While the Alps run for 750 miles and span eight different countries, whenever I dream of going to the Alps to ride or ski, I immediately think of Switzerland. (Source) The Swiss Alps are what mountain bike dreams are made of, with 48 peaks above 4,000 meters (13,000ft) and the tallest peak, the Monte Rosa, topping out at 15,203ft. There are also many other well-known mountains, including the Matterhorn… perhaps you’ve heard of it? (Source)
Many areas in Switzerland are home to large glaciers, covering 410 square miles of the country. With jagged, rocky peaks, formidable glaciers, and serpentine singletrack everywhere, there are few places in this world as lust-worthy for a MTB vacation. (Source)
If and when I get the chance to shred in Switzerland, I’m going to start with these five trails:
Backwards Haute Route: Zermatt to Chamonix
Tomorrow, we start another Haute Route Valais with some good friends. Want to be part of it? We have one open tour for single bookings in September. Check our website for details. #alpinetrails #hauteroute #leadingguides #valais #singletrail #enduromtb #enduro #terrengsykkel @vaudesport @yepcomponents @uvexsports @santacruzbicycles @dtswiss_ag @valaiswallis @swissdiscovery
The classic Haute Route runs for 180km from Chamonix, France to Zermatt, Switzerland. Of course, you can ride it backwards as well, making this one of the most epic trails in both Switzerland and France.
The classic route is more of a mountaineering route that requires glacier travel and technical climbing equipment, but there is a lower elevation “walkers” route that’s located on sweet, sweet singletrack–and you can bike it as well. Looking for someone to guide you on this trail? Be sure to check out Alps Mountain Bike. (Source)
The Tour de Mont Fort is a stiff ride: with 40km of pedaling and at least 2,200 meters of climbing, this trail is not for the faint of heart! But if you can muscle up the steep Swiss Alps, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of nearby glaciers.
While the Tour de Mont Fort is a great ride by itself, you can combine it with the Haute Route as well–you know, just in case 180km isn’t already enough.
Verbier Bike Park is renowned as one of the best downhill and freeride parks in Europe… and the world. With events held here regularly and some of the best pros around training at Verbier, this is a must-ride destination if you’re at all interested in gravity riding.
And even if you’re not, come to Verbier anyway to check out the backcountry trails in the surrounding mountains–they are also world-class!
Cran-Montana — Championnat du Monde de VTT
This trail was home to the first mountain bike world championships, back in 1990. It was originally signed for the event, and you can still ride the exact same 17-kilometer course that Ned Overend claimed his victory on. The trails and the views are both guaranteed to impress! (Source)
Switzerland is flush with epic bike parks, and Lenzerheide is yet another! With perfectly-crafted downhill and freeride trails ranging from flowy and easy to serious double-black terrain with massive wooden stunts, anyone and everyone can get their DH on at Lenzerheide!
Your Turn: Know of a great trail that we don’t have listed in Switzerland yet? Be sure to add it here!
Great Timing! I was just thinking about riding options in Switzerland for a 2016 trip…