All experiences Sensations

Mountain biking in Serre-Ponçon, from mountain peaks to lakeside

Lionel Macaluso - Alps Epic

Endless descents from the most beautiful peaks surrounding Lac de Serre-Ponçon, ending on the banks of the lake or the Durance, followed by a well-deserved swim - that's mountain biking in Serre-Ponçon! Technical trails at altitude, playful single-track under the larches and quiet trails along the rivers.... Why choose when you can compile pleasures???

Crevoux_eVTT11 - OTCrevoux

Peaceful ascent on mountain bikes

Green and blue... These are the colors that make up the setting in which I'm pedaling this morning. The green of the larch trees, immense and majestic, at the foot of which I progress along this beautiful, rolling forest road. They bring me a welcome coolness in the shade of their branches. The blue of the sky, that of the Southern Alps, and of the many torrents along the way...

A small group of mountain bikers pass me with ease on the Bouche Clauze trail, high above Crévoux. They're chatting away, as if they were having an aperitif! Electricity is good, but not for me today. It's by calf power that I'll reach the Parpaillon tunnel. They cheer and congratulate me, then disappear around a bend. I'll never see them again.

Crevoux_eVTT17 - OTCrevoux
© Le Naturographe Serre-Poncon-08.09.2018-Rando Morgon-64
Crevoux_VTT_Parpaillon3 - OTCrevoux

In the midst of wildlife

The forest has given way to alpine pastures above 2000m altitude. This is the realm of the marmot. Little shy, they sunbathe by the side of the track, not bothered by these strange two-wheeled specimens... A little further on, the cows are busy grazing the fat mountain grass. I'll have to think about buying some cheese on the way back. It must be a real treat.

Crevoux_VTT_Parpaillon10 - OTCrevoux

In the bowels of the mountain

I finally reach the Col de Girabeau, but I continue on for a few kilometers to discover the mysterious Tunnel du Parapillon. At an altitude of 2650m, the pedal stroke becomes a bit slow, but here I am, facing this improbable hole in the mountain. What could have driven men to put so much energy into digging a tunnel at this altitude? I try to answer this question as I make my way up, not without doubt into the heart of the work. The exit seems a long way off, and I cross the tunnel by headlamp light.

Here I am on the other side, I've just changed valley and département. The majestic Haute Ubaye opens up before my eyes. Italy stretches out its arms to me. I take in the scenery and turn around. I return to the Crévoux side and then descend to the Col de Girabeau.

Crevoux_VTT_Parpaillon5 - OTCrevoux

Technical descent...

Sitting on the grass, I take out the sandwich and enjoy the scenery in a silence so powerful it's almost disturbing. Lac de Serre-Ponçon looks smaller from up here... I start to gear up for the descent. It promises to be a technical descent on this high-altitude trail. Another group has just arrived. They're local regulars and invite me to come down with them. I gladly accept...

What a delight to descend these alpine trails, the technical challenge is there for the taking. Overcoming steps is followed by winding obstacles between rocks. The trail winds its way down the arid, stony south-facing slope to a grassy alpine pasture and a shepherd's hut. Pause!!! It's time to cool down the machine... and especially the rider!

Mountain biking at Col de Girabeau

... Playful fun!!!

The rest is easier, and the fun takes precedence over the technical challenge. The terrain is softer. The trail takes shape on compact, grippy earth, playing with the relief to slalom between the larches... Mountain biking as we like it.

Here we are in the large valley at Les Orres, which we descend at full speed on a wide, easy track. The locals suggest we continue down to the Durance via the Terres Noires de St Sauveur. Too happy to discover new trails, I take advantage of being guided.

JLArmand-VeloVert15085-8323 copie
Lionel Macaluso - Alps Epic

Direction of trajectory

A beautiful balcony traverse takes us to the village of Saint Sauveur, with its breathtaking views over the valley and Lac de Serre-Ponçon. We soon find ourselves back on a twisting single-track leading to an arid, black ridge. A lunar landscape, made for cycling. I take the wheel of the locals to follow the trajectory and make the most of this incredible playground when suddenly, the path crosses a wheat field. We're just passing a few ears of corn. Shouts of joy echo through the valley. I thank my guides.

The girls play

Head for the beach!!!

A few more threads through the undergrowth and we're finally at the bottom. 1800 metres of incredible descent, a must for every mountain biker. I cross the Durance on a small iron bridge.

A few more flat kilometers to loosen up the legs and I'm back at the Embrun lake, where I meet up with the family for a well-deserved swim...

The girls play

Take advantage of Serre-Ponçon's FFC mountain bike site's forty or so mountain bike and VTTAE circuits to discover the lake's shores and our most beautiful forests!

Paper version available for sale at €3 in our Tourist Information Offices

Find routes and information on our mountain bike tours

Discover our most beautiful trails with our qualified instructors.

Filters 15 results
See results
15 results