Mountain biking trails

Mountain biking with a view of the Ecrins glaciers

If you want to go mountain biking in a stunning mountain environment, with an exceptional view of alpine glaciers and La Meije, you should come to La Grave. There is a great choice of routes, day tours, half-day tours or multi-day tours. You can ride downhill from the Galibier Mountain Pass, cross the scenic Emparis Plateau passing its famous lakes, pedal along the Romanche River, explore the hamlets of Villar d’Arène on a mountain bike or do a freeride descent at the La Grave lift.

The Grand Briançonnais Mountain Bike Area – La Grave / Romanche Valley

The south facing side of the valley, between the Emparis Plateau and the Lautaret Mountain Pass, offers natural trails in the alpine pasturelands that will please all mountain and enduro enthusiasts. Or you can bike on easier dirt roads through sunny summer villages. Everywhere the backdrop is spectacular. You'll enjoy the view of the legendary summit of La Meije and, all around her, other majestic peaks and glaciers in the Ecrins Massif. The marathon route Grand Raid de la Meije follows the itinerary of the unforgettable mountain bike race Ultra Raid de la Meije over wild mountain passes and high ridges.

The routes:

  • Au fil de la Romanche : family friendly, blue, 10 km, + 186 m
  • Hameaux de Villar d’Arène : blue, 11,3 km, + 295 m
  • Vallon de la Buffe : blue, 14,4 km, + 433 m
  • L’Aiguillon : red, 16,6 km, + 702 m
  • Galibier – Villar d’Arène : red, 15,2 km, + 285 m, - 1150 m
  • Enduro de La Grave : red, 6,8 km, + 300 m, - 700 m
  • Grand Tour du Canton : black, 30,5 km, + 1119 m
  • Tour du plateau d’Emparis : black,, 27,3 km, + 1056 m
  • Grand Raid de la Meije : black, 58 km, + 2702 m

 

Maps and GPX tracks

DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKING AT THE LIFT IN LA GRAVE

At the La Grave lift, just as with skiing in winter, the adjustments made for mountain biking are at a bare minimum and therefore the runs are both technically difficult and physically demanding. Here, there are no bike park runs, only mountain trails on varied terrain. It might be hard to keep the rhythm at the rocky start-off but the forest is fast and flowing. The longest route, the King Stone Road, starts by the glacier and its 1800 m of vertical have it all: mineral landscapes, snow early in the season, very technical passages up high and a smoother ride down low. Five other bike routes start from the mid-station at 2400 m, between the moraines at the foot of La Meije and the larch forest, all converging on the bridge over the Romanche River at 1450 m. All these mountain bike trails have been shaped by local riders.

  • Technical & physical level: Black
  • The Téléphériques des Glaciers de la Meije in La Grave is open from mid-juin to mid-september. When it opens to mountain bikers depends on how much snow there is.

Route descriptions

10 fiches

Tour des hameaux de Villar - © J. Selberg

Les Hameaux de Villar d'Arène

Place de l'église, Le village

Les Hameaux de Villar d'Arène

Circuit assez facile sur chemins roulants, permettant la découverte du fond de la vallée de la Hautes Romanche à travers les hameaux d'Arsine, du pied du Col, des Cours et le village de…

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Descent from the Col du Galibier

This is a really lovely beginner’s descent on the old road down from the pass, facing the spectacular Meije. All the landmarks are there for you to admire, including the Glacier de l’Homme,…

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La Grave - Villar d'Arène MTB area - FFC labelled

The biking routes of the FFC labelled mountain bike area of La Grave - Villar d'Arene. Plenty of varied natural trails await you.
For experienced cyclists as well as beginners, families…

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VTT au fil de la Romanche - © J. Selberg

Au fil de la Romanche

L'Arboretum, Le Village

Au fil de la Romanche

Ce parcours, ludique, roulant et peu technique vous emmènera le long de la Romanche.

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The Grand Tour of La Grave Villar-d'Arène

A classic cross-country route, this lovely loop takes you through all the hamlets of La Grave. On a balcony path on the south facing slopes of La Grave, you have the very best view of La…

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The tour of the Emparis Plateau via the lakes

A lovely circular ride that is more physically than technically demanding, around an iconic Oisans feature. The ride up to the Lac Noir and Lac Lérié provide unforgettable views of La Meije…

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Crossing Oisans

This is a demanding 3-day ride linking the Col du Galibier to Bourg-d’Oisans, via the Emparis Plateau and the untamed valleys of La Buffe and Le Ferrand. Riders gradually return to…

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Mountain bike at the cable car of La Grave - La Meije

1800 m of vertical with mineral landscapes, snow early in the season, very technical passages up high and a smoother ride down low, between the moraines at the foot of La Meije and the…

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VTT Aiguillon - © J. Selberg

L'Aiguillon

Parking sous l'église, Le Village

L'Aiguillon

Ce parcours ravira les vététistes aguerris avec de beaux sentiers assez techniques tout en vous offrant de magnifiques panoramas sur le glacier du Tabuchet.

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Le vallon de la Buffe en VTT au départ du Chazelet - © M.Gmz

Le Vallon de la Buffe

Parking à l'entrée du hameau, Le Chazelet

Le Vallon de la Buffe

Ce circuit vous permettra de découvrir le vallon de la Buffe, les pâturages de le long du Gâ et les hameaux d'altitude.

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BROCHURES TO DOWNLOAD


Grand Briançonnais Mountain Bike Area

Mountain biking in Oisans

MULTI-DAY TOURS ON A MOUNTAIN BIKE


Grand Tour des Ecrins on a mountain bike

The Grand Tour of the Ecrins on a mountain bike, or an E-bike, is a 400 km route with a choice between two difficulty levels. It goes through villages and mountain valleys, following scenic balcony trails with a view of the glaciers and summits of the Ecrins.

Due both to its length and the skill level it requires, this tour is suited for experienced mountain bikers. To complete the whole loop, you have to count 10 to 15 days, but you can easily choose to do part of the route. Around La Grave and Villar d’Arène, mountain bikers can enjoy gorgeous views of the Meije Massif, culminating at 3983 m (13068 ft).

 

Route and GPX tracks

Grande traversée des Hautes-Alpes

The Great Hautes-Alpes Crossing on a mountain bike is a 350 km saga, going from La Grave / Villar d’Arène to Laragne-Montéglin. You will start out in the land of glaciers and round off with a scent of the south, after 7 to 10 days of high mountain passes, majestic peaks, wild scenery and quaint villages.

Route and GPX tracks


MOUNTAIN BIKE RACES IN THE HAUTES VALLÉES

Ultra raid de la Meije

 

Enduro du Mélézin