Past the Col du Montets lies the small village of Vallorcine. The border with Switzerland lies just beyond and it feels very different to the busier Chamonix valley just a few km away.
If taking the train to Vallorcine seems too easy, then the ride up the road to the Col des Montets should let you work up a good sweat. After taking in the views of the Drus and Chamonx Aiguilles, turn off the main road and follow the tarmac of the old road down the hill. Just as you’re about to rejoin the main road, take the signposted track off to your right and just keep on going downhill until you reach Vallorcine.
Not far enough? You can keep riding past the Vallorcine station along the trails signposted ‘Barberine’ and then Chatelard until you reach the Swiss border. On the Swiss side (remember your passport) you can get on the train back up to Vallorcine, or just keep going along the road through Finhalt and Les Marecottes to Martigny for a very long day out.
If steep rocky corners and gnarly downhill trails are you thing, then head over to the black track that takes you through Le Foret Vert all the way to Vallorcine. Full face helmets and body armour is a must as the rocks, ruts and roots are definitely challenging on this trail….
Accessed directly from the Vallorcine gondola, this fun and challenging trail is designed solely for the use of MTBers and has various jumps, berms and drop offs along its route. Pedestrians are not allowed on this trail at all and the route is clearly sign-posted back down to the base of the lift.
If you're more of an enduro lover and prefer tight switchbacks mixed with flow, then the red track is ideal for you. This trail is also accessed from the top of the Vallorcine gondola, with the entrance right beside the start of the black trail.
Don't forget to time it right either as the lift in Vallorcine closes at lunch time and you'll be stuck at the bottom! (Don't panic though as there are a few nice biker friendly cafes you can call in on).
Find where to hire a bike in Chamonix.