Arolla & Evolene Ski Resorts

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Arolla ski resort terrain with Fontanesses 1 lift & the Glacier de Tsijiore Nouve
Arolla ski resort terrain with Fontanesses 1 lift & the Glacier de Tsijiore Nouve
Glacier du Tsijiore Nouve looms large over the piste at Arolla
Glacier du Tsijiore Nouve looms large over the piste at Arolla
Perfect piste in the early morning at the base of Arolla ski resort
Perfect piste in the early morning at the base of Arolla ski resort
Evolene ski resort is the only one with a chairlift in Espace Dent-Blanche
Evolene ski resort is the only one with a chairlift in Espace Dent-Blanche
Evolène village sits below the ski area, & retains its traditional charm
Evolène village sits below the ski area, & retains its traditional charm
La Forclaz ski area is above the important valley village of Les Haudères
La Forclaz ski area is above the important valley village of Les Haudères
Off-piste terrain at Arolla ski resort is fun for experienced skiers & riders
Off-piste terrain at Arolla ski resort is fun for experienced skiers & riders
Nearing the top of the Fontanesses 3 lift at Arolla ski resort
Nearing the top of the Fontanesses 3 lift at Arolla ski resort
La Chotte hut at Arolla typifies the wonderful ski experience at Arolla
La Chotte hut at Arolla typifies the wonderful ski experience at Arolla
La Chotte can be accessed via on or off-piste terrain & is beautifully situated on a sunny day
La Chotte can be accessed via on or off-piste terrain & is beautifully situated on a sunny day
Arolla & the other Espace Dent Blanche resorts each have a small novice ski area
Arolla & the other Espace Dent Blanche resorts each have a small novice ski area
Evolène ski area receives the early morning sun at its highest lifted point of 2,680m
Evolène ski area receives the early morning sun at its highest lifted point of 2,680m
Prepare yourself for long surface tow rides at Arolla, Evolene & La Forclaz
Prepare yourself for long surface tow rides at Arolla, Evolene & La Forclaz
Off piste powder skiing terrain mid-mountain at Arolla
Off piste powder skiing terrain mid-mountain at Arolla
Long groomers & freeride routes head down & off the Noire du Col at Arolla ski resort
Long groomers & freeride routes head down & off the Noire du Col at Arolla ski resort
Buvette 3000 hut is another gem at Arolla near the top of the Fontanesses 3 lift
Buvette 3000 hut is another gem at Arolla near the top of the Fontanesses 3 lift
Arolla village is compact & located on the mountainside away from the ski lifts
Arolla village is compact & located on the mountainside away from the ski lifts
Evolène is as good a Swiss Alps village as you will ever experience
Evolène is as good a Swiss Alps village as you will ever experience
Mid mountain at Evolene ski area has gorgeous rural terrain
Mid mountain at Evolene ski area has gorgeous rural terrain
Ski tourers check out the possibilities at Arolla, you should too!
Ski tourers check out the possibilities at Arolla, you should too!

Arolla & Evolene Ski Resorts

Readers Ratings

Arolla-Evolene

Arolla-Evolene3.5/51
Arolla-Evolene3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
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Nearby Ski Resort

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Nendaz Veysonnaz Thyon

Arolla-Evolene Maps & Stats

     Espace Dent-Blanche Ski Trail Map
  • Espace Dent-Blanche Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    Espace Dent-Blanche
    1,255m - 3,000m (1,605m)

    Arolla
    2,000m - 3,000m (1,000m)

    Evolene
    1,400m - 2,680m (1,280m)

    La Forclaz
    1,730m - 2,200m (470m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    Unknown
  • Lifts (16)
    1 Chair
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Arolla
    Early December to late April
    8:30am to 4:00pm

    Evolene
    Mid-late December to late March
    9:00am to 4:30pm

    La Forclaz
    Mid-late December to late March
    9:15am to 4:15pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 104km
    Longest run - 5km
    Advanced - 14%
    Intermediate - 57%
    Beginner - 29%
  • Ski Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 23/24
    Espace Dent-Blanche
    Arolla, Evolene & La Forclaz
    Adult (21-64yr): CHF46
    Seniors (>64): CHF36
    Youth (16-20yr): CHF36
    Child (6-15yr): CHF30
    Child u/6yr: Free

    La Forclaz only
    Adult - CHF28
    Child - CHF19
    Child u/6yr - Free
     Arolla Ski Trail Map
  • Arolla Ski Trail Map
     Evolene Ski Trail Map
  • Evolene Ski Trail Map
     La Forclaz Ski Trail Map
  • La Forclaz Ski Trail Map
    Arolla Ski Touring Map
  • Arolla Ski Touring Map

Arolla & Evolène Ski Resorts Switzerland

In a classically Swiss Alps alpine valley, with high mountain peaks and glaciers snaking down their flanks, the Val d’Herens has long been a secret hideaway for skiers seeking a quiet outpost in an ever-maddening world. The Val d'Hérens ski resorts of Arolla, Evolène & La Forclaz make up the collective ski region called Espace Dent-Blanche (presumably named after the looming 4,357m peak, Dent Blanche = white tooth!). Simple lifts, a relaxed attitude, affordable prices, splendid vistas, awesome food, friendly locals and mountains full of off-piste freeride potential make it a guarantee that you should visit at some point soon in your powder privileged lives.

Pros & Cons for Arolla & Evolène Ski Areas

Pros

  • High-altitude, generally snow-sure ski areas.
  • Long skiable verticals of over 1,000m at Arolla & Evolene.
  • Uncrowded slopes & negligible lift lines.
  • Wonderful off-piste freeride, ski touring & backcountry skiing opportunities.
  • Quality on-piste trails for intermediate skiers.
  • Good value lift pass combining all three ski areas under Espace Dent Blanche.
  • Gob-smacking vistas.
  • Affordable accommodation.
  • Beautiful villages, in particular Evolene.
  • Great local food.
  • How is the serenity?

Cons

  • Aging lift infrastructure that mainly consists of very long surface tows (which may challenge beginners, snowboarders and those gone soft on a diet of 8-person hooded express chairs with heated seats designed by Porsche!).
  • Few advanced piste trails.
  • Limited public bus services to Arolla (but better to Evolene).

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Val d’Herens is a quiet, traditional Swiss Alps valley with a remote feel and without all the ‘bells & whistles’ of other ski regions.
  • Limited snowmaking, therefore many of the slopes are at the full mercy of mother nature.
  • Sunny slopes in the morning on easterly aspect terrain (except the smaller La Forclaz which is westerly aspect so sunny in the afternoon).
  • Accommodation can be limited in the valley, particularly on weekends.

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lift & Terrain

The Espace Dent-Blanche skiing & snowboarding terrain is spread across 3 small to medium ski areas and includes 104km of mostly intermediate piste trails on predominantly east-aspect slopes. Arolla is the largest with up to 47 km of trails (but in reality, it is less!), 1,000m of skiable vertical above its high 2,000m altitude base, and the most advanced runs (9km of black trails). Closely following is Evolene with 42km of trails, of which 80% are rated intermediate, and 1,280m of skiable vertical from a 1,400m elevation base. Between them, the westerly aspect La Forclaz has 15km of both easy and intermediate pistes, providing a perfect place to learn the art of sliding on snow!

Check out the ski trail map for Arolla Evolène & La Forclaz (Espace Dent Blanche) below.

Arolla Evolene (Espace Dent Blanche) Ski Trail Map
Arolla Evolene La Forclaz Ski Trail Map

Away from the piste trails, Arolla in particular has a multitude of off-piste freeride opportunities. The many surrounding peaks & glaciers, coupled with relatively few people compared to adjacent valleys, make it a land of promise for powder hounds. Ski touring from the lifts at Arolla or up the valley expands the freeride terrain immensely and includes all manner of high alpine Swiss pleasures. Look at some of the possibilities on the Arolla ski-touring map.

The ski lifts in the Val d’Herens are a stark reminder of the way things used to be before you grew lazy on a diet of 10-person heated seat gondolas and hooded 6-seater express chairlifts. Only one chairlift, an aging double, is in the entire valley, used to access the high alpine terrain at Evolène. Everywhere else it is a case of testing one’s leg strength on surface tows, both T-bars & J-bars. The old-style lifts do two things. One is to limit the crowds visiting these resorts. Two is to test beginner snowboarders, possibly limiting their numbers in the valley too! We do not recommend Arolla for any snowboarders other than advanced or experts.

There is a plan to replace the chairlift in the Evolène sector with a new gondola. Originally proposed to open by the 23/24 winter season, the plans appear to have drifted out a little beyond that.

Lift Passes

Lift tickets in Val d'Hérens are available in three flavours. The Espace Dent-Blanche lift pass is valid in all 3 ski resorts (Arolla, Evolene & La Forclaz) & represents reasonably good value for the 104km of ski trails. The smaller La Forclaz ski area has a more affordable ‘local’ lift pass; great for novices & progressing beginners. Cheaper lift pass rates for ski-tourers using the Arolla lifts to access the high alpine zone can also be purchased.

The excellent value 'Magic Pass' is also valid in all the ski areas. If planning on spending time skiing the 'secret stashes' of southwest Switzerland, we recommend you get a Magic Pass.

Where is Arolla & Evolène Switzerland?

The Espace Dent-Blanche ski region is in the Val d’Herens, a valley south of the Rhône River valley in the French speaking part of Valais. The furthest ski resort up the valley, Arolla, is 39km (1hr) by road south of the major town of Sion. Evolene is closer; 24km or a shade over 30 minutes by rental car.

The closest gateway airports is Geneva (GVA), 195km (2½ to 3hr) drive east to Arolla. The small airport in the Rhone valley at Sion (SIR) is an option for travellers from London, Zurich and those with their own private plane! Search & book here for all airport transfers to Arolla Evolene.

Rail & bus services to the Val d'Hérens villages of Evolene or Arolla are via Sion. Trains from Geneva airport take a little over 2hr (on the IR90 service, direction Brig) to get to Sion, where buses or private transfers can finish the journey up the valley to Arolla. From Sion train station (gare), bus route 381 heads to Les Haudères via Evolene. From Les Hauderes, a change is required (it is however usually the same bus!) to the bus 382 for Arolla. Arolla Magine is the main stop at the ski lifts in Arolla village, with the journey from Sion taking around 1¼hr. Unfortunately the route 382 bus services to Arolla are limited to 5 per day so check the timetables carefully if using them to get around the valley. For Evolène, the route 381 bus runs at least 9 times per day and takes around 35min to the village. Search & book here for train tickets to Arolla Evolene. Buy bus tickets direct from the driver.

Arolla Evolene Accommodation

The ski accommodation available in the Val d’herens is in the main villages of Arolla, Les Haudères, and Evolene. The entire valley has a propensity for simple, affordable, family run lodgings with fabulous food offerings, rather ‘over-the-top’ luxury hotels. Numerous apartments and holiday homes are also available throughout.

Are far as proximity to the Espace Dent Blanche ski areas, the village of Evolène is closest to the chairlift base at Lannaz (1½km away), Arolla is next to the ski lifts & pistes of Arolla (plus has a few ski-in ski-out options), and Les Haudères is just below La Forclaz, and central to both of the others. For ambiance, beauty and authenticity, Evolene is the pick of the villages to stay in.

Search & book here for all Espace Dent Blanche ski accommodation in Arolla, Les Haudères or Evolene.

For detailed information on the best accommodations in the area, see our Where to Stay in Arolla-Evolene page.

Ski & Snowboard Rentals, Lessons & Guiding

Ski equipment rentals are available via our local partners near the ski lift base in the village of Arolla. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Arolla Evolène Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

If you want on or off-piste ski or snowboarding lessons or want to be guided around the freeride & backcountry zones of Arolla, search, compare & book instructors & guides via our Arolla Evolene Ski Lessons & Guiding page.

Review

The Powderhounds visited Arolla & Evolène in January 2023. We were astounded by its authenticity, its beauty, its quiet, its calm and its splendid ski terrain. That is a lot of 'its'! It is clearly a place to visit. Click on the review link in the left column (or top of the page if on a mobile) to read all the reviews.

See how Arolla-Evolène compares to the rest of the Swiss ski resorts on the Switzerland ski resort ratings page, or compare to the rest of Europe on the European ski resort ratings page.

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Tours in or near Arolla & Evolene

Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours

Private Ski Touring & Freeride Guiding
GUIDED OFF-PISTE SKIING & TOURING
Full Day | Multi Day
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Discover the mountains & improve your skills with private ski lessons & guided off-piste skiing for all abilities at ski resorts near 4 Vallees & Sion in the Swiss Alps Valais. Apply for your group's best dates & duration.
Price p/p From price based on full day private guiding in a group of 6.
Base/invoice currency is in CHF inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 120
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit Arolla-Evolene here
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