St Luc Bike Park - Uncrowded but good swiss bike park
The St Luc Bike Park is located close to Sion and an one hour drive away from the Bike Park of Crans Montana, another great place to ride. To get to St Luc Bike Park you need to drive 2.5 hours either via Martigny or trough the Goppenstein car transport service by train.
It is not that easy accessible with public transportation – not in means of time, it takes 2.5 hours, too. But you need to change 4 times the train or bus which is quite often.
St Luc bike park was founded about 4 years ago and offers 3 trails with plenty of jumps, drops and wooden obstacles. The trailbuilders are the guys from juride.
A big plus of the St Luc bike park is that they open really early in the season and close always very late. No matter how much snow there is on the trail, the trail crew gets rid of it to open the bike park on the promised date. Additionally there is the annually “Forest Rider” event on opening day. This year this event was on the weekend from 1st and 2nd june.
The trailbuilding crew constantly improves or adds new elements to the St Luc Bike Park. Two years ago they opened the third trail – the black trail. A year later they corrected the final drop and end of season they added a step up just after this drop. I look forward to try this combo, looks good on the pictures!
The trails in St. Luc Bike Park get dry and dusty in no time after rain. In wet conditions the black trail might get a bit slipery but all trails are even when wet easy rideable. Therefore we think that St. Luc Bike Park is also a good option under wet, muddy conditions or after a longer period of bad weather (as it is right now in Europe).
St. Luc Bike Park offers a cablecar with a capacity of about 20 riders and their bike. Bikes are placed inside of the cablecar. The ride up takes about 8 minutes and under normal circumstances the St. Luc cablecar runs every 30 minutes. Which is at least for us a reasonable good timing. If you are exercising for upcoming races you might want a higher interval. Since there haven’t been any official races at St. Luc Bike park yet, you should consider training in a bike region where there is a race to train for, anyway.
But, if there is a high amount of (Downhill-) Mountainbikers, they run the cablecar in a higher frequency. So far this didn’t happen when we’ve been riding there, but a friend was telling me about this.
As in the introduction already mentionend, the St Luc bike region offers three different trails for different abilities.
All three trails start at an altitude of 2170 and go down to 1670 Meters above sea level, which makes it exactly 500 Meters of downhill.
Blue Trail – 2.5km long. A funny track, wide and easy. No gaps and and a lot of berms. Never steep. This makes this trail in the “Val d’annivers” perfect for beginners. Next to a perfect beginner it rarely gets crowded and the crowds that ride at St Luc bike park get distributed well since the cablecar only runs every 30 minutes. In my opinion good for slower riders and beginners. They just need to wait a couple of minutes at the beginning until all the other riders are gone and then the beginners have the trail for themselves. I would have loved a trail for my own back at the time I was beginning with downhill mountainbiking.
I’m not a big fan of the blue trail. The berms are often a bit too short and narrow, not the type of berm I really like. I might be a bit picky, tough. Nonetheless it is a good trail for beginners.
If you want to ride hiking trails, there are a few very interesting options available that lead you from top of Saint Luc Bike Park at 2560 meters above sea level down to about 500 meters high Sierre in the Rhone Valley. Not sure if this official, tough. In general Mountainbiking aside of the official bike park trails is highly accepted in that part of Switzerland. But please, don’t use hiking trails like bike park trails. Ride with reasonable speed, show respect to hikers and be polite!
Red Trail – 2.5km long. Speedy track, steeper than the blue but still manageable for all levels of riding in dry conditions. Has a lot of wooden obstacles in small to medium sizes. A good trail to get used to north shores. All obstacles are easy to land. Some of them have a bit a short landing, tough. Check the stuff first before you ride it. There are no signs marking gaps or drops, therefore, especially when riding this trail for the first time you need to take your time and have a look at the obstacles!
There are two or three step up / down combinations. All of them are small but really funny and flowy. Some of my friends rate those combos at St Luc Bike Park as the funniest combos they have ever ridden. You don’t need to be afraid of hitting those. But again, it helps knowing how big a gap is – even when it is small.
The trail map at the bottom station of the St Luc Bike Park is no big help, but you don’t need a map to find all the trails. Just follow the colored arrows that are at every critical crossing. Easy enough. The three trails split just after the road gap. Until there, there is just one trail (as displayed on the trail map).
Black Trail – 2.2km long. Thin, speedy and sometimes steep trail through the forest, with nice step down / step up kombo towards the end.
The black trail is thin from top to bottom. It doesn’t have a lot of obstacles in the upper part, but some nice kombos towards the end. Watch out for the last northshore drop, short landing, closer than you might think, don’t overshoot it.
I guess my favorite trail at the St Luc Bike Park is the red trail, due to the numerous small but funny features. Perfect trail to ride with friends and have a lot of fun together.
A daypass costs you CHF 25, there is an option to buy a afternoon ticket, after 12pm.
The scenery, the quality of the trails and the fact that it is not yet too crowded make the stay at St Luc Bike Park good value for money. For me one of the bike parks I like to start or end my season with. Not only thanks to the trails but also thanks to the early opening at beginning of June and late closing in the beginning of November.
If you go for a weekend trip and don’t want to ride just one bike park, St Luc Bike Park it is close to Crans Montana Kona Bike Park, another of my favorite bike parks in Switzerland.
It helps when you speak french in both bike regions but you get by with english just fine.
Accommodation, Deals & Shops
The Bike Park operators offer a pretty amazing deal called “Ride ‘n Sleep” for CHF 90. This includes 2 St Luc Bike Park daypasses (CHF 25 a day), 2 meal vouchers and breakfast on the second day. The hostel is located on top of the mountain, where you enjoy an amazing view for dinner and breakfast. The top of St Luc Bike park offered some of the greatest sunsets I have experienced in Switzerland last year. Besides the included meals you are free to use the guest kitchen at any time.
If you don’t want to sleep on top of the mountain, there are some decent options in St. Luc. For example the camp site Gîte du Prilett, which offers cabins if you don’t want to sleep in a tent. If you choose to freecamp, you might discover some interesting locations while riding at St Luc Bike Park.
A small – really small – bike shop called Annibike is at the bottom station and helps you with general maintenance and repairs of your bike. Annibike is renting bikes and protection gear if you need something or if you broke your bike.
St Luc Nightlife
St. Luc is a pretty small village high up in the swiss mountains. We never even tried to find a bar. But there are mentions of a Tipi Bar at the camping.
But when you make it to St Luc and stay overnight I think there greater things to do than hanging out in a Bar. BBQ, bonfire, guitar playing – you get the idea. Watching stars is quite amazing, too. It is a remote place without any cities around and therefore the light polution is minimal, especially when sleeping at the hostel on top of the mountains you should have a look up to the stars during the night.
On the way up Val d‘annivers we saw a pretty big base jump location. There might be even some rafting or canyoning options. For more informations about additional outdoor activities contact the tourism board.
St Luc Bike Park is one of my favorite bike parks in Switzerland due to different facts. First it has a really sweet free camping area. Second the trails in St Luc Bike park offer something for everybody but are not yet overrun. Brake bumps and long lines at the bottom station are the exception and not the rule like in other, yet more famous bike parks. Last but not least the bike park opens early in the season and dries up rather quick, making it a good option even after a week of rain.
Check the St Luc bikepark website here and their facebook page here.
Check our blog baguslife.com with more bikepark reviews from Switzerland.
The bike park offers a trail for every ability of riding, good fun and perfect for improving your north shore riding skills.
Early season start and good in wet conditions
Blue trail not as flowy as it could be due to a lot of narrow berms.
Some landings are a bit too short