Chamonix attracts skiers, climbers and walkers from all over the globe. It has become a haven for mountain bikers too. There are trails to suit all levels of ability but more experienced riders will, without doubt, get more out of the Chamonix valley, as the riding is often technical and steep.
The valley and the surrounding valleys are laced with great, well maintained tracks. In spring, the local councils send out teams to maintain and repair this vast network, ensuring they are cleared of debris and in optimum ridable condition for the summer.
There is a free pamphlet available at the Tourist Office presenting bikable trails and the rules and restrictions governing mountain biking in the Chamonix Valley. Click here to access the Mountain Biking Maps.
VERY IMPORTANT: As Chamonix is first and foremost a destination for hikers, there are many restrictions on mountain biking, especially on singletracks, during the crowded July and August months. Consult the free guide from the Tourist Office for more information. Hire a mountain biking guide or instructor to show you the ins and outs of Chamonix Mountain Biking.
The 15-mile long valley has six separate lift systems and boasts a rideable vertical range of over 2000 metres. The lifts generally open 2nd week of June and most lifts close in September. It is not possible to bring your bike on the Aiguille du Midi, the top of the Grands Montets, the Montenvers Railway or most times on the Tramway du Mont Blanc.
There's also the year round 'bike friendly' Mont-Blanc Express train, which links Chamonix with Switzerland at one end and the Vallée de l'Arve at the other (only 5 bikes at a time). You usually cannot take your bike on the bus, except for an occasional bike-friendly summer service up the valley.
More experienced riders should choose to wear body armour for technical and downhill riding. Everything you need in the mountain bike stores in Chamonix.
From Chamonix, intrepid bikers can venture out on the Tour du Mont Blanc.