Mountain Biking

Best Mountain Biking In The Portes du Soleil

Mountain biking destinations in Europe don't come much better than the Portes du Soleil area

Ask anyone about the best places to mountain bike in Europe, and the Portes du Soleil will most definitely come up. Without doubt a mecca for the sport, this alpine region straddles the French and Swiss Alps linking 12 resorts by chairlift. As if that wasn’t enough to peak your interest, the 24 lifts service 650kms of trails on one single pass, with everything from XC, enduro and downhill catered for. Still listening? Your days here could be spent riding big flowy bikepark in the morning, followed by a meaty climb to some secret singletrack in the afternoon. Whatever your preferred discipline, you’ll always find something to go at in the Portes du Soleil.


Morzine is the epicentre of the Portes du Soleil and acts as the connecting resort for other towns on both the French and the Swiss side of the region. The gems of Morzine? Undoubtably Super Morzine and Le Pleney.

Super M

Credit: Tom Hardman

Super Morzine, fondly known as Super M by the locals, is the smoother of the bikeparks on offer to the town with more flow, big berms and table tops than you can shake a stick at. Look out for Tutti Frutti, the perfect blue to progress your jump skills on that runs from the top of the chairlift right down to the lift station. 

For the more advanced rider, Hattock’s your go. Starting life as an unofficial trail complete with sketchy gaps and gnarly roots, Hattock finally became a legit black trail after it was exposed by some of the pros. Now it’s updated regularly and newer additions to the trail include the Oakley Sender road gap and a couple of big doubles. 

If big booters are your game, keep your eyes peeled for the Widowmaker, Super M’s biggest feature. You can’t really miss it, the chairlift goes right over it—perfect heckling location.

Super M is also your gateway to Avoriaz, Chatel and the Swiss resorts.


Credit: Tom Hardman

A downhiller’s dream. Found on the north side of the town, Le Pleney is where you’ll find the most quintessentially Morzine trails (steep, rooty and challenging). Although it only has 4 main trails that run from the top of the gondola to town, the riding on Le Pleney is endless. With unmarked trails making up about 75% of the riding, you’ll find loamers and unmarked singletrack off almost every corner. 

Pleney’s most famous trail has to be Mainline; the black downhill track that has it all—jumps, drops, root gardens, and plenty of tech. Mainline is one of the main reasons World Cup riders flock to Morzine in between races to dial their riding and set-up. Pleney also has the quickest gondola in the Portes du Soleil, taking just 6 minutes to gain 600m, making punching laps in any timeframe a breeze. And if you’re after a real challenge, Pleney’s 10% chute feature is steep, loose and a lot of fun.

Pleney is also the gateway to Les Gets from Morzine. Take Family trail from the top and cut out at the fireroad to traverse left towards the next valley.


Purpose built ski-resort Avoriaz sits slap bang in the middle of the Portes du Soleil. Linked to by Super M, the riding here mostly takes you down into the Linderets bowl, where you’ll find a good mix of tech and easier bike park singletrack. There’s also a few lone slabs to ride higher up in the alpine. 

From here, you can either ride back down to Morzine via Lac Montriond (well worth a swim after your sweaty ride), or head up the other side of the bowl to connect to Chatel or Moisettes chair to find some Swiss cheese.


Credit: Tom Hardman

Cited as Europe’s Whistler, you can imagine how good the bikepark is here. With a huge diversity of terrain and well-manicured tracks, there’s something for all levels of rider in Chatel. Advanced riders, however, are the ones who can truly make the most of this playground. 

Located in the Pre-la-Joux area, 15 minutes from town, there’s more than 20 downhill, freeride and enduro trails to find your flow on. Uber tech downhill tracks with heaps of roots, drops and jumps run parallel to huge freeride lines. With 3 pro-friendly freeride tracks—Air Voltage, Reboul and the Vink Line—it’s no wonder Chatel has the reputation it does. The Vink Line, created by pro Nico Vink, is the ideal place to huck your meat. Ride smooth, fast and huge with monster berms, jumps and gaps to enjoy.

Les Gets

Home to the Downhill World Cup track, we’re not sure Les Gets even needs an introduction. But for the sake of being informative, this resort is one of the largest riding areas of the Portes du Soleil. Created with accessibility in mind, all abilities can find something fun to ride on Les Gets. 

On one side of the valley, the main chairlift Chevannes takes to you to the top of favourite flow track Tomahawk. There’s banked turns, table tops and rollable kickers that runs the height of the entire hillside here. For more advanced riding, look out for Canyon black trail. From the top of the chair, you can connect to the Nauchets chairlift which offers an anthill-esque trail network for all grades including a black with large gap features.

On the other side of the valley, you’ll find the quieter of the two lifts; Mont Chery. Aside from hosting the WC track, Mont Chery has the steepest and largest feature trails. If you want to go big, Airline is the trail for you.


Credit: Tom Hardman

When you say Champery, most mountain biker’s first thought will be World Cup. Their next thought is most likely Danny Hart. The Coupe du Monde course is the spot that saw him win the 2011 event with one of the most iconic runs of all time in some seriously wet and wild conditions. On par with the WC track, the rest of the trails on the Swiss side of the Portes du Soleil are also steep and challenging. So if you’re confident on you bike, there’s nine downhill tracks and a bunch of cross country to keep yourself entertained with. 

While they’re smaller than some of the other bikeparks in the PDS, both Champery and Morgins are exceptionally well maintained and provide some of the best turns and booters in the area. Generally speaking, the riding on the Swiss side is harder, with colour grades being slightly more difficult than the French side (red trails here may have big road gaps for example). 

The Swiss National track, Les Grande Coche, is the black that snakes its way down the backside of the border under the view of the stunning Dents du Midi towards Champery. It starts on rock, transitioning to dirt lower down with some tight technical turns and wide fast singletrack. 

The next valley over, you’ll find the hidden gem that is Morgins bikepark. It’s usually quiet and pristine trails are maintained to perfection by the trail crew, with locals like Vinny T riding and digging there regularly to keep things interesting. Not made for beginners, if you’re looking for a challenge or some advanced riding to wet your whistle, you’ll be hard pushed to find riding as good as it is in Morgins.


Featured image credit: Tom Hardman

Head here for more information on mountain biking in the Portes du Soleil.

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