Mountain bike tours

Mountain bike tours

Tour du Mont-Blanc Bike: Champex - Grand Col Ferret

Tackle a section of the legendary Tour du Mont Blanc by mountain bike: from Champex-Lac to the Grand Col Ferret.

  • Difficulty

    difficult, S1

    Difficulty: difficult
    S1 Smaller obstacles such as flat roots, stones or small gullies; the surface may not always be firm. Gradients of up to 40%. No hairpin turns. Basic MTB technique required, such as controlled braking and ability to shift centre of gravity
  • Length

    27.3 km

  • Duration

    6:46 h

  • Show on map

Starting point for the ride is the idyllic village of Champex-Lac, located at an altitude of 1,467 meters. The itinerary takes you all the way to the Italian border, at 2,537 meter, via the villages of Issert, Praz-de-Fort and La Fouly. For a well-deserved break, stop for refreshments at the alpine farmstead of La Peule. From here, continue your climb as far as the Grand Col Ferret on the Italian-Swiss border. Once at the top, you can either continue to Courmayeur in Italy or return by the same route. 

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Turn-by-turn directions

The itinerary begins with a ride through the resort of Champex-Lac via the main road, from which you enjoy fine views of the lake and the Combins massif. Continue downhill towards Orsières, but after passing the first two bends, take the unpaved road to the right which descends all the way to the main road up the Val Ferret. Then, before entering the village of Issert, take a left turn and pass above the village to reach Praz-de-Fort. Cross the Saleinaz plateau beyond and then follow the main road for a distance of 200 metres. Turn off to the left; you will rejoin the main valley road by the hamlet of Branche d’en Bas. At Branche d’en Haut, head across to the other, western, side of the river, and then back again before crossing the main valley road and the hamlet of Prayon to ride through the forest as far as La Fouly. Continue on to Ferret and then Les Ars Dessous. Turn right onto the unpaved road to cross the river and head up to the alpine farmstead of La Peule. Finally, follow the path up to the Grand Col Ferret.

Start: Champex-Lac (1467 m)
Destination: Grand Col Ferret (2535 m)

Author's recommendation

Champex’s lake is a natural gem, offering activities including stand-up paddling, pedalo rides, fishing and walks around its tranquil shores.

Technical information

  • Altitude

    2536 m 1039 m

  • Ascent

    1693 m

  • Descent

    625 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 2.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Stamina

    Bewertung: 5.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Experience

    Bewertung: 5 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Landscape

    Bewertung: 5.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

Train to Orsières; then bus (TMR line) to Champex-Lac (or to La Fouly, if following the route in reverse direction).

Approach

A9 motorway to Martigny (exit 22). Follow signs for the Great St Bernard Pass until Orsières, then turn off to the right for Champex-Lac.

Parking

Start and finish points for the ride are different, so we recommend you make use of public transport. Free parking is available at the base station of the chairlift in Champex-Lac.

Equipment

We recommend: a bike in excellent working order, a helmet, gloves and a bell, clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof), food and drink.

Safety information

Use marked bike trails and routes only, making sure you observe all signposting. Kindly close gates after passing through. Please be considerate to walkers, as well as to plants and animals. As a rule, walkers have priority. When planning, take into account participants’ fitness level and ability. All riding is at one’s own risk.

Literature

 The tourist office in Orsières has a range of brochures and other informative material about mountain biking in the region.

Maps

SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1325 Sembrancher / 1345 Orsières / 1365 Gd-St-Bernard