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Tour du Mont-Blanc Bike: Champex - Grand Col Ferret

Mountain Bike · Valais
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  • Val Ferret
    / Val Ferret
    Photo: David Carlier, Valais
  • / Val Ferret
    Photo: Yves Garneau, Valais/Wallis Promotion
  • / Val Ferret
    Photo: David Carlier, Valais/Wallis Promotion
  • / 3 cyclists on their way to the Tour du Mont Blanc
    Photo: Valais
  • / Lac de Champex
    Photo: Valais
  • / La Fouly
    Photo: Valais
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Tackle a section of the legendary Tour du Mont Blanc by mountain bike: from Champex-Lac to the Grand Col Ferret.
difficult
Distance 27.3 km
6:46 h
1,693 m
625 m
Starting point for the ride is the idyllic village of Champex-Lac, located at an altitude of 1,467 meters. The itinerary takes you all the way to the Italian border, at 2,537 meter, via the villages of Issert, Praz-de-Fort and La Fouly. For a well-deserved break, stop for refreshments at the alpine farmstead of La Peule. From here, continue your climb as far as the Grand Col Ferret on the Italian-Swiss border. Once at the top, you can either continue to Courmayeur in Italy or return by the same route. 

Author’s recommendation

Champex’s lake is a natural gem, offering activities including stand-up paddling, pedalo rides, fishing and walks around its tranquil shores.
Difficulty
S1 difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Grand Col Ferret, 2,536 m
Lowest point
Creux des Pas, 1,039 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Use marked bike trails and routes only, making sure you observe all signposting. Kindly close gates after passing through. Please be considerate to walkers, as well as to plants and animals. As a rule, walkers have priority. When planning, take into account participants’ fitness level and ability. All riding is at one’s own risk.

Tips and hints

More information: 

Pays-du-st-Bernard

Start

Champex-Lac (1,467 m)
Coordinates:
DD
46.030164, 7.116482
DMS
46°01'48.6"N 7°06'59.3"E
UTM
32T 354234 5099123
w3w 
///inflating.scoop.human

Destination

Grand Col Ferret

Turn-by-turn directions

The itinerary begins with a ride through the resort of Champex-Lac via the main road, from which you enjoy fine views of the lake and the Combins massif. Continue downhill towards Orsières, but after passing the first two bends, take the unpaved road to the right which descends all the way to the main road up the Val Ferret. Then, before entering the village of Issert, take a left turn and pass above the village to reach Praz-de-Fort. Cross the Saleinaz plateau beyond and then follow the main road for a distance of 200 metres. Turn off to the left; you will rejoin the main valley road by the hamlet of Branche d’en Bas. At Branche d’en Haut, head across to the other, western, side of the river, and then back again before crossing the main valley road and the hamlet of Prayon to ride through the forest as far as La Fouly. Continue on to Ferret and then Les Ars Dessous. Turn right onto the unpaved road to cross the river and head up to the alpine farmstead of La Peule. Finally, follow the path up to the Grand Col Ferret.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Train to Orsières; then bus (TMR line) to Champex-Lac (or to La Fouly, if following the route in reverse direction).

Getting there

A9 motorway to Martigny (exit 22). Follow signs for the Great St Bernard Pass until Orsières, then turn off to the right for Champex-Lac.

Parking

Start and finish points for the ride are different, so we recommend you make use of public transport. Free parking is available at the base station of the chairlift in Champex-Lac.

Coordinates

DD
46.030164, 7.116482
DMS
46°01'48.6"N 7°06'59.3"E
UTM
32T 354234 5099123
w3w 
///inflating.scoop.human
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

 The tourist office in Orsières has a range of brochures and other informative material about mountain biking in the region.

Author’s map recommendations

SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1325 Sembrancher / 1345 Orsières / 1365 Gd-St-Bernard

Equipment

We recommend: a bike in excellent working order, a helmet, gloves and a bell, clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof), food and drink.

Basic Equipment for Mountain Biking

  • Cycling helmet
  • Cycling gloves
  • Sturdy, comfortable and preferably waterproof footwear
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket)
  • Sunglasses
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass

Technical Equipment for Mountain Biking

  • Air pump or CO2 pump including cartridges
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Replacement inner tube
  • Tire levers
  • Chain tool
  • Hex keys
  • Phone / device holder as required  
  • Bike lock as required
  • Where applicable, the bike must meet requirements for road use by having a bell, front and rear lamps and spoke reflectors
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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Photos from others


Difficulty
S1 difficult
Distance
27.3 km
Duration
6:46 h
Ascent
1,693 m
Descent
625 m
Multi-stage route Cultural/historical interest Botanical highlights Linear route

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