Mountainbiking around Samoëns
Blog written by Arno
Samoëns and the Grand Massif skiarea have always been acting a bit like Calimero; "They are big and we are small". Yes Chamonix has the biggest mountain of western Europe and les Portes du Soleil has a huge skilift and -slopes structure, but compared to these big names Samoëns is still a hidden gem and that is exactly why we love it! In the winter, but especially in the summer.
What kind of riding do I find?
In the summer months July and August we got 6 skilifts running abeling you to ride around the whole Grand Massif area. One of my favorite tours is the 'Tour du Grand Massif'; an allmountain ride linking up Samoëns, Flaine, les Carroz and Morillon, riding 4x4 paths and singletracks and using 1 or 2 skilifts or no lifts at all when the summer season is over.There is also an enduro version of this tour, taking the gondola in Flaine to ride 1800m down to Samoëns or Sixt by an awesome (but pretty hidden) singletracks, while enjoying the most spectacular views on the Mont Blanc range.
Samoëns is pretty full one. We got 1 blue run, 3 reds and beside that a lot of black and (black+) freeride runs. In a dry summer it is pretty accessible, but because of mud and roots it gets very 'slippery when wet'. When the Chariande Express is open it delivers you 1400m off vertical and if you only use the GME telecabine, you'll have to ride down 900m anyway. There are rumours that thanks to the new Club Med centre we can expect some easier runs in the next future. The best (and challenging) runs are hard to find; hidden in the forests and poorly or not marked. A local guide could be the solution to find these hidden gems!
Best bike: enduro-downhill
This part of the area has mainly green and blue runs in the winter, which means that the mountains are pretty gentle here. There is really fun blue trail starting from the Igloo restaurant, which could be marked as a red. There is a few easy and pretty wide blue runs, a red trail and a long and awesome black trail with about 1000m height difference. The disadvantage of Morillon is there lift system; it's really slow.
Best bike: allmountain-enduro
While Samoëns and Morillon are enduro focussed, les Carroz is attracting the big bikes. Here you will find a nicely shaped green, blue, red and black run, with shores, jumps, berms and everything you will like when riding a downhill bike. The green 'Woody woodbiker' is a great (long!) run for beginners and ridable with all kind off bikes.
Best bike: enduro-downhill
Flaine and Sixt
There are no biketrails to be found in Flaine, but we are crossing this wintersports village when riding the allmountain or enduro tour du Grand Massif. The telecabine brings you up to 2500m where there is 2 runs to be found all the way down. Sixt fer a Cheval Is a nice and authentic village to cross on a cross country tour through the valley, but does not propose any open lifts. There is some nice runs to be found, but you might need a guide to find them...
What else is there to ride?
The southside of Samoëns delivers 2 awesome (enduro) runs, starting from la Bourgoise at 1770m. You might cycle up there, or you could use an uplift to make life easier.
A really cool trail is the easy and flowy trail in the forest of les Allemands; an all times favorite!
After living in Samoëns for more than 10 years I found a new trail/tour last summer, starting from the Joux Plane. But this one is a guides secret, so you better join me to find this beauty!
And what do I find when we use a car?
- In 30 mnts there is some amazing singletracks to be found, accessible with uplifts and leg power
- In 30 mnts you're in les Gets to ride the manmade downhill trails of les Portes du Soleil.
- In 45 mnts you'll find the Salève; a lift that runs year-round and loads of flowy and techy trails
- In an hour you're in la Clusaz with loads of awesome downhill and enduro runs
What is the kind of bike to bring?
On the trips we propose we recommand you a trail or enduro bike with 140-160mm. These bikes enable you to ride up the mountain, they are not to heavy for a hike a bike section and above all; they make the ride down as FUN as it could be!
We hope to see you on the trails?!