Sharon and I have enjoyed skiing La Feclaz a number of days
over several years, and it's our favorite for fun trails with interesting
curves and dips and rolls. It also has some nice views of impressive mountains
(like Margeriaz close by to east, La Tournette farther to north -- and if you
know where on the trail to stop, a sighting of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain
in Europe. Close beside some of the trails are old herder cabins.
But not all the trails are equally fun, so here's some thoughts
on which ones are good for what purpose:
Overall . . .
Usually Sharon and I start from La Feclaz, but it's just as
much fun to start from le Revard / Crolles - (also St Francois de Sales
works fine too -- some sections of trails closest to St F are less
interesting than some others, but they soon lead to more fun sections).
Although some reports say there's 140 km of trails, I doubt
that there's anything like that much distance of unique trail
Many of the loops share trail segments, so if in
adding up the distances of all the loops, many trail segments are counted
multiple times. But when I tried adding up all the loops shown on the paper 2009
trail map, even with double-counting, I still couldn't get the total up to 140
km. My estimate from analyzing the paper trail map is that the
total of unique trail segments normally groomed for both skating and classic is
around 60-70 km. Plus 8 km of narrow classic whose grooming strategy I don't
know, plus a "randonnee nordique" trail which is not often groomed. Plus some
All the main trails are wide for skating, and groomed for both
classic and skating. There is a narrow classic-only trail that crosses some of
the main trails, but Sharon and I don't know anything about it (might not be
There are no flat trails. The green trail loops are shorter,
but they do have hills.
my favorite loop
Given starting from La Feclaz, though it could just as easily
done starting from Revard/Crolles or St Francois.
summary: Troix Cols to Bois Brule Raccourci to Grande
Teppe (with side trips to St F + Refuge) to l'Olette to Plan Goy.
hill challenge added: When main loop reaches
Revard/Crolles, ski the entire Bois Brulé loop, then finish the main loop.
Details and variations:
Blue trail to the ticket checkpoint (jct "Teppe de
*** optional: If I'm feeling strong and want to take on every hill
challenge, I take the Red/Black trail to the ticket checkpoint, but that
includes a substantial climb -- kinda tough for just starting the day --
usually better to save strength for the rest of the tour.
turn Right (at jct "Goule au Sire") on Black trail ("Trois
Croix"): Though it's on a Black
loop, this particular section does not have any of the steeper hills, and does
have lots of
fun curves + rolls.
Soon after another Black trail joins, turn Right onto a Black
trail ("Bois Brulé raccourci", toward St Francois),
then Right to join the Grande Teppe trail.
Left (at jct "la Grande Teppe") to continue on Grande Teppe
*** optional hillier variation: continue straight on Black ("Bois Brulé")
which then rejoins Grande Teppe.
Left (at jct "La Croisee") to continue on Grande Teppe --
includes views of peaks La Tournette + Mont Blanc.
*** optional visit to St-Francois-de-Sales
entry point: Continue Straight to St-Francois. Turn around, then
soon bear half right to take the Blue trail (St F start version of Grande Teppe) - (not
the full right turn onto "Gros
Plane" Red). At its end turn Right to rejoin main loop.
Left on Grande Teppe -- interesting herder cabins and
wide open field.
*** optional side trip on Red trail to Refuge de la Platte,
I often take -- includes some more
fun skiing and possible hot chocolate (then come back the same way).
Continue on Grande Teppe to Revard/Crolles (a couple of
intersections along the way, and some ups + downs) - (food
option at Crolles)
from Revard/Crolles, take l'Olette trail to Larcoutier.
*** longer variation: Hansen (Red) to Larcoutier.
*** much longer much hillier variation: Bois Brulé
(Black) to St Francois (various interesections + turns along the way), then
continue on Bois Brulé thru more intersections,
and finally leave Bois Brulé and turn Left onto
"Trois Croix" to Larcoutier.
*** not so long extra loop if you like steep ups + downs:
After about a km along l'Olette, turn Right onto Black, and go real slow up
the first very steep non-fun hill (save your strength for the funner ones).
Then Right to stay on Bois Brulé. Right (at jct
"Creux de l'Olette") onto l'Olette (now in the direction back toward Revard
/ Crolles), soon Left onto Bois Brulé (for the
interesting steep ups + fun downs and curves) which brings you back to
Revard / Crolles. Then take (again) l'Olette this time all the way to
Red/Black trail to finish in La Feclaz (with an exciting downhill,
and view of dramatic La Margeriaz mountain with the Belledonne mountains in the
*** food option next to trailhead at La Grolla, or more options in
La Feclaz village.
*** too much energy left: now ski the Plateau Sud loop.
more . . .
Sharon's early favorite from La Feclaz
(Green loop "Creux Froid" from La Feclaz is pleasant
enough, and much shorter)
sunshine + mountain view:
funnest for me: Black (Bois Brulé)
/ Red (Hansen) from Larcoutier + Creux de l'Olette to le Revard / Crolles.
Lots of variations in steepness, interesting curves, and some short sections
are pretty steep.
long + steady: Gros Plane (Red) early right turn from St
Francois - (sbut without evident reward)
long + steeper: Black (Bois Brule) early section starting from
Saint Francois - (leads to more interesting stuff)
steep ups + downs: Black (Les Trois Croix / Bois Brulé)
- section between the "long + steeper" and the "steepest".
steepest: Black (Les Trois Croix / Bois Brulé)
later just after crossing l'Olette trail.
The trail I do the least: Gros Plane (Red) early right turn
from St Francois: starts with a steep-ish downhill, then a long climb - (but at
least the long climb has some curves) -- good if you're looking for a long
steady climb challenge with no real steep sections. (I guess I don't find the
initial downhill sufficiently interseting to be a sufficient reward for the long
La Féclaz ("forêt")
closest to Chambery + Grenoble + Albertville
GPS lat/long = 45.64725, 5.98533 = N45.64725 E5.98533
Crolles / Revard parking
closest to Aix-les-Bains, and some Annecy skiers drive
GPS lat/long = 45.67985, 5.99866 = N45.67985 E5.99866
St Francois parking:
GPS lat/long = 45.67985, 5.99866 = N45.67985 E5.99866
concept words: ski skiing
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