La Clusaz Ski Resort

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La Clusaz ski resort & its authentic French base village
La Clusaz ski resort & its authentic French base village
La Clusaz ski resort has one main reason to visit - powder days!
La Clusaz ski resort has one main reason to visit - powder days!
Efficient gondolas move the throng of skiers out of the La Clusaz village.
Efficient gondolas move the throng of skiers out of the La Clusaz village.
Quality powder at La Clusaz below Col de Balme, the resort
Quality powder at La Clusaz below Col de Balme, the resort's best ski terrain.
Ski La Clusaz.
Ski La Clusaz.
La Clusaz ski resort.
La Clusaz ski resort.
Freeride powder at La Clusaz.
Freeride powder at La Clusaz.
Early morning at La Clusaz in mid winter.
Early morning at La Clusaz in mid winter.
Over 50% learner and easy trails at La Clusaz ski resort.
Over 50% learner and easy trails at La Clusaz ski resort.
La Clusaz ski resort.
La Clusaz ski resort.
Ski La Clusaz.
Ski La Clusaz.
Col de Balme lift & terrain at La Clusaz.
Col de Balme lift & terrain at La Clusaz.
Steep pitch off piste at La Clusaz ski resort.
Steep pitch off piste at La Clusaz ski resort.
La Clusaz ski resort.
La Clusaz ski resort.
Ample freeride terrain exists at La Clusaz to avoid the crowds on the piste.
Ample freeride terrain exists at La Clusaz to avoid the crowds on the piste.
On mountain eating and drinking is
On mountain eating and drinking is 'variable' at La Clusaz!
Ski La Clusaz.
Ski La Clusaz.
The Espace Aquatique is a unique feature of La Clusaz.
The Espace Aquatique is a unique feature of La Clusaz.
La Clusaz ski resort.
La Clusaz ski resort.
Ski La Clusaz.
Ski La Clusaz.

La Clusaz Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

La Clusaz

La Clusaz3/52
La Clusaz3 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Bakhmaro Cat Skiing Powderproject

Nearby Ski Resort

Chamonix
Les Contamines
Megeve - St Gervais

    La Clusaz Ski Trail Map
  • La Clusaz Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,100m - 2,600m (1,500m)

    Domaine Aravis
    1,000m - 2,600m (1,600m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    Unknown
  • Lifts (49)
    5 Gondolas / cable cars
    13 Chairs

    Domaine Aravis - 81 lifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Late Dec to end April
    8:55am to 5:00pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 125km
    Longest run - 7km+
    Advanced - 10%
    Intermediate - 39%
    Beginner - 51%

    Domaine Aravis - 211km
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 20/21
    La Clusaz
    Adult - €39.80
    Child - €30.80

    Domaine Aravis (from 2 days)
    Adult - €86
    Child - €66

    Le Grand Bornand
    Adult - €30.50 - 39.30
    Child - Free - €29.50
     Domaine Aravis Ski Trail Map
  • Domaine Aravis Ski Trail Map

La Clusaz Ski Resort France

La Clusaz is an interesting ski resort with fun terrain, some deep powder & way too many people. Situated close to Geneva and some major French cities, La Clusaz gets over-run on weekends & can be generally busy otherwise.

The La Clusaz ski resort's location on the 'front-side' of the Alps means it can get some serious dumps of the white stuff, making it an option on a sneaky mid-week powder day or as a leg-warmer on the way to somewhere deeper in the mountains. There are those that rave about the La Clusaz off-piste freeride terrain. Its certainly has some 'oomph', but we found the competition for powder just too much during our visit.

Pros & Cons for La Clusaz Ski Resort

Pros

  • High snowfall volume on upper half of the resort.
  • Stellar off-piste freeride terrain in the upper alpine sector.
  • Long skiable vertical of over 1,400m.
  • Broad network of lifts & ski trails.
  • Quality range of on-piste trails for beginner & intermediate skiers.
  • Affordable & good value lift pass.
  • Spectacular peaks & stupendous views from the tops.
  • Lovely, bustling old village in La Clusaz.

Cons

  • Generally busy.
  • Poor snow quality on the lower slopes.
  • Several lift & trail connections can be confusing.
  • Long, flat connecting trails can be hellish for beginners & snowboarders .
  • Domaine Aravis lift pass is a rip off.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Low elevation villages struggle for snow for much of winter.
  • Close to Geneva & Annecy.
  • Authentic French Alps village ruined by sprawling development up the valleys.
  • Accommodation can be difficult to get on weekends & is pricey, but better during the week.

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lift & Terrain

With 125km of piste trails & a beefy skiable vertical of around 1,400m, La Clusaz is rightly worth consideration by any snow-slider. The highest terrain on the Massif is north-aspect & amongst spectacular peaks reminiscent of the Dolomites. Around 1,200m of vertical is skiable in one hit from the sensational Col de Balme.

Advanced groomer hounds will delight in the steep 650m vertical drop of the La Noire run on Massif de Beauregard above the village. Behind the Beauregard ‘peak’ the resort’s best novice & beginner terrain resides, and links in beautifully with the gentle slopes on the Massif de Manigod. The L’Envers return trail from Manigod crosses numerous chalet driveways & can be in extremely poor condition toward the village.

See here for the La Clusaz ski trail map.

The off-piste freeride & backcountry terrain in & around La Clusaz can be great fun. The premier sector is below Col de Blame, but all the alpine valleys (or ‘combes’) can be as good; including Combe de la Creuse, Combe de Fernuy, and further around toward the Col des Aravis, the Combe de Borderan.

The La Clusaz ski lifts are a combination of high volume six-seater chairs & 8-seater gondolas to move the masses out of the valleys, then aging (but adequate) infrastructure at the higher elevations. By virtue of the topography being interconnected, there are some confused lift & trail connections throughout the resort, which take a little while to get the best of. However, for the ski-pass price, the lift system is generally better than good!

Domaine Aravis

Only 6km away, the ski resort of Le Grand Bornand is linked with La Clusaz to form the Domaine Aravis. Le Grand Bornand has 86km of trails & some fun-looking alpine off-piste freeride terrain on its north-aspect terrain. From its highest lifted point on Mont Lachat (2,100m) the resort has 1,100m of skiable vertical. The Domaine Aravis lift pass is available for 2 days or more, is valid in both resorts & includes the IS route bus between them. Our view is that the pass is overpriced when compared to the daily lift pass price at each resort.

See here for the Domaine Aravis ski trail map.

Where is La Clusaz France?

La Clusaz is the Haute Savoie region of the French Alps, only 44km south-east of Geneva (as the pigeon flies!). The closest major city is Annecy, 32km (40min) drive to the west. The most convenient airport is Geneva (GVA) (70km/1hr drive). The alternative airport that can be easily utilised is Lyon St Exupéry (LYS) (160km/2hr drive)

If staying at La Clusaz for multiple days, due to the relative difficulty in getting public transport to the region & for reasons of value & efficiency, we recommend looking at a private transfer, particularly if in a group of 3 or more people direct from the airport or TGV station at Annecy. TGV fast trains run to Annecy direct from Gare de Lyon in Paris in a little over 3hr!

Search & book here for all airport transfers to La Clusaz.

If seeking just to day-trip to La Clusaz on a powder day (recommended), renting a car from the airport is the best means of travel to the area.

Once in the resort, a complex suite of local bus routes cover all possibilities. Unfortunately, it isn’t free unless you have a valid Aravis ski pass (amongst other things). A regular bus runs on the IS (Interstation) route between La Clusaz & Le Grand Bornand via St Jean de Sixt.

For hints, tips & warnings about travel to French ski resorts in winter, see our Travel in France page.

La Clusaz Accommodation

The ski resort has a wide range of accommodations available in several distinct sectors but is heavily weighted toward apartment-style lodgings (like most French ski resorts!). The original village of La Clusaz is centred on the Église Sainte-Foy, the spire of which dominates the town. Off the main road, it would make a pleasant overnight location. Recommended within the old village are two extremes, the 5-star Hotel Au Coeur du Village & the affordable 2-star Hotel Les Airelles. For in between try the 4-star St-Alban Hotel & Spa, or the 3-star Alp Hotel - both fabulous. Contiguous with the original village, but close to the main road, the locality of Le Bossonnet has options close to the ski lifts. The classic Hotel Beauregard & Les Cimes Apartments are the absolute standouts, just metres from the lifts.

Away from La Clusaz, newer buildings are sprawled for 3km in each direction up the Avaris & Confins valleys along the base of the ski slopes. The best locations away from the main village are at or near the lift bases. For quick access to the La Balme gondola & its awesome terrain, try the traditional, basic & affordable Hôtel Bellachat; 2-stars of utter peace & quiet! At Les Étages, up the Vallée des Avaris next to the Transval cable car (linking the disparate parts of the broader resort across a deep gully), the Chalet-Hôtel du Borderan is perfectly situated for ski-in, ski-put!

The ski resort can also be accessed via the village of Manigod, where a range of chalets are dotted along the road leading to the ski lifts (and more accommodation) at Col de la Croix Fry, but there seems to be little point in staying there.

Search & book here for all La Clusaz ski accommodation.

The Domaine Aravis ski resort at Le Grand Bornand has some excellent accommodations in two villages facing the ski slopes. Le Grand Bornand village steps up the sunny south-facing slopes and is the larger of them. A further 3km further up the valley, Le Chinaillon has a good range of lodgings & services, also opposite the ski lifts & slopes.

Search & book here for all Le Grand Bornand ski accommodation.

Mid way between the two resorts is St Jean de Sixt village. Blighted by too much through traffic, it is nonetheless a convenient place from which to sample both Domaine Aravis ski areas. Buses regularly connect the two and are free to holders of a valid Aravis ski lift pass.

Search & book here for all St Jean de Sixt ski accommodation.

Ski Rentals, Lessons & Guiding

Ski equipment rentals are available at La Clusaz in two convenient locations near the ski lifts via our local partners. Receive a discount when you search & book via our La Clusaz Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

If seeking on or off-piste ski lessons of freeride guiding at La Clusaz, see our La Clusaz Ski Lessons & Guiding page.

Nearby Ski Resorts

La Clusaz straddles the border between two massive ski regions - the Haute Savoie & Savoie. Ski resorts including Megeve - St Gervais, Les Contamines & Chamonix are between 45min & 1½hr drive away.

Review

The Powderhounds reviewed La Clusaz in 2019 & enjoyed some fine powder in a resort that has some disappointments, but maybe we were just there on wrong powder day & need to explore more! Click on the review link at the top of page to read its inciteful & witty prose!

See how La Clusaz compares to the rest of the European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

Follow Powderhounds Europe on Facebook or Instagram to see where we are currently skiing.

Tours in or near La Clusaz

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Powder Hunt - Elite Freeride Skiing
GUIDED OFF-PISTE FREERIDE POWDER HUNT
3 Days | 2 Nights | 3 Ski Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Join in the hunt for the best off-piste freeride powder skiing in the moment over three action packed days on a long weekend. Location options include La Grave, Sestriere, Zermatt, Chamonix, Monterosa, Verbier, 3 Vallees & others. Join a fixed date tour or create a custom tour to suit your best dates & group size.....
Price p/p From price based on 2 nights twin-share lodging in a minimum group of five people during low season.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 790
View Details
 
The Powder Trip - Elite Freeride Skiing
GUIDED OFF-PISTE FREERIDE POWDER TRIP
6 Days | 5 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Join a trip to find & experience the best off-piste powder skiing in the Alps. Over 6 awesome days, travel to where the snow is deep & fresh. Locations can include La Grave, Sestriere, Zermatt, Chamonix, Monterosa, Verbier, 3 Vallees & more. Join a fixed date tour or create a custom tour to suit your best dates .....
Price p/p From price based on 5 nights twin-share lodging in a minimum group of five people during low season.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
Snowboarders, get your own group of riders together for your best dates
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,656
View Details
 
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit La Clusaz here
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