This route goes through the heart of the Eau d’Olle valley. It’s a steep climb up to Le Rivier-d’Allemond, but the lovely, fun descent down to le Mollard, with its many switchbacks, more than makes up for it.
Route in the “MTB in Oisans” guide (Oisans Tourisme)
Departure/Arrival (loop): Articol 1000 m
Length: 3 hours
Distance: 13 km
Highest point: 1494 m
Lowest point: 981 m
Total height gain: +610 m
Total height loss : -610 m
Map: Top 25 Bourg d'Oisans et l'Alpe d'Huez 3335 ET
Ride down the narrow road to Articol-le-Bas. Once at the bottom, take a path with several sharp climbs and join up with a narrow and very steep road leading up to Le Rivier d’Allemond.
You can also reach Le Rivier by following the D526 road (less bucolic, but shorter).
Once in Le Rivier, follow the signs for La Chapelle and join the wide. The track ends with a wooden bridge over the mountain stream. The path continues, not as fast and even quite steep, but still fun to ride. You arrive at a first junction (the ruins of Le Gay), from where you carry straight on to the next bridge. Shortly afterwards, the path becomes steeper and you'll need to push your bike for around 15 mins. up to the place known as "Sous le Clot du Mollard".
The best part of the ride starts here, when you ride back down towards "Le Mollard" through woodland on a magnificent single track with sharp "made in Oisans" switchbacks. At the bottom, the path splits… It's best to take the right-hand path, but both end up on the road leading to Le Mollard.
Once on the road, turn left onto the Le Rivier d'Allemond road and ride up 250m back to Articol.
ALTERNATIVE: the descent to Articol
Or how to shorten the route, but still enjoy a lovely descent...
From the ruins of Le Gay (1322 m), turn left towards Articol. A magnificent 1 km singletrack with lovely switchbacks for sliding, winds its way down to the D526 road to Articol. Once back at the road, turn right for 100 m to get back to the car.
Park in Articol, where there are spaces for three cars along the side of the road, or else drive down and park in the village