Alpe d’Huez is set on a high sunny plateau, at 1,860m in the Grande Rousses area of the Southern French Alpes. Surrounded by an amazing snow bowl, it has mile after mile of varied pisted and off piste opportunities.
Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine ski area
Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine Ski area covers 5 resorts and 2 villages : Alpe d'Huez, Auris en Oisans, La Garde, Le Freney d'Oisans, Oz en Oisans, Vaujany and Villard-Reculas. With over 250km of skiing to choose from, it provides endless choices for all levels of skiers and boarders.
Alpe d'Huez is known as Island of the Sun ('Lile au Soleil') and most of the main slopes face south benefiting from the claimed average of 300 sunshine days a year! The resort spreads down a gentle slope in a triangular shape from the main lift station at the top corner. The resort boasts an excellent snow record due to its high altitude – high altitude goes hand in hand with breathtaking views and a wonderful starting point for the Sarenne descent, officially one of the longest black runs in Europe.
Alpe d'Huez skiing and snowboarding
Alpe d'Huez has skiing suitable for everyone. This resort has a huge choice of nursery slopes and two vast, wide beginner’s areas where you can find your feet and practice your turns as a first timer. You’ll find one of these areas in the Bergers section of the village and the other at the first level of slopes serviced by the DMC gondola they’re accessed by various chair lifts and drag lifts which are free for beginners, so there’s no need to shell out for a pass until your technique improves and confidence builds.
Intermediate skiers are in their element here thanks to the aforementioned huge vertical runs available from the top of Le Pic Blanc. If you’re a capable intermediate who wants to clock up some vertical metres, there are several cracking runs to test your mettle, including the 2035m descent to La Villette, the 2000m drop to Oz-en-Oisans at 1330m, and the 2205m descent to L’Enversin d’Oz at 1125m. Intermediates can also test themselves with tough reds in the Signal de l’Homme and Villard-Reculas sectors, and the Canyon Run from Plat des Marmottes represents a decent challenge.
There’s 67km of black pistes here across 16 groomed runs, so there’s plenty of provision for advanced skiers. Hop on the DMC jumbo gondola from the resort base and you’ll reach the Pic Blanc summit via a second lift. You can take on the Sarenne Run from this launchpad at 16km, it’s the longest black in the Alps, but it’s more of a marathon than a rollercoaster ride as half its length meanders along a riverside path.
Alpe d'Huez snowpark
There are two terrain parks, one near the bottom of the slopes for novices with various jumps and rollers and another 1.5km advanced park close to the Lac Blanc drag lift.
Initiation snowpark: This snowpark is ideal for beginner and intermediary levels, comprising two slopestyle lines, each with 2-3 tables (jumps) and 4-5 easy boxes.
Expert” snowpark: Comprising two slopestyle lines, offering a dedicated area for experts to practise their sport. 3-4 tables and 8-10 technical rails.
And don’t forget the “Cool Zone” at the bottom of the snowparks: an ideal place to chill out and listen to some music.
Alpe d'Huez apres-ski
Alpe d’Huez has a loud and lively après scene, here the dancing and live music continues until late into the night. La Folie Douce is one of France's most popular après-ski institutions and opened a location at the top of the Marmotte lift in L'Alpe d'Huez a few years back. Every afternoon, the huge wooden terrace at La Folie Douce turns into an outdoor club, with DJs and live musicans and skiers bopping along to the music while still in their ski boots!
Alpe d'Huez village
The main Avenue des Jeux is used as a central focus and this is where you will find some of the shops, bars and restaurants along with the swimming pool and ice rink. Towards the bottom of the town is the older, original core of the resort which has a slightly more traditional feel to it.
Alpe d'Huez is not short of restaurants varying from high quality to cheap and cheerful but generally they are cheaper than some of France's other premier resort restaurants, so don't worry if you tire of the food in the chalets or hotels.
The Alpe d'Huez resort is the scene of major international sporting, festive and cultural events: International Comedy Film Festival, Tomorrowland Winter...
Alpe d'Huez ski resort stats