Description

Whatever your level, there is a GTJ mountain biking route for you.

The Jura massif is an amazing place to be, no matter what you want to do, how much time you have and where you want to spend the night.

This “traversée” was the first to be labelled by “Sites VTT” in 1992; it covers a distance of 415 km and is a classic route.

From Mandeuvre in the Doubs department to Culoz in the Ain, the trail lets you discover the mind-blowing diversity of the Jura Mountains at your own pace. The easy part of the GTJ mountain biking route in the north is a bit misleading: ascending toward the Maîche plateau and along the lush banks of the Doubs is technically demanding. On the way to Pontarlier, you will discover a variety of countryside scenes dotted with beautiful comtois farmhouses. Then you will arrive at the majestic Joux fortress, gateway to a kingdom of fir and spruce which stretches over large wooded areas. A bit further is Métabief, a mecca for mountain biking with fabulous free-ride and enduro descent tracks. From there you will ascend the Mont d’Or, which offers a delightful and breath-taking view over the Alps.

This summit is in the Haut-Jura, a land of contrasted reliefs ranging from 600 to 1,700 m in altitude, where plants and animals typical to the area cohabitate. Then comes Chapelle-des-Bois, which marks the south end of the Doubs department. Riding alongside the Mortes and Bellefontaine lakes, take your time to enjoy the scenery and discover a beautiful peat bog. You are now in the Jura department. After the Les Rousses ski resort, you will arrive at the Hautes-Combes, a land of meadow woods and magnificent forests inhabited by rare animals… Caution is required, for you are riding in the territory of the capercaillie and boreal lynx. In Lajoux, you can visit the Maison du Parc naturel régional du Haut-Jura where you can learn about local culture. The Hautes-Combes is also a focal point for cross-country skiing. La Pesse, which draws its name from the local word for spruce, is a land of crests and wilderness which you will certainly enjoy. Then comes Chalam, which marks the end of Jura department and the beginning of the Ain department, where you arrive after a nice downhill ride. Do not take it too easy though, because the trail goes uphill again, toward the Bugey and its summits. The Retord plateau will be a great reward if you love large expanses and silence. Two options are proposed at the end of the route: heading toward La Praille will take you through bucolic landscapes and to the Valromaysan treasure; heading toward Arvière will take you through the mountains to the famous and mythical Grand Colombier before the trail descends toward Culoz.

A total of 150 lodging facilities have been selected along the 415 kilometres covered by the GTJ mountain biking route. From overnight group houses through bed & breakfasts and inns to shelters and camp sites, all providers are used to welcoming long-distance riders and look forward to familiarising you with Jura’s cuisine.

Characteristics

Altitude
↓218 m ↑1341 m
Average leg length
30 km
Recommended time of year
April → October

Departure → Arrival :

MANDEURE → CULOZ