A guide to Mountain Biking in Cauterets
Mountain Biking in Cauterets
Cauterets is one of the most picturesque mountain resorts in the Pyrenees. 2 lifts provide access to some great mountain biking and a whopping 1500 m of vertical drop. Read more.
Summit 2400 m
Vertical Drop 1470 m
Base 930 m
Cable Cars 1
Chair Lifts 1
XC Good, beginner to advanced
Downhill Good, beginner to advanced
Enduro Fair, intermediate
Total Riding Unknown
Bike Park Yes
Bike Wash Yes (1 at the top and 1 bottom of the cablecar)
Beginner Trails 0
Intermediate Trails 1
Advanced Trails 1
Expert Trails 1
09 July to 04 September
Day pass: 17.50 €, Week pass: 52.50 €
Pau Pyrénées (1 h 19 min)
Biarritz (2 h 12 min)
Toulouse-Blagnac (2 h 14 min)
Office de Tourisme de Cauterets
Place Maréchal Foch
Phone: +33 (0)5 62 92 50 50
Cauterets MTB Gallery
Cauterets MTB Videos
Cauterets is a popular mountain resort in the Pyrenees in south-west France. During the summer holidays the town is buzzing with bikers and outdoorsy types who flock here for the spectacular mountain setting, spa and activities on offer.
A cable car and a chairlift, in that order, bring you and your bike (slowly) up to the top of the resort at 2400 m. The chairlift is painfully slow – it takes a long 20 minutes to reach the top. That’s fine on a nice day, but bring an extra layer if it’s anything less than scorchio. As with most resorts in the Pyrenees, every 2nd chair has a bike holder so the bike goes first and you sit on the chair behind watching your beloved steed hang precariously over the rocks and rivers below. Craftily, the lifty makes it clear that you’re responsible for putting your bike on the rack, and ironically this needs to be done in a nano second as the chair whisks round in front of you. Get it wrong and it’ll be a nail-biting 20 minutes. The Cauterets bike park is open from early July to early September and the lifts run from 9am to 12pm and from 1:45pm to 5:15pm.
If you look at the map you’ll see that there are just 3 downhill tracks in Cauterets. In reality, because you transition on fireroad between them, you could look at the trails above and below the Gare du Lys lift station as being separate sections, which would add an extra blue and a red to the offering.
The blue Maouloc trail is wide open, smooth and fast and good as a warm up. There’s nothing there to catch out even novice riders and you’ll see families with kids as young as ten ride this trail. The only obstacles are the wild horses and cows that seem to be partial to a bit of singletrack shrubbery. A motorway blast from the top of the chair leads into some nice winding singletrack peppered with some small jumps and drops. Each new section is labelled with a number and interlinked with a short section of fireroad. For more experienced riders it’s a fun run as a warm up, but given how long it takes to get back up for another go, you’ll want to hit the red as soon as possible.
The red Tobo is the highlight of the resort. Fast, a bit technical at pace, and regularly embellished with some nice little step-ups, a couple of lovely drops and hip jumps. Below the Gare du Lys lift station, you drop into the forest and the singletrack features some nice banked turns and a sequence of well-built wall rides. A top to bottom ride at full steam will test your fitness as you drop nearly 1500 m. It’s all well sign-posted but two thirds of the way down the lower section, the track spits you out onto the road and you need to ride down a few hundred meters of tarmac switchbacks before rejoining the trail. Everthing’s been built with fun in mind and all the jumps have chicken lines, but there’s nothing too challenging for a good intermediate rider. One thing’s for sure, you’ll finish this trail with a big smile on your face.
Cauterets is part of the Vallées des Gaves FFC mountain biking area and there are 5 waymarked trails which loop out from the town. Pick up trail maps from the tourist office or book a guided ride with the Bureau des Guides. Their office Office Montagne is located next to the Tourist Office in Place Maréchal Foch. A highlight is the 10.5 km La Reine Hortense trail which climbs to 1120 m with superb views over Cauterets and the Pic du Midi.