Les Arcs Trails

(click here for trail map)

From the chalet balcony, we gaze directly across at Mont Pourri and the Aiguille Rouge, with the high pass of the Grand Col in between. This forms the back side of the Les Arcs area, a mecca for off-piste snowboarders and skiers in winter, with one line of lifts and pisted runs sneaking over the shoulder of the mountain to drop down to Villaroger, a stone's throw from Sainte Foy village. In summer, Les Arcs has masses of great mountain-biking, but it doesn't hand it all out on a plate. There is a network of marked and graded trails, including a great, fast DH track and the legendary Black 8 trail running back to the funicular station in Bourg Saint Maurice. But the marked trails don't tell the whole story. They don't even come close. There are a few cracking trail sections on them, but for the most part they mostly seem to be there to keep bikers separate from walkers. The Malgovert forest, cloaking the right hand side of the valley on the drive up to Sainte Foy, hides superb singletrack trails including the fearsome Double Header and the superb Pipedream. Further round, the relentless steep pitches of Big Gordon and the uber-switchbacks of Secret Garden await. Higher up, superb high-altitude singletrack skims along the edge of the Vanoise national park before turning technical and gnarly as it heads down towards Peisey.

In short, there's loads of superb singletrack to be found, but you'll have a tough job finding it on your own!

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Tom on rock slabs in the Malgovert

Heather on technical trails in Les Arcs

Olly on the Cachettes DH wallride, Les Arcs

Steve & Joe on high-altitude singletrack, Les Arcs

Trail with a view, Les Arcs

Jamie & Nick on man-made berms in Les Arcs