This a varied route through pasture and woodland, descending gradually into the Eau d'Olle Valley. It switches between short descents and uphill sections, without any major technical difficulties, although a good level of fitness is required.
GPX map and layout
There are a number of options for getting to the start point in Alpe d'Huez. If you have two cars, you can leave one in Bourg d'Oisans. Or you can take the Bourg d'Oisans > Alpe d'Huez bus (line 3020). In July and August, you can take advantage of the Allemond > Oz shuttlebus to get to Alpe d'Huez (although you will need a ticket for the cable car up to Alpe d'Huez).
Description: The Combes track
Route in the “MTB in Oisans” guide (Oisans Tourisme)
Departure: Alpe d'Huez ("Rond point des pistes" roundabout) 1850 m
Arrival: Bourg d'Oisans 720 m
Time: 3 1/2 hours
Distance: 33 km
Highest point: 1850 m
Lowest point: 712 m
Total ascent: 583 m
Total descent: -1718 m
Technique : 2/4
Endurance : 3/4
Maps: Top 25 Bourg d'Oisans et l'Alpe d'Huez 3335 ET
The route follows the FFC signposting (XC 6) as far as Oz.
Ride up to the very top of the resort, to the "Rond point des pistes" roundabout and on to the "Chemin panoramique" (on the left of the "Le Signal" chairlift), which goes round the Grande Sure.
Follow this panoramic path to a viewpoint table, where you can take a moment to admire the view before switching into descent mode.
Enter the Combe du Bras by following the path that goes straight into the forest (not up to the right). The first part is on earth switchbacks, whereas, lower down, the path becomes stonier and more technical.
When you arrive at the Huez - Villard Reculas road, turn right for 3km to Villard-Reculas. The "Pas de la Confession" road overhangs the Bourg d'Oisans plain, providing wonderful views.
Just before entering Villard Reculas, follow the XC 6 signs up to the right to a small reservoir (Bassin du Langaret). The path enters the wood.
Once at the signposted Sardonne – Chemin des Combes crossroads, follow the ‘Les Combes - Le Bessay’ path through a small beech wood, offering glimpses of the view.
At Pré Raynaud, stop following the XC 6 signposts and turn left to Le Bessay. After crossing the picturesque ‘Pont du Gay’ bridge, go through Le Faubourg, with its old mountain barns.
From Le Bessay, ride up the road for about 500m to the hairpin bend (1209m) and take the ‘Chemin de la Rompure’ towards Enversin-d’Oz. Follow this path as far as the road, taking care over the electric gates.
In L'Enversin, turn down to the left, riding below the village. Around the last houses, don't miss the small path down to the left, signposted Pourchery. At the end of the valley, cross a small footbridge and ride along the mountainside to the road.
In Pourchery, after the chalet called "Maitreya", turn left towards the Lac du Verney, following the FFC signs (XC 7). The path cuts across the road on several occasions. Carry on along the road to Pont Ratier and ride along the side of the lake back to Allemond.
It's now a 10 km flat ride back to Bourg d'Oisans. One option is to follow the dyke, via Le Raffour.
Another option in the summer is to cross the dam to Allemond and take the free shuttle bus that goes to Oz (resort). Remember though that you will need a ticket for the cable car ride back to Alpe d'Huez.
From 01/06 to 31/10 : open daily.