“Adrenaline-pumping adventure with breath-taking alpine scenery”
Chatel Bike Park
If you are seeking the thrill of mountain biking, look no further than Chatel Bike Park. Positioned in the heart of the stunning Portes du Soleil region in France, this world-class bike park offers an exhilarating experience for riders of all skill levels. From steep descents and challenging trails to breathtaking views, Chatel Bike Park has it all. In this guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know to make the most of your biking adventure, including the kit you’ll need, how the park works, navigation tips, and information on hire companies and guides.
A video showing some of the trails is here
The Châtel Bike Park will be open :
- from 9 to 18 June: Friday, Saturday and Sunday
- from 23 june to 3 September: every day (late opening on Wednesday from 14th July to 25th August)
- from 9 to 17 September : Saturday and Sunday
Upcoming events at the bike park:
- 11th – 13th August 2023: MTB Downhill French SKF Cup
- 14th – 17th September 2023: Enduro MTB World Cup
Before hitting the trails, it’s important to ensure you have the right gear to stay safe and comfortable. Here’s a checklist of essential items:
- Helmet: Most people who ride the bike park trails prefer to use a full face helmet.
- Protective Gear: Consider knee and elbow pads, as well as a back protector, to safeguard against potential falls.
- Bike: Opt for a full-suspension mountain bike with suitable tires for the terrain.
- Tools and Spares: Carry a multi-tool, spare inner tubes, and a pump to address any mechanical issues on the go.
- Appropriate Clothing: Wear moisture-wicking clothing and consider a waterproof layer to adapt to changing weather conditions.
- Hydration and Nutrition: Bring a hydration pack or water bottle and carry energy snacks to keep yourself fueled during long rides.
How It Works:
Chatel Bike Park operates on a lift-accessed system, allowing you to access different trails easily. The lifts, designed specifically for mountain bikers, transport you and your bike to the starting points of various trails. The park typically opens from late spring to early autumn, offering a range of trails catering to different skill levels. A mountain bike pass is required to use the lifts and access the trails. You can purchase a day pass or opt for multi-day options depending on your duration of stay. See lift passes and pricing here
Navigating Chatel Bike Park can be a breeze if you keep a few pointers in mind:
- Trail Maps: Grab a trail map from the park’s information center or download a digital version for easy reference. See a map here to plan your trip.
- Trail Grading: Trails are color-coded based on difficulty, ranging from green (easiest) to black (most difficult). Choose trails that match your skill level.
Green: ideal for beginners / Blue: a bit more of a challenge / Red: are for those not lacking in skill! / Black: for experienced riders only.
- Signage: Look out for trail signage and follow the designated routes to avoid getting lost.
- Ride Within Your Limits: Don’t push beyond your comfort zone. Progress gradually and challenge yourself as you gain experience.
Hire Companies and Guides:
If you don’t have your own mountain bike or prefer to explore the park with the help of experienced guides, Chatel offers a variety of hire companies and guided tour services. These companies provide quality rental bikes suitable for the park’s trails, ensuring you have a safe and enjoyable experience. The guides are knowledgeable about the area and can help you navigate the trails, improve your skills, and discover hidden gems within the park.
All bikes and equipment can be hired here – book ahead at peak times of the year.
If you are from the UK ask for the brakes to be switched to make sure they are the same as your usual bike. The standard setup in Europe is front brake on the left and rear brake on the right.
Chatel Bike Park is a mountain biker’s paradise, offering an adrenaline-pumping adventure amidst breathtaking alpine scenery. By equipping yourself with the right gear, understanding how the park operates, and following navigation tips, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the trails. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner looking to test your skills, Chatel Bike Park has something for everyone. So, gather your gear, pump up those tires, and get ready for an unforgettable biking experience in one of Europe’s premier bike parks.