Giron / Les-Plans-D'hotonnes Grande Traversée du Jura by mountain bike
Nature & small heritage
3 h 06 min
I cycle a lot
The GTJ mountain biking route ("GTJ VTT") cycle route now leaves the Haut-Jura area as you enter the county of Ain and the very beautiful Retord Plateau. As you descend into the valley that cuts the mountains here in two, consider the staggering natural forces that shaped these landscapes. Around the Plateau de Retord, gentle, tranquil nature is your sole companion. If you are lucky enough to cross the plateau in June or July, you can enjoy the spectacle of the narcissi meadows in flower, their scent filling the air. Around here, these flowers are picked to extract their essence, which goes into perfumes made by famous names.
Elevation of the stage
997 m 1157 m
Grande Traversée du Jura by mountain bike from Giron to Les-Plans-D'hotonnes
This stage mainly involves climbing; it includes tackling a typical transverse valley, or cluse, going from an altitude of 500m to 1,340m. But on the first part of the stage, there’s a descent towards Saint Germain de Joux that is dangerous in parts, with very steep stretches, while gushing water can make conditions slippery in wet weather. Take great care crossing the N84 road. A long, gradual climb, 14km in length, partly on road, partly on track, leads to the Col de Bérentin pass and the Plateau de Retord. At the end, enjoy the rapid descent.
Two portions of ‘GTJ Light’ are described on the Carto Guide of the "GTJ à VTT" to enable you to bypass the major difficulties along this stage.
- Saint Germain de Joux: the Cluse de Nantua and the geological formations known as ‘Les Marmites de Géants’ (‘the Giants’ Cauldrons’)
- Belvédère du Catray viewing point; Retord Chapel
- Plateau de Retord typical landscapes, with isolated farms
- Crêt du Nu, with its views to the Alps
- Croix des Terments, an isolated cross, marking an old frontier
- Les Plans d'Hotonnes biathlon stadium (for cross-country skiing and rifle shooting)