Grandes Traversées du Jura (GTJ) : Mountain bike road from Mandeure to Culoz via Plateau d'Hauteville
The Grande Traversée du Jura by mountain bike allows you to discover the Jura Mountains over nearly 400 km: this route is a little easier than the variant passing through the Grand Colombier.
From Mandeure in the Doubs to Culoz in Ain, the trail allows you to discover the incredible diversity of the Jura Mountains at your own pace. Don't be fooled by the northern GTJ mountain biking. The ascent to the Maîche plateau then the path along the green banks of the Doubs river can be a bit technical. You will discover rural landscapes punctuated by very beautiful Comtois farms as far as Pontarlier. The majestic Fort de Joux marks the entrance to the kingdom of spruce and fir. In front of you, the large forest areas open up and the mountain biking sanctuary is looming, Métabief, a paradise for mountain biking with downhill free-ride and enduro trails. You are at the foot of the summit of Mont d'Or which will delight you with its magnificent panorama of the Alps.
You are in the Haut Jura Regional Natural Park with its contrasting reliefs oscillating between 600 and 1700 m in altitude which allow the cohabitation of typical fauna and flora. Chapelle des Bois marks the southern end of the Department of Doubs. Linger along the Mortes and Bellefontaine lakes bordered by a magnificent peat bog. The Jura department welcomes you. After the Station des Rousses you arrive in the land of the Hautes Combes, meadows and sumptuous forests which are home to rare fauna… be careful, you are in the land of the Capercaillie and the Eurasian Lynx. In Lajoux, the Maison du Parc naturel régional du Haut-Jura will introduce you to the Jura culture. Then you will ride in the Hautes Combes Jurassiennes, a mecca for cross-country skiing. La Pesse, from the local name of the spruce, will allow you to savor the wild atmosphere of the land of the crêts. That of Chalam marks the end of the Jura. It is by a beautiful descent that you will enter Ain. But be careful, you will have to go up to Bugey and its peaks. The Retord plateau will delight lovers of wide open spaces and silence. For the end of the trip, two options are available to you, one more bucolic and heritage via La Praille, and the Valromaysan treasures and the other more mountainous via Arvière then the mythical and famous Grand Colombier before descending towards Culoz.
Throughout the 415 km of the marked trail of the Great Mountain Bike Crossing, 150 accommodations await you. From the stopover gîte to the hotel, including guest rooms, inns, refuges and campsites.
Find all the information relating to accommodation / catering along the route, news (temporary diversions), preparation advice and official tracks on the Grande Traversée du Jura VTT website.
It takes between 6 and 9 days to complete the entire route depending on your level.
The return is from the Culoz train station (Lyon - Geneva line) to Mandeure.
Recommended route: Culoz - Lyon then Lyon - Montbéliard (direction Nancy).
From Montbéliard: join the start in Mandeure 14 km away by cycle path crossing Sochaux-Montbéliard via Exincourt, Audincourt and Valentigney.
From 01/05 to 31/10.
- Drop : 7600 m
- Distance : 400 km
- Level red – hard