Andorra Enduro Trails

We continually evolve and add to our guided Andorran riding, and we add new trails every season. Andorra has become a trail rider’s dream, with amazing natural singletrack unfurling under your wheels in ewvery corner of teh tiny country! The best mountain biking routes in Andorra are very well hidden – you will be very happy to have a guide! A rough idea of some combinations of our trails is below, but we tailor each week to the group we are riding with, in order to give you the best possible holiday. We gradually increase the difficulty of the riding so you go home full of confidence and new-found skills. During the course of your week we will show you a fantastic, varied array of the very finest riding to be found anywhere in Europe.


Holiday Overview Holiday Options

Lawnmower, Corkscrew +Ridgeliner

Descent 21km / 2400m
Uplift: 1900m Climb: 210m/50m/250m

Lawnmower: we begin the day with a van uplift to the top of the highest road in the Pyrenees at 2408m, before a short climb to access the descent, which drops around 7km down to Soldeu. The trail begins by descending a beautiful valley through meadows full of horses, down into the treeline before hitting some fairly easy switchbacks and a couple of tricky tech sections , such as “Gary’s Rock” which will test your skills a bit! A final high speed traverse delivers us to Soldeu. After a bit of lunch we head back up on the local gondola to 2250m, from where we can access another descent…

Corkscrew: this trail has a couple of options to start – but our favourite is called “Try The Door”, which begins at the same level as the gondola, before hitting the main Corkscrew descent, which drops back down steeply to slightly below Soldeu – giving you a meaty 500m of loamy, twisty forest descending. Initially steep, but not particularly technical, you’ll sliding around mulchy corners deep in the forest, before popping out into the main descent about halfway down. From here it is blisteringly fast and flowing, contouring back and forth with wide, sweeping corners to the valley floor. A 10 minute climb returns us to the gondola, which we use to return to the top station, before a short 250m climb to reach the main event…

Ridgeliner: this super-high altitude descent is genuinely one of those trails you see in movies: a ribbon of singletrack unfurls along the crest of an enormous, spiny ridge…yet at the same time it is mostly surprisingly non-technical, and not exposed! Despite dramatic views down huge cliffs to a valley hundreds of metres below it doesn’t have any nasty edges anywhere near the trail and is only occasionally technical. It is an awesome route for a picture – one which you show your friends to really make them jealous! And best of all this descent is huge 10km long and 1000m high… You follow the spine of the ridge for a few kilometres before the trail starts to dive through the trees on easy, but occasionally steep singletrack. Further down there’s a short, steep technical section – but mostly it’s all very rideable by most people! From here onwards it’s simply beautiful – 5km of singletrack swooping down through the forests on loamy trails and through meadows all the way to the valley floor….

Trash Panda, Hightower +Boneyard to Pylon

Descent 19km / 2200m
Uplift: 1900m Climb: 230m

Trash Panda: The van drives us straight from the hotel door to the start of the descent, in a beautiful meadow at 2000m..and we are straight into it! Fast flowing meadow trails in the morning sunlight soon give way to loamy trails under the trees as we drop fast into the deep forest. Initially very fast and flowing the trail pops out in and out clearings with immense alpine views, skirting drystone walls before suddenly becoming more technical. As the trees deepen the trail steepens! Switchbacks, chutes, gulleys and more switchbacks drop you through the thick pine forest before you eventually emerge 500m below the start point at the waiting van, by which point you will definitely be fully awake! This one isn’t for all groups, but overall it’s not a crazy hard trail, unlike…

Hightower: The trail only our most skilful riders will get to see! The van takes us back to the same start point, but this time we take a different option across the meadows at 2000m, and head into one of the most technically challenging trails we guide – and which drops a chaotic 700m in around 5km! Yes, this one is both steep and technical – getting it’s name because it starts high , and finishes at an ancient tower. In that distance an awful lot happens! Rocks. Roots, Chutes. Rocky, rooty chutes. Intense switchbacks full of rock, tight, steep turns. The hardest, steepest rock garden we have…and even a final section which has switchbacks on slickrock! We end up in the town of Encamp, where we will grab some food whilst we wait for the van after lunch in the main square.

Boneyard and Pylon: Back in the van, and yep, back to the same high meadow! However, this time we head up a 230m climb to the very peak of the mountain at 2212m, high above La Massana – which offers around 1000m of forest descending over 10km. We have multiple versions of this descent –varying lower sections all take different routes with different feeling trails. You will get to see more than one of them during the trip! The Upper section “Boneyard” has some of the prettiest views all week – across into Spain – and begins on loose, dusty scree, which soon disappears and becomes fast, flowing, forest singletrack for several kilometres. It’s mostly non-steep, and non-technical – it’s a section 100% of riders love! The optional routes begin about a third of the way down; “Pylon” is an alternate bottom half – and it’s loam city! It’s never particularly technical, but it can get pretty steep as it flicks and flacks down the rough the trees to the valley below, before a final flourish through a rocky gulley trail before we hit town for a beer at a sunny terrace.

Valira Valley Explorer

Descent 2450m / 27km
Uplift: 2100m Climb: 150m/200m

First thing in the morning we load up the trailer and head to the gondola station at Soldeu, in the Valira Valley. We will use this lift 3 times today to access a variety of awesome trails deep in the dense, ancient forests, starting with

Helter Skelter: a furious descent on Andorra’s finest loam , all of it super-narrow singletrack. It’s not got too many technical features, but it does have a few corners…72 of them!! There’s a mix of switchbacks, natural berms and steep corners – it’s constant steering. Occasional rock gardens keep you on your toes – can you clear it dab free? Few can! This drops us onto the “The Basement”, which today we will use to return towards Soldeu (sometimes it is a descent), around 150m above us up the valley.

Oscar’s Legacy: not so much a trail, more a set of options which are the remnants of the old Soldeu bike park, sadly closed for many years. Oscar Saiz, ex-World Cup DH racer, and coach to many current pro riders designed the park – and is a good friend to StS. There are several trails which remain rideable from the top of the Soldeu Gondola, such as Cova, Os, Marmot and Basket Case…they all drop 450m back to the bottom station, from where we head up again.

Happy Ending: how many MTB holidays offer you one of these?! Ours lasts ages, and has huge variety – and whilst at times it might surprise you it’ll put a huge smile of your face by the time it is finished! The entertainment starts off smooth and rhythmically, and quickly becomes fast..but edgy. Suddenly we will dive off in a surprising direction and things quickly get hectic! Enough euphemisms…fast flow gives way suddenly to steep sections – nothing too technical – but the steep keeps getting steeper. It is easy to get lulled into a false sense of security – before you know it you are going faster than you want to be and the brakes aren’t co-operating! We always encourage riders to hold their speed down whenever possible, because this trail accelerates you all the way to the valley floor 730m and 7.5km below in teh town of Canillo, where we are met by the van for yet another uplift!

Rockfort : After a 9km drive back up the mountain to 1950m we throw in an end of day bonus – we have a lot of choices available, including an optional 200m climb back to the top of The Boneyard (if tired we can skip this climb and head in lower down). This crazy trail was named by our crazy former guide, French-born Keev. It’s a play on words – it’s rocky, it’s hard and it turns your brakes to melted cheese! From the top of the mountain this trail descends 1000m and 7km to La Massana (700m/5km without the optional climb). This one is intense; steep, highly technical, with extensive jagged slickrock sections- it is not for the faint hearted! You need very good skills to tackle this trail well – we have had very experienced riders tell us that it is the most challenging trail they have ever ridden. Unrelenting, unforgiving and unmissable if you want to be challenged! Alternatively, if tech is not your thing we can pick one of the variations of Local’s Only, which descends through a similar area…

 

Skyfall and Jordi's Way

Descent 2000m / 20km
Uplift: 1500m Climb: 210m/250m

Skyfall: jaw-droppingly beautiful, sat high in the most remote backcountry we reach –alongside Ridgeliner this is probably among the most impressive places in the world you’ll ever ride… We uplift to the top of the same road we use for “Lawnmower”, at 2408m. We follow the same outward section but rather than taking the descent to Soldeu we stay high across to a huge, dramatic bowl at 2600m – the top of the infamous Skyfall descent.

We are at very high altitude here, and the technicality of the singletrack reflects this too – but it gets less demanding as you descend towards the valley. The first section is steep and switchbacking on loose, stony scree, dropping you to a beautiful mountain lake where we often have lunch and sometimes a swim! Continuing downwards, the second section is embedded with big, grippy, round rocks – it’s all about momentum maintenance to clear it. After a 50m push to get over the corner of the mountain the second half of the descent begins.
This section is far less steep, and becomes more and more flowing. Entering the treeline the rocks give way to pine-needles and loam – and it is…endless! Every so often there’s a technical section to deal with, but the forest trails are far more forgiving. Eventually we arrive at the Soldeu, and head up to the gondola to 2300m, followed by a fireroad climb to 2562m.

Jordi’s Way: a few years ago Jordi, a good friend of StS, born and bred in Andorra came across something thoroughly awesome…and again, it’s a trail of stunning views – this time right across Andorra towards Spain. Did we mention it drops 1250m vertically and is nearly 12km long?
The trail swoops along a high meadow above a stunning valley, before plunging down into the valley floor through gorges, across rivers and dropping into the treeline about halfway down. The descent is hugely varied: flowing singletrack with enormous views, steep, loose sections, switchbacks, rock gardens…it is basically flowing trails interrupted by short, tough tech sections. Overall it’s a pretty mellow descent, but it will leave you completely satisfied – it’s a beautiful afternoon in the mountains.

Hidden Natural Trails Off the Park

Descent 3000-5000m /30-45km
Uplift: 3000-5000m Climb: Zero

There’s a huge array of well-hidden natural trails to explore around the fringes of Pal-Arinsal Bike Park – so many that we can’t fit them all into a day! There’s a huge mix of trail types , and many can be combined together:

Magic Gulley: a flowing descent through the trees, which gives way into a maze of rock gulleys.  The “magic” is you never come out in the same place! This leads to two choices: a)Bus Stop: rocky, but not too technical  to the edge of town. Finishes with a flowing section to a bus stop! 3.5km/620m b) Hidden Valley:  off the side of the park; you burst out of the trees into high meadows and a gorgeous valley . Contouring, somewhat technical, and zigzags it’s way down to the edge of town via a final section of super tight switchbacks! 4km/ 620m

Round the Back: an alternative start point with a steep entrance, then a loamy woodland traverse. It accelerates downhill, with some mild tech sections and joins Magic Gulley. When combined with Hidden Valley it offers a  4.5km/640m descent

Nutjob: a hard-to-find entrance into the woods, it quickly transitions to narrow, smooth, dusty and ever-steepening singletrack. Tricky steep rock sections begin to appear, requiring commitment and control. Soon the trail levels out and contours across the mountain on fast forest singletrack, before a steep, twisting rocky finale! 5km/630m

Go Rock Yourself: from the peak of the mountain this hour-long descent drops into a stunning valley all the way down to town. It’s very long, varied, sometimes challenging, sometimes flowing. The most obvious trail is not the best – it quickly turns to doubletrack. Knowing hidden junctions and options is crucial; we keep you on singletrack nearly all the way! The very long rocky sections give it the name – but there are long woodland sections too. 10km/1100m

One Brake and a Prayer: a newer addition that needs the cable car to be running, high up at 2600m. The trail cuts across super-high meadows, far above the valley. The super narrow singletrack is not technical but the height and steep mountainside below can feel quite intimidating! This leads down and links to Rocky Road: one of the most hidden trails, and a fave of Cedric Gracia! In a video he disguises it’s location …but we know where it is! Slickrock and gulley runs, with short very technical features which challenge the best riders. Generally not steep, and most people ride the majority of it – but clearing it all needs skill! 6.25km/ 930m

Homerun: generally easy descent from the top cable car back to near our hotel. Beautiful alpine views, cruising on a benchcut trail through meadows. The last section follows a ski piste, so is less fun, but there’s the option of Lunch Trail, famous for a viral video by our friends Production Privee bikes. It’s a tricky to locate, but great fun if you like steep woodland tech! It starts out easy, but becomes very challenging; steep chutes, tight switchbacks and rock gardens 6.5km/1020m

Happy Camper: once uber-tough, this trail had a makeover by locals, and is now a rollercoaster of dusty chutes linked by naturally bermed turns. Sometimes steep, but nowhere near as technical as it once was. Comes off partway down Nutjob, and pops out 30 seconds from our hotel – a good secret return route! 5km/ 540m

 

Locals Enduro Uplift Day

Descent 2900m / 36km
Uplift: 2500m Climb: 50m/230m/50m/90m

There are many versions of this day – and they are all bloody great! Some trails are classics we have been riding decades…others are new additions, or tweaked options – but all are fantastic! We uplift all day, with a few climbs to reach certain trails – but the van does the majority of the work!

Locals Only: yes, this was it – the first trail we ever found in Andorra, nearly 2 decades ago…and it is a nailed-on, bona-fide classic. Accessed either via the Boneyard (see above) or the original, lower start point –it is a fast, furious flowing descent that drops 9km/1000m to La Massana. Mostly non-technical, lightning fast and flowing – it feels like it was built for bikes (it wasn’t) and everyone who rides it loves it! There are now multiple versions of this trail  – we ride several through the week! The upper section has two primary lines, the lower sections has 4 separate descents: Pylon is described elsewhere, Classic is fast, flowing through undulating meadows and forests, The Ridge is mildly technical with a sudden view, and some awesome just-wider-than-bar-width flow amongst trees! Test Track takes a steep, more demanding route, with chutes and tight turns – it was built by Commencal to test bikes!

Big Cat: we describe this as more of an18km route that descends 18km rather than a single descent – it’s (mostly) quite chilled, with stunning views as it drops down a very long valley, with great bits of singletrack linked together by easy trails. It’s a great trail that lets you absorb the scenery at times, with long singletrack sections such as the insanely technical high mountain Rocky Horror , the super-fast flowing Riverside, the technically challenging steeps and switchbacks of Endor, plus shorter sections such Back Garden and 18th Hole. Midway down there’s even a coffee stop – and we usually grab lunch at the stunning village of Ordino whilst waiting for our next uplift!

OCD: another trail of options – the classic version is a direct descent from the van, straight back down 750m to town and has a bit of everything; fast, rocky and open sections, tight loamy trails under the trees, and several gulley sections that include the “Rock Staircase”, the “Root Staircase”, “Slickrock Gulley” and a technical but very do-able final section through a gorge back to the bar! However, partway down there’s an option to regain some height, via short-ish to Hugo’s Hump  which is a fast, flowing woodland descent  into a neighbouring valley…and, full disclosure, another push (no, we hate pushing too, bear with us) to an amazing trail we call Silence. It’s amazing how this 15 minutes of effort pays off – 90m of up gives you get a bonus 300m descent, as it drops to a much lower point on the other side. Silence has amazing views down near vertical cliffs, but we turn away from those quickly into some mega-rooty tech, which opens up and becomes much more gentle as it flows around the mountain’s contours. Eventually it drops into a unique section – a long micro-gulley of rocks and switchbacks all the way to the valley floor. You will instantly forget the push ever happened!

"...the most perfect sun-dappled loamy singletrack any of us had ever ridden."

MBR Mountain Bike Rider

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