The Best of Verbier's World-Class Enduro Tracks

Explore Verbier's world-class enduro tracks with these top picks.

Greg Heil

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Description

Verbier exemplifies what it means to be a mountain destination in the Alps. One of the most famous ski resorts in Switzerland, Verbier anchors the expansive Four Valleys region as the epicenter, the hub, from which everything else spins.

Verbier's mountain tourism efforts whole-heartedly encompass the mountain bike scene in the summertime. While some classic Alps destinations, such as Chamonix and most of Austria, are decidedly anti-mountain bike in their legislation, lack of trail building, and lack of bicycle infrastructure, Verbier embraces mountain biking with open arms.

The bike park is the beating heart of the Verbier mountain bike scene. Sitting beneath the main gondola, the bike park trails easily connect to the wider trail network. The bike park boasts a wide range of trails from intermediate to expert, and the resort regularly maintains the tracks and builds new ones. While Verbier doesn't claim the best bike park in the Alps, it's no slouch in this regard. With a lengthy bike park season ranging from June to October, this resort and some of its other Swiss compatriots put the more renowned parks, like Les Gets and Morzine, to shame.

But perhaps the most exemplary feature of this renowned mountain destination is its enduro trails. Indeed, Verbier easily boasts some of the best enduro trails in all of the Alps. The competition is fierce, but the tracks in Verbier can compete with the best.

There are a few reasons for this. First, the terrain in Verbier is ideal for enduro mountain biking. In some ways, the mountainsides and mountain slopes here are milder than what you might find in, say, Chamonix... but these slightly-milder slopes are the perfect playground for trail builders. "Mild" is a relative term, however, as you'll still find brutally-steep, tight, twisty natural trails that demand expert-level bike handling.

Second, the destination of Verbier proactively maintains the singletrack in the greater trail system surrounding the town. Even some of the most progressive mountain destinations in the Alps will only build and maintain trails for mountain bikes in designated bike park areas. Verbier is exceptional in the fact that professional trail crews work on and maintain any trails that are multi-use and open to bicycles as well as hikers. This professional maintenance helps provide an optimal mountain biking experience.

Historic singletrack in the Alps is steep and rugged, with brutally-technical rock gardens and absurdly-sharp switchbacks. Due to an absolute lack of professional trail building or maintenance over, in some cases, absolute eons, the trails are usually eroded and worn away from the centuries of rain, snow, and traffic. The Verbier trail maintenance crews not only shape and sculpt the corners to be more bike-friendly, but they simultaneously take care of long-neglected maintenance needs to keep the trails in sustainable shape. In some instances, they even perform moderate reroutes to make the singletrack sustainable. This work benefits all trail users, whether on two wheels or two feet.

Third, the lift infrastructure provided by the resort is second to none. While some of the best enduro trails do require some pedaling to reach them, most of the tracks are accessible directly from the lift system. For the most epic of descents, you can utilize a 4-lift combination to reach the very top of the mountain range and then descend thousands of vertical meters all the way down to the valley floor. Even the most easily-accessible enduro lines are so tall and so steep that they require a two-lift combination to get from Le Chable to the lift station at Les Ruinettes. Other fantastic routes run from Verbier to the surrounding cities and towns, but by combining the fantastic Swiss train system with the reliable lift system, you can create incredible point-to-point routes with little to no logistical planning required.

Fourth, the mountain bike amenities in Verbier are so widespread as to be omnipresent. Bike shops for both maintenance and rental can be found on every corner. Ebike charging stations and bike repair stands are sprinkled across the resort. Bike guides and shuttle services abound, whether you want to rip around the bike park with a local or adventure deep into the mountains. Public transportation and local lodging are all friendly to mountain bikes.

And the list goes on.

If you're looking for a top-tier mountain bike destination to keep an enduro rider satisfied for weeks of riding, look no further than Verbier.

Adventures

Col de Mille

The Full All Mountain Experience: Big climbs, Big Lines and Big Views. Under the mighty north face of Mt Rogneux you will experience mountain biking nirvana.

Wouaiy

Wouaiy (like the sound you make when you ride this trail) is the most complete 'Bike Park' trail that has a extremely natural feeling to it.

Ch√Ęteau - Crie (Jackass)

A mythical descent that should strike fear or excitement into any rider. Very long, very steep, very technical and very exposed. Not for the faint hearted or those with a fear of heights.