Bikepark bardonecchia has some short fast and flowing trails at the Smith 4 lift and some longer and natural trails at Melezet.
You will find steeper and challenging sections, but overall the trails are at an intermediate level, with no real options for beginners other than the forest roads.
On the weekends it’s a popular destination for people from Turin, but from a biking perspective it’s not a full holiday destination, but luckily it’s easily combined with a couple of other small bike parks in the area.
Mountain biking in Bardonecchia
- Fast, flowing trails
- A couple of more technical and challenging sections
- No options for beginners other than the forest roads
- The trails at the Smith 4 lift are short and a bit more variation would be nice
Bardonecchia is an Italian ski resort nestled in a little corner against France, it is the westernmost commune in Italy. You can easily go over the Col de Montgenevre to Briancon or take the Frejus tunnel to the Maurienne valley.
During the weekends and holidays it’s very popular with people from Turin.
Both at the bottom and the top of the Smith 4 lift it can be busy with people enjoying the nice weather and Italian food. But the mountainbike trails are properly separated from the hiking trails, so you don’t have to worry about hikers on the trails.
When you walk up the main shopping street and cross the bridge you can still see some of the buildings of the old village, but the majority of the village has the feel of a 70’s ski resort.
If you’re looking for some history you can visit the Forte Bramafan museum which has undergone extensive renovation work.
All gelato lovers need to visit Pasticceria Ugetti, if you do not like gelato then maybe you will enjoy the pasticceria (small pastries) or you can just look at how beautiful they are.
Near the campings is the Via Ferrata del Rouas. If you’re looking for something different than only riding your bike down, you can climb up the rock face here. There are different difficulty levels from beginners to experienced. You will need some safety equipment that you can rent in the village.
Hotels and apartments
Both campings are at the end of the valley near the French border and the road to the Col de L’Échelle. This isn’t a busy road, but there is some traffic noise in the evening and early in the morning.
Campeggio Pian de Colle The field for tents is right next to the road and the showers and toilets could do with an upgrade.
camping Bokki Another campground in a beautiful location that needs a big upgrade.
I prefer to drive up to the Val des Prés in France and stay at one of the campings there, they have bigger pitches, better showers and are in a more beautiful environment. This gives you a nice basecamp to visit the bike parks of Bardonecchia, Montgenevre and Serre Chevalier. And there is also some XC and enduro riding directly from the camping.
The bikepark is spread out over two lifts, there used to be a third lift on the other side of the village. But the Fregiusia lift is no longer part of the bike park.
There are a couple of blue trails on the bike park map(below), but these are the forest roads. So it’s not what brings most people to the bike park.
5 Is a trail that connects the Smith 4 lift to the Melezet. It has some fun natural “hiking trail” sections and you will also have to pedal here and there.
9D Is the easiest downhill trail at the Smith 4 lift. It’s fast and fun if you have some basic skills, but it’s not suitable for a family on XC bikes.
The other downhill trails are all in a similar style, steep, fast and flowing.
No real technical difficulties, but still a lot of fun although more variation wouldn’t hurt.
To the side you will find some wide northshores or rock roll overs and drops on some of the trails.
Don’t miss 14D, it’s a bit of to the side and requires a little bit of pedaling to get to the start. (When you get out of the lift continue straight ahead between the two buildings.) But it is certainly worth it, this is my favorite trail in Bardonecchia. It’s more natural and technical than the other trails.
This lift isn’t always open, so check with the ticket office or lift personell first, before you make your way over there.
The trails have a lot more altitude difference than Smith 4 (433m vs 250m). They are in a more natural style, with some technical sections, but not continuously demanding.
Most people stay at the Smith 4 lift, so it’s usually quieter here when it’s busy.
From Melezet you can roll down on the road back to Campo Smith
Books and maps
Bike shops/ guiding/ Mountainbike rental
There are several rental and repair shops at the Smith 4 lift.
Tips and tricks
The guys at the lift work hard to get you up as quickly as possible, but the lift only takes one bike per chair (and it’s not a quick lift), so it’s best to avoid the weekends.
Other useful links
Montgenevre is a small bike park with trails for all abilities too bad it isn’t bigger
Serre Chevalier is a larger bike park with trails ranging from easy flow trails to a steep black natural trail.
Sauze freeride and Sestriere are also nearby, I have been there six years ago, but I cann’t find any recent info online, are they still operating?