MTB Bucket List : Switzerland
Updated: Aug 13
Remember those Swiss girls who swept the podium at the XCO event during Tokyo 2020... We promised we would get to the bottom of what made this nation so superior on the technical Tokyo track. It only took a few minutes of research to see that Switzerland has some bucket list worthy training locations.
You may not be training for the next world class MTB event, but we're sure that you’ll be dreaming of these Swiss mountains the next time you find yourself falling asleep at the work desk.
In the summer this ski resort boasts the fruit of a well planned mountain bike experience. We say experience because there is a trail for every discipline at any level…. Just be ready to spend a bit of time getting used to breathing at an altitude of 6,090ft.
The featured trail above is the WM Flow trail... named in such a way for obvious reasons as shown above. In winter, the best skiers in the world race down this iconic run. I wonder if your rental mountain bike can handle that same kind of speed...
The trail is only a 2mi sample of the smattering of offerings at this resort, turn off the trail to see some steeper, more challenging, and longer options to get you back to the bottom. Or get those 2mi on repeat so when the Swiss team rides around you can maybe sit on a wheel.
The height of the mountain and the views will you leave you breathless. Better yet, lift passes are free if you pick the right hotel, it truly is a destination crafted specifically for MTBers.
You've heard of the Matterhorn (the one at Disneyland?), but the mountain itself in Switzerland is far more thrilling than the child's ride.
You can spend time enjoying the views of this snowy peak on family friendly trails such as Blauherd which connects you to miles of both moderate and scenic trails. If you don't mind missing out on the views for a little bit while you contemplate some technical twists and turns, you'll find yourself enjoying something along the A-lines of Gornergrat. Rocky and technical, this 7.3mi ride begins at Gornergrat and actually finishes flowy and fast in Zermatt. With fewer hikers on the trail later in the day, locals suggest using the opportunity to ride this one at sunset. AGAIN it is NOTHING LIKE the child's ride at Disneyland. So prepare yourself...or bring kneepads.
Fingers crossed the TRAILLOVE festival will take place in Zermatt in 2022, toes crossed we'll be there.
*bonus locals tip*
Gornergrat can be a bit touristy at times, so if you want some alone time with the Matterhorn Rothorn to Lenzerheide has a spectacular view with less populated trails.
The Bernina Express
Not a downhill resort, but one of the few trails outside of the US and Canada that is rated epic by the International Mountain Bike Association. The only epic rated trail in the Alps. The 32mi route is simple to follow, with signs denoting turns through the valley of Graubünden, it is anything but a fire trail. With a few technical sections to keep things interesting, intermediate riders can tackle the challenge of covering this route on a day trip to the Alps. The day wont be boring as you'll pass through rocky alpine scenery, narrow grassy valleys, and crystal mediterranean water features.
Part of the lengthy trail passes by St. Moritz, so if you're really wanting to get sendy, the options are always there. They like to say that in Graubünden, every trail is a bike trail.
This smattering of trails is only a taste of what Switzerland has in terms of mountain biking. And by now it should be really clear why the Swiss team is the current powerhouse in mountain biking.
To keep the Swiss dream alive on a Wednesday when you should be doing work, but are scrolling instagram follow @graubendenbike. To add to your n+1 list of mountain bike bucket list locations follow @freshgreasebikes.