Scott’s Hohsaas Trail Plus

Mountain biker and Instagram influencer Scott has selected his favourite bike tour in the Saas Valley. Discover his tips and tricks!

If you enjoy biking in high-alpine terrain then this destination, and this particular trail, are an absolute must. The lift will transport you all the way up to 3,200 metres above sea level. It’s the highest I have come across in Switzerland that will transport both you and your bike, and also boasts a snow-free ride from the moment you step off the lift.

The tour
The journey starts at the heart of the village of Saas-Grund. Take the lift up to Kreuzboden, where you take a second lift from the same building up to the top of the Hohsaas resort.

The first thing you notice as you step out of the lift is the surrounding glacier, and 4,000-metre-high peaks in every direction. The view would stop anyone in their tracks, so take a moment to soak up the beauty before you think about biking down. From the very start of the trail to the very end, the Weissmies is on your left, and Saas-Fee directly in front of you across the valley. From there, a chain of 4,000-metre-high peaks continues all the way across to the Lenzspitze.

Once you’ve taken in the view, it’s time to start biking. The trail starts as a wide path with very little scree, and plenty of smooth turns. After a couple of hundred metres of vertical drop, the terrain starts to vary dramatically, from tight switchbacks with a lot of loose rock to flowy high-speed sections. It’s a wonderfully long, meandering descent, and it goes on and on. Eventually, you will reach Kreuzenboden, the place where you switched lifts, some 800 metres below where you started.

At this point, you might be surprised to learn that you are not even halfway through the descent. If you would like to stop for lunch, there is a nice restaurant next to the lift, and a small lake perfect for relaxing with a picnic.

The second leg of the descent is smooth and fast. It is a wide, almost endless trail punctuated with natural jumps. There are short sections with loose rocks, but most of the way it’s smooth. Halfway down this section, you will enter the forest where the trai gets as smooth as it could possibly be. The flow is incredible.

In Saas Grund, you come to the end of the trail. If you still have the energy, why not go for another run? If your next stop is home, then you can follow the trail all the way down to Visp, choose to bike the 20-30 minutes back to Saas-Fee or take the PostBus (bikes are accepted on the PostBus).

Why this trail?
This is one of the only resorts in the world where you’ll find a lift at such heights with such easy access for bikes. The views are stunning, and the biking is as good as it gets.

Hire a guide
You could follow the description above and find the route for yourself, but I would still recommend hiring a guide. Some of the trails are a little tricky to find, including the one from Saas-Fee to Saas-Grund and the one from Saas-Grund to Visp. With a guide, you can rest assured that you’re on the right track at all times. Kyle Harris from Saas-Fee Guides led us along this route. He knows the trails like no other, can build a few jumps on the way down and is an excellent coach too.

A few tips:

  1. Bring a bike repair kit with you. If you get a puncture and don’t have what you need to repair it, it’s a really long walk down with your bike.
  2. Bring a camera! A bike ride with views like this is a rare opportunity, so capture the memories.
  3. Bring warm clothes, whatever the time of the year. Even during the warmest weeks of the summer, temperates hit zero at this altitude overnight. If you go up early, you will start your run in near zero degrees temperatures. Luckily though, it warms up quickly thanks to being south-facing it gets sun all day long.
  4. Respect pedestrians. The trails are fairly quiet but if you see a pedestrian on the trail, slow down and ensure that everyone can pass by safely. Pedestrians and bikers have always enjoyed the resort in harmony with one another, so we want to keep it that way.
  5. Be careful on the lower part of the trail (Trift to Saas-Grund), there can be traffic.