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Grandes Traversées du Jura (GTJ) : Mountain bike road from Mandeure to Culoz via Plateau d'Hauteville

Mountain Bike · Jura Mountains · closed
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  • Culoz depuis le Grand Colombier
    Culoz depuis le Grand Colombier
    Photo: Belley Bugey Sud Tourisme
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The Grande Traversée du Jura by mountain bike allows you to discover the Jura Mountains over nearly 400 km: this route is a little easier than the variant passing through the Grand Colombier.
Distance 394.7 km
43:06 h
7,600 m
7,624 m
1,344 m
232 m
From Mandeure in the Doubs to Culoz in Ain, the trail allows you to discover the incredible diversity of the Jura Mountains at your own pace. Don't be fooled by the northern GTJ mountain biking. The ascent to the Maîche plateau then the path along the green banks of the Doubs river can be a bit technical. You will discover rural landscapes punctuated by very beautiful Comtois farms as far as Pontarlier. The majestic Fort de Joux marks the entrance to the kingdom of spruce and fir. In front of you, the large forest areas open up and the mountain biking sanctuary is looming, Métabief, a paradise for mountain biking with downhill free-ride and enduro trails. You are at the foot of the summit of Mont d'Or which will delight you with its magnificent panorama of the Alps.

You are in the Haut Jura Regional Natural Park with its contrasting reliefs oscillating between 600 and 1700 m in altitude which allow the cohabitation of typical fauna and flora. Chapelle des Bois marks the southern end of the Department of Doubs. Linger along the Mortes and Bellefontaine lakes bordered by a magnificent peat bog. The Jura department welcomes you. After the Station des Rousses you arrive in the land of the Hautes Combes, meadows and sumptuous forests which are home to rare fauna… be careful, you are in the land of the Capercaillie and the Eurasian Lynx. In Lajoux, the Maison du Parc naturel régional du Haut-Jura will introduce you to the Jura culture. Then you will ride in the Hautes Combes Jurassiennes, a mecca for cross-country skiing. La Pesse, from the local name of the spruce, will allow you to savor the wild atmosphere of the land of the crêts. That of Chalam marks the end of the Jura. It is by a beautiful descent that you will enter Ain. But be careful, you will have to go up to Bugey and its peaks. The Retord plateau will delight lovers of wide open spaces and silence. For the end of the trip, two options are available to you, one more bucolic and heritage via La Praille, and the Valromaysan treasures and the other more mountainous via Arvière then the mythical and famous Grand Colombier before descending towards Culoz.

Throughout the 415 km of the marked trail of the Great Mountain Bike Crossing, 150 accommodations await you. From the stopover gîte to the hotel, including guest rooms, inns, refuges and campsites.

Find all the information relating to accommodation / catering along the route, news (temporary diversions), preparation advice and official tracks on the Grande Traversée du Jura VTT website.
It takes between 6 and 9 days to complete the entire route depending on your level.
The return is from the Culoz train station (Lyon - Geneva line) to Mandeure.
Recommended route: Culoz - Lyon then Lyon - Montbéliard (direction Nancy).
From Montbéliard: join the start in Mandeure 14 km away by cycle path crossing Sochaux-Montbéliard via Exincourt, Audincourt and Valentigney.

Author’s recommendation

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Bugey Sud Grand Colombier Tourisme
Update: December 08, 2022
S1 difficult
Highest point
1,344 m
Lowest point
232 m
Best time of year

Track types

Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Restaurant Le Relais Nordique
Restaurant Berthet
Campsite : Le Colombier
Restaurant Le Chevalier

Safety information

Tips and hints

APIDAE tourism data updated on 25/10/2022 by "Office de Tourisme Bugey Sud Grand Colombier".
Spotted an error? Write to with the following information:
File name: Grandes Traversées du Jura (GTJ) : Itinéraire VTT de Mandeure à Culoz via La Praille sur le Plateau d'Hauteville | Record identifier: 840872 | URL (link) for this Outdooractive page.


Le point de départ est situé à Mandeure dans le Doubs (336 m)
47.449894, 6.801982
47°26'59.6"N 6°48'07.1"E
32T 334305 5257503
Show on Map


Le point de d'arrivée est situé à Culoz dans l'Ain

Turn-by-turn directions


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


Getting there



47.449894, 6.801982
47°26'59.6"N 6°48'07.1"E
32T 334305 5257503
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Itinerary explained in the "Topoguide de la Grande Traversée du Jura à VTT", in French.


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S1 difficult
394.7 km
43:06 h
7,600 m
7,624 m
Highest point
1,344 m
Lowest point
232 m
Public-transport-friendly Summit route Family-friendly Insider tip Refreshment stops available Flora and fauna Geological highlights Botanical highlights Multi-stage route Linear route Scenic Cultural/historical interest Cross-Country


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  • 29 Waypoints
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