The Grand Tour of La Grave Villar-d’Arène

A classic cross-country route, this lovely loop takes you through all the hamlets of La Grave. On a balcony path on the south facing slopes of La Grave, you have the very best view of La Meije and its glaciers.

About : The Grand Tour of La Grave Villar-d’Arène

Itinerary from the “MTB in Oisans” guide (Oisans Tourisme)

Departure / Arrival (loop): La Grave 1450 m
Time: 3 1/2 hours
Distance: 30 km
Highest point: 2069 m
Lowest point: 1438 m
Total ascent: 1109 m
Total descent: -1109 m
Technique: 3/4
Endurance: 3/4

Map: IGN Top 25 Valloire 3435 ET and Meije Pelvoux 3436 ET.

ROUTE
> This route from La Grave, Chazelet or Villar d’Arène is marked FFC (n ° 8 - The grand tour of the canton).
> From the Bureau des Guides in La Grave take the main road to the right until you reach the end of the village. Turn right on the little road leading down to the
Arboretum. Cross the bridge and take tha path to left that follows the river up to Villar d’Arène.
> Once in Villar d’Arène, from the square in front of the church (Place de l’église), ride up the right-hand street (wrong way up the one-way street), that turns into a path a few hundred metres further on. This goes to the narrow road leading to Le Pied du Col.
> Once in the hamlet, you can take a detour via the Pas de l’Ane and the gravel quarry. Once back in Le Pied du Col, take the path leading up to Les Cours.
> In Les Cours, turn right up the path leading to the Lac du Pontet (track for 1 km, road for a further 2.5 km and then a steep path). Ride around the lake on the left-hand side and take another steep path which turns into a magnificent single track that joins l’Aiguillon (2060 m). This marks the start of a fine downhill section to Entraigues / Valfroide.
> Cross over the bridge and follow the track and then the road to Valfroide, Les Hières and then Ventelon.
> Once in Ventelon, take the track most to the right up to the hamlet of Les Clots. If you wish to shorten the ride, you can join up with Les Terrasses by going straight on.
> From Les Clots, turn left onto a magnificent single track crossing the slate scree (take care as this is an exposed section). Carry on along the mountainside
until you reach the ski runs of Le Chazelet, before gradually losing height until you reach the snack bar at Le Chazelet ski resort. Ride up 50 m to the bottom
of the ski lift and then return to the village on the track that goes off to the right.
> Ride through Le Chazelet and go back to La Grave by the GR 54 path via Les Terrasses.

Welcome: X country :
The flagship MTB discipline and an Olympic sport since Atlanta in ‘96. Cross-country is traditionally enjoyed on terrain that is not too rough, on lighter bikes with fork suspension of between 100 and 130 mm and tyres of between 1.8 and 2 inches at the most. In Oisans, the steep terrain and significant height differences make this style less popular than its sister style, enduro. There are however some trails in the valleys that are accessible to everyone, as well as some that are slightly more challenging that we have classified as midway between X country and enduro.

En bref

210 min

J+ : 1109 m

30 km

Level black - very hard

Map and GPX marking

The Grand Tour of La Grave Villar-d’Arène

Getting There

Opening

From 01/06 to 31/10.

Prices

Free of charge

Free access.

Location supplement

As this is a circular route, you can start from either La Grave, Villar-d’Arène or Le Chazelet.