J2Ski Canada J2Ski logo
°F / in / ft / miles°C / cm / m / km
FacebookTwitter

Les Deux Alpes

Les Deux Alpes Ski Resort Guide

Les Deux Alpes, France

Rated: 5/5 (from 7 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForFreeriders, Expert Skiers, Intermediates, Beginners, Snowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski!
Total Piste Length220km
Highest Lift3,600m
Resort Height1,650m
 Nearest AirportsGrenoble and Chambery
Save Money on Ski Hire Save up to 50% 
Free Snow Reports by e-Mail  Sign Up Here

Les Deux Alpes

World class resort with one of the largest ski areas, summer ski areas and maximum verical drops to be found anywhere. Add to this a huge range of apres-ski options and the now lift-linked descent to La Grave - a legend which attracts all advanced skiers, although a local guide is essential for these unmarked trails. It is easy to reach the main slopes from most points in the resort. There is also a free ski bus. The resort has its own radio station at Radio 2 Alpes (96.2 FM),

Summary

The French ski resort of Les Deux Alpes is in the French Alps at an altitude of 1,650m, with 220km of marked runs.

Les Deux Alpes is part of the Grande Galaxie ski area with access to 531km of downhill skiing, with 264 marked pistes, served by a total of 150 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Les Deux Alpes itself (220km of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Grande Galaxie ski resorts of Puy Saint Vincent and Serre Chevalier.

The ski resort itself is at 1,650m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With ski lifts as high as 3,600m, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Les Deux Alpes?

The next notable snow forecast is 36cm, expected on 4 December.

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

Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Les Deux Alpes
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun

Ski Area Stats

Les Deux Alpes Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
1031km
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
1841km
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
4294km
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
1954km
Downhill
Total Length
220km
Cross Country
Total Length
20km
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
55

Grande Galaxie Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
31
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
75
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
94
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
64
Downhill
Total Length
531km
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
150

Altitudes

Les Deux Alpes Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift3,600m
Resort Altitude (Les Deux Alpes)1,650m
Lowest Piste1,300m
Max Vertical2,300m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Les Deux Alpes
Freeriders
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers
Beginners
Snowboarding
Snow
Apres-Ski

Les Deux Alpes Overview

Now officially known as 'Les 2 Alpes', the resort formerly spelt 'Les Deux Alpes' began life shortly after World War 2, when in 1946 the local ski school was formed and three ski instructors employed, with an impressive 45 pupils on the first day. It was in fact based on the old French ski area of La Berarde which sprang up in 1925 after the first road to the area was completed. That was France's second ski area after Chamonix so its had plenty of time to establish its excellent snowfall and sunshine records.

Today with around 60 lifts, including an underground funicular, serving 220km (143 miles) of terrain including year round glacier skiing, over one of the world's biggest lift-served vertical drops, and accommodation enough for over 35,000 guests per night, Les 2 Alpes may safely be regarded as one of the guest success stories of the global ski industry.

Although now more than 50 years old, it was ten years after it began life that the resort really started to take off. Success followed the opening of the Diable gondola in 1956 and a year later the creation of one of the world's first known ski pass - covering all the lifts in the young resort. By 1970 there were 40 hotels and 46 lifts, including two gondolas and six chairs and by 1980 150km of trails were groomed and lift-served.

In 1984 the lifts extended to the current peak of 2568m giving year round access to the glacier ski area with the fast Jandri Express gondola, the world's fastest, up to the glacier opening the following year and one of the world's few underground funiculars, the Dome Express, following in 1989.

 Notable Ski Runs

The longest possible descent in Les Deux Alpes is 12km long.

Skiing

The vast vertical of Les 2 Alpes ski area extends from the wooded slopes by the resort itself up to the year-round snow fields of the glacier. With the upper lifts reached by walk-on lifts and the resort itself at quite a healthy altitude despite being one of the more southerly of the major French resorts, snowcover is not a problem. More than 78 snow cannons cover the lower slopes to make double sure.

It's an unusual ski area in that the ski area does not fan out around the resort as so many do but instead keeps going backwards, up to the glacier and away from Les 2 Alpes itself - rather like Keystone in Colorado. Beginners have a good selection of runs with more than 20 greens (very easy) trails around the resort, mostly served by more than a dozen parallel drags that run next to one another up from this high valley floor. They have either the Ecole de Ski Français (ESF) with about 150 instructors (rising to 200 in February peak season)and the ability to offers tuition in Portugese or Russian as well as the more mainstream languages if required, or there's the International Ski School.

Intermediates have the most to excite them - with this huge terrain rising up to the snow sure Glacier du Mont Lans which has the remarkable subterranean funicular actually running underneath the glacier you ski back down over. For a bit of added fun the slalom stadium features a free parallel slalom course. Although Les 2 Alpes alone does not have a particularly highly thought of ski area for experts, its off piste lift link to La Grave is a major asset. The 2100 metre descent from the top lift above the Girose Glacier down to the tiny village is regarded as one of the most challenging, and dangerous, lift served descent on earth. It has claimed the lives of several expert skiers. The route is normally open from late January through to April.

La Grave is one of a handful of small European ski centres off the tour operators maps and lacking in any facilities but none-the-less legendary for their incredibly expert and off-piste skiing. A couple of cable cars make the return trip back up from La Grave and only experts, ideally with guides should take this and other off piste routes down.

There are eight black pistes of which the most popular are Super Diable and the Belle Etoile returning to the village. The area ski pass includes a day's skiing on the Milky Way or in Alpe d'Huez or Serre Chevalier if Les 2 Alpe's skiing fails to satisfy for long enough.

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

Snowboarding

Les 2 Alpes 'World Snowboard Exhibition' staged at the top of the glacier in late October each season is one of the longest established annual events in the still short history of 'boarding. It is also believed to be the 'highest' snowboarding event staged and is open to the general public as well as pros. Throughout the season the snowboarding park is one of the best, with boarder cross, half pipe and various competitions staged. Events include barbecue and test days and the park has piped music.

There are three Snowboard Schools operational in Les 2 Alpes. In the summer boarding continues on the glaciers with camps, competitions, events and tuition on offer, along with free riding up on the largest glacier summer sliding area in Europe. A Fun Park is also created up top.

Location and Map

Where is Les Deux Alpes?

This ski resort is in the French Alps in Grande Galaxie, Hautes-Alpes.

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 Les Deux Alpes is Grenoble, 70 minutes drive away.

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

Infrastructure

Ski Lift Capacity

The 55 ski lifts are able to uplift 66,000 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, on 30km of ski runs, with 226 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Les Deux Alpes open?

 Open from : December 5, 2020.

 Closes : April 23, 2021.

Usual opening is late November (Re-opens for summer skiing from late June to early September. Opens for a week at start November), and usual closing is Late April.

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

Piste Map

Les Deux Alpes Piste Map
Les Deux Alpes

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Les Deux Alpes, 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 Les Deux Alpes Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Les Deux Alpes

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

Les Deux Alpes Webcams

The Webcams in Les Deux Alpes are not always up-to-date. Please check the date on the image to ensure you are seeing current snow conditions.

Aprés Ski

One of the livliest of the French resorts there are more than 30 bars to choose from and later on four night clubs which remain open until dawn in peak season. There are ten piano bars - one of which offers a selection of 200 different beers. Several have a 'British' theme, including Mike's Bar, Smokey Joe's and the Windsor with its selection of whiskys.

The Café Bresilien has a reputation for great music. Later on l'Opera night club is one of the best. More unusual après ski options include full moon mountain hikes to mountain restaurants for dinner.

Les Deux Alpes