULT        
62 Morillon – Fer à Cheval Morillon Village 17 km 80 m 360 m

Detailed information on individual trails, including maps, can be found here.

Samoens and the Haut Giffre valley offers fantastic trails for all abilities
Mountain biking in Samoens
Mountin biking with stunning scenery
Samoens offers a fantastic mix of man made and natural mountain bike trails

Local’s Tips

Samoens - Les Carroz - Morillon loop (allow a full day)

This is a fantastic loop, suitable for all levels when conditions are dry, which offers a great sense of adventure while taking in the fantastic new green descent in Les Carroz.

Starting in Samoens, jump on the Grand Massif gondola which will take you all the way to Samoens 1600 without a single pedal stroke! From there, make the short descent down to the Chariande Express chair lift and take this up to 2120m. From this lofty height you follow a double track all the way down to the top of the Keduze gondola in Les Carroz which is signposted all the way. For those who have skied in the Grand Massif, the route follows exactly the same route you would take in winter. You will definitely want to stop for photos of the amazing views on the way down!

From the top on the Keduze gondola, join the green run called ‘Woody Woodbiker’ and follow it all the way down to the bottom of the gondola. This is a brilliant, fun track which swoops it’s way through beautiful forests and is very well marked and easy to follow. For those looking for something more challenging, Les Carroz offering a great selection of other tracks including a fast and fun blue, and several blacks, or simply spend a few hours on the great green track! Remember to allow 2-2.5hrs for the return from Les Carroz to Samoens!

When you have finished exploring the wonderful forests of Les Carroz, it's time to start the journey back to Samoens. From the top of the Keduze gondola, begin by climbing the double track which you descended earlier. Carry on climbing past the top of the ‘Gron’ chair lift on your left. Just before the top of the next chairlift, take the double track to the left and then at the next junction take a left to descend the ridge (L’Arete piste in winter) following the double track all the way down to L’Igloo restaurant. Refreshments are available here, as is a sunny terrace with deck chairs and stunning views! From here the blue track of the Marvel is signposted – an easy, fast, track which winds it’s way down to Morillon 1100 (via the Marvel ski piste). From Morillon 1100, there are a few options to descend to the valley floor. For less experienced riders, or those low on energy, take the road down for a leisurely and scenic descent through sleepy hamlets with more great views. The easiest bike track is blue track 45 which follows a natural walking trail for a fun descent with a few steep and rocky sections thrown in.

Arriving at Morillon village, head for Lac Bleu join up with the gentle river trail which takes you back to Samoens. Why not stop at La Covagne on the edge of the lake for a well deserved end of day ice cream or even a quick swim in the lake.