Dozens of routes to be explored. A huge area of three Alpine valleys and everything on one cheap pass. It sounded great! Unfortunately, that’s just what it sounded like…

I visited 3 Valleys in the second half of August this year. On the first day, looking at the map of the Les 3 Vallees bike park, I was excited with what awaits me in the coming days. The bike park covers the Belleville Valley, the Courchevel Valley and the Méribel Valley in between. In each of them there are MTB trails with a length of up to more than ten kilometers. Most of the lines are blue and red, which is just at my level.

The trails are divided into two types: Downhill and Enduro. Downhill trails not necessarily have downhill character. They can be flow, jumpy trails, but the thing is, there are no uphill sections on them. On the Enduro trails, there may be climbs, but descents definitely prevail. Some Enduro routes are also very long. It is the routes of this type that reach more then ten kilometers in length.

So what I didn’t like?

First of all, the routes were very rugged. Washboards everywhere, and actually even not washboards, but holes. Maybe it’s the end of the season. Maybe we were also unlucky that it didn’t rain for a long time, and the drought accelerates the wear of the routes. But it was, and it spoiled the fun of riding for me.

Secondly, little interesting trails. Many downhill lines are just narrow paths with bends or steep, tight and hollow berms. For example, the blue DH3 Blue Line and the red DH4 Tougnète Rocket in Meribel.

I didn’t ride many Enduro trails because it was too hot for me to ride uphill in pads. However, I was on fragments of some Enduro trails and that was enough for me to realize that some of them lead on ordinary wide gravel roads, common for cyclists and pedestrians.

It was also bad that it was impossible to get to the beginning of some lines by the lift, because it was closed. This applies to lines on the west side of Les Menuires and trails in Val Thorens.

Val Thorens is a curiosity in general. It is a village located about 500 m higher than Les Menuires. From this and from the villages located below, you can get to it by bus, which travels with a trailer for bicycles. They organized it well, but I don’t know why, since there is basically nothing in Val Thorens itself :) I mean, there is supposedly green, blue and red line, but we didn’t manage to get to their beginning. We only found a lift that can take you to the middle of the blue trail and this is what it looks like:

The positive thing was that from Val Thorens, if you ride up a bit on the asphalt and then go down the short red Pluviometre, you get to the start of the blue DH6 Bruyeres trail. And I quite liked this one. Mainly because you could see that it wasn’t very popular, because it wasn’t so worn out. And a few nice tabletops, the berms were not so tight, so you could catch some flow there.

Because it’s not like whole 3 Valleys is so poor. I wasn’t like “wow, it was great, I want to do it again” after any trail, but there were lines after which I was like “oh cool, this one was pretty fun, I can go again”.

One such trail is the blue, 9 km, DH2 Bellevue in Meribel.

The big wide berms on the blue Woodstocked line in Meribel aren’t too bad either.

I also enjoyed the first part of the red E4 Top Down route. As it happens on Enduro routes, it mostly leads along a gravel road, but at 2:55 a quite difficult and interesting, rocky fragment begins.

In the Belleville Valley, on the other hand, the red Roc’n’Bike line is quite interesting.

If you like flow trails with big tabletops, you might like the red Red Line and B’hell’ville Line.

Unfortunately both are short. The B’hell’ville Line turns into the blue Saint Martin, which you can also jump on and if it wasn’t for the washboard, I would probably like it very much.

It is also worth riding down to the Courchevel Valley once. There is nothing interesting in Courchevel itself, but the E7 L’intégral trail from the top of La Saulire is a few kilometers of a very scenic and sometimes fast ride, from an altitude of about 2600 m to 1800 m. The trail is marked as black, but I don’t know why, because I didn’t see any black spots on it.

In general, the views are an undoubted advantage of 3 Valleys. It’s really beautiful after leaving some lifts :)

What for beginner bikers in 3 Vallees?

Actually nothing. There are only three green trails and I was surprised by their difficulty, because I would not expect such steep and tight berms on the green ones. At the same time, I even liked Easy Rider and Les Girauds. You can speed up and jump somewhere.

So I don’t recommend going to Les 3 Vallees if you’re new to downhill. It’s better to gain skills first, for example, in the bike park in Zieleniec, Dolni Morava, or on Srebrna Góra and go to 3 Valleys when you ride the red trails.

What for advanced bikers in 3 Vallees?

Me, if I were more advanced, I would probably enjoy riding on the red DH6 Motta Red. You can have fun jumping there, but I, at least for now, bypass several meters gap jumps ;)

The most difficult to ride is the black DH10 GForce, which, as you can see, proved to be beyond my capabilities.

In fact, the red Forest Jump also exceeded my abilities, because I did not expect that there would be a drop on the red trail, from which it is impossible to slide off or bypass it, and right before the turn.

So there is something for the advanced, but relatively little.

In general, it was nice to see a new place and ride a bike among beautiful landscapes. The trails did not impress me, but I would probably have more fun at the beginning of the season, when they are not so damaged.

The big advantage of this bike park is the low price of passes. A 7-day pass costs only EUR 89, and for a group of three people EUR 227, which is about EUR 11 per day per person. This low price, as you might think, does not attract crowds of people at all. Usually you got on the lift without any queue.

In the next post I will describe the nearby Bike Park La Plagne, which we visited one day.


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