St. Luc a hidden gem for mountain bikers
Bike park St. Luc in Val d’Anniviers is quite different from nearby spots like Crans-Montana and Verbier. The atmosphere is more laid back, just a relaxed mountain village. But the riding is still ace and not to be missed. Especially the narrow singletrack of the black is something you won’t find in many bike parks.
Besides the bike park, there are also 200km. of XC routes. And the best thing is that the kanton Wallis/Valais allows mountain biking on most trails. So you can take your bikes up in the other lifts in the valley and find your own way down, even all the way down to Sierre.
Mountain biking in St. Luc
- Great trails
- Relaxed atmosphere
- A lot of great riding outside of the bike park
- Waiting for the funicular
- Not much else to do if you require more entertainment
St. Luc is a small mountain village, in 2008 there where 312 inhabitants. There are 7 times more holiday homes then permanent homes, during the summer most of the holiday homes are empty. So it’s the opposite of nearby bike parks like Crans-Montana and Verbier. If you’re looking for a quiet place to enjoy the mountains, this is the place for you. If you require more entertainment then you’ll probably be bored here.
There are several others lifts in the Anniviers valley, that you can use for hiking and mountainbiking. There is also a beautiful but not easy via ferrata in the area. It is also possible to take the funicular up at night to visit the Observatoire François-Xavier Bagnoud.
Hotels and apartments
Check out hotel Weisshorn in an awesome location at 2337m.
The two closest campings in Val d’Anniviers are:
Camping d’Anniviers is closest to the funicular, but it’s still 500m. of climbing. And it’s also close to the swimming pool (and the garbage sorting centre, so it’s best to not pick a place on that side of the campground. )
Camping du pont A bit further away from the bike park, but in a quieter location, with cleaner/newer shower blocks. For about the same price as the first camping. There are also small chalets to rent.
If you have a camper van and you prefer to wild camp with a beautiful view, drive up to the lac the Moiry.
The funicular brings you 500m. up to the start of the trails, usually it rides every 30 minutes, when it’s very busy it might go more often. And on weekdays in the low season it rides only every 60 min.
The bike park in St. Luc has quite a long season (May/Jun-Oct/Nov.), check their facebook page or the website for the exact dates.
The bike park in St Luc has 3 trails, blue, red and black, they all share the last part before the lift. The red and black also share the “bunny up” jump zone half way down. Where you can choose between drops and tables of different sizes. The blue also comes to this point, but then turns right just before the jumps.
The Blue is a flow trail, it starts to the left of the lift (when looking down) behind the restaurant. The gravel dries quickly after rain and there will be some loose gravel here and there. Perfect trail for beginners or a warming up for the faster riders.
The Red is mostly flow trail as well, but steeper and faster, with some jumps and north shores. And some short sections that are more natural. Check out the gaps and drops before you jump them.
The Black trail is different, it’s a natural single trail top to bottom with large north shore jumps in between. So it will be slippery after rain, especially the steep parts. But that only makes them more fun!
It starts with a steepish and narrow chute that you see on your left when the train enters the station. It might take a bit of commitment at your first attempt, but it is a good way to get a taste for what’s coming further down in the forest.
Don’t miss the rocky section parallel to the road, just before the end.
Dan Milner did a great write up of some of the other riding that is available in the valley.
You are allowed to ride on most other trails in the Anniviers valley, so you can take the lifts from Zinal and Grimentz and find your way down. Just give priority to hikers and other trail users. On single trails this means coming to a full stop.
Books and maps
GPSAnniviers mountain biking trails
You can download the map with 200km. of XC and enduro routes on this page.
There are also a couple of long rides on bikingspots
Bike shops/ guiding/ Mountainbike rental
Sport 4000 and Chabloz sport rent out bikes, but I don’t know what types and prices.
Ride the Besso offers shuttling and guiding
Tips and tricks
You are not allowed to park your car next to the lift building, the closest parking is Parking Tsanlons. The village is a maze with a lot of single direction streets, so keep your eyes open for the signs directing you towards the funicular. Turn right just before hotel Le Beausite.
When you enter the funicular building you have to go through a turnstile,
which is near impossible with your bike, or at least to do it elegantly. There is a small gate to the right that you can go through with your bike.
The lowest section of the train is reserved for bikes. When it fills up you can also hang your bike on the overhead bar with the saddle.
When the train reaches the top don’t carry your bike up the stairs, but wait until the doors on the right open, so you can exit through the level walkway.
Other useful links
Grimentz is the finish for the Grand Raid BCVS which starts in Verbier. The marathon mountainbikers climb 5025m. in 125 km. (Much respect, but I prefer to take the lifts)
Crans-Montana is about an hours drive away, but a completely different atmosphere.
The same is true for Verbier.
Breuil-Cervinia is only 30km. away, but your car won’t go that way, if you know a good way to go by bike please let me know.