Amazing Running Trails to Explore
on Your Next Visit to the Alps
Those warm summer climbs in the French Alps may seem a long way away, but that hasn’t stopped us planning our next adventure. We have been looking at other ways to explore the mountains this summer.
Known for its amazing hiking trails, the French Alps have long been a favourite destination for hiking enthusiasts, looking for challenging routes with unbelievable scenery. Over the last few years, these trails have become home to an ever increasingly popular sport, Mountain Running. These ultra marathon distance events take place on some of the most technical and challenging courses the Alps has to offer. Iconic events like UTMB include over 10,000 metres of climbing within a 170 kilometre route.
Inspired by these epic adventures, we teamed up with Salomon to take a closer look at some of the best trails to explore, whether running or walking, on your next visit to the Alps.
Tour du Mont Blanc
Perhaps the most iconic and best known route in the world of ultra running is the Tour du Mont Blanc, covering 176 kilometres this circular route circumnavigates Mont Blanc, passing through France, Switzerland and Italy. Whilst completing the whole route would take 11 days, or just 24 hours if you’re a elite athlete taking part in UTMB. Clearly you won’t be taking on the entire route as part of another trip, but we’d recommend picking up a section of the trail on the Aiguilles Rouges side of the Chamonix Valley. From there you can pick up sections of the Tour du Mont Blanc trail, take on shorter out and back routes, or spend a day looping round. The trails provide stunning views and challenging trails that do not require overnight stays, the lugging around of large backpacks and camping equipment.
Learn more about the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Annecy - Tour of the Taillefer Mountain
Annecy has developed a reputation as the perfect base for cyclists looking to access iconic alpine climbs, such as the Semnoz, Col des Arvais and Col de la Forclaz. The town nestles itself alongside the aqua marine waters of Lac d’Annecy, with everything you need to enjoy every day of your holiday whilst on and off the bike. Surrounding Annecy are plenty of trails, offering stunning backdrops of alpine peaks and views across the lake. We’ve picked the Tour of the Taillefer Mountain, a great trail to explore and take in breathtaking scenery.
The trail can be picked up from a small town, Duignt, that sits on the banks of the lake, from here you head away from the lake towards a hamlet called, Les Maisons. This is where you’ll join the path to the peak of the ridge and head back towards Lac d’Annecy. Along this path you’ll be able to take in stunning views of mountain ranges and views across the lake back towards the town of Annecy and beyond. A moderate trail, this is perfect for those looking for an active rest day, or wanting to expand their training with a challenging mountain run with unbelievable views.
Learn more about the Tour Of The Taillefer Mountain.
Perhaps the best known of all French Alpine Climbs, Alpe d’Huez is steeped in cycling history and has given us some of the most memorable moments of the Tour de France. Starting in the heart of the village of Alpe d’Huez, this trail heads up and away from the village, climbing up onto an open ridge, and thus providing amazing panoramic views. You’ll climb up to over 2000m altitude during this walk, so picking the right day, weather-wise, is essential to making the most of the views. Once you’ve reached the peak it’s then a gentle descent back into the village of Alpe d’Huez, where you'll have the opportunity to take in more amazing views of the valleys down below.
Learn more about the Alpe d’Huez route.
Designed in the heart of the French Alps at the Annecy Design Centre, Salomon is the ideal choice for your off bike explorations. Their technical design and thorough testing program has helped them develop a range of products born in the mountains that are ideal for challenging conditions.