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Alpe d'Huez

Alpe d'Huez Ski Resort Guide

Alpe d'Huez, France

Rated: 5/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForExpert Skiers, Intermediates, Beginners, Snowboarders and Apres-Ski!
Total Piste Length236km
Highest Lift3,330m
Resort Height1,860m
 Nearest AirportsGrenoble and Chambery
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Alpe d'Huez

A world class ski resort, Alpe d'Huez offers one of the greatest unbroken verticals in the world. Skiers of all levels are well provided for, whether Beginner or Expert, and the ski area includes some epic, long descents such as the Sarenne.

Summary

The French ski resort of Alpe d'Huez is in the French Alps at an altitude of 1,860m, with 236km of marked runs.

Alpe d'Huez is part of the Alpe d’Huez grand domaine Ski area with access to 389km of downhill skiing, with 304 marked pistes, served by a total of 150 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Alpe d'Huez itself (236km of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Alpe d’Huez grand domaine Ski ski resorts of Auris-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans, Vaujany and Villard Reculas.

The ski resort itself is at 1,860m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With ski lifts as high as 3,330m, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Alpe d'Huez?

The next notable snow forecast is 17cm, expected on 2 October, with around 160cm forecast over the next 7 days.

See our long-range Snow Forecast for the latest update, or   Join our Snow Mail Here

Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Alpe d'Huez
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
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2,362m
Snow
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2,030m
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resort
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resort

Ski Area Stats

Alpe d'Huez Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
1766km
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
3974km
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
3753km
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
4247km
Downhill
Total Length
236km
Cross Country
Total Length
50km
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
85

Alpe d’Huez grand domaine Ski Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
40
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
88
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
82
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
94
Downhill
Total Length
389km
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
150

Altitudes

Alpe d'Huez Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift3,330m
Lowest Piste1,860m
Resort Altitude (Alpe d'Huez)1,860m
Max Vertical1,470m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Alpe d'Huez
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers
Beginners
Snowboarding
Snow
Apres-Ski

Alpe d'Huez Overview

One of the world's major ski centres, the Grandes Rousses ski area above Alpe d'Huez is a huge and high domain served by an extensive lift system. The resort itself is one of Europe's highest and largest with a massive vertical drop, crowned by the Sarenne Glacier. Built above the original village of Huez, the resort has expanded in all directions over the past 20 years.

Today the resort is big and vibrant with far more shopping and 'things to do generally' off the slopes than in most other ski centres, especially by French standards. Architecturally the place is a mix of traditional Alpine chalet style wood and stone buildings, some rather ugly rectangular concrete developments and more tasteful modern construction.

There are two huge beginners areas directly above the resort and those going on to the top of the lifts will be able to see a fifth of France, on a clear day, from the top station. The resort has a reputation for both good snow falls and good sunshine with south facing slopes - the area is protected by 900 snow cannon.

Alpe d'Huez is one of the most southerly located major international resorts in the French Alps.

 Notable Ski Runs

The longest possible descent in Alpe d'Huez is 16km long and the most difficult run is the 'Tunnel', which is 16km in length.

Skiing

The 2230 metre vertical down from Pic Blanc, the highest peak of the Grandes Rousses Massif is one of the largest in the world and leads to some of the planet's longest descents, including the 16km (10 mile) long Sarenne Black run.

Alpe d'Huez for Beginners

Beginners might not be too interested in the Sarenne, but they will find the wide slopes immediately above the resort are open sunny expanses with largely gentle gradients. There is also a free lift for first timers use.

Alpe d'Huez for Intermediates

For intermediates there is almost endless terrain, with some of the best around the slopes of Le Signal d'Homme and the Plat des Marmottes. Passes of six days or longer also include a day or more in several neighbouring resorts including Serre Chevalier. There is also a joint ticket with Les 2 Alpes.

Alpe d'Huez for Experts

Beyond the Sarenne, the longest black in the world, there are nearly a dozen more Black runs above the resort and extensive off-piste possibilities.

Ski Schools

The Ecole du Ski Français (ESF) in Alpe d'Huez is more than 400 instructors strong and offers tuition in all disciplines and in a wide range of languages. It has a particularly good reputation and regularly dominates the annual 'Instructor Challenge' competition for French ski schools. The International Ski School also operates in Alpe d'Huez and the Mountain Guides Office can arrange a multitude of snow-based activities including off-piste runs one evening a week to a mountain restaurant for a fondue.

Cross Country

Cross country skiers have three sign-posted and maintained tracks, the easiest being the Brandes loop leaving from the Altiport. The 10km Poutran loop is classified blue whilst the 'Loop of the Lakes' is graded red and is 20km long.

There are a variety of pistes to suit all levels of skier ability, from Beginner to Expert.

Snowboarding

Alpe d'Huez is a very active snowboarding centre with the two major schools giving snowboarding tuition. Snowboarders have the Nature Snowboard Space to themselves - on top of all the pisted and off-piste terrain. Several Snow Parks feature slides, quarter pipes, various modules and a Boarder-Cross course.

The resort has hosted the World Snowboard Cup in recent years.

The Mountain Guides Office can arrange snowboarding excursions on the glacier and off-piste.

Location and Map

Where is Alpe d'Huez?

This ski resort is in the French Alps in L'Alpe d'Huez, Huez.

Map

Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Alpe d'Huez is Grenoble, 70 minutes drive away.

Chambery, Lyon Bron, Annecy, Lyon St-Exupéry, Geneva, Saint-Étienne and Turin Caselle airports are all within three hours drive.

Infrastructure

Ski Lift Capacity

The 85 ski lifts are able to uplift 94,000 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, on 62km of ski runs, with 900 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Alpe d'Huez open?

 Open from : 5 December 2020.

 Closes : 23 April 2021.

Usual opening is early December, and usual closing is Late April.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

Piste Map

Alpe d'Huez Piste Map
Alpe d'Huez

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Alpe d'Huez, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Alpe d'Huez Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Alpe d'Huez

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Aprés Ski

One of the livelier French après ski scenes feeds off more than 30 bars and restaurants including the popular Zoo Music Bar, the 'O' bar, the Last Bar and the Underground. Smithy's Tavern is also normally busy. Later on there are four nightclubs to choose from. However, many visitors head for the Palais de Sports or one of the other sports facilities in the resort after the lifts close.

A variety of events are staged throughout the season, including an ice driving competition in December and a comedy film festival in January. A classical music concert is organised every week.

Alpe d'Huez