Charlanon Loop

Brévent/Flégère

Chamonix

If the lifts are closed or you have a motor attached to your bike, use this loop route to access Charlanon.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
11 km
Ascent
881 m
Descent
881 m
Low Point
1.1 km
High Point
1.9 km
Gradient
20˚
VIEW ON MAP
Charlanon Loop Map

Description

While most riders will use the Brevent lift to access Charlanon, a time will come when the lift isn't open. Or perhaps, in the Chamonix fashion, you have a motor attached to your bicycle. Either way, if you want to get to the top of Charlanon without taking the lift, follow this loop route to access this iconic Chamonix trail.

The climb to the top follows a steep dirt road. Despite some switchbacks and the occasional flat section, this climb is a bear if your bike is 100% human-powered. But if you have a motor, flip that baby into turbo and blast on up the mountain!

Charlanon is "Brevent's only designated mountain bike trail. This enduro-style descent on fully natural singletrack is sure to test even the best riders," says local rider Tom Grant.

This enduro-style descent is one of the best-known trails in Chamonix for a good reason! After a technical, extremely exposed upper section, the descent opens up and lets loose with steep, fast singletrack dropping over 900 meters down the mountainside.

The singletrack along the way is quite varied, with some long, fast, mostly smooth sections, a few ultra-technical switchbacks, and plenty of rock gardens to bash through.

After 10 to 15 minutes of constant descending, you may need to stop and shake out the pump—this ripping descent is relentless!

Once you hit the Petit Balcon trail you can either drop straight to town, or if you aren't done quite yet, bang a right, pedal uphill a bit, and turn left onto a much more entertaining trail to finish.

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Technical
  • Hike a bike
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Road sections
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area